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May 27, 2014 12:53 AM   Subscribe

Former Journey vocalist Steve Perry hasn't performed publicly since 1995. Until yesterday.

During the second encore of an EELS concert in St. Paul, Minnesota, Perry joined the band to sing the EELS' song "It's a Motherfucker," followed by two Journey songs, "Open Arms" and "Lovin' Touchin' Squeezin'." (And the Facebook feeds of those of us of a certain age exploded.)
posted by litlnemo (30 comments total) 16 users marked this as a favorite

 
I can smell the cheap perfume of eighth grade make-out sessions.

Its funny that with all that Glee money on the table, and it takes E to get to him? He must have gotten to a dark place
posted by C.A.S. at 1:16 AM on May 27 [6 favorites]


I can't favorite this hard enough. I think...um, I think I need to go change my panties.
posted by MexicanYenta at 1:18 AM on May 27 [2 favorites]


He still sounds pretty great. I hope he had a good time performing again!
posted by Joey Michaels at 1:23 AM on May 27 [1 favorite]


I do believe that Journey was the very first concert I ever attended...maybe 1984 or 1985 at the Seattle Center Opera House? Trying to remember who opened for them, they were not particularly good, I do remember that.

I should queue up some Journey on the tubes some day. It would definitely be a guilty pleasure, I suspect most of it has not held up very well.

And how has it been close to 20 years since "Novocaine for the Soul" was a hit? Man.
posted by maxwelton at 2:46 AM on May 27


Wow. You are right. And definitely more than 20 since "Hello Cruel World." I am yet again amazed at how quickly time flies.
posted by litlnemo at 3:04 AM on May 27 [1 favorite]


Open the floodgates of junior high slow-dance memories!
posted by Didymium at 3:59 AM on May 27 [3 favorites]


Damnitall!! How did he get out? Now I have to go change the locks AGAIN. Man he's a wily bastard.
posted by nevercalm at 4:16 AM on May 27 [8 favorites]


I think I need to go change my panties.

I just threw mine on stage.
posted by The 10th Regiment of Foot at 4:36 AM on May 27 [3 favorites]


In about, oh, 1990 or so I was browsing guitars at a local music shop when I ran into a friend. He processed to pull out a polaroid out of his back pocket of his mother, a fine Southern lady who was fond of Gilbert & Sullivan and could say "Nice to meat you" but mean "Fuck you", hugging Steve Perry. In her living room. "Hubba wha?" was all I could say.

He explained his mother had a friend who was diagnosed with cancer and told he only had a few months left. He wanted to get married but couldn't afford it. My friend's mother then arranged for a ceremony and small reception in her house. One of the guests was the groom's childhood friend, Steve Perry.

And now for the punch line. Her sister was a massive Steve Perry fan. Think teenage girls and the Beatles. He kindly agreed to talk to her so she call her sister Mississippi and put them on the phone together. And her sister refused to believe it was actually Steve Perry. She assume her sister was playing a joke later. She wasn't rude, but she wasn't pleasant either. It was until a year or so later when she saw to photos that she realized that it actually had been Steven Perry and she had blown her one shot. I wasn't there when she found out but I hear much crying was involved.
posted by beowulf573 at 5:15 AM on May 27 [12 favorites]


I've often wondered what his first band sounded like. He recorded a funk-soul-prog record in 1972 apparently with a band called Ice. Never seen a trace of it anywhere.

Anyway here he is in 1978. Say what you want about the band and the songwriting (and I have) but don't deny that Steve Perry's voice is pure joy.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 5:49 AM on May 27 [1 favorite]


beowulf573: She assume her sister was playing a joke later. She wasn't rude, but she wasn't pleasant either. It was until a year or so later when she saw to photos that she realized that it actually had been Steven Perry and she had blown her one shot. I wasn't there when she found out but I hear much crying was involved.

The girls name? Sherry!

Now you know the rest of the story. Paul Harvey speaking.
posted by dr_dank at 5:58 AM on May 27 [12 favorites]


maxwelton:
It would definitely be a guilty pleasure, I suspect most of it has not held up very well.
You would be wrong. The kids at my wife's high school actually request Journey when given music choices. The nice thing about music is that after many years you can tell quality by how it shines through antiquated styles and sounds.
posted by charred husk at 6:26 AM on May 27 [5 favorites]


A few years ago I was shooting pool at a packed bar on karaoke night. Around last call, DJ announced the next song as Journey's Faithfully to a din of boos and catcalls. A bus boy, who had been quietly hustling all night, handed his towel to a server, took the stage, and channeled Steve Perry with absolute precision for four and a half minutes. Relative humidity spiked sharply as panties melted. People who were booing five minutes before were screaming wildly and pounding tables by the end. Guy just walked off stage, took back his towel, and resumed cleaning tables, totally unassuming, totally unaffected.
posted by echocollate at 7:13 AM on May 27 [16 favorites]


You would be wrong. The kids at my wife's high school actually request Journey when given music choices. The nice thing about music is that after many years you can tell quality by how it shines through antiquated styles and sounds.

Or how often it was featured on Glee.
posted by Talez at 8:13 AM on May 27 [5 favorites]


Can I just say how awesome it is that Perry's return to the stage began with "It's a Motherfucker"?

No?

Dang.
posted by gern at 8:16 AM on May 27 [3 favorites]


and after having more coffee I noticed the typos and poor grammar in my comment. sorry.
posted by beowulf573 at 8:20 AM on May 27


Its the Glee factor. I just did the sound mixing for our local grade school's talent show. Very good, naturally bluesy/soul singing girl was down for Don't Stop Believing. I ripped both versions as her backing track as I wasn't sure. The WTF look on her face when I played the original said it all. Never heard it.
posted by C.A.S. at 9:26 AM on May 27 [1 favorite]


"Open Arms" is a sappy, awful song.

At our wedding, my wife and I really wanted somebody to sing "True Colors" by Cyndi Lauper. A dear friend of ours offered to sing for us, but he couldn't find a version of the Lauper song in his key and didn't have time to transpose it.

"I can sing 'Open Arms' though."

I objected at first because, as I said, the song is awful, but my wife made the point that he was a professional singer and was doing us a big favor.

Turns out it was one of the highlights of the night. In the hands of a great singer, the song is vocal and emotional dynamite. He blew everybody away - including me. I have him a standing ovation without even thinking about it.

And that's the thing about Steve Perry's performances. The songs show off his remarkable voice and expressive range. Many of them are not great songs but he makes them great (and I didn't realize that until after the wedding). I don't believe most of Journey's songs would have been hits with a different singer.

Except "Lovin' Touchin' Squeezin'." That shit just rocks.
posted by Joey Michaels at 9:34 AM on May 27 [6 favorites]


If you have never seen the Oprah Winfrey youtube on the latest Journey singer Arnel Pineda you might want to take a look at it. Searching for a replacement for Steve Perry took them ten years.
posted by bukvich at 10:09 AM on May 27 [3 favorites]


And I'd thought he'd died at the sudden blackout at the end of "The Sopranos".
posted by oneswellfoop at 10:21 AM on May 27 [3 favorites]


Seconding that Arnel Pineda deserves your look, if you love Perry's voice.
posted by mitschlag at 10:27 AM on May 27


Except "Lovin' Touchin' Squeezin'." That shit just rocks.

"Now it's your turn, girl, to cryyyy! Na na na na nah na!"
posted by straight at 10:32 AM on May 27


I wasn't a Journey fan in the eighties (except for "Lovin' Touchin' Squeezin'", which I think actually came out in 1979) but as pop/rock music has moved away from featuring people who can truly sing, I appreciate Steve Perry more every year. Will have to check this out at home tonight.
posted by Sheydem-tants at 11:07 AM on May 27 [2 favorites]


Oh I dunno, lip-syncing Don't Stop Believing at SF Giant's games counts as public performance, sorta?
posted by jamaro at 11:28 AM on May 27 [1 favorite]


That's the horrible thing about Steve Perry... most of Journey's song were complete crap, but his singing kept people playing them... overandoverandoverandoverandomigodpleasepleasemakeitstop!

Great voice, but still... I think he did us all a great favor for staying hidden as long as he did.
posted by markkraft at 12:28 PM on May 27 [1 favorite]


I'm ... having a hard time reconciling my love for Eels with my intense, searing hatred of all things Journey.

Also, intriguingly, I have been on the stage of the Fitzgerald Theater once. Not performing. Just moving some lights. Sigh.
posted by Dr. Wu at 12:32 PM on May 27 [2 favorites]


Turns out it was one of the highlights of the night. In the hands of a great singer, the song is vocal and emotional dynamite. He blew everybody away - including me. I have him a standing ovation without even thinking about it.

It's also awesome for when a futuristic taxi driver needs to vaporize his new girlfriend.
posted by The 10th Regiment of Foot at 12:49 PM on May 27


I am by no means a Journey or Steve Perry fan, however:

1) I have a recurring dream in which Steve Perry is my friend

And

B) whenever we are on our way back from Canada via Niagara Falls (which is often) and we pass the sign for Journey Behind the Falls, my husband and I break out into a gargling version of "Don't Stop Believing"
posted by biscotti at 2:07 PM on May 27 [9 favorites]


Journey was my first favorite band. The first band I ever loved more than anything else in the world was Journey. The first movie I ever loved so much I could watch it repeatedly back to back was Tron (soundtrack contributions by Journey). My first favorite arcade game was Journey Escape (note, NOT the Atari version). Journey is such an engrained part of my development it's kind of sad. For years, I never spoke of my Journey love. I would quietly enjoy it on my own in my own car and just sort of bite my tongue when people talked shit on them.

But then something bizarre happened, suddenly it became okay to like Journey again. Ironic appreciation, for the most part. But suddenly, everyone I knew suddenly had always been in Journey. But I knew they were lying. Several years before it became okay to like them again, I had two tickets to a Journey concert and asked most all my friends if they wanted to go. They laughed at me one by one as I asked. Now they are going to say they were always into Journey? Fie, I say! A pox on the fairweather Journey fan!

Yeah, I liked Journey before it was cool. After it was super normal, but before it was cool.
posted by mediocre at 3:35 PM on May 27 [4 favorites]


Am I the only child of the 80s who has an OMGIT'SSTEVEPERRY!!!! inner moment every time I see him?
posted by BlahLaLa at 7:13 PM on May 27


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