It looks like there’s been some exciting drama happening on whatever scarab spaceship the guys from Journey are living on, with bassist Ross Valory and drummer Steve Smith getting fired back in March after trying to take control of the band away from founding member Neal Schon in what Rolling Stone refers to as an attempted “coup”—which makes it sound much more exciting and dramatic than it probably deserves. Schon and keyboardist Jonathan Cain successfully fought them off, though, giving them the boot and saying in a statement that “Journey will go out on tour without [Valory]” once the pandemic is over. (If you’re wondering where you should stand in this feud, Schon is the one who didn’t want Journey’s music to be politicized, while Valory is one of the rogue Journey members who jumped at the chance to visit the Trump White House back in 2017… though Cain was also there, so maybe this is a “whoever wins, we lose” AVP situation.)
Anyway, Journey is now filling those open slots in its lineup, with Rolling Stone reporting that Valory has been replaced by none other than former Journey member Randy “Big Dawg” Jackson. That nickname comes from Schon’s Twitter feed (which he uses far too much), on which he also revealed that Narada Michael Walden will be the new drummer. Walden is a Grammy winner, but he never appeared on TV and told an aspiring young singer that “It’s a no from me, dog,” so no offense to him, but we’re here for Randy Jackson and Randy Jackson only. He had previously been a replacement bassist for Journey back in the ‘80s, and with the pandemic still going on, there’s no word on when this new lineup will actually be going on tour.
(A cursory search of the internet offered no definitive information about whether Randy Jackson has ever been to the White House.)