Steve Perry: What A Year....And It's Not Over Yet!
By: Gary C, Stuckey
true Perry fans. They are always on stand-by, patiently waiting for any sign from "the Voice" that pops up in their news feed or buzzes in their ears. As for me, I didn't give up...Oh no. I started a Steve Perry and Journey show on Youtube. I wanted to keep the fire burning so to speak.
Then things started to happen... Journey, Steve's former band that he fronted for years, was about to embark on a new tour with the English rockers DEF LEPPARD... Journey keyboardist Jonathan Cain released a new book called Don't Stop Believin: The Man, The Band and the Song That Inspired Generations. The same weekend, Saturday Night Live aired a skit featuring the song "Don't Stop Believin' .The skit was a parody based on the Sopranos tv show. Journey guitarist Neal Schon tweeted about the show in excitement and how they had used the band's well-known song. That song, Don't Stop Believin' had been used in recent years in the movie Monster, on the tv show Glee, in the movie Rock Of Ages, and of course, in the Sopranos.... It started happening...There was like a movement happening..aka the DSB movement as I called it.
Things seemed to cool down. Not a peep out of Mr, Perry for almost a month. Then on July 18, he appeared online with the band Toad the Wet Sprocket. A short video on their Facebook page showed Steve harmonizing with the band....rehearsing in a studio. What was Steve doing there? Was he rehearsing.....was he recording? Would there be a new album?
Before anybody could blink an eye, Steve appeared on another Facebook page, the very next day in fact. A man who lives in Steve's hometown of Hanford, CA posted information and pics that mentioned a new CBS special to be aired on October 7th. It was a big surprise for excited fans everywhere. The info, which was apparently leaked, was taken down from the site, not before the news spread like wild fire. It was later confirmed by CBS that there would definitely be an interview as stated.
Then things got quiet once again. Stillness and a calm atmosphere embodied the Perry world and all of the fans were waiting for the next "big thing" from their hero, myself included. Suddenly, on August 14th, some info popped up online....There was an album that appeared on Amazon.....it was an album called "TRACES" by......STEVE PERRY! Apparently another leak...The song "No Erasin' appeared....was taken down....and put back up. It was a surprise for sure. There had been a clue on Steve Perry's website that had rebooted...The phrase "I know it's been a long time coming" showed up on the site, written in Steve's handwriting. Yes, fans were delighted....excited to hear at least a snippet of the new song. Yes....no surprise, the Voice sounded awesome! What an appetizer for hungry Perry lovers all over the world. It all started happening so fast. Then later at around midnight the video for "No Erasin" debuted on his website and on Youtube. The excitement continued...."No More Cryin'" was released on September 4th with a new video and then on September 20th "We're Still Here" was released also with a video.
Steve did several interviews leading up to Traces' release on October 5th. He mentioned how he had walked away from music, and of his late girlfriend Kellie Nash, who passed away in 2012 after a battle with cancer. He also spoke about how he wants to move forward, though he never gave a definite "no" when questioned about reuniting with Journey. He spoke positive on all interviews about his former band mates, with the exception of some questionable articles in Rolling Stone and another magazine called the New Statesman...which seemed to go against his positive views. Neal Schon has made several statements on social media about how he wants to work with Perry on a future project. The Traces album cover (with art by Jeff Wack) featured a white guitar, similar to Schon's,with a dove perched on it. In it's mouth was an olive branch. This seemed to symbolize peace between the two and positive words had been previously exchanged between this dynamic duo.
Traces debuted at #6 on the Billboard's 200 album chart, making it Perry's highest ranking album. His other albums, Street Talk and For The Love Of Strange Medicine made it to #12 and #15. The single "No Erasin'", the only single to chart to date, peaked at #18 on the Adult Contemporary Chart.
The DSB movement has really taken off and many naysayers have become believers in the Voice over the past few months. So many fans on social media discussing everything to do with Steve. The Official Steve Perry Group Page on Facebook is churning 24/7 with Steve Perry love.Twitter has been buzzing all summer with non-stop tweets from the faithful ones. During all of the excitement I wanted to call to attention the fact that former MTV VJ and current 80's radio DJ, the awesome Martha Quinn has been a main factor in the DSB movement. She has constantly stirred up the excitement on Twitter and Facebook. She even encouraged Steve in person, when he was dealing with the loss of his dear Kellie back in 2012. She proclaimed that we are all the "Steve Perry Army." So in return I gave her the title "Queen" of the Steve Perry Movement. It is so fitting for her, and I'm honored that she acknowledges me for that.
After Steve's promotional tour came to a close in November, things started to slow down once more. The next thing that fans have been waiting for is a tour announcement. While he never said that he was definitely going to tour, he did say in several interviews that he's been talking about it and mentioned practicing some with his band. "We're talking about that, probably some time at the end of this year, when I finish all this promotional stuff....and take a little break. Well, currently it IS the end of the year, so I'm looking forward to a tour announcement any day now. Aren't You? All I can say is Don't Stop Believin'!