by Ross Cat
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 Women”. Unfortunately it would also mark the permanent “Departure”
of STEVE PERRY as the band would officially go their “Separate Ways”
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?
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”.
RUSH DELIVERY…..Another great gift idea for under “The Trees” this Christmas
is the new RUSH 30th Anniversary tour DVD. This disc demonstrates the potency
that the Canadian power trio brought to the road during the 2004 tour.
The disc not only captures the band in the “Limelight” of this momentous
live show, it also gives fans a “Closer to the Heart” look at the bands
history with some amazing past video and interviews. You can hear the band
this Wednesday December 14th on Rockline. Guitarist Alex Lifeson says,
“the band is set to begin work immediately on new material for 2006, followed
by another tour”.
SHAKIN THE SLEIGH…. As WNY celebrates the holiday season the HSBC will
welcome the TRANS-SIBERIAN ORCHESTRA (TSO), to town on December 28th. Don’t
let the name of this group fool you. If you’re a fan of symphonic
rock and roll then this is a must see show. This fusion of rock backed
by a wonderful symphony of sounds is a treat for even the biggest scrooge
in town. Their latest album “The Lost Christmas” is flying off the shelves,
and they are currently in the midst of a top 10 selling tour across the
U.S. Check out the bands music @ www.trans-siberian.com.
NIGHTLIFE would like to wish everyone a safe and Merry Christmas. We look
forward to rockin’ you into 2006. Ross Cat.