Jonathan Cain is a brilliant musician and an even-more-wonderful person. What follows is my third interview with him to date, and I find myself liking and respecting the man more each time we speak. During this interview we covered his brand-new album More Like Jesus, which is fantastic, his thoughts on Steve Perry’s comeback album, a new Journey release, and much more. Also included among the images and videos below, is a quote from a discussion I had with Jon backstage in Philadelphia last year, where he gave my writing the highest praise it has ever received. Jon’s music, writing, and friendship have enriched my life in a way that is immeasurable and, if you take a chance, he might have the same impact on you.
In September, my wife and I went to Nashville to celebrate our one-year wedding anniversary. We chose Nashville because we wanted to go someplace that felt new but didn’t require a ridiculous amount of travel time or money. Also, everyone I’ve spoken with that’s been to Nashville has enjoyed their time there. In addition to eating an insane amount of fried food and meat, our trip was punctuated by several music-related excursions, which I detail below.
Steve Perry is the greatest male vocalist I’ve ever heard. I remember buying Journey’s Greatest Hits album many years ago and listening to the songs and discovering that I already knew most of them but didn’t realize the band behind these timeless tracks was Journey. While the guitar, piano, drumming, and bass were all exceptional, what captivated me most was that voice. How it soared to heights unimaginable for most humans and how it lovingly and soulfully intoned every word that was sung. With my headphones on, a Discman in my hands, and my eyes turned skyward, I gazed at the stars as the balmy beach breeze and Steve Perry’s vocals washed over me. It was a defining musical moment for me and one I fondly look back on when I think of this special band and this epic voice.
Don’t Stop Believin’: The Man, the Band, and the Song that Inspired Generations, the long-awaited autobiography by Journey’s piano man, Jonathan Cain, is tied with Paul Stanley’s Face The Music: A Life Exposed as my favorite music autobiography. And if you have to choose one way to read this book, listen to the audiobook because it’s narrated by the man himself, making for a more intimate reading experience. Jon’s narration of his autobiography is so raw and authentic that at some points he becomes overcome with emotion, which only makes the stories he tells that much more impactful. And the generous amount of beautiful music weaved throughout the audiobook makes for an engaging and enjoyable audiobook that I’d gladly listen to again. It’s also worth noting that the audiobook features bonus chapters not found in the print version of the book.
Throughout his varied and extensive career, Jonathan Cain has played a key role in writing and performing some of the greatest music of all time. Whether it’s with Journey, Bad English, The Babys, or as a solo artist, Jonathan Cain has left an indelible mark on the music industry. In Don’t Stop Believin’: The Man, the Band, and the Song that Inspired Generations, released May 1, Jonathan Cain’s memoir, the prolific piano player reflects on his life and career. In addition to releasing his autobiography, Jonathan Cain will be on the road with Journey as the band joins forces with Def Leppard for what promises to be an epic summer tour. Below is my interview with Jonathan, where we discuss his book, his music, and more.
Neal Schon is the founding member and lead guitarist for Journey, one of the most successful and beloved rock bands of all time. In addition to his amazing work with Journey, Neal is a former member of Santana and Bad English, and he’s had a prolific career as a solo artist as well. Journey is touring this summer with Def Leppard, and, following the tour, Neal is releasing a new solo album: Universe.
Just a few days after I interviewed him, it was announced that my friend Deen Castronovo is the new drummer for the fantastic rock band The Dead Daises. Deen and the guys are currently in Nashville working on a new studio album, and I couldn’t be happier for Deen or The Dead Daises. I’m sure what they produce will be phenomenal and I can’t wait to hear it.
I had the pleasure of interviewing one of my favorite singers and one of the greatest voices in the history of music: Dennis DeYoung, lead vocalist of STYX hits “Come Sail Away,” “Babe,” “Mr. Roboto,” “The Best of Times,” “Don’t Let It End,” “Show Me The Way,” and “Lady.”
Our discussion lasted for more than an hour and we covered a myriad of topics, including Barry Manilow, Journey, what DeYoung misses most about being in STYX, the state of the music industry, politicians using music without the permission of the artists, and much more. DeYoung was funny, charming, smart, and easily one of the most enjoyable interviews I’ve ever conducted.
Make sure to visit DeYoung’s website for the latest tour dates. He has two performances in the Philadelphia/New Jersey/New York area coming up in October. I’m attending his show on October 8 at The Keswick Theatre in Glenside, Pa. For those of you closer to New York, DeYoung has an October 21 performance scheduled at the St. George Theatre in Staten Island, with special guest Steve Augeri, former lead vocalist of Journey.