STEVE PERRY'S BEEN PRETTY BUSY, WHAT WITH BEING THE SINGING STAR OF JOURNEY AND HAVING ONE HIT AFTER ANOTHER ON HIS OWN. WE FINALLY CAUGHT UP WITH HIM, THOUGH, IN THIS ROCKLINE RADIO INTERVIEW, IN WHICH HE ANSWERS THE QUESTIONS YOU'D MOST LIKE TO ASK HIM. SUCH AS:
I heard that the blond girl in the video for "Oh Sherrie" really is your girlfriend. Is that true?
Do you plan to use her in another video?
I don't think so. That was just the exact time for that to happen.
What groups or artists influenced you when you were younger, and what groups or artists influence you now?
I was really influenced a long time ago with all the Motown artists. Sam Cooke was a big influence on me. I'm a radio person. I really like to listen to a lot of radio, and everything that's on the radio is something I can learn from and really appreciate. As far as what groups and artists I like now, I like some of the singers out there that are trying to sound like me! They've got good style! Anyway, no. There are an awful lot of good vocalists out there. I think that Patty Smyth is a great singer. It's a great time for singers now.
You dedicated your album to Richard Michaels and Steve Potter, and we wonder if you could tell us who they are, and why you dedicated it to them?
Richard Michaels was a bass player who was in a band with me in Los Angeles just before I joined Journey. It was a group called The Alien Project at that time. We wrote such great songs! Unfortunately, he got killed in a car accident on 4th of July and around the 8th or 9th of July we were going to get signed. And really, when you're starting out in this business, that's what you look for - to get a record deal, and it just shocked me. He was a good friend. This poor guy - his family was just distraught. I just thought I should do that for Richard because he worked so hard for so many years to be a bass player. Steve Potter is another circumstance like that. He was a rhythm guitar player in a band I was in in high school, and it was another case of drinking and driving too fast.
How did you get into Journey?
I was in Los Angeles, in The Alien Project, and the bass player, Richard Michaels, got killed in a car crash, and I got a phone call from Don Ellis, who was the head of CBS at that time, and he said, "Listen, I'm sorry to hear about Richard, but I know a band that's interested in hearing you," and he sent the tape. He said, "They're called Journey," and I said, "Okay!" and I was on a plane to Denver. I met the guys, and that was it!
What was that line on your album about, "Thanks to the San Joaquin Valley, from which all things come"?
That's because a lot of things do come from the San Joaquin Valley where I come from! The people that I was listening to, I lived there my whole life. Everything from Motown music to the first time I heard a Led Zeppelin record. There's an awful lot of history in my musical exposure back there.
Why did you name your album Street Talk?
Street Talk was going to be the first name of the group that was called The Alien Project. This was way before the movie Alien came out, by the way. Since that never happened, I just decided to bring that to the present!
Who is the character of "Sheila" supposed to be in your video?
"Sheila" is a character who's like a publicist from the record company who always says, "Dahling, you're wundaful, wundaful" and tells you what you want to hear all the time - a little on the obnoxious side!
What do you plan to do in the near future with Journey?
The group has been happy to work together after doing a lot of separate things for a long time. We're doing Journey music.
© Teen Talk, May 1985 (transcribed by Kris)