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Randy Jackson re-joins Journey, band also announces new drummer Narada Michael Walden

Randy Jackson re-joins Journey, band also announces new drummer Narada Michael Walden

L-R: Jonathan Cain, Randy Jackson, Neal Schon in 1986; Larry Hulst/Michael Ochs Archives/Getty ImagesWhen Randy Jackson was a judge on American Idol, he would often mention the time he spent as the bass player for the band Journey, during their 1986 Raised on Radio album and tour.  Well, after going their “Separate Ways,” Jackson is back.

Guitarist Neal Schon announced Sunday that Jackson would be returning as Journey’s new bass player, writing, “Ok Friends word is out ! @randyjackson RJ the Big Dawg is our new Bass player again.” 

He also posted a photo of Jackson and his mega-80s hairstyle from back in the day and added, “The King is back.”

But that’s not all: Schon also announced that super-producer Narada Michael Walden would be coming on board as Journey’s new drummer, adding, “The J Boyz will have a new Strut.”

Walden is a Grammy award-winning musician, songwriter, and producer, having worked with artists like Aretha Franklin, Whitney Houston, Lionel Richie, Mariah Carey, Herbie Hancock, George Benson and more.  He also played drums in the jazz fusion band Mahavishnu Orchestra.

Walden and Jackson join Schon, keyboard player Jonathan Cain and vocalist Arnel Pineda in the band. The new lineup debuted during an online fundraiser for UNICEF on Saturday night, playing a socially distanced version of “Don’t Stop Believin’.”

As previously reported, Journey’s bass player Ross Valory and drummer Steve Smith — both of whom had had several on-and-off stints in the band over the years — were both fired earlier this year. Cain and Schon accused them of launching a “coup d’etat” to try and take control of the band’s name.

Valory fired back against Schon and Cain, denying their claim and countersuing for breach of contract and emotional distress.

Journey had planned to tour with The Pretenders this summer, but that tour’s been canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.


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