Why We Don’t Hear About Journey’s Steve Perry Anymore


You can’t think of the classic rock band
Journey without humming that karaoke staple “Don’t Stop Believin’”… “Don’t Stop. Belevin’. Hold on to that feeling.” …or other hits like “Separate Ways” and
the slow dance song favorite “Open Arms.” And thanks to “Don’t Stop Believin’” being
used on Glee… “Just a small town girl… living in a lonely
world” …and in the final episode of The Sopranos… “Oh! Don’t stop.. belevin’!” And how can we not mention the genius that
is Rock Sugar? “She took a midnight train going anywhere.” …an entire generation rediscovered the arena
rock hit makers. But the voice behind those songs, Steve Perry,
has been MIA for some time, both from the band that made him famous and from public
life. Fans miss the artist who was so huge during
in the ‘80s, he got to sing a verse in “We Are the World.” “Oh the choice we’re making… we’re saving
our own lives.” So whatever happened to the singer who helped
Journey hit the high notes? “Ahhhhhh! Let’s find out: Leaving at the top Journey’s music was inescapable throughout
the ‘70s and ‘80s. “So what?” “So what? So let’s dance!” “I was alone… I never knew…” They toured constantly, released an album
a year between 1975 and 1981, and even had their own arcade game where fans could play
as members of the band retrieving instruments in outer space. Steve Perry told GQ that he thought the game
was “dumb” at the time, and it’s hard to disagree with him. But its existence is still evidence of the
band’s mega-popularity during their heyday. After several years of stadium tours, Journey
took a much needed break. Founding member Neal Schon recorded two solo
albums with Miami Vice theme song composer Jan Hammer as Schon and Hammer, which inspired
Perry to go solo for 1984’s Street Talk, a smash record that included the hits “Foolish
Heart” and “Oh Sherrie,” which Perry wrote for his then girlfriend, Sherrie Swafford,
who also appears in the video. “Oh Sherrie, our love, holds on.” But what started as a quick breather from
Journey eventually became a long-term hiatus from music. Perry first left Journey in 1987, after the
last date of the supporting tour for the album Raised On Radio, an album whose recording
sessions were strained by Perry’s intermittent attendance, due to his mother’s failing
health and eventual death. After years of touring and recording albums,
Perry was mentally done with the band. “I told them I just don’t think I want to
do it anymore. I think I just want to stop.” The band moved on to other projects for the
next few years. Neal Schon and keyboardist Jonathan Cain formed
the band Bad English with singer John Waite, which scored the number one Billboard hit
“When I See You Smile.” “When I see you smile.” Perry recorded a solo album called Against
the Wall in 1988, but due to record label shake-ups it was never released. After eight years away from the spotlight,
Perry released the solo record For The Love Of Strange Medicine in 1994, where he sported
some sweet ‘90s grunge rocker locks in the video for the single “You Better Wait.” “Somewhere there’s love” Perry was back, but his return would be short-lived. The reunion tour ended before it began Perry’s Strange Medicine album attracted
enough buzz that plans were made for a Journey reunion. The band got together in 1996 and recorded
the album Trial By Fire, which produced the #1 Adult Contemporary hit “When You Love a
Woman.” “Though she’s standing by your side.” Joy that lasts forever! But before Journey could hit the road for
a tour, Perry experienced pain in his hip while hiking in Hawaii. And I, uh.. And I, uh.. Didn’t think I was going to make it off the
mountain.” Perry was diagnosed with a degenerative bone
disease and became unable to perform. Without Perry, there was no tour, and with
no tour, the album quickly faded from the charts. Perry would put off getting hip surgery until
1998, but by then the rest of the band were frustrated from waiting around for their lead
singer, and had moved on. Perry even received a phone call from the
rest of the band, advising him to “go out do whatever you want, but do not call it Journey.” That was the last straw for Perry, who told
music journalist Mitch Lafon, “I don’t respond well to ultimatums.” It was time for Journey and Perry to go their
separate ways for good. Behind The Music got ugly In 2001, members of the band were interviewed
for VH1’s Behind The Music, not long after releasing the modestly successful album Arrival,
with a new lead singer Steve Augeri. The show focused on the band’s internal feuds,
and reopened some old wounds. What particularly increased the tension was
Perry describing himself as an outsider in the group. “I never really felt like I was part of the
band. I really always that I was the out.. outside
guy” From the perspective of the other members
of Journey, Perry was a driving force of the band, so the outsider comments both hurt — and
made zero sense. “I have no idea why he would feel that way…” “It’s just nuts. Never felt part of the band” “He was making you know, a lot of the decisions…” The band who gave us the song “Lovin’, Touchin’,
Squeezin’,” were now “Arguin’, Squabblin’ and Catfightin’.” Perry’s permanent replacement During the early 2000s, Journey’s new vocalist,
Steve Augeri, was struggling to provide the vocal chops to take Perry’s place. “It was frightening going out on stage and
it was scary being compared to one of the greatest rock and roll vocalists in rock and
roll history.” The band was even being accused of employing
pre-recorded vocals in live performances to compensate, which might be the least rock-and-roll
thing this side of a pan flute. The remaining members of Journey needed a
singer who could match Perry’s iconic vocals. Miraculously, the guys in Journey found their
new singer while searching for covers of their songs on YouTube. The band heard Filipino singer Arnel Pineda
sing their hit “Faithfully” and were blown away by his vocal resemblance to Steve Perry. “Whoa whoa whoa, whoa whoa whoa.” Living in poverty and paying his dues — and
bills — by performing with classic rock cover bands in Manila, Pineda sounded almost
exactly like Perry, and so the band immediately tracked him down and hired him. “Just a city boy. Born and raised in South Detroit.” Pineda, who was the subject of a 2012 documentary
about his amazing, um, journey, has been humble about the gig, saying he never expected to
catch the attention of one of his favorite bands. And while he hasn’t actually met Steve Perry,
he insists that if he ever does, he’d be in line for an autograph like any fan. Perry told Glamour that he thinks Pineda is
doing “great,” and squashed reunion rumors in 2014 by telling Fan Asylum, “He’s their
lead singer and I wish him all the best.” Which is probably how you’d react if your
bandmates replaced you with a soundalike. “So now I come to you with open arms.” Cancer In 2013, Steve Perry opened up on his blog
about a tremendous loss he had suffered. While watching footage from the Lifetime TV
special Five about breast cancer survivors made by friend and filmmaker Patty Jenkins,
Perry was taken by Kellie Nash, a psychologist and cancer patient who made a cameo appearance
in the special. Perry asked Jenkins to introduce him to Nash,
and after a few email exchanges, the two met and instantly fell for each other. They dated for a year-and-a-half, but Nash’s
cancer spread, ultimately claiming her life. Perry himself experienced a cancer scare in
2013, undergoing surgery to remove melanoma skin cancer. Both experiences have left him a more pensive
and reflective man, which doesn’t always jive with the wild rockstar lifestyle. Vocal fears The past few years have seen Perry poking
his head out from his self-imposed exile. He’s appeared at a few major league baseball
games, “Up and down the boulevard.” and even performed some Journey songs with
indie band Eels in 2014 at their concerts in St. Paul, Minnesota and Los Angeles. Perry is a fan of the group, and performed
slowed-down versions of “Open Arrms,” “Faithfully” and more classic tunes. “So now I’ve gone to you with open arms.” While Perry’s vocals had certainly aged,
the Internet exploded after his return to the stage. The surprise performance was well received,
but there’s no sign of a full-blown Steve Perry comeback. So what gives? Perry has expressed concern that, after so
long out of practice, his voice may not even be capable of pulling off the soaring high
notes of the classic Journey tracks. “Here I am, with open arms.” When a reporter from Glamour asked him in
2013 how is voice is doing these days, Steve said “It’s out of shape.” Meanwhile, Perry has been increasingly hinting
at the release of a new album, and the last time he released a solo album it led to a
Journey reunion. But while the other members of Journey have
said they’d welcome Perry back, Neal Schon told Billboard that Perry will only speak
to him through an attorney. Don’t stop believin’, Journey fans. But also, don’t hold your breath. “Don’t stop. Believin’. Hold on to that feeling.” Thanks for watching! Click the Grunge icon to subscribe to our
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55 comments

  1. You don't hear about him anymore because he almost 70.
    Do you expect him to be touring clubs all year trying to make ends meet?

  2. Steve was so crazy. I once heard an interview where he said he never felt like he was a part of Journey. I guess you had to be him to know what he's talking about. Even his band mates didn't know what he was talking about. (reference – VH1's Behind the Music in 2001)

  3. I got to see him sing this year in May at a special Olympic opening ceremony. It took me back in time and loved it. He was so nice to take time after the show to take pic and talk to all the athletes came up to him. I can’t thank him enough for making them all feel so special.

  4. the absolutely worst singer and the worst band EVER. who even cares? loser band with loser fans. the β€œoff” switch and deafness were invented just to deal with this noise. it’s why ISIS hates the u.s..

  5. I saw Journey when they headlined with the new singer and they were HORRIBLE! He absolutely DOES NOT sound like Steve ! We all left after about 4 or 5 songs. The band should now be called The Neil Schon Project because to fill in for the singing, he plays 10 minute solos!

  6. Steve Perry ruined Journey! They were so much better before they sold out and turned into top 40 hit makers and became "female friendly". Yeesh….I liked their early blues style with the band made up of former Santana and Frank Zappa members( like Neil Shoen on guitar and Ainsley Dunbar on drums). They had a hard driving purity back then…..When Steve Perry joined the band they started down the long road to suckville

  7. So tired of seeing these disposable clickbaity videos as if everything was from a bratty high school girl's perspective: WHY THIS FAMOUS ROCKER FELL OFF! WHY ACTORS REFUSE TO WORK WITH THIS GUY! Sure, I clicked it, but only to dump on it with no ad revenue.

  8. Arnel sounds amazing. The problem is a lot of those classics involved Steve's writing. Schon was ticked about Street Talk's O' Sherry because it sounded like Journey. I think he got the realization that Perry was the sound now and was pissed. Journey didn't become the mega band until Perry came on as singer and writer.

  9. This is a positive thing that all admirers of his music can share: a common goal of promoting Steve and Journey's music on a whole other level. Please feel free to sign it and share it. 😊
    https://www.ipetitions.com/petition/create-an-exclusive-steve-perry-sirius-xm-station

  10. "Raised on Radio" recording sessions may have been "strange", but it turned out to be the BEST album Steve Perry created.. so stop bashing it! 1985 was the peak of his career and voice!

  11. Wow! So THAT'S what happened to him!!! I grew up in the 80s I wondered for years what happened, and guess what?…I came across this video because I was watching The GoGos – Our Lips Are Sealed video…another 80s band πŸ˜πŸ˜„ go figure…now I know what happened to Steve Perry…thanks πŸ‘πŸΎ

  12. My Daughter heard them first, then me I’m hooked now, but I grew up with his song sherry, that is a beautiful song, I’m glad , she made me listen to journey. They are a fantastic band, some of their songs, relate to my life. Keep up the great work journey, .. we love you

  13. Steve doesn't need the band….he could put together his own band with all the talent we have out here today. Why not do a few gigs? I wouldn't want to go back to a band that has resentment and bitterness anyway. Even at his age he still sounds good….just drop the key to fit your voice and keep it rockin!

  14. Steve captures a special place in my heart. People reassess> Like brothers, sisters, family, people get into 'bad moods', and like feeling 'out of place', on the crew, if I can say a little tough love, 'Welcome to the club". You have the love, talent, (obligation πŸ™‚ and trademark vocal (with a little tender loving vocal messaging) and energy as the penetrating front man ! Get cocky, bold, shy and using your connections, plant the seeds, practice and be prepared to jump to the front man when the Band by the Bay cracks open doing a "One, or two, three …. reunion tour "". Screw the ultimatum pinch, the typical mixed group/family tension, and outsider sub-talk (think Milton Freedman's book, The Outsiders πŸ™‚ and put on your cool big boy pants and then boldly go where you truly want to go, bolting out the precise and carefully powerful, bellowing vocals a top iconic band frontmen. The present and history want you to repeat yourself, cause what's good for you is good for the band, the fans, and America (and the world). Bod bless the deep Steve Perry and I pray you go vocal πŸ™‚

  15. I don’t care if his voice sounds aged. He sang all of those wonderful songs first. It would be an absolute honor to hear him sing live.

  16. I worked in radio and interviewed Neil S. and before the interview I was a fan. After…I could not shake the evidence that he was a complete, narcissistic asshat jealous AF of Steve Perry, and worse… willing to take any shot at Perry for saying "screw you, I can live without you" and walking away. Perry made that band. He made every song that band ever did. And Schon and Jonathan C. were petty, shallow and vengeful dinks who thought THEY were the band. Perry was one of a kind and if he never sings again… he has already outdone every vocalist they put on stage to "replace" him. As an aside…if these "replacements" are so great… why do they have to sing the songs that Steve put on the map???

  17. I think the journey band uses him and also uses Arnil the same way they used Steve. You see Arnil arm full of tattoo and gray hairs maybe that explains why.

  18. I have degenerative bone disease, and you ought to keep going on until you can't anymore. And Perry still has a lot of juice left. Sorry, but I think Perry lacks courage and is a quitter.

  19. Access on you tube "Judge Rex D. Stacey." Then, see this judge go bughouse, call to have bombs dropped on disabled veterans and expose himself.

  20. I'm not saying that I don't like arnel , he's beautiful voice to be a vocalist and of course almost like Steve but they should ve waited for Steve's come back or should never have formed a band -_- that was disrespectful

  21. Steve Perry is a brave man. Who did it in his own way. I have Cancer. But I will not waste any days . Cause they are all a gift!! Happy Thanksgiving to one and all ( , } ).

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