IN IT FOR THE LONG HAUL

The Commercial Appeal - Go Memphis - - MUSIC -

al­bum, 1983’s “Fron­tiers,” fea­tur­ing the hits “Sep­a­rate Ways (Worlds Apart)” and the prom slow-dance smash “Faith­fully.” It was the lat­ter that prompted Prince’s man­age­ment to call in Cain, the song’s writer, to lis­ten to one of Prince’s pro­posed new tracks.

“He­was­con­cernedthat‘pur­ple Rain’ was too much like ‘Faith­fully,’” re­calls Cain, who never ac­tu­ally met the Pur­ple One in per­son. “I heard some sim­i­lar­i­ties in the first bar and then the gui­tar solo. They put Prince on the phone, and he said, ‘Do I need to change any­thing?’ I said, ‘No. You don’t have to worry about us (su­ing for copy­right in­fringe­ment). It’s the same chords, but so what? Ev­ery­body gets in­spired from some­body, and I’m flat­tered that you care that much to call.’ It shows what kind of car­ing guy he was. And then I got tick­ets to his show. I was way up front, and he threw a tam­bourine, and I caught it. Still have that tam­bourine.”

More than 30 years later, Cain and Jour­ney are still in it for the long haul. Hav­ing out­lasted most of their con­tem­po­raries, the band re­mains en­dur­ingly pop­u­lar, pack­ing are­nas around the world. The group’s an­nual sum­mer tour, a team­ing with fel­low North­ern Cal­i­for­nia rock vet­er­ans the Doo­bie Broth­ers called “San Fran­cisco Fest 2016” (with Traf­fic gui­tarist and singer-song­writer Dave Ma­son open­ing), stops Wed­nes­day at Fedex­fo­rum.

Pre­vi­ously a mem­ber of the John Waite­fronted group The Babys, Cain joined Jour­ney in 1980 when the band was al­ready a half-dozen records into its ca­reer. Sub­sti­tut­ing syn­the­siz­ers for the Ham­mond B3 or­gan of pre­de­ces­sor Gregg Rol­lie, he helped up­date Jour­ney’s sound, and his com­po­si­tions like “Don’t Stop Believin’” helped make his de­but with the band, 1981’s “Es­cape,” their first No. 1 al­bum. Though sav­aged by crit­ics at the time — Dave Marsh called “Es­cape” one of the worst No. 1 records of all time — the band racked up hit af­ter hit in the ’80s un­til lead singer Steve Perry’s health prob­lems forced it into hia­tus in 1987.

Jour­ney re­sumed eight years later, and de­spite per­son­nel changes, has kept go­ing strong ever since, buoyed by a string of un­pre­dictable events that kept the group in the pub­lic eye. First, Perry bowed out of the group again. He was re­placed by Steve Augeri. But when health prob­lems side­lined Augeri in 2006, the re­main­ing mem­bers turned to Youtube, of all places, to find his un­likely re­place­ment. There they dis­cov­ered Filipino pow­er­house Ar­nel Pineda, whose rags-to-star­dom story has in­spired mil­lions and given Jour­ney a whole new in­ter­na­tional fan base.

About the same time, “Don’t Stop Believin’” was fa­mously fea­tured in the fi­nale of the HBO se­ries “The So­pra­nos,” giv­ing the song a new com­mer­cial life. It has been fea­tured since in the TV show “Glee” and the stage show and movie “Rock of Ages,” and has be­come a sta­ple of show choirs and sport­ing events around the world.

“We’ve got like three gen­er­a­tions of peo­ple at our shows now,” says Cain, some­what in­cred­u­lous. “It’s re­ally a bless­ing and an honor. I kind of sensed some­thing was go­ing on when we made all that mu­sic in the ’80s just be­cause of the sales and the amount of ac­cep­tance we re­ceived. You don’t sell 250,000

WITH DAVE MA­SON

7 p.m. Wed­nes­day, May 25, at Fedex­fo­rum. Tick­ets: $49.50-$89.50, avail­able through Tick­et­mas­ter.

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