It was standing room only when Journey band members and Rock and Roll Hall of Famers Ross Valory and Jonathan Cain visited Las Vegas Academy of the Arts May 17. While none of the students were born when the legendary band first formed and produced a string of hits such as “Don’t Stop Believin'” and “Lights,” they were excited to be part of the Q&A and jam session.
“I don’t have any children so this is my way of passing my knowledge on,” Valory, a founding member of Journey, told the audience. His father was a big inspiration to him and he advised students to “find a local musician that inspires and teaches you, and learn to read and write for the instrument you play.”
Valory explained to the students that he recognizes a difference between being self-taught and guidance by a music teacher.
“I came from a family of musical people so for me, music was part of the household. I learned piano, ukulele and guitar. I was talked into playing rock when I was in high school,” Valory said.
At the age of 4, Cain and his father went to see his grandfather perform fiddle in a hillbilly music show. That’s when Cain knew that he wanted to perform. He attended a music conservatory to obtain a formal education before pursuing his career and becoming Journey’s keyboardist.
The spirited Q&A included questions about favorite songs, how to maintain a career, any possible reunion with former front man Steve Perry (unlikely, due to health concerns), who inspires them, what current artists do they follow and life experiences.
The legendary band members ended the visit by beginning to jam “Don’t Stop Believin’” then sharing the story of how the song came to life. The duo then sang along with students and teachers, ending to thunderous applause.