The St. Louis Cardinals had a special visitor in the dugout prior to Saturday’s game–Journey keyboardist, Jonathan Cain.
“I’ve always been–Stan Musial growing up, believe it or not I’m that old. Lou Brock, I’m that old,” explained Cain, who was a guest of Mike Matheny. “I lived in Chicago, so I grew up in Wrigley. My brother and I used to play hooky whenever our heroes would come to town.”
Cain expanded his appreciation for the Cardinals as he connected and got to know Tony La Russa a few years ago and performed at some AARF events.
“I was living in the Bay area, but had one foot in Cardinal land and now I’m full–I live in Nashville, so I’m a Cardinal fan, for real,” stated Cain. “I’m really glad Mike is at the helm. He’s a classy guy. Smart. He’s gonna be great. He’s gonna be great for the next 10 years, I think because he’s a class guy. That stands for what you guys are–you look in that clubhouse and see all those pennants. Very few teams, except the Yankees maybe, stand in that same legacy.”
Cain, who before joining Journey in the early 80s was also a member of the Babys and later Bad English, had aspirations of music and sport.
“I played baseball as much as I practiced my piano,” he shared. “You take baseball lessons to band practice, you take them to rehearsal, you take them to concert-backstage and you learn what teamwork is supposed to be. Communication, perseverance–you get through it. Somebody gets hurt, you stick up for somebody. Somebody gets stepped on, you stick up for somebody. It served me well–I think baseball has a lot to offer lessons of life. I’m glad I was a member of all those teams.”
“Always had a pretty good eye for the ball,” said Cain, who also recalled Journey playing games against local radio stations while on tour.
“They’d bring ringers and we’d have to whine about it, so we would get our truck drivers.”
“We had some pretty good players, the only problem is half the time they were at the gig or they had to set-up.”
Journey remains on tour and will next be on stage at the Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles, California next week. Arnel Pineda is the lead singer for the band, but especially with former frontman Steve Perry singing during the playoffs last year with the San Francisco Giants, it has renewed the question of a possible reunion for the band.
“We were asked to do the National Anthem once and then they 86-ed us, Neal (Schon) and I, ” said Cain of the Giants. “We were like, hey what the heck? Then they had ‘singer of Journey’ and we were like no, that’s former singer. So when they went into the playoffs, our manager called the network and said it’s got to say former.
“What’s the chances of him coming back? He’s got an open invitation anytime he wants to sing with Journey. He could come next week when we’re in Hollywood Bowl and sing with us if he wants. But, he chooses not to. I think he likes his retired life and he had his day and you’ve got to know when you had your time. He’s got a great legacy–he’s still a big part of our alumni. He’s a big part of the sound of Journey, we respect that.
“That’s what people don’t know–we’ve invited him to come out and sing,” revealed Cain. “I hope in my heart that he gets back out and just sings again–whether it’s with us or on his own. Just go do it Steve because that’s what God made you to do. It’s a shame that he’s not out there because he’s a great voice. Never in my wildest dreams of 1983 would I say the guy’s retired. I get to work with these great bands–Ann Wilson from Heart, Robin Zander from Cheap Trick–I’m like they’re still doing it, Steve you see this?”
While it hasn’t happened yet, Cain is eyeing a potential gig in the future to get Perry back on stage with Journey.
“The best shot we’ve got with Steve Perry is the Hall of Fame,” he explained. “If they vote us into the Hall, the rules are that he has to show up and sing two songs. So we force his hand. That’s what I pray for now.”
“It could be great, I look forward to it,” continued Cain. “I adore the man. I thought he was true talent, one of the greatest things in my life was getting to write with him, for real. I look back on those days as fond memories. He knows. He knows where we live. So that’s his call, we put the ball in his court.”
photo credit: David Brown