Following the firing of bassist Ross Valory and drummer Steve Smith earlier this year, Journey, the veteran American rock band, has revealed its new lineup — which includes the return of former American Idol judge Randy Jackson.
On Saturday — directly after a virtual, physically distanced, virtual performance of their 1981 smash hit Don’t Stop Believin’ — longtime Journey guitarist Neal Schon took to Twitter to confirm the band had officially become a six-piece.
In the UNICEF charity video, Jackson, 63, is seen rocking the bass along to the rock anthem, while Grammy-winning drummer Narada Michael Walden sat on the drum throne, as newcomer Jason Derlatka rocked backing vocals and a keyboard.
“OK friends, word is out! RJ the Big Dawg is our new bass player again,” tweeted Schon, 66.
“Word is out! Narada Michael Walden is our new Drummer! The J Boyz will have a new strut,” he added in a separate tweet.
“Welcome to our Journey family Randy Jackson, Narada Michael Walden and Jason Derlatka,” Schon concluded in another.
Jackson originally joined Journey in 1985 after Valory, 71, was fired for the first time. He served as their bassist until 1987, before they went on an indefinite hiatus. Additionally, he contributed to the band’s 1986 record Raised on Radio.
Walden, 68, is known well for his work as a record producer and his work as a drummer for British guitar virtuoso Jeff Beck. Throughout his nearly five-decade career, Walden has released 12 albums as a solo artist.
Derlatka seems to be known best from the success of a variety of classic rock covers shared to YouTube, including one of Journey’s Send Her My Love (1983).
“Journey is an ever-changing unstoppable force,” Schon tweeted.
“This is a completely new chapter for us and can’t wait to get to it!” he added.
Smith and Valory’s recent dismissals resulted in an ongoing and egregious legal battle them the band.
On March 3, Schon and keyboardist Jonathan Cain, 70, filed a lawsuit against the former members claiming they were part of a “malicious” “coup to assume control” of the band’s name in order to ensure “windfall payments in the millions of dollars after their retirement,” as seen in legal documents files obtained by Rolling Stone.
Valory reportedly fired back in late April with a counter-claim, alleging his former bandmates had breached a previously established contract from the mid-1990s that declared that a company by the name of Nightmare Productions actually owned the band’s name as opposed to Schon and Cain.
“The cross-complaint has no merit whatsoever. Valory is out of the band,” said Skip Miller, an attorney representing Schon and Cain, as reported by the outlet.
“When the pandemic is over, Journey will go out on tour without (them). Life will go on.”
For additional information and band updates, you can visit the official Journey website.