Don’t Stop Believin’

A rock song that has inspired millions for decades sprang from a bit of fatherly advice.

Posted in , Jul 29, 2021

Journey's Jonathan Cain

Aspiring musician Jonathan Cain was despondent. It was the early 1970s, and he’d left his hometown of Chicago to find his big break in Los Angeles. He was struggling just to survive, and now his beloved dog had been hit by a car. He hated asking his father for yet another loan, but he didn’t have the money to pay the vet. He called Chicago. “Dad, should I just give up on this thing and come home?” he asked.

“No, don’t come home,” his father said. “Don’t stop believin’.”

Jonathan took his dad’s words to heart, jotting them down in his songwriting notebook. With the money his dad sent, Jonathan was able to save his dog. After that, his luck began to change, and he became keyboardist for a rock group, the Babys, in 1978.

In 1980, he joined Journey. When lead singer Steve Perry asked if he could help with two final songs for their new album, Jonathan flipped through his old notebooks. His father’s words, “Don’t stop believin’,” leaped out at him. With that as the chorus, Jonathan and his bandmates wrote a song about a girl and a boy who “took the midnight train goin’ anywhere.” It reached No. 9 on the Billboard Hot 100 singles charts, and the words of a father to his desperate son have gone on to inspire legions of fans for more than 40 years.

“Don’t stop believin’, hold on to that feelin’.” Great advice for us all.

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