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Prince Asked Journey's Jon Cain If His Song Was Similar to Their Hit

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Image attributed to Michael Cairns

Jonathan Cain

Longtime keyboardist and rhythm guitarist in the rock band Journey, Jonathan Cain is known for writing or co-writing such hits as “Don’t Stop Believin,'” “Faithfully,” “Open Arms,” “Separate Ways (Worlds Apart)” and “When You Love a Woman.” In 1979, he joined British rock group the Babys but left in 1980 to replace founding keyboardist Gregg Rolie in Journey.

Cain was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a member of Journey on April 7, 2017. In April 2015, he married minister Paula White.

In a 2018 interview with Smashing Interviews Magazine, the Journey songsmith spoke of writing the San Fracisco Bay band's top-twenty power ballad "Faithfully," which peaked at #12 on the Billboard Hot 100. The Frontiers single details the challenges faced by a married man miles away from his wife on the road in a rock band.

"Marriages are part of the tragedy of being on the road. Unfortunately, you don’t make great life choices when you don’t have an anchor and you’re out there just drifting. That is a big price we pay for being out there living out of a suitcase, not really having a life at home. So when you do get home, you’re not really grounded. You don’t really have your anchor down, and it takes time to learn how to do that," Cain explained.

"I wrote the song 'Faithfully' and said, 'They say the road ain’t no place to start a family.' I wasn’t kidding. Things happen. The road’s a powerful double-edged sword. It can work both ways. It's got its blessings, and it's got its evil there, too. I was lucky to stay away from a lot of it though."

Prior to the release of Purple Rain, Prince called Cain to ask if the album's titular track sounded too similar to Journey's "Faithfully."

"He had wanted me to hear the song 'Purple Rain' that he was getting ready to release. It was the end of the song. He said, 'I’ll change those chords if you want me to.' I said, 'I wouldn’t change a thing.' (laughs) It sounded like a hit record to me," recalled Cain.

"Yeah. There was similarity there, but certainly I’m not going to make a fuss over it. I just congratulated him. But it showed class. It showed that he cared."

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