President Donald J. Trump has been in office for less than seven months. In that time he’s attempted to destroy our country from within.

He appointed a climate change denier to head the EPA. He appointed that Rick Perry twat to head the Department of Energy. He appointed Jared Kushner to be Jared Kushner. What’s next? Appointing the world’s shittiest musician, Billy Joel, to head the National Endowment for the Arts? Is no establishment safe from his treachery?

Apparently, the answer to that last question is “no.” His next victim is the extremely mediocre arena rock band Journey, and this once-beloved band that provided the soundtrack to many clumsy teenage bra unhookings during the Reagan years may not survive the encounter.

According to Spin, three members of the group visited the White House, took some photos and did the same generally innocuous stuff that celebrities do when they meet presidents. Absent from the festivities was the group’s guitarist and founder Neal Schon, who went on a Twitter rampage reminiscent of those made by the president at 3 o’clock in the morning.

In one tweet, Schon laid the entire debacle at the feet of keyboard player Jonathan Cain, who played the opening piano notes of “Don’t Stop Believing” and whose 2015 marriage to televangelist Paula White made Cain increasingly break the band’s steadfast rule of no religion and no politics in their music. White, by the way, is Trump’s personal minister and chair of his administration’s evangelical advisory board.

Schon then made some thinly veiled threats to reunite with Steve Perry, the lead singer who fronted the band until 1998, and whose silky smooth vocals graced all of their biggest hits. The guitarist seemed to imply that whatever happens, as the sole founding member of the band, he would be perfectly happy to shitcan the other guys, get back together with Perry and hire some sidemen to bang away at synthesizer quarter-notes at every Six Flags in the U.S. of A.

Whatever ultimately happens, Journey will probably be just fine, since there have been dozens and dozens of members in its ranks. Very few people actually give a shit who happens to be pumping out “Faithfully” at any given moment, as long as it gets played.

A visit to any shithole karaoke bar in Delaware will bear this out. When the very recognizable opening notes of any of Journey’s hits come on, no one in the audience cares who’s playing them. It could be Bob Saget, Al Gore or Honey Boo Boo. As long as a lighter can be held aloft and someone’s singing about a small-town girl, the audience will go apeshit, and the only person that really counts is the person who owns the group’s name and whose appellation is on the royalty checks. That would be Neal Schon.

What will happen to the band next is an open question. Speaking for myself personally, I’ve never been a big fan, but as someone who was an adolescent during the 1980s, I will say that when it came to artists whose music you couldn’t escape from even if you wanted to, they beat pretty much every other crappy AOR act out there at the time. With that in mind, I present a playlist of the three Journey songs I can physically tolerate.

“Don’t Stop Believing”

“Stone in Love”

“Wheel in the Sky”


About Author

Daniel Bukszpan is a freelance writer with over 20 years' experience. He has written for such publications as Fortune, CNBC and The Daily Beast. He is the author of “The Encyclopedia of Heavy Metal,” published in 2003 by Barnes and Noble and “The Encyclopedia of New Wave,” published in 2012 by Sterling Publishing.

1 Comment

  1. “……the world’s shittiest musician, Billy Joel….”??? What the fuck?
    That’s your opinion, which you’re entitled to.
    But either you’re brain-damaged – or you’re deaf.

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