Friday, July 4, 2008

Faux Steve

I'm an unapologetic 80's Classic Rock kind of girl. Some of you may remember: Foreigner, Styx, and of course, Journey? How many summer nights did I spend belting out lyrics of Snow Blind, Urgent, and Fooling Yourself? (All the while ignoring the gargantuan mistake and horror of Mr. Roboto!) Indeed, my summer nights were filled with great music and no one sang it better than "I'm-convinced- he's-gonna-marry-me-someday-if-I-can-only-meet-him," Steve Perry.

My Steve was mine Faithfully. And my best-friend Cindy reminded me, "Julie, Don't Stop Believing!" So we purchased concert tickets and I really believed somehow, somewhere, the love of my seventeen-year old life would be waiting for me at the
Kansas City arena with Open Arms and at last, instead of living Separate Ways, Worlds Apart, we would be together. What can I say? Girl Can't Help It, she's in deep infatuation.

Fast forward twenty+ years down the Dixie Highway and note my last name is Barnhill, Julie "Happy to Be" Barnhill. Turns out I'll Be Alright Without You, My Steve, but when you're Stone in Love, it can be difficult. Somehow I soldiered on, came to grips with my adulthood and learned to deal with all of the above.

I was fine. Really. But then My Steve went and got older, threatened a hip-replacement, and QUIT Journey just as I getting used to being a 30-something with kids. The Party's Over, indeed. Year after year, thereafter I hoped and prayed My Steve would return. He teased. He threatened. He even whined (methinks embarrassingly so) on VH-1.

But still, no My Steve.

While speaking in the
San Francisco area I'd boldly ask if anyone knew him or could secure his email address. (What? Is there something wrong with that?) One woman's parents had lived across the street from his dad and possibly witnessed My Steve entering the premises. Another had a nephew who was a roadie during the hey-day of the 80's. Yet another said no to My Steve but she could possibly line me up meeting Huey Lewis.

Please. Huey's nice but no My Steve.

Imitator after imitator attempted to fill his microphone. Steve Augeri. Jeff Scott Soto. They should have just stayed home and played Rock Band. But then an item in The Wheel in the Sky of cyber-news. A hit of hope! A Six-Million- Dollar-Man-Neal-Schon kind of hope, mind you....

"Former fans, we can rebuild him. We have the technology. Better than he was before. Better, stronger, faster...with healthier hips."

Heart racing, pulse pounding, I dared to believe and clicked over and listened. Then I went to Wal-Mart (lone distributor and shiny waxed action alleys to "Swiftly Approaching Middle-Age Fans Formerly Known as Youthful & Cool") and purchased the album. I mean, CD.

Hello, Journey, my old friend! And to frontman Arnel Pineda and the future of more classic Journey sounds for my teenagers to belt out. Take it from this die-hard lover of classic Journey; this new guy's got the stuff. He's not trying to be My Steve (like anyone could) but he stares rabid believers like me in the eye and asks, Who's Crying Now?


  1. not to be tto anal, Julie, but Robert flieschman was before Steve Perry. robert actually wrote 2 of the hits on Infinity & was instrumental in steering Journey away from being just a jazz - latin -fusion outfit, toward the Perry era.

    Jeff Scott Soto was briefly a lead singer for Journey on the last tour, but it was only till they found a more suitable replacement in Arnel.

  2. Thanks for the typo-catch! Duly noted and revised my Journey friend.

  3. good call about Arnel. He will revive Journey to where it should be.

  4. Thanks Julie for such an entertaining post. I shared it with my wife who laughed with me. I liked Journey but I've been revived along with the band. I can't get enough of them and this Arnel fella, too bad Hawaii's not one of their destination. Hope it's not a short-lived career for Arnel and Journey and we'll get a chance next year as long as we "Don't stop believing!"

  5. just like you julie, my younger years journey with steve perry was fave band when steve perry left i had no desire to listen to their new frontman until Arnel came, he is amazing and awsome singer, he is totally well fit in this band, no doubt.

  6. Oh, Journey was so great (and I hope they will be again) but you cannot leave out Kevin Cronin from Illinois' own REO Speedwagon. I never really like the Tough Guys, and we could take our own Sweet Time! They are still going strong! Julie, I'll Keep on Loving You and all the work you do for moms!

    p.s. Oh, that Robin Zander from Cheap Trick wasn't so bad, either.

  7. Thank you Julie for your story and the wonderful comment about the new
    Lead singer of Journey ‘Arnel Pineda’. More power to you!