Believers - Steve Perry is Back!
The “real” Journey front man, Steve Perry is back – here’s his new single No Erasin’ , some vintage tunes, and the story of why he left the limelight 24 years ago.
(Steve Perry 1986 Photo: Alex Mane)
Steve Perry was born on January 22, 1949 in Hanford, California, and has said he was inspired to become a singer when he heard Cupid sung by Sam Cooke.
A couple of early bands in the 1970’s – Ice, Pieces, Alien Project – went by the wayside before Steve Perry got the call from Journey manager Herbie Herbert in the latter half of the 1970’s.
Below, vintage Steve Perry with Journey, singing Oh Sherrie in 1984:
Steve Perry made his live debut with Journey in 1977 and provided lead vocals to 7 of Journey’s biggest-selling albums between 1978 & 1996.
(Steve Perry & Journey 1982 Photo: Herbie Herbert Nightmare, Inc. / Columbia)
Some of the hit Journey songs that Steve Perry has a songwriting credit for include Don’t Stop Believin’, Any Way You Want It; Who’s Crying Now; Lights; Lovin’, Touchin’, Squeezin’; and Open Arms.
Journey split up in 1986 and then reunited in 1996 to record a new (smash hit) album, Trial by Fire.
Before Journey could go on tour, Steve Perry injured his hip and was diagnosed with degenerative bone disease (from osteoarthritis).
He was told to have hip replacement surgery (at the age of 47).
Perry was reluctant to have the surgery, and after 17 months of waiting on him, the other band members gave him an ultimatum to have the surgery or they would go on with a new lead singer.
Below, vintage Steve Perry singing Foolish Heart.
Steve Perry left Journey for good n 1998 and was replaced at first by Steve Augieri. When Augieri began having vocal problems in 2006, a Journey cover singer, Filipino Arnel Pineda, was tapped to sing with the band.
(Steve Perry c. 1980s Photo: Cridgway)
Meanwhile, Steve Perry finally underwent the hip replacement surgery in 1998.
In a 2010 interview Steve Perry stated he had written many new songs and and might soon record a solo album. In another 2011 interview with Billboard, he strongly hinted at why a future tour would be a long shot:
“I’m no spring chicken…The same arthritis that ate up my left hip that finally got replaced hasn’t stopped there… And touring is a lot of work. I’m impressed when I see people like Eric Clapton out there. Gee whiz, Eric, give me a break! I know it’s gotta hurt somewhere.“
Die-hard Steve Perry fans didn’t stop believin’ that he’d some day return to recording and performing…and wondering why it was taking so long.
In fact, Perry endured more heartbreak and surgeries in the years since his 1998 hip replacement. He lost his girlfriend Kelly Nash to cancer in 2012, had 2 (successful) skin cancer surgeries in 2013, and another hip replacement surgery.
After a 20 year hiatus of live performances, in 2014 Steve Perry performed with L.A. band the Eels on 3 separate occasions in 2014 (by then, he was an official “senior citizen” at age 65).
Below, Steve Perry singing Open Arms and Lovin, Touchin’, Squeezin’ with the Eels in 2014.
Finally, in October 2018 Steve Perry’s first album 24 years – Traces – was released.
The single No Erasin’ made it to 18 on the Adult Contemporary Charts. Below, Steve Perry performs his single No Erasin’.
Yes, Steve Perry is back…and his early hit Don’t Stop Believin’ andmost recent, No Erasin’ , may be the statement songs that capture his personal journey to get here.
Note: This article was first published in 2015 with the title Celebrating Steve Perry. It has been updated with additional content.
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