Just as Journey starts playing live again for the first time since the COVID-19 pandemic began in 2020, the band has announced that Deen Castronovo, who was the group’s drummer from 1998 to 2015, has rejoined its lineup as a second drummer alongside Narada Michael Walden.
On Wednesday, Journey guitarist Neal Schon and Castronovo hinted at Deen’s return in a series of Twitter posts promoting the band’s Chicago concerts this week, on Thursday at the Aragon Ballroom and Saturday at the Lollapalooza festival.
Schon’s post featured the Twitter tags of the Aragon Ballroom and most of Journey’s current members, plus Marco Mendoza — who will be filling in on bass for Randy Jackson this week — and Deen.
Also, Castronovo tweeted on Wednesday a message that reads, “It’s ON!! STOKED to be playing with my brothers in Journey this weekend!! Let’s DO THIS!,” along with the hashtags #deencastronovo, #teamdeeno, #lollapalooza, #aragonballroom, #journeyband and #journeyfamily. The post also featured photos apparently taken at the group’s rehearsals for the concerts.
Then, on Thursday, Schon chatted with fans via a Facebook thread and was asked if Castronovo was back as an official member of Journey, to which he replied, “Yes.” He also noted that both Deen and Narada will be playing drums, adding, “JOURNEY AS YOU’VE NEVER HEARD US BEFORE!!!!”
Castronovo was fired from Journey in 2015 after he was arrested on domestic violence charges involving his then-girlfriend, to whom he’s now married.
In 2019, Castronovo took part in Schon’s short-lived Journey Through Time project, which celebrated Journey’s early music and also featured founding Journey singer/keyboardist Gregg Rolie and, interestingly, Mendoza.
Walden, Jackson and keyboardist/backing singer Jason Derlatka all joined Journey in 2020 after drummer Steve Smith and bassist Ross Valory were fired from the band.
Ok… Double trouble Chicago @NaradaMWalden @DeenTheDrummer Narada Michael Walden and the return of Deen Castronovo on Drums @AragonBallroom @lollapalooza pic.twitter.com/RRHYNi6CuQ
— NEAL SCHON MUSIC (@NealSchonMusic) July 27, 2021
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