Steve Perry's Message (Real Audio)
When Fan Asylum opened it's doors in 1984, our first and only client was Journey. We ran the Journey Force fan club for many, many years so, we were all very happy when we got a surprise visit from Steve Perry last week. He was in The City for a while and stopped by to visit our new digs, meet the staff and just hang out. The following is a bit of this and that from our chat that day:
SP: I would like to start off by thanking Fan Asylum - Tim, Lora, Cyndy & the staff - for giving me the opportunity to speak via their port to the world. I wanted to respond to a few rumors they have heard from fans regarding what I've been doing lately, so take it away, Lora.
Steve and his new friend, Rufus.
There is the perception that you have a computer and are online, visiting various web sites, going into chat rooms and sending and receiving emails. Is this correct?
I am here to tell you that it is incorrect. I am not online; I am not sending or receiving emails. I have never been on line. There have been some people impersonating me in the past and I understand it is a problem again. It saddens me because if they ever liked any creative endeavor that I have been privileged to be a part of, it doesn't speak too highly of what they represent, which is supposed to be a fan, not impersonating me. The bottom line is that there is no way to control the level of dishonesty on the Internet. It's just the beginning. People should also be aware that there are laws in place about impersonating people in all sorts of venues. The Internet is no exception. If anything, it could be more intense to impersonate someone on the Internet. If you are conversing with someone you think is me through email or any other way, I just want to reiterate again that I am not having conversations in chat rooms or sending or receiving emails. I just wanted to clear this up. I would caution people who are on the web to be careful and not so easily impressed by who you think you are talking to. Please be assured that this is absolutely the official response from me.
On an interview you did last year on Rockline, you talked about possibly launching your own website. What's the status of that?
There is a gentleman by the name of Steve Perry who already had steveperry.com and has been extremely gracious in allowing me to have it now. The Internet is such a fantastic new frontier and I'm excited about it.
Another rumor is that you have been writing and have something just about ready for release.
(laughs) No, I don't. It's so funny how these rumors get going. The last thing I did was the Greatest Hits + 5 CD. There might be a couple of tracks that didn't make that compilation, but they are the only songs that are 'in the can,' so to speak. I have been writing new material pretty feverishly at home and it's been a great experience.
Are you writing by yourself?
For now. I've got so many sketches started up. Some are finished, some are not. That's kind of where it's sitting. I have left the songs free to not to have to be anything.
How do you write? Do you just wake up one morning with a song in your head or do you set aside a specific time to write?
It can work both ways. A lot of the hook lines from Journey songs that I helped write like, "When You Love A Woman" and "Who's Cryin' Now," were written on a mini-cassette in my car as I was driving. Sometimes I'll write because I've been inspired by something. The solo stuff was the same way. Sometimes I put some chords down with some rhythm, then put on the headphones and I go under - I call it going under when I put on the head sets, close my eyes and just get lost in the music.
Are you interested in doing any more collaborating on soundtracks like "I Stand Alone" on Quest For Camelot?
I have had some great opportunities to do some projects lately, but I've just been laying low and doing other things instead. I've been enjoying going to galleries, museums, concerts and movies. I think I've seen just about every movie out. I'm a big movie guy and I see at least three or four a week. I'm ahead of the releases now and it's to the point where I'm waiting for next week to come so I can see what's new (laughs). I'm on this side of the looking glass for a change. I've been letting people entertain me. I never took the time to let someone entertain me before. I was always the one doing the entertaining. My life has kind of turned around to where I've been able to take advantage of my time right now. I go everywhere to see people doing things they love to do. Museums have been exciting to me because I've been able to see the work of Picasso and others that have come through town.
Are you still doing any painting?
I haven't for a while now, but I still have the paintings I did previously. I think I might auction those off at some point for charity. Painting is fun for me.
Since you've been out of the limelight for a while, people have been feeling that you disappeared.
I'm doing what everyone else is doing that I never had the opportunity to do before, which is living my life. I was focused on singing, songwriting, performing and recording all those years, so that's all I did. Now I have the opportunity to do other things. If people think I have disappeared, it's because I have disappeared into their lives and I'm doing what they are doing. Real life is very challenging. People in the music business live a very sheltered life. It's been nice to fall back into real life on life's terms.
Did you do anything special for your birthday?
Yes, I went to a Caribbean Island for about ten days and kicked back. I had a wonderful birthday cake that said "Happy Birthday To Me." (laughs) The baker let me decorate my own cake, which was fun. We did the whole deal from scratch. We had a great time.
You sang back up on a track on the new Laidlaw release. How did that come about?
That project was really fun. I ran into Nikki Sixx who told me he was producing this group so I went and hung out and one thing led to another and I ended up singing on it. They are a great bunch of guys. I've been friends with Nikki for a long time.
Did you see the article that appeared a few months back in a San Diego paper where it was reported you were in a club in Tijuana singing karaoke? Then you ended up in some strip bar with a babe on each arm. Talk about a strange story!
That was a beauty! (laughs) First of all, I've never been to Tijuana. I don't know if it really happened or if someone made it up to get publicity for their nightclub. Anyway, it wasn't me and the rest of it was just as crazy - they said I did some private show and ended up at a strip club. Boy, if I got half of the action I'm supposed to have, I'd probably be burnt toast. (laughs)
What music are you listening to these days?
Everything. I just bought the new Enigma release; I love the new Filter CD; I like Morphine. They just recently lost Mark Sandman, their leader/ songwriter. It was such a tragic loss. I also like Live. I listen to classical and big band swing. I listen to oldies. I'm a big radio channel surfer. I punch those buttons until I find something I like, and if I don't find anything interesting, I go to the classical station and take a deep breath, "ahhhhhhh." There is a certain amount of work I go through when I hear music other than classical. I hear the song, the drums, the singing, the backgrounds - and I emotionally hear the work that's gone into it.
What do you think of the boy bands out there like Nsync, Backstreet Boys, 98º?
They're great. The first time I heard the Backstreet Boys' single on the radio I liked it and I went out and bought their CD. There is some great songwriting on that CD. I met Kevin Richardson from the Backstreet Boys at a concert. We were in the audience, we talked for a while, and he invited me to see them play. Unfortunately, I was out of town when they came through.
Since one of our office cats (Rufus) is now climbing up your leg, this might be a good time to ask if you have any pets?
(laughs) Yes, I have one cat, a gray tabby named Kitty. She adopted me.she just came along and said "I'm moving in" so she became Kitty.
Do you have a favorite Journey album?
That's a tough one because I love them all. All the songs are personal to me. I still listen to Trial By Fire a lot and here we are in February of 2000. I'm really proud of the songs on that release. "Castle's Burning" is a great track. While I was on vacation, I had "Still She Cries" stuck in my head. Each song on that release was strong. "When You Love A Woman" was nominated for a Grammy and that was sweet.
The title track was always my favorite.
The title was something I had been thinking about and I suggested to Jon that we should call the album Trial By Fire. I showed up at rehearsal one day and Neal had this great thing going on guitar. We started working on it and the next thing you knew that song was done. That song and the lyrics to that song helped me during the writing of it but also after the album was done. It actually gave me strength to deal with what was going on around me. "It's just another trial by fire." That song can be applied to many different situations. There are biblical references in the lyrics that have withstood the test of time, and I think that song will also withstand the test of time.
Have you ever thought about releasing your Alien Project demo tape? There are bootlegs floating around of those five songs, but the quality is terrible.
One of the songs from that tape is on my Greatest Hits CD + 5 Unreleased. I have the masters for the other songs and it might end up coming out. The quality is really great on the masters. The material is old but it's still fun.
Is there anything else you'd like to say?
Yes. Thanks, Lora.very much!