NEW YORK - Steve Perry, lead singer of the hot pop-rock group, Journey, handled his first solo album the way actor-producer-writer-director Orson Welles probably would. He produced it, financed it, co-wrote it and does the singing.
"A solo album means a lot to me," Perry said in an interview with the Associated Press. "I'm totally satisfied with what I've done.
"It is an infectious seed that has been planted for the next solo album, that I know," he said. "At first, I was kind of against the idea of people in Journey doing solo projects because I was afraid it would plant an infectious seed and pull us apart. But they continued. Neal (Schon) has done three. Now I've done mine and I really did enjoy it."
The first single from the Columbia Records Street Talk album is "Oh Sherrie." It was No. 20 and climbing on the best-selling singles chart of April 28. Street Talk was No. 56 and climbing on the LP chart.
Street Talk doesn't sound like a Journey album. Perry sounds decidedly more rhythm 'n' blues. He wrote all the songs with Randy Goodrum and John Bettis, who have never written for Journey.
"I like to work with other people. They help bring things out in myself I think," Perry said. No members of Journey played on it.
Journey's last LP came out in February 1983 and the group toured until the end of September, giving 107 shows from Japan to Hawaii. It was their biggest grossing tour.
"On the first of October I was packing up my bags to move to Los Angeles to record my solo album," Perry said. "It is probably one of the first fun things I've been involved in in a long time."
With Perry's solo album doing well and not a word heard from Journey in some time, there has been speculation that the popular group has reached the end of its road.
It hasn't. "We had one meeting about March 15 in our San Francisco office," Perry said. "We thought we'd start writing for an album around September and release it around next April. "I'm sure there won't be too much 'I'll take my toys and go home if you don't do what I want' kind of feelings anywhere," he said. "I'm not about to make anybody uncomfortable by executing my feelings to the point where the others are not happy. I'd as soon let something go its own way and see if it works."
Perry, who has been the lead singer with Journey since 1978, isn't sure if he wants a solo career, but he'd like to continue doing solo albums.
"I don't want to tour as much as seven or eight-month extravaganzas," he said. "The Rolling Stones have the perfect situation. It keeps them from pooping out. It gives them time to enjoy the benefits of their success."
Perry said he needs to "recharge" himself every now and then to ward off job burnout. "When I have time off, I stay home," he said. "I travel enough. I party, play pool, go to dinner, increase my numb factor. I love swimming. I don't have a pool at my house."
He's a California native whose father was a singer during the big band era. "I got to see him when I was young. It might have given some subliminal imprint there," Perry said. "We talked about one time doing a duet. We didn't do it. I don't see much of him, really." Perry lives northeast of Fresno, and shares his house with two cats.
In the future, Perry said he would like to produce other artists. "Producing was fun, infectious I would say. I'll produce some other people, the next America album perhaps, maybe some other friends, too. It depends." he said.
"It takes wearing many hats for objectivity to be a producer," said Perry. "It is an easy thing when you know what the lead singer has to sing already. It's easy to produce up the musical tracks to accompany the vocal and make it work. You can really make yourself a tailor-made suit.
"I hear myself exactly like it is. I know what I want it to be. Then I shoot for that particular sound or image."
Source unknown, 1984; Supplied and transcribed by Grace H.