BE GOOD TO YOURSELF…For those of us “Raised on Radio” it seems almost inconceivable that 2005 finds JOURNEY celebrating over thirty years in the music industry. Unfortunately the ensuing tour ended right where it began without original front man STEVE PERRY. Early on JOURNEY’S focus was centered on an instrumental style of music lead by guitar great NEAL SCHON who had left SANTANA to start his own group. That all changed when the band enlisted salient singer/songwriter STEVE PERRY. His impact on the band was immediate with the release of “Infinity” in 1978 spawning hits like “Wheel in the Sky” and “Feeling that Way”. Over the next twenty years JOURNEY would find no “Escape” from fame. They would become a staple on rock radio topping the record charts, while packing stadiums and arenas all over the world. Following some time away while recording and touring solo, PERRY would make his triumphant return to the band in 1996. The album “Trial by Fire”, would garner the band a Grammy nomination with the hit single “When you Love a Woman”. Unfortunately it would also mark the permanent “Departure” of STEVE PERRY as the band would officially go their “Separate Ways” in 1998. Following some personal time away from the spotlight, most notably due to major hip replacement a few years back, 2005 once again finds STEVE PERRY under the bright “Lights”. The year began with PERRY and band mates both past and present receiving a Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in February. Though they didn’t perform there were smiles all around as they celebrated this prestigious honor together. This past October also found PERRY reaching out with “Open Arms” to the Chicago White Sox as they resurrected the 1981 anthem “Don’t Stop Believin” as their battle cry on their march to a World Series Championship. In November PERRY “Captured” one of the bands most memorable tours on DVD/CD with the release of JOURNEY: Live in HOUSTON 1981; ESCAPE TOUR. The 1981 MTV performance finds the band hitting their stride both on the charts, with a number one album, while captivating audiences across the globe with their live performances. NIGHTLIFE had the great privilege to speak with STEVE PERRY about putting together this new DVD/CD as well as what the future might hold for the renowned rocker.
R.Cat.- Thanks so much for talking with us STEVE we have had many questions from fans on your well-being. It’s been quite a year for you, what was your experience like celebrating with the White Sox following their World Series victory?
S.P.- It really was inspiring. Being part of a team is like being part of a band. You have a mission a common goal. Seeing these guys practicing that week as hard as they did in spring training reminded me of what it was like making a record or touring. You are always rehearsing and trying to get better. It was really exciting.
R.Cat.- Was it surprising to you that the song “Don’t Stop Believin” as well as your participation with the team meant so much to fans after all these years?
S.P.- Yes. After getting JOURNEY back together in 1996 and the success of the “Trial by Fire” record I really thought things would be different within the group. Unfortunately my hip had gotten so bad I went from preparing for a world tour to searching for surgeons. Major surgery isn’t a band decision it’s a personal one, and one I took very seriously. I understood that the band had to move forward but it wasn’t something I was happy about, it left me a bit jaded about the industry has a whole, so I kind of stepped back from it all.
R.Cat.-The DVD/CD which by the way offers fans two separate discs for audio and video pleasure, is really an amazing show and finds the band in awesome form. As the producer on this project going back and mixing the sound what was it like to re-visit that time in your life?
S.P.- There were so many emotions flowing while I was putting this together. Musically the band was playing its best ever and I had one of my best nights singing so that part I was good with. Emotionally, no question it was difficult at times, it was reliving what we were and reliving what we will never be again. There were times it almost killed me I had to walk away. Seeing the JOURNEY that I hold close to my heart gave me great pleasure but it also holds some painful memories.
R.Cat.- Looking back at the JOURNEY catalog as well as your solo work it seems lyrically the music is very personal to you and about you. Is that something that takes its toll on you singing those songs to fans night in and night out for so many years.
S.P.- I think so, I think it had a price. When you’re that exposed and you wear your heart on your tuxedo sleeve for so many nights that certainly can lead to a form of burnout. Not to mention the recording and touring schedule was grueling back then for us.
R.Cat.- Congratulations on an exciting year for you, it seems like maybe this project may have even been a little therapeutic for you. Has this JOURNEY to the past got your creative juices flowing again, and can fans look for some new material in the future?
S.P.- Thank you. I have enjoyed getting into the mix again I’ve done some producing and some back ground vocals for DAVID PACK, he sang with the group AMBROSIA. I’ve never stopped writing or recording music I’ll always have that burning within me. I’ve been hanging with some friends in the studio recently tracking some live stuff. Being with them and the feel of working with other musicians again is certainly enticing. All that has happened recently has been emotionally inspiring, from the comradery that develops working with other musicians to the fans like you guys in Buffalo. It would have to be under the right circumstances, but I’m feeling it again.
NIGHTLIFE would like to thank STEVE PERRY for sharing some time and memories with us, along with Todd Brodginski from MSO for putting this together. This new DVD/CD is certainly a great stocking stuffer, who knows you might even get a little “Lovin, Touchin, Squeezin”.