It’s an interesting time to be Jonathan Cain.
Not only has he just put out a book — a memoir called “Don’t Stop Believin’ ” detailing his experiences as the keyboardist for rock band Journey — but he’s also just released his third solo album. It’s a digital album called “The Songs You Leave Behind.”
And now, at the age of 68, he’s in the middle of a co-headlining 60-show tour with fellow classic rockers Def Leppard that has been selling out arenas and stadiums. (The tour will stop at Intrust Bank Arena on Monday.)
And then there’s the matter of the headline-grabbing public feud last year with bandmate and Journey guitarist Neal Schon that brought to the forefront an issue many Americans can relate to these days: what to do when you and your closest friends and family members can’t agree on politics.
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Calling on a tour day-off in Tulsa earlier this week, Cain said that he and Schon have been able to put their differences behind them for the sake of the tour.
“We have a good relationship,” he said. “It was a bump in the road, I guess. But we feel like the fans and the music is bigger than that.”
Cain, who was born in Chicago, first met Schon, drummer Steve Smith, bassist Ross Valory and longtime lead singer Steve Perry when he left the band The Babys to join Journey in 1980. Cain went on to write or co-write some of the group’s biggest hits, including “Faithfully” and “Don’t Stop Believin.” The group released the album “Escape,” which would be its biggest, in 1981.
Over the next two decades, the group would take breaks and reunite for tours and albums, but throughout lineup changes — including the loss of lead singer Perry in 1997 — Cain and Schon were constants.
Last year, a few months after the group was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Schon launched a social media tirade against Cain. He was upset that Cain, who in 2015 married President Trump’s now spiritual adviser Paula White, had taken members of Journey to the White House and posed for a photo with Trump.
Schon listed other grievances, too, including his opposition to Cain promoting his born-again Christian beliefs to Journey’s fan base.
That’s all been resolved now, Cain said.
“We’re moving on,” he said. “It’s kind of a misunderstanding. I’ve known Neal for almost 40 years, and every relationship is going to have a little bumpiness. But we worked through it. I respect him. It’s just one of those things that happens.”
In fact, he said, Schon’s grown son, Miles Schon, — whom Cain gifted his first guitar as a kid — plays on the title track on his new album.
And Schon has reacted positively to the memoir, Cain said.
“He e-mailed and said, ‘Hey, man. I like the book,’” Cain said. “This is what’s going on. We’re brothers.”
Cain’s memoir, which was released in May, talks about his childhood in Chicago — where he survived the deadly Our Lady of Angels School fire that killed 92 of his school mates — and his relationship with his father. It also talks about Perry’s decision to leave the band, Cain’s faith, and his marriage to White.
Watching his wife work with the White House has been interesting, Cain said, adding that he’s careful to “stay in my lane.”
“It’s interesting to watch her brave the choppy waters of politics, but I think I more like watching her working with the spiritual side of things, sort of the church doing what they do best,” he said. “She’s just been so incredible, and there’s moments where she gets frustrated and then there’s moments of victory. That’s part of it ... I can only say that I’m very proud of her and what she’s accomplished.”
Cain said he’s enjoyed being back on the road with Def Leppard, whom Journey also toured with 12 years ago. The two bands alternate who goes on first in various cities, and in Wichita, Def Leppard will play first with Journey in the headlining spot
One song fans will be sure to hear on Monday: Journey’s iconic hit “Don’t Stop Believin’,” which Cain co-wrote and which has become sort of a national theme song over the past decade, thanks in part to the role it played in the final minutes of the hit series “The Sopranos.” (It’s also the final song the band has played on most of its stops.)
All the attention paid to the song has made it even more meaningful to Cain, and it was already one of his favorite songs to play from the library, he said.
“Maybe some people had dismissed it as a cute little pop song,” he said. “But I think that redefined the song and it showed the dramatic layers in it.”
Journey and Def Leppard in concert