Journey- Escape- Neal Schon- Jonathan Cain- Steve Perry

Barely eighteen months into the Eighties, the hard-charging San Francisco juggernaut Journey unveiled a defining album for the decade with Escape in July 1981, containing “Don’t Stop Believin’ “,”Stone in Love”, “Who’s Crying Now”,”Open Arms”, and “Mother, Father”. For the fortieth anniversary of this timeless effort, the Journey songwriting triumvirate of Steve Perry, founding guitarist Neal Schon, and new recruit then Jonathan Cain all recall their daring Escape here In the Studio.

I first interviewed Chicago-born-and-raised California transplant Jonathan Cain in Memphis in April 1979 after he joined The Babys as keyboard player, one of  two new Americans in the London band fronted by John Waite. When they returned a year later as opening band on the entire 1980 Journey tour, I treated Cain and Waite to dinner at rib palace The Rendezvous immediately following their impressive concert performance earlier that evening. Both Cain and Waite were practically euphoric: they knew that Journey had been on a roll since 1978’s breakthrough Infinity album, giving The Babys a once-in-a-career opportunity to play in front of 10,000 Journey fans every night; and Cain and Waite both felt that their band was kicking the headliner’s butt !

According to this classic rock interview, apparently this was not going unnoticed by at least several of the members of Journey. You see, rarely do any headliners emerge from their dressing rooms to stand side stage in the shadows to watch a support act perform, but Journey’s co-founding guitarist Neal Schon and impressive lead singer recruit Steve Perry were seeing The Babys in their rear-view mirror on their bumper every night of the tour. So when Journey co-founder keyboard player/singer Gregg Rolie announced that he was calling it quits and would need to be replaced before the next  album Escape,  Journey saw Jonathan Cain as a perfect example of the old adage (slightly modified), “If you can’t beat them…have them join you”. It is no coincidence that Journey’s first #1,”Open Arms”, was co-written by Jon Cain and appeared on Journey’s biggest-selling album to this day. As you will hear from Perry, Schon, and Cain, they responded with “Don’t Stop Believin'”,”Who’s Crying Now”,”Stone in Love”, the symphonic”Mother, Father”, and  the title song ! – Redbeard