If Steve Perry had done nothing more than co-write (with Neal Schon & Jonathan Cain) and record Don't Stop Believing he would be
a part of musical history. Since the song was released on Journey's Escape album in 1981, it also became a top 10 single in the US, and was among the top 100 singles in the UK for 83 weeks. It topped downloads in the iTunes Music Store, selling 4,013,000 digital units in the US alone. It was part of the soundtrack of The Wedding Singer, Scrubs, Family Guy, Monster, Shrek the Halls, Bedtime Stories, The Losers, Yes Dear, King of the Hill, The Comebacks, Open Season 3, View from the Top, South Park, Cold Case, CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, My Name Is Earl, Just Shoot Me, Laguna Beach, Harry Hill's TV Burp, X Factor, American Idol, Australian Idol, Swedish Idol, America's Got Talent and Glee. Rock of Ages, a stage musical that premiered in Los Angeles in 2006, and is now running on in New York City and Toronto, uses the song as its final number. To some it is best known for its use in the final scene of Made in America, the final episode of HBO's The Sopranos.
And then there's baseball. The song became a rallying cry for the Chicago White Sox in their successful run to the 2005 playoffs, when catcher A.J. Pierzynski and teammates heard Don't Stop Believin' being sung in a bar in Baltimore. It was played at critical points during the stretch run of the pennant race, a season which culminated in the team's first World Series championship in over 80 years. The White Sox invited Journey lead singer Steve Perry to the team's celebration rally, where he sang the song along with several members of the team. Subsequently, the song was played at Dodger home games throughout the 2009 season, much to the chagrin of Perry, a self-proclaimed San Francisco Giants fan (the band itself formed in San Francisco).
But as the Giants moved towards the 2010 playoffs, Don't Stop Believing became "their" song with Steve himself often leading the crowd in a stadium-wide singalongs. And you know the rest... The Giants won the 2010 World Series. Could they have done it without Steve and his supersong inspiring them? We'll never know for sure ;-) Another of Perry's Journey classics played at Giant Stadium has been Lights. Listen to the words and you'll know why :-)
Steve Perry was not one of the founding members of Journey, which was first formed in San Francisco, CA in 1973 by former members of Santana: Neal Schon (lead guitar) and Gregg Rolie (keyboards and lead vocals) Perry didn't join the band until 1977 but that's when I first not only took notice of them but fell in love with their sound. And I wasn't the only one. Steve has a beautifully clean yet passionate tenor voice but his vocals often dip and soar over an amazing 4-octave range. The first time I heard him sing Wheel in the Sky from Journey's 1978 release
Infinity I was hooked. Both Wheel... and the classic Lights were hit singles and the album was Journey's first
RIAA-certified platinum. 1979's album Evolution gave the band their first Billboard Hot 100 Top 20 single Lovin', Touchin', Squeezin' and 1980's Departure, which reached No. 8 on the album charts, included the top-25 hit Any Way You Want It.
Journey released their eighth and best-selling studio album, Escape, in 1981. The album, which has thus far sold 9 times platinum, went to number 1 on the album charts that year, and included three top-ten hits: Who's Cryin' Now, Don't Stop Believin', and Open Arms. The last is Journey's highest-charting single to date, staying at #2 for six consecutive weeks and ranking at #13 on Billboard's 1982 year-end Hot 100. MTV videotaped one of their two sold-out shows in Houston, Texas on November 6, 1981 in front of over 20,000 fans. Journey's next album, 1983's Frontiers, continued their commercial success, reaching No. 2 on the album charts, selling nearly 6 million copies. The album generated 4 Top 40 hits, Separate Ways (Worlds Apart), Faithfully, Send Her My Love, and After the Fall. By this time Journey had become one of the top touring and recording bands in the world. During the subsequent stadium tour, the band contracted with NFL Films to record a video documentary of their life on the road, Frontiers and Beyond. Scenes from the documentary were shot at JFK Stadium in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania with more than 80,000 fans in attendance.
In 1984 after the Frontiers tour Steve Perry released his first solo album, Street Talk, named after the original name of Perry's earlier band Alien Project. The record was a multiplatinum success selling over 2 million copies and scoring the hit singles Oh Sherrie, written for his then-girlfriend Sherrie Swafford, and Foolish Heart. The music video for Oh Sherrie saw heavy rotation on MTV.
She's Mine and Strung Out were also released as singles, featuring former Alien Project drummer Craig Krampf on a few tracks, guitarist Michael Landau & future American Idol judge Randy Jackson. In 1985, Perry had a featured vocal in the famed USA for Africa all-star benefit song We Are the World, lending his high tenor to the lines "Oh, there's a choice we're making / We're saving our own lives". He also recorded If Only For the Moment, Girl for the We Are the World album. This song was added to the reissue of Street Talk. Perry debated continuing a solo career or returning to Journey after the success of Street Talk. He left his second solo album Against the Wall unfinished to sing on Journey's Raised on Radio album. Perry would revisit his solo project after the Raised On Radio tour but it never saw completion. Several of the songs that were recorded for Against the Wall appeared much later on Perry's 1998 solo compilation, Greatest Hits + Five Unreleased.
While Steve was re-uniting with Journey, his mother Mary became ill. He had always been very close to her and it was she who deserves much of the credit for Steve's becoming a singer. On his twelfth birthday (January 22, 1961), Mary had presented her son with a gold eighth note necklace, which he still wears for good luck. While singing with Alien Project in the mid-70s Steve nearly gave up music when the bassist of that band, Richard Michaels, was killed in a tragic automobile accident. Perry had decided not to continue his singing career, but at the urging of his mother, he answered a call from Journey's manager and joined the band.
The 1986 recording of Raised on Radio, which Perry was also producing, was stop-and-go as he frequently returned to the San Joaquin valley to visit his family. Eventually, as Steve later said, he was "toasted." Journey disbanded in 1987 after the Raised on Radio tour. Perry disappeared from public view for years afterward, taking a break from the music industry.
In 1994, Perry released his second solo album For the Love of Strange Medicine which was followed by a world tour. My favorite song from this album is the bittersweet ballad Anyway...
"...We believed in music
Brothers till the end
Nothing stood between us
The fire burned within...
Whoa how I need just to forget
But I can't do it...
...Still I remember
Steve missed making music with his old bandmates. Journey's classic 1981–85 lineup reunited in 1996 to record Trial by Fire. The album was a huge success, entering the Billboard charts at #3 and going Platinum before year's end, but its triumph was short-lived. Before the tour could begin, Perry injured his hip while hiking in Hawaii in the summer of 1997, and could not perform without hip replacement surgery which he for some time refused to undergo. A year later Journey had a new lead singer... one of the many who have come and gone... and Steve stayed out of the public eye for another year. Perry underwent successful hip replacement surgery in 1998. He released the Greatest Hits + Five Unreleased compilation album later in 1998; the unreleased tracks included selections from the abandoned Against the Wall CD. Also in 1998, Steve recorded two songs for the Warner Bros. film, Quest for Camelot, "I Stand Alone" and "United We Stand."
Steve Perry appeared at Journey's star ceremony on the Hollywood Walk of Fame on January 21, 2005, after previously stating it was unlikely that he would ever stand with the band again. Perry indicated that, though it was a good experience, his rejoining Journey is not likely. However, he has also said "never say never, unless you mean never, never the less" when the issue of returning to Journey has been brought up.
Steve Perry ~ Be Good To Yourself ~ & your cats ;-)
Even though he hasn't recorded &/or toured in years, Steve Perry continues to inspire. This video is a tribute to "The Voice", classic Journey, cats, and my creative online friends especially the Evolutionary family.
"There are two means of refuge from the miseries of life: music and cats." - Albert Schweitzer
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During the 2005 baseball season, the Chicago White Sox adopted Journey's Don't Stop Believin' as their unofficial team anthem. As a result, Perry (an avid San Francisco Giants fan) was asked to attend the World Series and even traveled with the team to Houston where Perry joined the players on the field and in the locker room as they celebrated their championship. A lot of sports teams used the song to rev up their fans. But Steve Perry was a Giants fan and when "his" team entered the playoffs he could often be seen enthusiastically leading the crowd in a singalong of Don't Stop Believin' or Lights The Giants won the World Series on November 1, 2010. And as I type this, I picture Steve Perry smiling somewhere in San Francisco :-)
Steve Perry, Evolution the Journey Tribute & their fans
Steve Perry/Journey singing "Anyway You Want It" ~ pics & vids of Steve, Evolution the Journey Tribute & fans by various photographers including Jeffrey Anderson, Kim Krug, my husband John Canivan & me. If I left you out please let me know! Evolution is
John Robert Murphy - Lead Vocals ~
Adam Holland - Guitar ~
Les Jansson - Bass Guitar ~
Lance Millard - Keyboards ~
Mike Morales - Drums
The last time I saw/heard Evolution was at Tanner Park in Copiague NY. The music was so intoxicating that my friend Suzi
and I crashed the stage during the last song LOL
Talk with other Steve Perry fans, swap videos and pics, and maybe help lure Steve out of retirement :-)
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