Stephen Ray Perry - a very special kind of guy. He goes out on that stage - even if he's feeling sick or maybe kind of low - and puts on a razzle-dazzle show the envy of many a lead singer. Steve's professional attitude is quite admirable, but when you think about his basically shy and private nature you realise just how incredible a job he really does.
With the commercial success of Journey - ever since Steve joined up, we might add! Steve's life has been led on the road. It's what he's always wanted - what he dreamed of! - and he wouldn't have it any other way. But Steve's paid a price for wanting to get out there and perform he's given up a lot of his own life and privacy for the sake of his art. You just have to take a look at his bitten-to-the-quick fingernails to see how that has taken its toll.
A Familiar Part Of Him
Steve was an active, even mischievous boy - an only child used to having plenty of time to himself. His parents' divorce, when he was only seven years old, made him especially aware of the value of personal relationships and his musical talent and special sensitivities helped him appreciate the use of contemplation as a creative tool. What he didn't always understand was just how much of the time to contemplate and "recharge one's batteries" is taken away by success.
Travelling all day and working every night for many months is not exactly conducive to keeping a worrier like Steve at ease. That's why he needs those solitary moments and why he grabs them every chance he gets. When he finally makes his way back home, Steve practically dives into his favorite routine of Mork and Mindy and popcorn! When he meets you and tells you how much he loves sitting in the middle of his living room and listening to music, believe him - he's not kidding! It's not just that these activities are pleasurable to him - they're practically vital.
Steve loves meeting his fans! He can go on and on about a particular audience. He's tickled pink with the love and loyalty he gets from Journey's admirers but he needs just a little time all alone, every once in a while. Whether it's an hour alone in his hotel room or a chance to putter around his home making minor repairs, those tiny pockets of time are the stuff that Steve Perry's creativity is made of. Those special holiday moments with his family; the reunions with school friends and band mates; meeting fans who were fans way-back-when are all experiences that add up to be the Steve Perry you know and love.
So if sometimes he's not at that Journey softball game (he's never been too hot for sports anyway), you'll understand Steve's just recharging for the next time you meet when you'll get to know the very best Steve Perry there is!
© 16 Magazine Inc., October 1982, Vol 24 #4