When you first met him, this hot lead singer was still reeling from the newness of success. Listen in now as Rockline! talks to a Steve Perry who's gotten his act together - Journey, of course! - and taken it on the road!

Rockline!
Now that Journey's live album is out, Steve, what's the group up to these days?

Steve Perry:
We're going back on tour. Journey is basically a road band that loves to play it's music for fans, and that's what we're going to continue doing.

Rockline!
You've got a song called "Dixie Highway" on the live album, that we've never heard on your previous LP's..

Steve Perry:
Yeah. That's a number we've just done in concert up 'till now, but the kids loved it so much we decided to do it on the live album.

Rockline!
Journey also has a soundtrack album out in France and Japan, doesn't it?

Steve Perry:
Right. It's called Dream After Dream, and it's from a film of the same name that's based on an old Japanese folk tale. It's about this young guy who comes upon a castle in the desert and finds these two beautiful girls and an old soothsayer living there. The fortune teller tells him that the girls are really bird's who'll be returned to their natural state if they don't kill this guy, and that's what the story is basically about.

Rockline!
Was this a difficult task for the five of you to do together?

Steve Perry:
Not really. Actually, it was pretty easy because the film dictated what we had to write. We did some really great sound effects on it too  Neal does a fluttering sound on his guitar for a sequence about an owl, and I do an Exorcist-type voice in one of the heavier scenes in the picture.

Rockline!
In that soundtrack available in the States too?

Steve Perry:
I think it's only available at import record shops.

Rockline!
So now that you've got two new albums out for Journey fans, can you look back on your three years with the group as being successful in a very personal way?

Steve Perry:
Absolutely. I've learned more about the music business than I ever knew before, and I've fulfilled a childhood ambition  to become a rock 'n roll singer!

Rockline!
Are your folks real happy with your chosen profession?

Steve Perry:
Sure. They were always helpful, though. My mom was a dancer and my dad was a singer, so there was always music at our house. And my step-dad, who's a contractor, was always very supportive. As a matter of fact, I worked with him building sheds on a turkey ranch and doing other odd jobs, and I learned a lot about working with my hands, and about how important it is to take pride in your work.

Rockline!
How else have things changed for you as a result of your work with Journey?

Steve Perry:
Well, I've got this lovely little house in Sausalito (right near San Francisco) that overlooks the bay and hills, and the reason it's really special to me is that it's my first real place after all this time on the road. I was living out of a suitcase!

Rockline!
Have you indulged in a shiny new car too?

Steve Perry:
To be perfectly honest, I bought myself a Mercedes 450SL, but I still have my '73 Volkswagen and I use it as much as the new car. The thing I like about the VW is that I can get into it and nobody will look at me twice. Besides, that car is like an old friend  it was there when I was starving, and I'm not going to turn my back on it now that things are better for me.

Rockline!
How is your beagle "Linda"?

Steve Perry:
She's okay, but she's getting old and fat and hard of hearing, and my folks are taking care of her for me. She's used to staying with them since I'm always on the road.

Rockline!
How is your life different when you finally get to spend some time at home?

Steve Perry:
Well, since I'm on the road about eight months out of every twelve, that's not a whole lot of time in one lump, but when I'm at home I usually spend most of my time working some more. I'm kind of a workaholic  I'm on automatic all the time. I know I have to take some time for myself, but it's often hard to do. Although, I've got to say I'm better at it now than I was three years ago!

Rockline!
How do you spend those few personal moments?

Steve Perry:
I usually stay at home and listen to music. Something like that. I cook. I'm a vegetarian now and I enjoy experimenting with new combinations of vegetables and grains and things.

Rockline!
Who turned you on to the vegetarian life-style?

Steve Perry:
I got sick about a year and a half ago on a hamburger and that's what stared it all. Now I feel better, I don't catch as many colds as I used to,  and I've got even more energy than I had before - and I'm hyper to start with!

Rockline!
What is your specialty in the kitchen?

Steve Perry:
I'm real good with Mexican, food and things like cheese enchiladas are what I'm really good at.

Rockline!
With all those culinary talents, it's a wonder one of your fans hasn't changed your mind about bachelorhood! Are you still single?

Steve Perry:
I am. I have no plans to marry for the time being.

Rockline!
Have the things you want in a girlfriend changed as a result of your time with Journey?

Steve Perry:
Sure they have. I realize that as great as it is to be going with a physically attractive person, it's much more important to be going with an understanding one! An intelligent and self-confident girl with sensitivity is always the most beautiful.

Rockline!
Do you have any additional tips to give a girl who wanted you to like her?

Steve Perry:
No, not really. It's a matter of 'you know when you know, and you don't when you don't. You've just got to be yourself is all.

Rockline!
Of all the cities you've traveled to Steve, which place is your favorite?

Steve Perry:
To be perfectly honest, my favorite place is right in my own living room! I'm away so much that this is like a palace to me. I've got my stereo, my TV  if this room was in any city it would be okay! After being on the road for so long this staying at home business is very different, very responsible.

Rockline!
What's been the high point so far of being with Journey?

Steve Perry:
There have been a lot of exciting things that have happened, but I'd have to say getting that first gold LP for selling over a million dollar's worth of Infinity albums was the biggie for me. I really felt as though I'd arrived!

Rockline!
Who's helped you most with your career?

Steve Perry:
I'd say my folks and friends. There have been a lot of people who pushed me on - myself included.

Rockline!
What do you like best about touring?

Steve Perry:
Finding a McDonald's or a Shakee's in another country! It's a little bit of home. Believe me, you don't know what you've got until you go elsewhere, and I've got to tell you, there's no place like the U.S.A. I mean, there are no 7-11's in Europe!

Rockline!
Do you still spend a lot of your time club-hopping in limousines the way you used to?

Steve Perry:
No. If I feel like riding around in a car, I get into my own and take a ride down to the San Joaquin Valley to visit my parents. Or maybe I'll go down to the Sacramento Delta to do some fishing. The Delta is a network of rivers and dikes that's become a resort area. There's fishing and boating and you can take cruises - it's really a great place to go to if you want to get away from it all. I once went fishing there with a friend and caught the only fish of the trip! It was a lot of fun.

Rockline!
When we last talked, Steve, you mentioned that tall buildings scared you. Is that still your biggest fear?

Steve:
Uh-uh! I've flown enough now to say that flying scares me! When you fly every day practically, you're bound to run into problems, and I've had my share.

Rockline!
What happened?

Steve Perry:
Well, there was the time we were on a DC-9 in Florida and were about to take off  we were going very fast!  when the right engine blew, we veered to the side, and came to a screeching halt! We got off, and left an hour later on a different plane, but we were all still shaken. Then there was the time in Atlanta when the engine wouldn't start and I wound up having to have a drink in order to get to Chicago - we absolutely had to make the date. Once we were on the runway and I noticed the bay door of the plane was open as we were about to take off! I hollered to the flight attendant and I figured she was going to think, "Why is this crazy, long-haired rock singer screaming?", but she quickly radioed the pilot, and he stopped the plane so the ground crew could close the door.

Rockline!
Is there any way for the group to avoid flying that much?

Steve Perry:
Well, we rely on a bus these days. We try to schedule play dates in cities that are close together so we can all travel by rented bus. It's easier that way too - we can write, walk or lounge about, and there's a microwave oven - it's sort of like home, except I can't sleep on the bus too well. I still feel more comfortable on it than on a plane though.

Rockline!
Seeing as how you're more comfortable with slower modes of transportation these days, is driving your car too fast still your worst habit as you once told us?

Steve Perry:
No, not really. I'd have to say that my worst habit these days is not being able to relax - I'm always into my work, into the music.

Rockline!
Can you describe your personality?

Steve Perry:
Gee, that would take a long time. It's too complex for me to get into, I think. I'd have to say I like to be funny - stupid sometimes! - and I'm sort of a court jester.

Rockline!
Do friends have any sill nicknames for you?

Steve Perry:
I've been called everything  by everybody! Some people call me "Pinch"  but I can't tell you why!  and some old friends used to call me "Beaky Peartree". The "Beaky" part is for my nose, and the "Peartree" comes from my real last name which is Portuguese and was changed by my family a long time ago - it's Perrera and it means peartree!

Rockline!
What would you say has been the most difficult problem you've had to solve regarding your work as a musician?

Steve Perry:
It would have to be the time I was living in Los Angeles and trying to stay alive without working much  there were very few places that would allow a rock musician to play original material. All I could think about in those days was how was I going to eat and keep the rain off my head?

Rockline!
When you do finally get away from it all, and lose yourself in thoughts other than musical ones, what do you daydream about, Steve?

Steve Perry:
I dream about the ultimate song! I can almost hear it  the simplicity of it, the chorus, the kind of thing that would reach into everyone's heart. It would really be something to be the one who writes the ultimate song!

Rockline!
If you weren't in show business, what would you do?

Steve Perry:
That's hard to say, I always wanted to be a singer. I enjoy working with my hands, maybe it would be something like having a wood shop, or maybe I'd be in some other facet of the record business, like engineering or working for a record company. Something like that.

Rockline!
Do you have one big regret about your life?

Steve Perry:
Yeah, there were three years there where I was on Mars! I wish I had given more importance to my career  or having any direction!  and not been so irresponsible. I guess it was necessary though  I guess I had to go through that in order to get to where I am today.

Rockline!
Do you have any advice for youngsters who want to get into the business?

Steve Perry:
I'd say just keep trying if you feel you have something to contribute - don't give up. Check your progress all the time, and be aware of what's going on. You've got to see if you're getting anywhere or if you might want to change direction. But keep plugging away. It can happen - and it can happen to you!


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