Tag Archives: Steve Perry

A Conversation With The Ghost of Steve Perry

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You know more Journey than you think you do. In the early 70’s Journey was a mediocre rock band formed by a guy who played guitar with Santana. But that all changed when Steve Perry joined up as lead vocalist and changed the direction of the band to, well, a vehicle for his bedroom poetry falsetto and Neal Schon’s accompanying power riffage. Pretty much everyone has heard their seminal 1981 hit “Don’t Stop Believin’” and has thought that they were the ones who sang “Sister Christian” (that one was actually by Night Ranger). But there are so many more Journey songs that we have all absorbed whether we knew it or not. The Perry era albums have titles like Infinity, Evolution, Departure, Captured, Escape, and Frontiers. Quite a journey indeed. These guys love their one word power-titles hardcore. They pioneered droppin’ the g from the ending of a present participle verb and replacin’ it with an apostrophe to make it cooler. They wrote the book on emotive classic rock melodrama and are the kings of the power ballad. They had TWO freakin’ video games made about them, an arcade game called, no not “Rockin’ my Joystick,” but Journey; and an Atari game called, you guessed it, Journey Escape.

Steve Perry is the girl in the striped shirt

Steve Perry is the girl in the striped shirt

No, Steve Perry is not actually dead yet. Yes, Steve Perry still looks like a girl. Yes, Neal Schon could probably still melt your face off if he wanted to. Yes, it was super awesome that the last scene of The Sopranos was basically an excuse for David Chase to play “Don’t Stop Believin’” while Tony reflected on his monumental weight gain. Yes, it is obvious that Don’t Stop is the number one Journey song of all time. Of course, this is barring some extremely unlikely breakthrough comeback album – named Eternity perhaps, or maybe Perpetuity? But still, these boys were no one hit wonders. No, they had hit after hit and filled stadiums around the world. You probably didn’t even know that Randy Jackson of American Idol judging fame had a brief stint as the bass player for Journey while Ross Valroy sat out for the Raised on Radio album. Check the liner notes, fool!

These are some of the other Journey songs that you think you don’t know, but do:

“Any Way You Want It” – starts with a blast of acapella wailin’ and then proceeds to rock us hard through 3 minutes and 22 seconds. But they want it to last all night, all night, oh every night. Any way you want it, that’s the way you need it. The girl Steve longs for loves to move, loves to groove, she loves a lot of things.

“Wheel In The Sky” – Still tryin’ to figure out what this wheel actually is. All we know is that it keeps on turnin’ and we don’t know where Steve will be tomorrow.

“Separate Ways (Worlds Apart)” – With an intro perfect for a climactic scene at the end of Goonies or Little Monsters this song kicks back into Journey high gear with the classic line “someday love will find, break those chains that bind you” as Steve Perry evidently lost out on the girl of his dreams but will be waitin’ to get her back if her boyfriend ever beats her up. He will not, however, kick the douchebag’s ass. He would apparently also be up for a one time pity fuck, if she’s into it.

“Only The Young” – This track was the cornerstone of the soundtrack for Vision Quest which I guess was a movie and not just a glasses store. It starred Matthew Modine and Linda Fiorentino. According to Wikipedia the movie is now a cult classic among high school wrestlers “for its various wrestling scenes” (shudder).

“Faithfully” – Pioneerin’ use of piano ballad and hot fire guitar soul shreddin’! Plus that stadium tom fill brings in the beat like butter. “I’m forever yours, faithfully”

“Lovin’ Touchin’ Squeezin’” – Journey gets the hat trick by droppin’ three g’s all in one title

“Lights” – this track comes from the first Journey album, Infinity, in 1978. This song is important because it marks the beginning of Steve Perry’s obsession with lights shinin’ or not shinin’ in cities (“when the lights go down in the cit-aay”). A theme that continues in Don’t Stop Believin’(“streetlights, people!”).

Open Arms” – A really, really sappy power piano ballad that was actually Journey’s highest charting single on the Billboard Hot 100 at number 2 (Don’t Stop only hit number 8!).

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