For those Journey fans who got their hopes when the Internet lit up with rumors of the band’s impending reunion with former singer Steve Perry: Sorry folks, but it ain’t happenin’.
Earlier this week, a Perry quote from a recent interview, which read “I haven’t worked with Neal. We’re trying. It’s tough. I’m doing my best in that area and I can only do so much,” was apparently misunderstood. The words “we’re trying” were interpreted by some overzealous journalists as an indication that the two camps were trying to reach a détente and regroup, presumably to make zillions of dollars in a big reunion tour.
Not so fast. The band’s management was quick to release a statement, “No reunion plans … all is well in the Journey camp … big tour in the US this summer—Journey/Steve Miller and Tower of Power.”
OK, point taken, right? Maybe not enough for some folks, as the rumors persisted.
Today, on melodicrock.com, Journey guitarist/founding member Neal Schon put the final nail in the reunion coffin with the statement, “Rumors couldn’t be further from the truth. Arnel and I are solid … VERY SOLID … We are very much looking forward to getting out there this year and kicking some ass. We will be in rehearsal for 3 weks prior to the tour and we will be revamping things to keep it fresh … Journey is solid as we are and planning on touring all through 2015 as well as 2014.”
Notice that both statements quoted above from the band make no mention of Perry. Instead, Schon reinforces the idea that the band is “solid” with current singer Arnel Pineda—very solid. Tremendously, tremendously solid. “We’re not taking back the old singer” solid.
My take? Perry and Journey are like ex-spouses with children (the children being their best-selling catalog of recorded music), and with all of the business concerns involved in a multi-million-selling rock band, there are issues that must be dealt with and communications that must occur. So when asked—as he probably is all of the time—about his relationship with the band, Perry said, “We’re trying”—meaning, “We’re trying to get along,” not, as some had hoped, “We’re trying to get back together.”
That ship has sailed, folks. Probably forever. Perry has had well-documented health and personal challenges, and hasn’t made a record since Trial by Fire, his short-lived reunion with Journey in 1996. He is rumored to be working on new songs—but he has been for a while now, and he doesn’t need the dough.
Meanwhile, Journey is doing just fine with Pineda, who joined the band in 2007 following his discovery by Schon via a YouTube video (that story is well told in the recent documentary, “Dont Stop Believin': Everyman’s Journey”).
But as far as a Perry/Journey re-teaming goes, it’s probably time to stop believin’.