THE JOURNEY ZONE
August 7: JRNYDV Across America, Part One
August 13: JRNYDV Across America, Part Two
August 19: JRNYDV Across America, Part Three
August 27: JRNYDV Across America, Part Four
August 31: JRNYDV Across America, Part Five
September 7: JRNYDV Across America, Part Six
September 8: Letter to the Editor re: JRNYDV Across America, Part Six
September 13: Poem, by Anonymous
September 13: Op/Ed: The Abuse of Journey Power, by TowandaRG
September 16: Op/Ed: My Two cents, by LAWoman
September 23: Editorial: Towards a Constructive Solution
Op/Ed: The New Band Bio, by JRNYDV
Letters to the Editor re: The Abuse of Journey Power
Editorial: Softening the Edges...or, Walking Away from Them
Editorial: A Holiday Pick-me-Up
Op/Ed: The Forums, by Brenda Chandler
Letters to the Editor re: Softening the Edges...or, Walking Away from Them
JRNYDV Across America, Part One
Original Publication Date: August 7, 2002
The cross-country road trip is inherently American, just as is being a Journey fan, for many of us. My decision to drive from the Outer Banks of North Carolina to the Golden Gate of California was based on more mundane motivations, however. My brother Richard, another longtime Journey fan, will be departing for Japan, that other shrine to Journey, from San Francisco for a year as an English teacher. It was between flying and getting a ride with me, and as I have never before been to the West Coast, and as we have friends to visit in Prescott, Arizona, we opted for the latter.
This trip will be chronicled in segments written as e-mails to the JRNYDV.COM staff from the road, to be published upon the trip's conclusion in the new EDITORIALS feature of the website, because it is ultimately more than simply a matter of transportation, from point "a" to point "b". It is, in effect, a pilgrimage in Journey.
Dave and Lana at the Wright Brothers' Monument, Kitty Hawk, NC
(Photo by Stranger)
|The Wright Brothers' first flight took place in Kitty Hawk, in North Carolina's Outer Banx, and so it is ironic that we have chosen to begin a Journey from sea to shining sea BY CAR from this point. There is a magnificent stone monument commemorating that flight, which stands atop the highest hill in Kitty Hawk (not a difficult proposition in this flat area) in tribute to the two pioneers of the air, Orville and Wilbur Wright. Our thoughts turn to the pioneers of Journey, Prairie Prince, George Tickner, Gregg Rolie, and of course, Neal Schon and Ross Valory. Whether in transportation or musical innovation, it is a brave act indeed to begin the journey.
The major choices in local cuisine in the Outer Banx are seafood and North Carolina BBQ. I opted for the BBQ while my traveling companion for this first leg of the Journey, my fiancee Lana, took seafood, but we shared. Then we spent a short time at the beach in Rodanthe, south of Kitty Hawk and Nags Head, collected some sea shells, bought a T-shirt and a sticker for the JRNYDV-mobile, and we were on our way to a trek which for me would total nearly 9,000 miles. As we bought our T-shirt, an advertisement came over the store radio for an upcoming Journey concert in the area.
Our next stop was Charlottesville, Virginia, where I live, the home of Thomas Jefferson's Monticello and the University of Virginia. We packed the car with items for our new apartment in Brooklyn, New York, as well as for the trip west. On Friday afternoon we headed northeast to Washington, DC, our nation's capital, to attend the opening-night performance of Stephen Sondheim's PASSION at the Kennedy Center. PASSION has a special meaning for me and Lana; while we were dating, I produced the show in New York and my partner, who served as director, cast Lana in a small singing role. The Kennedy Center's production was good, better than ours, but not proportionate to the disparity of money spent in production.
Dave at the Kennedy Center, Washington, DC (Potomac in background)
(Photo by S. Rogachevskaya)
Immediately after the show in Washington, we headed further northeast to Brooklyn, NY, to drop off Lana at her home and to drop off some items at our new apartment in Steve Augeri's neighborhood, which we did on Saturday morning. Our new landlord is a first-generation Italian immigrant who appreciates it when I say "gratsi." He also keeps an award-winning 1958 Cadillac under a tarp in the backyard which he showed me and Lana before our departure. The site of that beautiful, mint-condition car, so much a part of the 1950s and 1960s culture, made me think about Raised on Radio, Journey's tribute to that era.
To have to leave Lana in Brooklyn and not have her with me for the duration of this Journey was sad and unfortunate. But she had to be back at work on Monday morning, and so it was with a heavy heart that I drove north out of Brooklyn and through Manhattan, past Ground Zero, and up into northern New Jersey and Upstate New York. New York City was having more problems as I drove through; a fire at an eastside electrical plant had caused a temporary blackout in lower Manhattan, shutting down traffic lights and other essentials. But I got through that difficulty swiftly, driving up the westside highway to the George Washington Bridge, and then further north along the west bank of the Hudson on the Palisades Interstate Parkway, nearly as far as the United States Military Academy at West Point. Then I turned west and took US6 and US17 to the Boy Scout Camp near Monticello, New York, where I picked up my brother, who had been doing some volunteer work for the Scouts. We loaded his luggage into the JRNYDV-mobile and continued west on 17, starting out the car stereo with Journey's Next.
The Boy Scout Camp is located in the Catskills Region of New York, in a section that is the favorite summer getaway for thousands of New York City's Chasidic Jewish community. We stopped for a snack in Campbell, NY, west of Elmira, which had a sign informing us that there would be the familiar horses and buggies of the Pennsylvania Dutch. from the site of Chasids walking to temple on the side of the road to the site of the Amish horse and buggy made me think of how different, and yet how strangely similar, those two cultures are.
Richard and I had dinner in Jamestown, NY, and then drove on through Erie, PA, and Cleveland, OH, finally crashing out in a Super 8 in Toledo in the wee hours of Sunday morning, after listening to Trial by Fire.
JRNYDV Across America, Part Two
Original Publication Date: August 13, 2002
With Trial by Fire still in the CD player from the night before, Richard and I departed Toledo, Ohio on Sunday. Then it was off across the flat expanse of Northern Indiana to Chicago.
Chicago--what a town! I had only ever been through at night, on the highway, and this was Richard's first time. We took I-90 in through Gary and then I-55 to Lake Shore Drive. We passed Comiskey Park and Soldier Field, and ultimately turned west on Adams Street, the street of Historic Route 66, which we planned to take "from water to water," i.e. from Lake Michigan to the Pacific Ocean, from Chicago, Illinois to Santa Monica, California.
The first site of interest was, of course, the Sears Tower, until recently the tallest building in the world. Old 66 goes right past the building, so we got a good view. We then continued southwest on Ogden Street, and then Joliet Road, out of the city and on towards St. Louis.
Dave at the Rt. 66 Cafe, Litchfield, Illinois (photo by R. Golland)
Route 66 in Illinois has a number of historical attractions, some of which, like the Route 66 Cafe in Litchfield, are still in operation, and others, like the Old Shell Station in Mount Olive, have become historical by closing down and being preserved (that one in particular was closed in 1977 by the E.P.A.). Bloomington was a disappointment, because Main Street has been made into a one-way street, and unfortunately it goes the other way, so we missed the Route 66 sites of that town. We reached St. Louis at sundown, to the music of Arrival, but the famous arch was still visible as we drove to the west side of town to avoid the next morning's traffic.
Dave does Pancho Villa at the Old Shell Station, Mount Olive, Illinois (photo by R. Golland)
Monday saw us on Route 66 through Missouri, Kansas, and much of Oklahoma. Our Route 66 guide (available at www.historic66.com) was not as well updated on historic sites in these states as it was for Illinois. We alternated between the old road and the interstate when the two ran paralell. So far the JRNYDV-mobile was holding up quite well. We drove the 13.5 miles of Route 66 through Kansas, which the interstate bypasses entirely. Then it was down through the town of Miami, Oklahoma (we had departed Cuba, Missouri, two or three hours earlier), where we saw a singular site: an old gas station which had been turned into a place to buy funeral monuments. We then took I-44 through Tulsa to save some time, ultimately stopping at the "New Motel" (which is actually quite old) on Historic 66 in Yukon, Oklahoma, just west of Oklahoma City.
The gas station turned into a funeral monument store, Miami, Oklahoma (photo by D. Golland)
"If it's Tuesday, it must be Texas" was our mantra as we awoke in Yukon and headed west on Old 66 into El Reno for breakfast, nearly getting lost in the process (hard to do with a built-in compass in the JRNYDV-mobile). Then it was onto the I-40, now paralell to Old 66, for the drive through the Texas panhandle and on through New Mexico. Our Route 66 guide now began to serve us well, as we were better able to know which sites we wanted to see, which towns we would take the old route through.
Looking north in the Texas panhandle (photo by R. Golland)
As we pulled off the interstate to have lunch in Amarillo, the van stalled out. We happened to be right next to a small, quiet, Mexican restaurant, so I guided the van into a parking space in neutral and we had lunch. It wasn't too traumatic a situation because we were in a city with plenty of service stations and towing companies. But she started up fine after lunch, so we got back onto I-40 and headed west. She just needed a rest, I guess.
Dave at the Post Office in the ghost town of Glenrio, Texas/New Mexico (photo by R. Golland)
The next site of interest was the town of Glenrio, straddling the Texas-New Mexico border. This is a ghost town, and we got a couple of shots at the old post office and at some abandoned ranches west of town in the New Mexico desert. We took Old 66 west from there for a while, a dirt road which had never been paved, and re-joined the interstate at San Jon, New Mexico.
More of abandoned Glenrio (photo by D. Golland)
We made a point of taking Old 66 through Tucumcari. This town looks like Las Vegas must have looked like in the 1950s and 1960s. There was neon everywhere, and most of the hotels were still in operation. Quite a site.
Now began the fruitless search for a working truckstop internet machine. We tried three truck stops and travel centers, but each of their internet machines was out of order. I finally found one that worked when we got to Albequerque, but the keyboard didn't work so I was able to read my e-mail, but I couldn't send the first installment of this series. That was frustrating.
West of Albequerque, we decided to drive on to Grants, New Mexico, staying on the interstate about two-thirds of the time. Now when we got onto Old 66, however, we were in for quite a treat. The old route deviates from the interstate quite a bit out there, and weaves in and out of desert rock formations--quite something. We lost the road briefly at dusk, and ended up in a very small, very old, very rundown town of adobe and stone in the Acoma Indian Reservation. A few kids were playing in the street. They got out of the way hesitantly, looking at us curiously, as if they very rarely saw outsiders, or even cars. We gave them some candy and continued west into the sunset.
JRNYDV Across America, Part Three
Original Publication Date: August 19, 2002
Wednesday was quite a day. We saw four major attractions of the southwest before our arrival in Prescott, Arizona, where we would be staying with our old friends Mike and Liz Frost.
Upon waking in Grants, New Mexico, we headed back east a bit to visit a site we had been unable to visit the night before due to lack of daylight: Sky City Pueblo. Sky City is located on the Acoma Indian Reservation about twelve miles south of I-40 and Old 66, and the same distance east of Grants. It is the oldest continuously inhabited town in the United States, having been originally settled in the eleventh century, A.D. It is currently the home of thirteen families, and is situated atop a plateau which rises several hundred feet above a most incredible valley--an immense expanse with monument-like rock formations of which the pueblo plateau is but one. The Acoma Indians have strict rules against photography anywhere on the reservation, and so we respected those rules and left the camera in the van.
The Painted Desert (photo by D. Golland)
The Tipis in the Petrified Forest (photo by D. Golland))
From Acoma Pueblo we headed west past Grants into Arizona, where shortly we left the interstate again to drive through the Painted Desert and Petrified Forest. The Painted Desert is a panoramic valley of multi-colored sand, which looks as if it has been consciously painted. This is caused by the differing ages and levels of the sediment. The Petrified Forest is a section of desert littered with petrified wood, wood which turned to stone hundreds of thousands of years ago when this area was (believe it or not) under water. As it is, the Petrified Forest National Park is at an elevation approximately 6,000 feet above sea level. There are strict rules against removing even the smallest piece of petrified wood from the area, and we respected those rules as well.
The northwest vista in the Petrified Forest (photo by D. Golland)
Rich among petrified wood (photo by D. Golland)
Then it was on through Holbrook, Arizona, a town with a strip of Old Route 66 much like Tucumcari, New Mexico--lots of neon and flashing lights, much preserved since the 1950s and 1960s. What sets Holbrook apart is the presence of the Wigwam Motel, where one can actually spend the night in an authentic-style wigwam. Because of the decline in business after the completion of the interstate, the owner has apparently added the modern touch of a normal motel building directly behind the wigwams. But ironically, when we drove by, there were classic cars parked both in front of the office and next to at least one of the wigwams.
The front office of the Wigwam Motel, Holbrook, Arizona (photo by D. Golland)
The rooms at the Wigwam Motel (photo by D. Golland)
We drove west to Flagstaff and then northwest from there to the Grand Canyon. I hadn't planned on visiting the canyon, as I'd already been there with Lana, but Richard never had, and so he insisited that we go. he wanted to meditate on one of the ledges. We took a few pictures and then drove south to Prescott, about 45 miles south of I-40 and Old 66 at Ash Fork.
The Grand Canyon, Arizona (photo by D. Golland)
Rich contemplates the canyon (photo by D. Golland)
We spent two nights with our friends the Frosts, who live and work at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Prescott. This was an excellent downtime after five days (six for me) on the road. There is nothing better than good friends. We got an oil change and a tire rotation and took a short tour of the town, which was the capital during Arizona's brief period as its own territory before statehood (it had been part of New Mexico before that territory became a state). Downtown Prescott still has the feel of the old west to it, as Arizona was the last of the lower 48 to gain statehood, and Main Street plays host to "Whiskey Row," a series of taverns and saloons with old-fashioned swinging doors and "shoot 'em up" decor.
The end of JourneyDave? (photo by R. Golland)
Thursday night we went to karaoke at an establishment on Whiskey Row called Doc Holliday's, which is above the Palace Saloon, featured in the movie "Junior Bonner" starring Steve McQueen. Of the five Journey songs available, I sang "Open Arms" and "Can't Tame the Lion" (also available were "Lights," "Stone in Love," and "Remember Me"); the true talent of the evening, however, was a woman in her late sixties or early seventies named Adrian, who had sung professionally (in her day) in both Las Vegas and South Florida. Adrian sang three Twentieth Century classics, including "Don't Cry Out Loud," and we gave her a standing ovation every time. What a set of pipes!
One of the many lizards who make the Grand Canyon their home (photo by D. Golland)
On Friday after lunch, Richard and I departed Prescott to the sounds of Trial by Fire, heading north back to the I-40 and Old 66, and then west through Seligman and Kingman, Arizona, crossing the Colorado River north of Lake Havasu and entering California just south of Needles. With the hundred-mile expanse of the Mojave Desert still before us, we stopped in Needles for two large jugs of water. This was a wise decision indeed, for just as we had put the first disc of Time (Cubed) on the stereo, the JRNYDV-mobile overheated and stalled out about twenty miles west of Needles. We had been running the AC full blast as the outside temperature had risen from 85 to 112, and as we had dropped about 3,000 feet in altitude. West of Needles, we had started to ascend again, and didn't make it. So we stopped by the side of the road, in the desert heat, and drank water while we waited for the van to cool down. We checked all the fluids, and when the van had sufficiently cooled, we continued on at a slower pace, with the AC off and the windows open, checking the guages frequently and stopping every half hour or so. We got more water in Essex and pushed on to Barstow just before sunset.
With the sun already down behind a still-invisible Pacific, we entered the megalopolis of greater Los Angeles, and drove west all the way to Santa Monica. Old Route 66 terminates on Santa Monica Boulevard and Ocean Avenue, at the Pacific Ocean. We got there around 10:30, as the Friday-night party crowds were developing. But we had done it! We had completed Old Route 66 (more or less) driving west from water to water, from Lake Michigan to the Pacific Ocean.
With the long and winding road west now behind us, we drove south down I-405 to Irvine, where we spent the night in the unusually large suburban ranch house of a schoolmate of my brother's. A quick drink at a bar at a mall (how SoCal!), and it was off to bed. I will say one more thing about L.A.; it welcomed us, as expected, with two major traffic jams caused by roadside accidents: one on the I-10 near Alhambra, and the other on I-405 near Long Beach. And when there wasn't a traffic jam, the drivers treated the roads like racetracks! (This is quite probably the cause of the accidents which are at the root of the trafiic congestion.) Our host speculated that people drive so fast because they're so excited to not be stuck in traffic; really, though, I learned to drive in New York, and even I was made nervous by the lunatics of the L.A. freeways.
JRNYDV Across America, Part Four
Original Publication Date: August 27, 2002
A warm breeze through the open window woke us in an Irvine with streets lined with tall palm trees. As Richard and I drove out onto the I-5 to proceed north through Los Angeles to meet LAWoman for lunch in Santa Clarita, I looked around and felt that this would truly be paradise if not for the presence of the megalopolis. At least I could now understand why so many people have chosen to live here--the climate is perfect. But then the high population has led to the presence of smog. All told, I can think of better places to live than Los Angeles.
We met LAWoman in Santa Clarita for lunch at a Mexican restaurant in a mall. This was the first time I had met in person our illustrious news gatherer, and I was duly impressed. She lived up to her reputation as a smart, charming, thoughtful Journey fan. We passed an hour and a half in Journey- and website-related conversation, only breaking because my brother inisted that we get back on the road towards our ultimate destination, San Francisco.
We took I-5 through the mountains and then beheld the wondrous expanse of the San Fernando Valley, a fertile strip of land nearly a hundred miles wide and extending the greater part of the length of the state of California. We had crossed through the valley the night before on our way into L.A., but further to the southeast, and all we had seen were lights. Today we got to see miles and miles of farmland, vineyards, and oil fields, all traversed by the California Aqueduct, which brings water from the Colorado River.
At the town of Lost Hills we took California Route 46 west over the mountains and out of the valley, to Cambria on the Pacific Coast. This afforded me my first daylight glimpse of the Pacific Ocean. We then took Route 1, the Pacific Coast Highway, north to Monterrey. The PCH is a two-lane road which winds back and forth along the face of the cliffside above the ocean. This route made for breathtaking views, but stressful driving. Coastal routes on the Atlantic seaboard, by comparison, tend to be flat and straight, and the reason for this difference is the same reason why the west coast is more prone to severe earthquakes--shifts in the earth's tectonic plates. North America is moving westward, at the rate of a foot or so per year, and this has created miles of flatlands on the east coast, known as the tidewater, and densely-packed rocks on the west coast.
JRNYDV at the Pacific (photo by R. Golland)
At Monterrey we veered away from the PCH and proceeded north on US 101 through San Jose ("yes I know the way to San Jose") and up the peninsula. This was an hour of excitement. We had the third disc of Time (Cubed) cranked up on the stereo and the windows rolled down for the coastal breeze. Before long we were descending into the famous city by the bay, the city of "Lights," that mecca for all Journey fans--San Francisco. We took the highway to downtown, where the pyramid-shaped tower looms. We then took Geary Street west towards the Presidio, and spent the night at the home of our friend Kenny, where Richard would be staying for a week until his departure for Japan.
The Pacific Shore near Big Sur, California. The densely-packed orange mass is a very large school of birds. (photo by D. Golland)
I liked San Francisco a lot. We went out to a couple of bars on DeVizidiero Street, and in the morning took a tour of Haight-Ashbury, the birthplace of the hippie movement, and the Presidio and Golden Gate. The Spanish fort here once guarded the entrance to the bay, the pride and joy of colonial California, as the American Army base did later. In the 19th Century the Golden Gate, which connects the San Francisco Bay with the Pacific Ocean, was the entry point for Cornelius Vanderbilt's circuitous water route from New York, a route which took a good deal longer than our own trek over the road. Purists still decry the construction of the Golden Gate Bridge, yearning for the pristine views forever immortalized by Ansel Adams, America's photographer.
The Pacific Shore near Big Sur (photo by D. Golland)
But ahead, for me at least, lay more pressing concerns. Having now completed my "pilgrimage in Journey," from the Outer Banx of North Carolina to the Golden Gate of California, a difficult task lay ahead.
The Pacific Shore near Big Sur (photo by D. Golland)
I had in my possession a front-row ticket to see Journey at the Mohegan Sun Casino in Uncasville, Connecticut in only three days. I had to put in three or four days of hard driving to get back to the east coast for the show and the fan gathering beforehand. And so I departed San Francisco at 1:00 PM Pacific Daylight Time on Sunday, less than twenty-four hours after my arrival.
The Pacific Shore near Big Sur (photo by D. Golland)
The road from San Francisco to New York, I-80, is beautiful but long. The first section of this new journey took me through Sacramento and then north through the mountains on the Nevada border. I descended into Nevada at Reno, and ate dinner--a salad, two small lobsters, peel'n'eat shrimp, and a teriyaki steak--at the buffet at a casino hotel. I was surprised just how much gambling really is the state pastime of Nevada. I had been to Las Vegas, and had expected it there, but I must say I was not prepared for the proliferation of casinos in the small towns of Nevada's northern tier. Even the gas stations have slot machines!
Big Sur, northern view (photo by D. Golland)
I had hoped to get as far as Salt Lake City, Utah, before crashing out, but just after Elko, in northeastern Nevada, I started to fade. Worry that I might miss the fan gathering--or, worse yet, be late for the show--spurred me on a bit farther, but ultimately I succumbed. As Victor Hugo says, our souls are forever cursed by these bodies of ours--we drag them around, and ultimately give in to them. I slept in the back of the JRNYDV-mobile on the side of the road.
Northern Nevada at dusk (photo by D. Golland)
"I got a Reason," from Journey's album Arrival, begins with the words "I wake with the morning light." I did indeed have a reason to hit the road early, and I did indeed wake with the morning light, at 5:45 PDT on Monday. knowing that I had a lot of ground to cover, I hit the road imediately, driving east through Salt Lake City and the southern tier of Wyoming, and I even managed to push on through Nebraska before finally stopping to sleep at a rest stop in Council bluffs, Iowa--a total of 1100 miles and two time zones. My second day's journey complete, I could look back on the map with the knowledge that I had more than made up the time I had lost on Sunday. Prospects of making the fan gathering were looking good.
The Great Salt Lake Desert, northwest Utah (photo by D. Golland)
JRNYDV Across America, Part Five
Original Publication Date: August 31, 2002
I covered a lot of ground on the third day of eastbound driving, but not nearly as much as on the second day. Several issues combined for this result. First off, there was the speed limit. With my entry into Iowa, I said goodbye to the 75 mph limit and hello to the more restrictive 65 mph part of the country. Then there was the traffic. There's a lot more of that in the eastern half of the country. Finally, there was the hour and a half it took me to leave the highway and get a necessary oil change in Joliet, Illinois, near Chicago. All told, this third day of driving took me through Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, and Ohio, and I spent the night in a hotel in Clarion, in western Pennsylvania.
I timed my wakeup call for a 9:30 am departure. I was now in the eastern time zone once again, and I "guess-timated" a six-hour drive to the venue in Uncasville. I figured I'd arrive at the fan gathering at 3:30, only an hour late, just as things were getting fired up. Unfortunately, that was not to be. I was delayed until 10:00 before hitting the road, and then there was construction and heavy traffic through most of western Pennsylvania. But I pressed on, leaving I-80 at Wilkes-Barre and taking I-81 into Scranton and then I-84 through lower New York State and into Connecticut, finally arriving at the Mohegan Sun Casino at 5:30 pm.
I sought out Bubba's BBQ, but when I got there I was told that the fan gathering was over. So I headed over to the hotel and called up JRNY02. He said "Come on up," and so I went up and met JRNY02 and his wife, as well as two of their friends from Massachusetts. We had a beer together while the ladies got ready for the show.
JRNY02 is one HELL (that's spelled with two hockeysticks) of a Journey fan. I've never met a fan with more energy than old '02. As the head of the Journey Street Team for the Gilford, New Hampshire show, he had spent the last four months promoting that show to New England's radio and television stations, as well as to newspapers and online resources. He had printed buttons for the four of them to wear, with their screen names superimposed on the "Captured" logo.
JRNY02 with Les, Neal's stepfather, Bubba's BBQ, Mohegan Sun Casino, Uncasville, CT (photo by C. Ford)
At about 6:30, the five of us descended from the hotel to the venue, which is about as large as the one at Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas where the DVD was filmed, so I guess that's a typical size for a casino arena. Our tickets were scanned and checked for seating, but never ripped, which was nice. The new EP was on sale at the merchandise counter, and '02 and I each bought a copy of "Red 13." Four songs for twelve bucks! That's three dollars a song! "I hope they're worth it," I said, "because that's the most I've ever paid for a Journey song."
JRNY02 with Lydia Augeri and Steve's niece, Mohegan Sun Casino (photo by C. Ford)
We entered the arena and took our seats in the front row, stage right, Jon's side. I circulated a bit in the floor section, handing out a few dozen website cards and chatting for a bit with Neal's uncle (his mother's brother), who was sitting alone on stage left a few rows back, and a fellow fan named Ralph, who remembered having been given a similar card (with the old URL address) at the Meadows last year in Hartford, where he and I both had enjoyed fan club seats. Ralph had managed to get a good seat for this show as well, third or fourth row on the stage right aisle.
JRNYWF02 with Emma, Steve Augeri's Mom, Mohegan Sun Casino (photo by T. Ford)
The show itself was good, but I won't go into it in detail, since this isn't a concert review. Suffice it to say that Steve saw my license plate early on and recognized the name and smiled and came over and gave me and '02 a high five; we also got our license plates on camera a few times, shook hands with Jonathan, and gave a fallen guitar pic to one of the four New York City Firefighters standing behind us. '02 got a complete playlist that had been taped to the stage.
JRNYDV with Lunchbreak, Mohegan Sun Casino (photo by T. Ford)
After the show we met up with Lunchbreak, Chrissy, and several other fans, and a few of us went to Bubba's BBQ for dinner and after-show drinks. Lunchbreak is very sweet, and I'm glad to have her aboard as the newest JRNYDV.Com staff member. Then, after we had paid the check, we went outside and walked right into Neal. We all said "Hi" and shook his hand and took some pictures. He signed the new JRNYDV license plate--making him the first band member to do so.
JRNY02 with Neal Schon, Mohegan Sun Casino (photo by C. Ford)
I still had a couple of hours of driving ahead of me if I wanted to get back to Lana in NYC that night, and so I hit the road at about 11:30. Unfortunately I didn't make it all the way, and spent the night in the back of the van at the last rest area on the Merritt Parkway, just east of the New York border. But I was up again at 5:45 am in a desperate (and largely successful) attempt to beat the rush-hour traffic into the city. Down the Hutchinson River Parkway I flew, across the Cross-County, and down the Henry Hudson, I-87, and the FDR Drive to my mother's apartment in Manhattan where Lana was house-sitting. I parked the van in my mother's space in the public garage she uses, and made it upstairs before Lana left for work. Much sleep and much love (and a load of laundry) later, and we had dinner at a Chinese Noodle House I like on Third Avenue (Sam's--29th Street, if anyone's interested). Still ahead lay a weekend trip to see Journey at Gilford, New Hampshire, and '02's fan gathering, which promised to be the biggest blast ever.
A final word on the long trip east: I know some fans have flown to the United States from such far-flung places as Great Britain and even Japan to see Journey live, but I may have set an over-the-road fan record for traveling to a single Journey show, having driven more than 3,000 miles to see them at Mohegan Sun in Uncasville.
JRNYDV Across America, Part Six
Original Publication Date: September 7, 2002
After an extremely relaxing interlude in New York with Lana, I again took to the road, on Saturday morning, for the final jaunt of my North American Tour: this time to see Journey at Gilford, New Hampshire and attend JRNY02's and Waboritas' Street Team Party, which promised to be an absolute blast. I followed the same route out of the city that I had taken in two days earlier, this time taking I-684 north, rather than the Merritt Parkway, to I-84. Then it was on through Hartford, Connecticut and Worcester, Massachusetts, around Boston's northeastern suburban edge and on into New Hampshire's Lakes Region, a pleasantly mild climate after two weeks on a road trip that had spent far too much time in the desert.
I arrived at the designated rendezvous point at 1:20 pm, full of energy for the afternoon and evening still to come. There were about twelve people already there, including '02 and his wife, his friend Dan from Worcester, and several other prominent forum members. Eventually the size of the party would swell to about 25-30 people. Susu12 and his wife arrived shortly after me, and before long Waboritas and his girlfriend. At that point we lined up our cars and drove the last quarter-mile to the venue, where we set up our tents and grills in the lower parking lot that the venue management had set aside for our afternoon use.
The Gilford Party Tent (Photo by D. Golland)
I was an invited guest at this event, and I felt doubly priviledged in that I had been invited rather than a certain Back Talk moderator, who (I was told) had so wanted to be the "special guest of honor" that she had tried to tempt our hosts with the idea of raffling off signed items from the band. Her failure to secure the invitation for herself unfortunately brought out her wrathful side, as shall be discussed below.
JRNYDV and Waboritas (Photo by C. Ford)
I have to compliment Waboritas and '02 for their throwing a truly magnificent event. Not only did we get to hear the music of Red 13, Arrival, and Trial by Fire, we were also treated to a projector-image screening of the Journey 2001 DVD. Furthermore, '02 had printed large buttons and lanyard laminates which superimposed our individual screen names on the Captured background. And then there was the food! Aside from the grilled vegetables, potato salad, and cole slaw, all of which were perfectly delicious, there were Wabo's marinated steak tips and '02's pineapple chicken. I just wish my stomach was larger so I could have enjoyed more!
JRNYDV among fellow fans at the pre-show party (Photo by C. Ford)
So anyway, there we were, having a great time, minding our own business, following the rules the venue had set down for us, when we were very rudely interrupted by three people the venue manager brought down to see us. Two of these people worked for Journey, and the third worked for Taylor Made Security, a private security firm contracted by the venue. The two Journey employees were Rocko the roadie and a very clean-cut, freshly-showered fellow who I later saw in the sound booth and whom I could only assume to be part of band management.
The venue manager apologized for the interruption and stated that these guys had asked to speak with our group, but he didn't know what it was all about. While the clean-cut fellow silently listened to everything that was said, and the Taylor Made Security agent "cased" our party, memorizing our faces and clothing for later, Rocko produced an e-mail he had received from the aforementioned Back Talk moderator. On it was a list of those fans whom she considered to be troublemakers: My name was on the list, as were those of JRNY02 and Waborotas. These men had apparently come down to warn us against "rocking the boat" during the show, simply because that one Back Talk moderator disliked us.
After this intrusion was over, it took us a while to recover from our shock. A very privileged fellow fan, who through her position as a Back Talk moderator had developed the trust of band management, had abused that trust and what authority that came with it in a most devious way, all for the purpose of harrassing us, we who wanted nothing more than to share and show our love for Journey. The band buses drove by our picnic shortly thereafter, and we cheered and waved, but some of us knew that a very insulting and hurtful thing had just happened. Still, we forced ourselves to continue the party, eventually packing everything away, chaining up the grills, and taking down the tents, thinking that the incident was over. Unfortunately we were very, very wrong.
The whole time Rocko had been questioning us, the security guard from Taylor Made Security had been checking us out, silently memorizing who we were. He had discerned that we were disliked by Journey's management, and he apparently wanted to make points with the band somehow (naturally, I'm sure, the band members themselves had no knowledge of this unfortunate situation, or they surely would have tried to put a stop to it). When this security agent got a chance to further harass us, he made a point to do so--with relish. As our party approached the gate, he got ready. He then proceeded to publicly search the genitalia of at least one of us, a humiliating experience, to be sure, to which the public at large was not subjected. A frisking for weaponry is one thing, but what he did was a felony, and what made it all the more atrocious was that he obviously felt that he had a mandate to do this from Journey management.
The show was excellent, but again, this is not a concert review. Suffice it to say that this performance far outshone the somewhat lackluster performance of three nights earlier at Mohegan Sun. Steve recognized me and '02, standing in the sixth row center behind five rows of seated patrons, and actually interrupted his lyric briefly during the first song of the night, "State of Grace" (Red 13), to say "Hey!"
We were fortunately able to make it through most of the show without any further encounters with the agent from Taylor Made Security. But then, during the first song of the encore, the Taylor Made agent was at it again. He saw that I was holding up my JRNYDV vanity license plate, which I naturally do at every show I attend, and came right to my seat with rage in his eyes. He forcibly grabbed my license plate, my property, claiming it was a weapon, and then forced me to leave the venue. Outside the gate, he returned my plate to me, knowing that I would not be allowed back in, because of the venue's "no re-entry" policy. He then went back in to harass more members of our group. After the conclusion of the encore, as fans frantically searched the front row for fallen guitar pics (as they always do), he singled out another member of our party from that crowd in front and physically and forcibly kicked him out, too.
Unfortunately, because of her actions against us, the aforementioned Back Talk moderator will probably read these words with some satisfaction, knowing that it was the e-mail she sent which caused us to have to endure these difficulties and insults. But I know that at least one band member visits this website from time to time, as do so many of our fellow fans. This is the sort of behavior that we, as loyal Journey fans, should not tolerate. We want nothing more than to be able to enjoy Journey, and Jrnydv.Com is dedicated to that notion. But there appear to be those who feel threatened by us, and for that and whatever other reasons, want to spoil the fun. To them, I say, we aren't going anywhere. We will continue to share and spread our love for Journey the only way we know how.
Following the show, most of us gathered again in the lower parking lot we had used that afternoon for our party, and continued to enjoy each other's company. There is a wonderful warmth that most Journey fans have for each other, and that warmth was definitely present that night. We cheered the buses again as the band left the venue for a much-deserved week-long rest, and shortly thereafter parted company. I myself hung out for a while longer with I'llbealrightwithjourney and her friend, who were both preparing to drive all the way to downstate New York.
I spent the night in a motel near the Massachusetts border, the long Journey across America nearly complete. Another long drive south to New York City on Sunday, an evening with Lana in Brooklyn, and then the final trip on Monday back to Charlottesville, Virginia. All told, it was an amazing adventure, one which I doubt I'll ever repeat. From the very beginning, at the Outer Banx of North Carolina, to the long trek down old Route 66 from Chicago to Santa Monica, to the Journey mecca at the Golden Gate, and finally to the two New England Journey shows, this was two and a half weeks I will never forget. But what has made me most proud has been my ability to share it with all of you.
Next Week: We publish our first Op/Ed, entitled "The Abuse of Journey Power," and a poem by an Anonymous writer which is guaranteed to make you THINK!
Letter to the Editor
Regarding: JRNYDV Across America, Part Six (September 7, 2002)
Received: September 08, 2002
Author: Caryn "Journeycat" Sinagra
Fact: Michelle was invited to be a special guest of honor and had been in communication with [name withheld at the individual's request. He] has asked her to come to the event, be interviewed for their party newsletter and he asked her about holding a raffle.
Fact: I personally told [other name withheld at the request of the individual] it was I who sent the list of people who should not receive photo passes as they had discussed smuggling in a camera publicly beforehand. Journey's policy is to be made aware of anyone who would go against the band's wishes. Nowhere on this list was the word "troublemakers". The moderators were not aware, until after the fact, that there had been a problem with your party and the security at the venue. The moderators were all shocked and surprised at the events that were relayed to us.
Fact: Again another false statement about the moderator (any moderator) [regarding the abuse of trust]. None of the moderators knew what took place at Meadowbrook with security until after the fact.
Fact: The above statements about the moderator [taking satisfaction in your sorrow] are false.
I have sent you the facts/the truth. Pull the editorial by midnight tonight (September 8, 2002), and cease & desist any more publications that mention any of the moderators.
Original Publication Date: September 13, 2002
Please note: As with any Op/Ed, the opinions expressed herein are those of the individual and not necessarily those of Jrnydv.Com.
They kicked out the Perry-heads, and I did not speak up, because I am not a Perry-head.
They kicked out the people who disliked the new album, and I did not speak up, because I like the new album.
They kicked out the people who disliked the DVD, and I did not speak up, because I like the DVD.
They kicked out the people who disapproved of the firing of Rindell, and I did not speak up, because I didn't care that they fired Rindell.
They kicked out the people who disliked the so-called moderators, and I did not speak up, because at that time I didn't really know anything bad about the so-called moderators.
They kicked out the people who used dictionary words like "damn" and "ass," and I did not speak up, because I don't use words like "damn" and "ass," even though I knew that there was absolutely nothing wrong with using such words.
They kicked out people who disagreed, and people who agreed. They kicked out people who liked, and people who disliked. They even kicked out people who loved. And still I did not speak up.
And then they kicked me out. And there was nobody left to speak up.
Op/Ed: The Abuse of Journey Power
Original Publication Date: September 13, 2002
Please note: As with any Op/Ed, the opinions expressed herein are those of the individual and not necessarily those of Jrnydv.Com.
When a certain individual who worked for Journey was fired a few months ago, I am sure I'm not the ONLY one who heaved a heavy sigh of relief. Finally, the bad apple of the band had bitten the dust. Or so I thought. Seems to me, however, that there is more than just that one bad apple employed by this band, and I say that because I've learned a great deal about these people from others who have been harrassed and abused by them in the past. And this abusive power phenomenon of this band's (mis)management is one I just cannot figure out.
|Remember when the concept of a web site forum meant FREE SPEECH and was supported by the Constitutional rights of every human being in this country? Well, now there are specific "rules" presented on the "official" web site meant to keep certain people from writing or stating certain things. Remember when a web site for a rock band used to be a FUN and POSITIVE place to visit because you simply loved the MUSIC? I do. I remember it very well and I really miss it a lot. Now, apparently, this "official" Journey web site has become an extremely dysfunctional place that has earned a reputation of being a cesspool of negative experiences for more people and fans, than ever before. To quote another favorite band of mine, (ENIGMA), "I'm asking WHY." Why is that? Why does it have to be that way?
||Finally, the bad apple of the band had bitten the dust. Or so I thought.|
The answer: It doesn't HAVE TO be that way at all.
In my opinion, (and thanks to Dave Golland who allows people to state their opinions at Jrnydv.Com), the "official" web site seems to be run by a bunch of militant tyrants, who call it a "crime" whenever someone states their opinions about something related to the band that they disagree with. This unfortunate situation, my friends, is an abuse of power and it has forever tarnished the reputation of this band, and of the official Journey web site. But it CAN be salvaged and changed for the better. Let me tell you my story, and you decide for yourself if it should be changed or not.
I once frequented the official Journey web site as "Towanda." I wrote many posts about missing the talented singing expertise of a certain lead singer, Mr. Stephen Ray Perry, and how great he still is, even without the rest of the band. For stating such things on that web site, however, I got torn to shreds and verbally beaten to a pulp most of the time by those who disagreed.
There were silly characters on the forum with various nicknames such as "Monker" and "Meanie" who constantly pounced on every word I wrote there, and caused me to lose my temper on more than one occasion. It was a "love/hate" relationship that I had with those guys, we danced in circles around each other for many months, and enjoyed some fun sparring debates. During the unfortunate breakup of the band nearly five (six?) years ago, suddenly the official Journey forum became enmired in an "us" versus "them" mentality. Why, I will never know. It all seems so stupid now....especially in light of the first anniversary of September 11, 2001.
That day has forever transformed me as a woman, and as a human being. I now pay attention to the religious views of those other countries out there that I never knew about before. I have taken the time to learn about the women of other countries who are oppressed and how our way of living threatens those differing religious beliefs. I may not AGREE with their beliefs, but I listen, I read, and I have learned from them. Is that NOT what a life "journey" is supposed to be, after all? To learn and grow?
Those things are what everyone in this country SHOULD have gained from this horrible tragedy of September 11th---more understanding, more patience, more tolerance...we should have learned to APPRECIATE the differing views and opinions of other people, to be more HUMANE towards each other. It should have taught us all to take a step back from the blinding tornado of the petty soap opera BS that surrounds us, and gain a new perspective on what is really important in our lives and our world, rather than to allow ourselves to become enmired in petty squabbles on a has-been rock band's web site forum. In the grand scheme of things, does it REALLY matter if Steve Perry sings better or worse than Steve Augeri?
Of course, all of what I am relating of my experience with this former band employee took place before the tragedies of September 11th. But it doesn't change the fact that SOME people still feel the need to manage this band in a militaristic style. And since September 11th, you would THINK that skewed attitude, and the abuse of power these people have held over this web site forum, would have changed for the better. Unfortunately for us all, it hasn't...YET.
Eventually, I was labeled a "Perryhead," (the apparent definition of this term seems to be, "a rabble rouser who can't adjust to change or accept the new lead singer,") by those fans who considered themselves groupie-followers of Steve Augeri (the new lead singer who replaced Perry). I was constantly harrassed and told to leave the forum almost on a daily basis by many others who participated in the ongoing debate over which singer was better. This debate, as most of us know, became quite a farce, and caused many people to leave the forum and all the bickering behind. I considered many of those people, like "DeeDee," my close friends, and we often shared funny emails and personal information about ourselves with each other. They were sort of like an extended family, however dysfunctional it was at the time.
At first, this attention to my forum posts flattered me--I mean, to know that every word I wrote was being read and considered and discussed, even by "Monker" and "Meanie," made me smirk. At least I entertained some people, and most of the time, I didn't let the name-calling or bashing bother me. We had some mighty fine sparring matches, as a matter of fact! Ah yes, those guys were a hoot and a half. But then, eventually, it grated on my nerves when I had to constantly explain every little thing I said, or defend every word of praise for Perry, and every little nit-picky detail.
I never considered myself an "expert" about the band, or the band members. I never once stated that I knew inside information about them, nor do I have any urge to know anything like that. I simply don't CARE about the goings on behind the scenes. What I have loved, since the age of 10, is the MUSIC that these men have created. That music, in my opinion, is the ONLY reason why I joined the web site in the first place.
One day, this recently terminated Journey employee, (who shall remain nameless to keep him imprisoned in the land of obscurity, where he belongs), sent me an instant message--out of the blue. I didn't know who he was at the time, I just recognized his nickname from the forum, and thought he was just another fan. However, as our conversation continued, I learned that he was an employee of the band. I was shocked to learn that he had deliberately contacted me to reveal many intimate, personal secrets about Steve Perry, as well as all the other band members, and presented them as reasons why the band had decided to split up. He was trying to convince me that I should not support Steve Perry or praise him on the forum.
|Suddenly the official Journey forum became enmired in an "us" versus "them" mentality.
||Now, keep in mind that I did not contact HIM. I didn't ASK for any of that private information. I didn't even KNOW the guy. He just targeted me, a "Perryhead," and dumped all of this soap opera band member bullshit in my lap, and then he had the audacity to wonder why I got upset about it. This confidential information he told me was very personal, and NOBODY had a right to know any of it, except those involved. This Journey employee had crossed the line of common human decency by blabbing stuff--on the INTERNET no less--that he never had the right to know in the first place. I felt very strongly, and still do, that as a representative of this band, his behavior was totally inappropriate, and something should be done about it.|
When this situation happened, the "fun" went out of the official web site for me forever. Hey, I know that the men in this band are not perfect, they put their jeans on one leg at a time like everybody else, and God knows they have made many mistakes in their lives along the way. I never saw this band through rose-colored glasses, they have always had a reputation of being a wild, rambunctious group with lots of false rumours flying around everywhere all the time. But I still and always will love Steve Perry's voice and his contributions to this band, no matter WHAT personal "secrets" someone tells me about him or any of the other band members. One bad person will not ruin my love for this music that I have enjoyed since the age of 10, and that person will NEVER change the fact that I still and always will admire, support and love the man who helped the band succeed.
So, like any die-hard long-time Journey fan would do, I took what this person said with a grain of salt, and decided to investigate just what he told me, to find out for myself if any of it was true. From my personal investigation of this guy, I have learned that he has had a long-time serious drug problem, as well as volatile temper problems, and obviously some emotional maturity problems as well. The rest of the band members didn't know what to do with his powderkeg personality, apparently, so they eventually demoted him from sound engineer to web site moderator while they went out on tour. And, as we all know now, eventually they fired him.
That fact is poetic justice in the nutshell.
After this person blabbed all of these things to me, my first instinct was to contact the webmaster (who also no longer works for Journey), and ask him for support in dealing with this jerk. Without telling him what was said, I explained the overall situation. I told him that those "secrets" he revealed to me would not be told to anyone else EVER, because I considered them false rumours. I have kept that promise, which is why I will not include the information here in this article.
The only thing the webmaster suggested to me was to contact Rindell, the band manager at the time, about this employee's inappropriate behavior. He said he didn't want to be 'caught in the middle' of anything 'this big.' Knowing a little bit about how dysfunctional soap operas work, (after all, I studied Journalism in college), and knowing a lot about how politics work, (and intuitively guessing that the music industry is similar to DC political games), I told the webmaster that if he wanted to get this guy fired, I would not be a pawn in his game. I refused to contact Rindell, because I didn't feel that it was all that important anyway, in the big picture of the world. I decided this guy just shot off his mouth like an idiot, trying to spread untrue rumours around to various Perryheads to get them to leave the forum. I dismissed him as petty and immature and I told the webmaster that I would let the whole issue drop.
So, after several emails back and forth, I told the webmaster to forget about the whole thing, but to my surprise, when I refused to contact Rindell, he became angry with me. Then a huge argument ensued between the three of us, (two former Journey employees and Ms. Towanda Perryhead), and as the saying goes, all hell broke loose. Suddenly the tables were turned on me, and I was labelled the "bad guy." The consequences of this serious blabbed secret information made the stakes very high, from what I was told, and because of all this, I was targeted for extermination from the forum. I was threatened with lawsuits, I was harrassed, and I was treated like some kind of criminal just for trying to do the right thing.
During this time, I continued to write on the forum about my feelings and opinions about the misunderstanding. I also wrote several emails to both of these guys, as explanation, apology, and trying to figure out what the big hullaballo was all about, over something so petty and stupid. I felt that, as a reasoning rational adult, I did what anyone else would do, but much to my dismay, I was banned several times from the forum over a period of several months.
However, anyone who has any computer knowledge whatsoever knows that a person cannot really be "banned" from a public forum. I simply changed my nickname and password several times, and continued writing. I also had over 200 computers at my place of work, available to do this, all with different IP addresses. Each time I was banned, I changed computers, nicknames and passwords. I think it was about 6 or 8 times, and it took a few weeks each time for them to recognize that it was "Towanda" writing. But they kept banning me unfairly, without taking the time to discuss the situation like mature adults. They were apparently also afraid that I might repeat what was told to me on the forum, even though I promised that I wouldn't. I have kept that promise as well.
They simply wanted to sweep me under a rug and pretend nothing happened, but "Towanda," (the fighter of all wrongdoings), will not be ignored or dismissed like that by anybody. Now, as many of you might know, "Towanda" is a brutally honest bad-ass persona of mine, and that part of who I am firmly believes in fighting for what's RIGHT, no matter HOW "important" or "invincible" these people THOUGHT they were. What it boils down to, folks, and what September 11th should have taught us all, is that we are ALL the same, deep down, and we should ALL respect each other above all else, regardless of the titles a person may earn, or the size of the bank account or famous status a person has. None of that matters.
However, the real me, the other side of Towanda, is a simple easy going small town chick named Becky, and I also happen to be a very sensitive person. So while all this was going on, I spent many nights crying over this situation, upset and frustrated, feeling totally misunderstood, sad, and disillusioned. After all, I had spent 25 years of my life supporting this band, and spending my hard earned money on Journey junk and concert tickets, posters and t-shirts. For these people to treat a long-time die-hard Journey fan like a criminal was simply unbelievable.
|I will state here that, in hindsight, I wish I would have just let the whole thing go. But I didn't. Or should I say, "Towanda" didn't. I strongly felt that it was a totally unfair situation, and should have been discussed openly and resolved somehow. Our tense conversations and emails continued to fly around the internet and the forum, for a period of about 3-4 months. The webmaster eventually threatened me. He said that if I went to any tabloids or the press with the information that this guy had told me, the band would deny everything and I would be facing legal consequences. (That would have been some trick).
However, being the shrewd, street smart "Towanda" that I am, I took that as an empty threat, because I had written PROOF of what was going on between the three of us, and I would use it against them both, if necessary. I kept that secret up my sleeve for quite some time, waiting for the most opportune moment to spring it on 'em. I had had ENOUGH.
|In the grand scheme of things, does it REALLY matter if Steve Perry sings better or worse than Steve Augeri?|
You see, my journalistic background taught me to ALWAYS save whatever I'm working on when I'm using my computer. So, naturally, I saved every conversation and instant message and email that I sent and received, between the now-terminated employee, the former webmaster, and several others on the forum who joined in later on. I printed them all out, (over 100 pages front and back) and saved them all to my hard drive.
I learned later on, from a very well-known, reputable source close to the band that this guy has harrassed many other fans in the past, and has spread vicious lies and rumours for quite some time, but I was the ONLY person that this source knew of, who actually had written PROOF of it.
When the former blabbing Journey employee learned of this secret of mine through the grapevine, (and I'm not really sure how he learned of it), he sent me two separate written threats via email---which, I might add, is against the law. He stated that if I didn't leave the forum, he would send his "borg hackers" after me, (though I had no clue what he was talking about). What the hell was a borg hacker?
A week later, after working for several hours on my own web site project, and writing several letters to family and friends, I later logged onto the Journey forum, and POOF, my computer screen went blank. I guess you could call it a "computer crash." I sat there, dumbfounded, staring at a blank screen for about 10 minutes...rebooting several times...and finally realizing that my computer was toast. It had been perfectly fine the whole morning, and only died when I logged myself into the Journey forum.
After some subsequent research, I was told that my IP address had received malicious code from someone at the Journey web site. A firewall on a web site can log IP addresses, and a computer can be crashed if malicious code is sent from that firewall to a person's computer. I learned all this from the extremely professional and talented computer technical services department at the museum in D.C. where I worked. They scanned over my hard drive and told me I had, indeed, been sent malicious code from this web site. And, furthermore, that act of harrassment was a felony. The now-terminated Journey employee had indeed sent his 'borg hackers' (I figured out that he meant "monster computer crashers") to get me, after all.
The thing that upset me most was, he didn't just crash my computer, but my 10 year website project that I was ready to launch, was completely gone. I didn't have the ability to back up all the stuff I had created on it, so I lost everything that took me over 10 years to create. I cried for months about that, it was my "baby," and I was very proud of it. This Journey JERK didn't even CARE that he ruined my life's work on this project, he had no idea how important it was to me. THAT is when I got angry. Now it was PERSONAL, and "Towanda" can get quite mean when she's provoked.
Luckily, a few months later, I met someone who helped me rebuild my web site even better than it was before. (www.Tolerance4Kids.com). So, again, hindsight is 20/20, it was actually a blessing in disguise to have my computer crashed. But at the time, it felt like I was attacked, and violated, and I was FURIOUS.
In this furious state of mind, I immediately contacted the local police department, and filed a report against this former Journey employee, giving the policewoman a copy of all the emails and correspondence that we had, and a copy of the written report of the technical services department regarding my computer hard drive. She said if I brought this evidence into a court of law, I could sue this person--and this BAND who employed him--for harrassment and destruction of personal property---and in her words, "I would win."
|He sent me two written threats via email. Which, I might add, is against the law.
||Then, taking it a step further, I contacted the FBI computer crime department, and reported this former Journey employee to them as well. However, if the monetary damage was less than $40,000, they couldn't spend much time on the case. Of course, I felt my decade of hard work on my web site project was priceless, but unfortunately, they could not help me. They did, however, offer to scan my hard drive for $3,000, which of course, I couldn't afford. And since I had already had it done at the museum by people I knew and trusted, I didn't feel it would be necessary to do it again. I did, however, keep the hard drive for future reference, just in case.|
While all this was going on, I got a new hard drive, which I had installed the very next day after it crashed, and then I took all of the printed hard copy emails, instant messages, and other correspondence from this argument, and photocopied them 6 or 8 times. I put one in my docket at my law firm in DC for safekeeping, in case a 'borg hacker" should show up on my doorstep unannounced someday.
I also sent a copy of all this stuff to several of my friends around the country who will remain anonymous. One person I sent them to is a personal friend of Steve Perry. I figured, since we had already developed a close friendship online for many years, this person might want to pass the information on to Perry's lawyers, to go after this big-mouthed blabbing jerk once and for all. After all, the (former) Journey employee was HIS problem, not MINE.
But, I added that if Perry wanted to go after this guy, I would help him by pressing charges or joining a lawsuit. I never wanted any money or a lawsuit against the (former) employee for my own financial gain, that was not my motivation at all. I just wanted to make sure that he didn't target anymore fans with his malicious slander and lies in the future.
Whether that message or those papers were ever shared with Perry's lawyers, I will never know. After that, I simply walked away from it all and went on with my life. And now, by writing all this down for others to learn from, I feel that I have a sense of closure.
I was informed by my investigative sources that this same former employee of Journey had been warned several times by Perry's lawyers to stop blabbing and spreading lies over the internet. But he continued to do so, thinking he was invincible. That seems to be a common denominator of those power-abusers who presently run the Journey web site, the whole concept of being "invincible." Again, it's a phenomenon I just don't understand. Didn't September 11th TEACH anyone in the band's management that we ARE all expendable, and vulnerable, and hated by many other countries? We are definitely NOT "invincible," folks. Every person on this planet will eventually be held accountable for their actions. It is time for those in "power" in Journey management to realize this.
In the past, I have also helped Kevin Chalfant by doing research for him at the Patent and Trademark Office. I share a friendship with his sister and her family and she means the world to me. So at her request, I heped him out when he needed a favor. Knowing that the Journey webmaster I had been arguing with also worked on Kevin's web site, I contacted Kevin and sent him, and his sister, a copy of everything too. That way, I figured all bases were covered if this should ever come around again in the future. Everybody who had this information would be on the same page and there would be NO QUESTION about the inappropriate behavior of this (former) representative of this band.
Whatever happens with those papers, they are no longer my problem. I have not only removed myself from the equation by boycotting the official Journey web site, but I've also released all of the negativity from this experience and all the paperwork that went with it, into the cosmos for the gods to deal with, as a lesson in KARMA. This former employee has many enemies in the music industry, apparently, (from what I've been told), and now that there is proof of his inappropriate behavior floating around in the cosmos, I have the relief of knowing that this unnamed perpetrator, the recently terminated employee of Journey, (and new tenant of the land of obscurity), will no longer be able to harrass other fans.
I say, finally and with relish: good riddance to bad rubbish.
Furthermore, I have joined the team of JRNYDV.COM to continue my support for this band's MUSIC, which I still enjoy. I decided, after some time had passed, to volunteer on this site because it promotes a positive energy and respect towards everyone who contributes to it. I still love the music of Journey, but I do it on MY terms, in MY own way. Nobody is going to take away the joy I've felt for 25 years of my life, whenever I hear a Journey song, or Steve Perry's voice. They can HAVE the dysfunctional negativity, I will no longer tolerate it. Life is hard enough without all the unnecessary skewed power trips of a handful of unrealistic, uncreative and unappreciative blind-sheep followers of this band's (mis)management.
But why has this small group of dysfunctional people been allowed to ruin such a great thing for the rest of us? Why are these sniveling, petty people allowed to "ban" anyone who uses a swear-word, or says something they disagree with? Why are they allowed to demand of the forum writers to remove certain web site links that they do not like? Is that NOT a violation of our civil rights of free speech? Who are THEY to tell US, the fans, what we can like and what we can't like?
In my OPINION, which I am allowed to express on every OTHER web site on the internet, this abuse of power has gone beyond all boundaries of human decency and has GOT to be changed. Whether that means firing everybody and starting over with a new, fresh group of intelligent, educated and enthusiastic people, or whether that means removing the entire forum from the official web site, SOMETHING has to be done to salvage the tarnished image of this band we have loved and supported for so many years. Many solutions are plausible, all the band has to do is pick one.
If this band were CREED or PUDDLE OF MUDD or NICKELBACK, then I could possibly understand this jealousy, greed and hunger for power among those in management because THOSE bands are a goldmine right now in the music industry. Journey, however, is NOT. It seems ridiculous to me, that these victims of their own illusions should have such power, and such freedom to abuse that power.
As much as I love the music of Journey, the sad reality is, this is a band that is considered OLD NEWS now, no longer in the mainstream, no longer in the Top 40, and hasn't been for many years. This is a band who USED TO BE great. At best, now they are considered a "classic rock" band, and play to smaller venues, festivals and small town outdoor events. Even though Steve Perry has been gone for nearly 6 years, they still play HIS voice on the radio stations to announce a Journey concert. Journey's heyday has been over for many years. Now they just keep it going to pay the bills, and support their families rather than party and tour the world playing to sold-out crowds of 50,000 or more. Those days are long gone for Journey.
||I immediately contacted the local police department, and filed a report against this former Journey employee.
All I have to say to this phenomenon of those power-abusive people in management is, you'll be lucky to get 15 SECONDS of glory with these guys. Those who worship or miss this former employee of Journey that I mention here, I feel sad for you. Those who support and agree with the current militant style of management that the official Journey forum and web site employs, obviously don't have a clue about what goes on behind closed doors with this band. That educational value is what motivated me to write my story for all to see, here on Dave's web site.
The Journey forum--and EVERY web site forum on the internet--was created to be a place where people can FREELY express themselves, to state their differing views and opinions, to chat about band-related issues, and above all else, to enjoy and celebrate the MUSIC and the memories that go with it, with other fans. It is NOT about "us versus them," or "Perryheads" versus "Augeri fans." Anyone who has lost site of the true magic of the music of Journey only contributes to the continuing demise of the Journey web site. And that is an absolute shame. I wouldn't be surprised if the whole thing is yanked from the internet altogether in the near future.
The whole concept of the name "Journey" is symbolic of GROWTH. September 11th should have taught all of us to grow as individuals, but to also come together as a common family on this planet and to promote PEACE. This web site fiasco is simply a smaller version of the bigger picture that is happening all around us now, with the "war on terrorism." The band's management has declared a similar "war on Perryism" on anyone who doesn't think or believe the same things THEY do, and frankly that Hitler-esque type of thinking is NOT going to help anyone on their personal life journeys to grow into better people. In fact, it's going to have the exact opposite effect, and tear everybody apart. That is what I see happening with this band, and the fans right now. Should we ALLOW this abuse of power by Journey's (mis)management to continue? I say NO.
Again, as I stated before, it doesn't HAVE TO be that way. It shouldn't be that way. A change has to be made NOW. I for one will not support a web site, or a band, that is being (mis)managed by these power-abusive people.
Op/Ed: My Two Cents
Original Publication Date: September 16, 2002
Please note: As with any Op/Ed, the opinions expressed herein are those of the individual and not necessarily those of Jrnydv.Com.
I have been to a number of Journey shows. Iíve had the pleasure of meeting many Journey fans. Iíve run into some of the management. Iíve met all the moderators. Iíve been quite talkative on Journeyís official website, Back Talk, and a few other spots in cyberspace. The bottom line is that Iíve had as much contact with Back Talk, moderators and management as anyone, yet I have no horror stories and no major problems with anyone. This is like any other group in life; you click with some people and with others you donít.
I hear people complaining about Back Talk. I have a big mouth and I like to argue. Iíve always said exactly what I meant on Back Talk, although perhaps because I argue for a living, I believe that delivery is everything. You can always make your point, but the trick comes in not getting people so emotional that they turn off their ears and brains. People have a way of becoming extremely uncivil in cyberspace very quickly. There are sites in cyberspace with absolute free speech or nearly so. They tend to be very disorganized, unpleasant places.
As for the moderators and fan club personnel, surely people realize they are doing a job in addition to being fans. Iíve observed Cat (Caryn) in a variety of situations and itís clear to me that she is only trying to do what is in the best interest of Journey (even over her own interests) in the most tactful, professional way she can. I have stood next to her at shows when people make the most unreasonable requests and get angry with her when she cannot do exactly what they want. I can only imagine the sorts of issues with which moderators have to deal. People must realize moderators donít dream up their own rules for Back Talk, right?
Iíve had run-ins at shows with security. Iíve been pushed, yelled at and generally annoyed by security who take their jobs too seriously. If I ever thought anything would be accomplished by it or if a particular incident was severe, Iíd complain to the people who employ security, the venue. Frankly, Iíve had much more problems with security at non-Journey concerts and it has never seemed worth the aggravation to complain.
Iíve met the often-discussed Allen. Guess what? He is not Satan. He is very intelligent, articulate, entertaining and yes, even endearing. He is generously willing to share his memories and insights. And oh yeah--he is human and sometimes a tad vulnerable, too. He is perfectly willing to admit he has made mistakes in his life.
If people are disillusioned with Journeyís management, Iíd say donít get so close to the edge. Music is a business. Sometimes that business is harsh. The magic is the music. The magic happens during that sliver of time when this band is on stage or in a recording studio creating for us. If you look too hard at all the details and what goes on behind the scenes and you donít like what you see, step back. Myself, I find it a fascinating distraction for my rational mind, but I never believed in Santa Claus either. You know, this is just a rock and roll band.
I am a fan of another very creative, passionate artist who admits he has done all kinds of nasty things that he would rather not think about throughout his life. I would be afraid to guess what his management may have done on his behalf and perhaps even without his knowledge. He doesn't even have an organized fanclub and I can guess why. If you look behind his talent and artistry to the man, you will find a wealth of unflattering little stories and things that might detract from the purity of his music. When I hear certain songs of his or certain phrases, however, I have to just stop what IĎm doing. His talent is otherworldly and comes straight from his heart and soul. I donít really care what heís done or what tricks his management is playing that day.
Life is so complicated, and the heart is so simple. No matter what gifts one might have we are all very human. The human form and mind is often distracted and prone to mistakes. When I hear Journey and feel the passion and emotion in their playing and writing, I am in awe. Journeyís music is from the heart and soul. It is so simple and so true. Everything else is just a distraction and really doesnĎt matter. As a fan I donít want to contribute to another distraction in a world of distractions for a band that creates such magic when they are given the space to just play.
Editorial: Towards a Constructive Solution
Original Publication Date: September 23, 2002
The problems discussed in previous editorials and Op/Eds indicate that something is very, very wrong in the Journey world. Low-ranking management personnel, both paid and unpaid, have taken it upon themselves to abuse what power Journey has given them over the fan base. The most obvious instances of this abuse of power can be seen in the massive amount of people who have been banned or otherwise censored on Back Talk, the band's official forum. Further evidence that this has gotten out of hand can be seen in how one of the "moderators" of that forum, Journeycat, would actually take it upon herself to order the owner of a private tribute website to remove an editorial with which she disagreed (see "Letter to the Editor", by Journeycat, September 7, 2002). The recent Op/Ed by TowandaRG (September 13, 2002) has served to shed even more light on some of the more dastardly doings of lower management.
In order to solve this problem, we must first identify it, get to the root of it. We know that power, to whatever degree it is possessed, is a corrupting influence. Some handle its temptations better than others--and that is all the more reason for those who dole out the power to be extra careful in choosing its recipients. In selecting "moderators" from among the fan base, management elevated certain fans into positions of power over other fans, thereby creating a fan hierarchy. And by endorsing Back Talk as the official band forum, they have explicitly acknowledged that hierarchy. No fan loves the music of Journey any more than any other fan; no fan should get any special privileges not available to other fans.
Given that it is the Back Talk forum--and its explicit endorsement as the official band forum--which has created this hierarchy among Journey fans, we must now ask the purpose of having an official band forum is in the first place. Why is there a Back Talk? Well, there are two reasons. The first is to provide a band-sanctioned home for the fans, thereby maintaining goodwill for the band among the fan base. This was especially important after the virtual defection of a large portion of the fan base over the replacement of Steve Perry. The second reason for the existence of an official forum is to provide a sounding board for the band members and their creativity. The official forum aids the band members when it comes to the opinion of the fan base on any number of subjects pertaining to the future direction of the band. It helps the band members know what they've done right--or wrong--so that they can improve upon their current level of creativity.
In attempting to satisfy its first duty, to provide a welcome home for the fan base, Back Talk has a muddled record. Admittedly, the existence of multiple moderators is a response to the forum's initial failure in this capacity. The former webmaster of Journeytheband.Com, Mike Sorrentino (a.k.a. "Skylord") obviously had his hands full when it came to building the official band website and moderating the two forums that then existed--the General Forum and "Ask Journey." The incessant fighting over the lead singer debate (and other less-remembered battles) was more than any one person could handle, so the decision to increase the amount of moderators seemed logical, in order to help provide a welcome home for Journey fans. Let's face it, as the posted Back Talk rules suggest, constant bashing of fellow Journey fans or band members is uncalled for. But then the newly empowered "moderators" began to go too far. Persons were banned not for repeatedly bashing others, but for refusing to change their opinions. Before long, persons started to get banned for questioning the motivations of the "moderators." "Bashing" became synonymous with "criticizing." In attempting to bring Back Talk back from one extreme--unmonitored strife--the "moderators" went too far in the opposite direction--censorship and tyranny. As a result, a large percentage of the Journey fan base, feeling unwelcome, abandoned Back Talk for other existing forums--and some even started forums of their own.
And how has Back Talk satisfied its second duty--providing a sounding board for the band members to consult on the feelings of the fan base for their current level of creativity? On that score, Back Talk's record is abysmal. There are many Journey fans--even fans of Steve Augeri--who would like to provide the band with constructive criticism on their latest release, Red 13. There are also many fans that would like to provide constructive criticism on the operation and management of the "Under the Radar" tour. Unfortunately they have not been allowed to voice their criticism, for whenever they have made any such attempts the "moderators" have shut down their threads and deleted their posts. Frankly, "moderators" have even been known to edit the posts of others, when they have uncovered content not to their liking. In this environment, Journey fans are not free to critique the creativity of the band. And without being able to depend on such constructive criticism, the band, surrounded by "yes men" and others who keep their jobs by making the band feel good about themselves and their products, will fail to rise above their current invisibility. The band may have decided to call this tour "Under the Radar" of their own volition. But if the forum continues to censor constructive criticism, they may never get back out above the "radar" of the music industry again.
Now then, how do we solve this problem? As Victor Hugo, the great nineteenth-century French author said, "Tear down this rickety old system...and reconstruct it." Back Talk has failed to meet its dual obligation, and--through the actions of the fan hierarchy it has created--it has served to further divide the Journey fan base. For these faults it should not be maintained as the official band forum. There are in fact a multitude of forums out there that provide a welcome home for Journey fans, allow them to critique the band, and are "moderately" moderated. Many of them can be found in the "Forums" page of the PORTAL Section of Jrnydv.Com. The most popular at this time appear to be the VH1.Com Journey Forum, the MelodicRock.Com Journey Forum, and the Rock and Roll Forum, which discusses many rock acts but was started by Journey fans.
Being one of the few official band forums in the industry, Back Talk started for all the right reasons. Unfortunately, it has failed. The time has come to shut it down and end the unfair hierarchy of the privileged fans. Only then can Journey and its management move on with clean hands and the knowledge that it has done what it can to right the wrongs that have been committed in their name.
Op/Ed: The New Band Bio
Please note: Op/Eds and Letters to the Editor are not necessarily representative of the official editorial position of Jrnydv.Com.
A couple of days ago, Journeycat posted Azoff Management's latest gaff, the new band bio, on the General Forum of Back Talk. It's a very poorly done re-write of the DVD bio, which was the worst aspect of an otherwise great DVD. We now pesent to you, in its entirety, Azoff Management's new Band Bio, with our own editorial corrections and commentary in bold type.
Founded in 1972 [It was December, 1973, actually. Weren't Schon
and Rolie still in Santana in 1972?] in San Francisco around former
Santana members Neal Schon and Greg Rolie, with the assistance of Ross
Valory, George Tickner and Prairie Prince, Journey's legacy has spanned
nearly 30 years with 18 U.S. releases and 50,000,000 in album sales.
Their music is artful, intense, melodic rock played with passion and
superb musicianship. [Where that number comes from is apparently
complicated. There have been 12 US original releases including
Red 13, 1 Japanese original release (Dream, After Dream--and
that's not including the original version of Arrival), 6 US
compilations/live albums, and 2 oveseas compilations. The
number 18 must be the 12 original and 6 compilation US
releases. But they named Red 13 because it's the 13th original
release INCLUDING Dream, After Dream. So why talk about US
releases at all? Also, there is suspiciously no mention of Herbie
Herbert's role in the creation of this band.]
Journey's initial style was progressive jazz-rock, complete with extended
and improvised solo spots, a style much in evidence on their first three
albums for Columbia Records. In April 1975 Tickner bowed out of music
to attend Stanford Medical School. He was eventually replaced by
ex-Alien Project vocalist, Steve Perry (following a brief tenure by Robert
Fleischman). [That was the single-most ridiculous statement on
the DVD bio, so it's not surprising that they still haven't changed it.
Tickner left in 1975 and Fleishchman joined in 1977. And how
can a frontman/lead vocalist replace a rhythm guitarist? Also,
the bio ignores the leave-taking of Prairie Prince in 1974, and his
replacement by Aynsley Dunbar.]
The switch to their signature highly sophisticated rock occurred with the
recording of their hugely successful album, Infinity. Unfortunately Dunbar
was unhappy with this new style and left for Jefferson Starship, to be
replaced by legendary drummer Steve Smith. The band's next release,
Evolution followed and brought the band their first US Top 20 hit, "Lovin',
Touchin', Squeezin'." [Dunbar was fired, and the Jefferson Starship
gig did not happen for him immediately, as the bio implies. And
Steve Smith was not "legendary" in 1979--his subsequent career
has made him legendary. He himself has said that he views his
years in Journey as an "apprenticeship."]
Captured was a live double album that surprised many critics. The album
featured cranked-up guitars and raucous hard rock, eventually peaking at
#9 on the US album chart. Founding member Rolie departed after it's
release, to be replaced by Jonathan Cain, who had previously played with
the Babys. [Founding member Rolie departed BEFORE Captured
was released--even before the one studio track on the album
was recorded. And the live tracks were recorded in Montreal and
Detroit on the Departure tour--promoting an album not
mentioned in this bio.]
Cain's arrival was an important landmark in Journey's career, as his
songwriting input added a new dimension to the band's sound. The band's
next release, Escape reached #1 and stayed in the charts for over a year.
It also spawned three US Top 10 hit singles, "Who's Crying Now," "Don't
Stop Believin" and "Open Arms." The follow-up, Frontiers, was also
massively successful, staying at #2 on the Billboard album chart for nine
Valory and Smith departed the group prior to the release of 1986's Raised
On Radio, which generated another US hit single, "Be Good To Yourself".
The band was joined in the studio and subsequent live dates by bass
player Randy Jackson (ex-Zebra) and drummers Bob Glaub, Mike Baird
and Nashville veteran Larrie Londin. [Valory and Smith were fired
also, but Smith appeared on several tracks on that album. Bob
Glaub was not a drummer but a bass player who recorded a few
tracks on the album but did not go out on tour. Larrie Londin did not
tour with Journey either, as the bio implies. And finally, the white
Randy Jackson who is/was the guitarist and lead singer of the
heavy metal group Zebra is most definitely not the same as
Journey's Randy Jackson, the African-American who is once
again in the news as a judge on the popular Fox TV series
In 1996 Perry, Schon, Smith, Cain and Valory reunited to release Trial By
Fire, which entered the US chart at number 3. The following year Deen
Castronovo (ex-Bad English) replaced Smith and vocalist Steve Augeri
(Tall Stories) replaced Perry after health problems sidelined the singer.
Vocalist, Steve Augeri first recorded with Journey for the band's 1998
contribution to the Armageddon soundtrack - "Remember Me". The
soundtrack, which hit #1 on the Billboard charts and was certified triple
The band's 18th release, [That number doesn't make sense by any
calculation!] Arrival debuted in the spring of 2001 and the group
launched their incredibly successful 56-city Arrival 2001 World Tour.
An Essential Journey greatest hits collection arrived in 2001 from
Columbia Records; an honor previously bestowed on legends such as
Miles Davis, Billy Joel, Neil Diamond, and Barbra Streisand. [What an
honor that only tracks from the Perry era were included in the
Throughout the summer of 2002, Journey again brought its live show
around the country during their "Under The Radar Tour". It also gave the
band an opportunity to showcase music from their new EP, Red13, to
their die-hard fans. A late 2002 release of the EP gave the rest of America
the chance to embrace Journey's latest rock creation.
The Egyptians regarded the divine scarab beetle as a symbol of
self-creative power; rebirth, renewal, transformation and regeneration.
The scarab, which has also become the long-time symbol for the
legendary rock band Journey, has evolved into an exceptionally fitting
symbol for a band that began in 1973 as an experimental rhythm section
(formed around guitar prodigy Neal Schon) and eventually sold over 50
million records and became one of the biggest rock bands in the world. For Journey, transformation and renewal
are an integral part of the creative force that has led the band on their
remarkable "journey". Journey's touring and performing continues to
delight audiences across the country and around the globe.
[There are also several grammatical and punctuation errors. And while the latest verion of this bio has removed reference to Randy Jackson's having been in the band Zebra, the other--perhaps more glaring--mistakes remain. Unfortunately, Azoff Management doesn't seem to care enough about Journey to even proofread the band bio, let alone check the facts. This is a sad state of affairs indeed.]
Letters to the Editor
Selected Responses to "The Abuse of Journey Power", Op/Ed by TowandaRG
Please note: While all responses to Becky's Op/Ed are not reprinted here, the below responses are an accurate representation of the body of response the piece has received. We thank you for your responses and apologize that, due to constraints on space, we could not publish the responses of all of you. Please continue to write your Letters to the Editor regarding more recent Op/Eds and Editorials.
What happened to this woman was not only disgusting, but criminal. I appreciate the fact that she took the time to say what has needed to be said about what is going on over at the Journey camp. I no longer go to Back Talk and have been totally turned off of Journey due to all the garbage going on over there. The firing of that particular indivdual is only the tip of the iceberg. They need to do a lot more housecleaning before I'll ever believe they don't endorse what goes on there.
The only Journey related forum that has ever existed that does allow total free speech is the Journey Usenet Newsgroup, alt.music.journey. The simple truth is that the more active posters there are on a Journey forum, the more arguing there is. When I was owner of the Journey mailing list from 1993 through 1996 (approximately) there were constant situations of division and arguing among the fans. I know from experience that no-win situations are constantly arising, and I will never be a moderator of a Journey-related mailing list or forum again because of it. I pushed the "rules" of the forums to their limits. But I never crossed the line. Nobody forces people to engage in conversation with me or anybody else. Becky talks so often about how she does not like conflict. She preaches about patience and understanding and tolerance. But by putting it within a very hate-filled, divisive, vindictive, vengeful letter she loses any credibility she may have had.
Author: Mary Lou
I don't understand what is fully going on except it is not worth having a nonacceptable opinion. I am a little older than Steve Perry and have loved the Voice of the Century for 30 or more years, and the entire lineup. You can take people offline but you can't force them to buy a CD or attend a concert.
Editorial: Softening the Edges...or, Walking Away from Them
Negativity is a funny thing. It tends to be louder, to resonate deeper, than positive comments simply because the emotion that prompts it, anger, is a stronger emotion than gratitude, which prompts positivity. We've all had situations where someone did something truly wonderful for us, and we promised ourselves we'd send a thank-you card, but never did; conversely, who hasn't made a point to be heard when something you disagreed with so vehemently just had to be resonded to? It should come as no surprise, therefore, that the response to the creation of the Editorials Feature at Jrnydv.Com, at least among those who post in various online forums, has been mixed, but tending toward the negative. Other sources of feedback, however, such as Letters to the Editor, private e-mails to the authors of the Op/Eds, weekly website visits, survey participation, and "remove" requests from the mailing list have shown that the majority of our viewers have not responded negatively to the editorials and Op/Eds published here--and we've even gained a few. That doesn't necessarily mean that most of them approve of the editorial direction of the site, but rather that they don't disapprove, or at least don't see it as the most important element of the site, not when taken in the context of the site's other aspects--the band bios, the news, the reviews, the interviews, the Post of the Day, and so on and so forth.
Probably the question we get most often, via e-mail and in person at the various events we attend, is "why?" "Why do we have an editorials feature?" "Why is our editorial direction so controversial?" That's ultimately a great question with a multi-faceted answer.
We don't know exactly when the beginnings of the feelings of animus between Jrnydv.Com and the Back Talk moderators started. One of them worked on the site for a few months as a Post of the Day Editor; another was very kind in personal correspondence with Dave as late as March, 2002. Yet a third was helpful following the Gilford incident in forwarding our complaints to management. From Dave's perspective, it started when he applied for a photography pass to see Journey in Atlanta back in May, using the Jrnydv.Com letterhead. He received two press passes from the venue, and printed up ID cards for the recipients of the passes, which identified the users as employees of Jrnydv.Com. But when discussing this in Atlanta, a moderator who was present at the fan gathering apparently misunderstood what was said, and before long Dave was being accused of falsifying documents and claiming to be an employee of the band. Dave was attacked publicly on Back Talk and Jrnydv.Com staffers were harrassed and told lies about Dave by management employees. During this time Dave was told to remove a page on the site which advertised the sale of Neal Schon's guitars--a page he had created at the personal request of Allen Rosen of Bananas at Large Music of San Rafael, California, where Neal's guitars were on sale. Dave complied, all the while trying to explain to management that he hadn't done anything wrong, that this was all the product of a big misunderstanding. When the Journey employee who had been causing the most trouble was fired by the band, Dave took it upon himself to e-mail that employee's supervisor and ask for a resumption of normal relations between the site and management, but he never received a response.
During all of these events, which took place during May and June of 2002, Dave was publicly silent about the issue, despite the public attacks on Back Talk. He tried to solve these problems through personal communications, removing the "Neal's Guitars" page, communicating with members of band management, honoring a commitment not to request any more press passes from venues on Journey's tour, and asking for a resumption of good feelings. He never apologized, because he hadn't committed any improper acts, and he never received any apologies. He didn't want to publicize his side of the story because he still believed that the problems could be solved quietly. And frankly, he was shocked by the whole affair--shocked that after eighteen months of hard work building a fan tribute website to rival any other, he would be treated so poorly, treated like an enemy, like a criminal. What he wanted was a pat on the back--and he had received more than a few before the trouble started, what with being contacted by Higher Octave Records to promote Neal's solo album in August, 2001, being recognized by Steve Augeri when he met him in New York that December, and being asked by Bananas at Large to advertise Neal's guitars--but after the Atlanta show, what he got was a slap in the face.
So after all of the events described above, the incident at Gilford was the straw that broke the proverbial camel's back. Having been silent for so long, having taken a beating for so long, Dave decided it was time to fight back--with the only weapon he had available--the power of the published word. This has not solved the problem--Jrnydv.Com is still, if anything, seen as the enemy by the Back Talk Moderators and other members of lower management--but is has allowed the other people who have been wronged to coalesce around a website whose primary purpose is not editorial, but which supports an editorial direction which allows for and publishes the opinions of the disenfranchised.
So where do we go from here? Jrnydv.Com will not remove, nor apologize for, any editorials or Op/Eds, nor will the editorials feature be discontinued. Neither does it appear that Journey's management will be closing Back Talk anytime soon, which an earlier Jrnydv.Com editorial advocated. What's past is passed. We can't go back and change what has already happened, but we can Look into the Future for more positive solutions.
So that is what we are going to do. The other side may continue its war on Jrnydv.Com as much as it wishes, but we will no longer fight them, we will no longer consider them to be the enemy. As with our private correspondence last June, we are requesting a return to normalcy. If we have something positive to say about Back Talk or its moderators we will say it, but otherwise we will not discuss past battles. We are not surrendering; we are not laying down our shield, or tearing down our defenses. But we are laying down our sword and offering the olive branch instead. With a real war going on in the world, and another one fast approaching, we should not be fighting each other, and our side at least will no longer participate in this particular fight. We doubt the olive branch will be accepted, but it is being offered nonetheless.
Editorial: A Holiday Pick-Me-Up
This time of year, it's always there, even if you never watch it: you know how you flip the channels looking for something to watch on the weekends, and you inevitably catch a brief glimpse of ice skaters competing? Well, if you're like most people, even though you may like it, you probably still just keep flipping, right?
Everyone knows the skaters are all professional and extremely graceful, and watching them perform is aesthetically pleasing because they make it look so easy. You may even have fond memories of watching Dorothy Hamill while growing up, wishing you could be as graceful, pretty or talented as she is.
Even though most people like to watch the sport occasionally, while flipping channels, most of us don't sit and watch it for more than a few minutes. But yesterday if you had watched, you might have stayed long enough to be pleasantly surprised.
Remember the last Winter Olympics? There was a Canadian couple that won the silver medal, and later fought the judges for--and were eventually awarded--the gold. This same Canadian couple showed up at yesterday's ice skating competition: Ms. Jaime Sale, and Mr. David Pelletier. Most people refer to them simply as "Jaime and David," feeling a more personal connection towards them for their many years of hard work & dedication to the sport.
It turns out this particular program was the Hallmark Skaters Championship, which aired on NBC at 5:30 p.m., Sunday, December 15, 2002.
After watching several incredible couples do their thing, and hearing the background songs of Charlotte Church and other classical tunes being played during performances, any Journey fans who were watching were treated to a big surprise when this particular Canadian couple performed last on the list.
The song they chose to skate to was none other than our very own "Lovin,' Touchin,' Squeezin." The dance/skate routine they created to go with the song, fit the whole feeling of it, perfectly! These skaters were sexy, "shaking their groove thang," all over the ice!
Anyone watching could tell that they were having fun with it, and even the audience got into the groove by clapping during the performance. Afterwards, the skaters stated that they really felt that energy from the audience and it enhanced their performance.
Those Journey fans out there who may have seen this competition, happily learned that Jaime and David won the championship, with scores of 5.9 and 5.8 across the board. Of course, every Journey fan out there would also like to think that the song had something to do with their success!
Hearing Perry's clear, clean voice, Schon's guitar licks, Valory's heavy bass, Rolie's thumping organ, and Smith's precise drums, and watching such beautiful skating technniques only made this Journey fan even more proud of our guys!
It is obvious that Journey has successfully saturated our culture in a positive way when their song is chosen as background music for a holiday sporting event on a major television network.
This was truly a great holiday gift to the past and present guys of the band--and a well-deserved one at that--as well as a happy surprise to all the fans who stopped flipping channels long enough to see it.
Next time you feel the urge to flip that channel, wait a few minutes, and you may be happily surprised to hear Journey played at more skating events in the future!
Happy Holidays everybody, from the Jrnydv.Com Staff!
Op/Ed: The Forums
By Brenda Chandler
Please note: Op/Eds are not necessarily representative of the official editorial position of Jrnydv.Com.
The forums have become a joke unlike any I've seen before. The rules are completely arbitrary, and change at the whim of the moderators. The moderators seem to be people with little in real life, so they find importance in life by exerting control over a forum.
The people who post there also seem like people who seem to find fulfillment through an internet life on the forums, most particularly the Water Cooler. Just a visit there is almost scary. Whether it's "send prayers" or "send vibes" or any of a number of completely inane topics, the Water Cooler is a place filled with people on the fringes of society. It's pretty sad that they are forced to find fulfillment from a bunch of other people who are equally void of a real life. Some of them [have made] thousands of posts, even tens of thousands. What's worse is they actually have pride in making so many posts.
Then there are a couple whose entire lives are so centered on the band that they follow Journey from city to city, often getting backstage passes. Then they post their mundane experiences in an attempt to look "cool", all the while exposing to those of us with real lives just how pathetic they really are. A person with a real life doesn't need to follow an old rock band around and tell everyone else about their latest backstage pass experience. These are people with serious [s]elf esteem issues. Counseling is much in order for many of the site regulars.
How about the die-hard Steve Perry fans? These folks are about the most incredible characters on the planet. Everything is a sign of Perry's return! Whether it's his hair being a little longer, the fact he is in a picture with Melissa Ethridge, or anything else - it all points to his return to recording and superstardom! Talk about living in a complete state of denial! He has no record label deal with no label even interested, he has no interest in recording himself, and he has remained completely silent. Nothing he has spoken of has come to fruition - be it the web site, the novel or autobiography, the acting career - nothing! Face the music, people - Steve Perry has left the building and he isn't coming back!
We tried an experiment on the Journey forums. Can one be banned for simply disagreeing (without any inflammatory language) with a member of the inside clique? The answer was an astounding yes! To disagree with even a political viewpoint of a regular, even if using no foul language or "attacking" in any way resulted in getting banned. You can't disagree with anything without getting banned.
The inmates are running the asylum.
Letters to the Editor in response to "Softening the Edges...Or, Walking Away from Them"
Please note: Letters to the Editor are not necessarily representative of the official editorial position of Jrnydv.Com.
Wow, very well done! No matter what the situation, there are always those who thrive on starting wars. Here's to a future with peace in it! May the Journey forward touch our souls!
Personally, I wouldn't even worry about it. You have to remember, Back Talk moderators consist of humans! Meaning, they're not perfect and nothing is. Problems happen everyday, the best solution is to just show a smile and walk away. I dont know much about this deal technically, but don't worry, I've been down similar paths.
It is difficult to stand there and be chastised for something you know you didn't do, but in the end....the good guy usually wins!
Last Updated 19 January, 2010 (DHG)