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Editorial: Welcome Back, Steve Perry
by Jan Weir, Associate Editor, JourneyZone
September 3, 2018

"Welcome back, your dreams [and nightmares] were your ticket out
"Welcome back, to the same old place that you laughed [and cried] about…"

For the Steve Perry fans who have been there since the beginning, you recognize this TV theme song from the same era as Journey's beginnings and you know it fits. For the later Journey fans, you have probably heard this in passing, but you still see why I used it. And for the newer Journey fans, those who have little idea who Steve Perry is - who is teaching you nowadays? - trust me, it fits. For you I've added links at the end of this piece for the full lyrics and to hear the song.

It has been a long time coming, Steve, you are right about that.

It's been a lifetime, Steve. The industry has been turned inside out and not everyone is happy about it. How we get our new music and tickets to shows is very different, even how we hear about new music is not the same. It's good to see that someone is counseling you well: website, Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, you have all the tools. Even your merchandise is current: downloads, metered "sneak leaks" with pre-orders, CDs, and yet a nod to the past with the colored vinyl….and socks? Really? Socks…….

It's been a lifetime, Steve. Journey still tours. And after all this time, the debate rages on: Did they crack the stone? Is it still Journey? Is there one person controlling the band? Was Steve Augeri a sound-alike? Did Jeff Scott Soto make a mistake by getting caught in the fray? Can Arnel sing? Everyone has their own opinions of that and regardless of the "side" you are on, you can't argue the fact that they are still selling tickets. They are still teaching the younger generations about the music.

It's been a lifetime, Steve. I've raised a child since you have been gone, and she hasn't had the thrill of seeing you sing live. But I've "raised her right", she knows Journey songs as well as I do, and she has her favorites, not all the same as mine. She's been to see other bands in concert and asked to bring her friends with us. And I've heard her discuss music with those friends; she's made sure that they know about Journey. I've even heard her tell those friends (when she thought I wasn't listening) that they could go see Journey on tour now, but it just won't be the same without Steve Perry. I even dare to say if given a test, she could distinguish your voice from any other person singing a Journey song.

It's been a lifetime, Steve. For me, I have lost three important people in my life that would have loved to hear this music. They would have been asking me every time they saw me if you were touring yet, and if I had tickets to the show. If that tour was ever something that actually happened, they'd be the first to ask how it was. And Tammy would have been right there with me, hopefully in the front row, but also in the very back in the rafters if need be, because we never made it to the show in the 80's. And we would have been thrilled to no end just to be in the building.

The new song, "No Erasin' " you have no doubt already heard if you are here reading this. Is it the Steve Perry we were expecting? I say it is. With a video reminiscent of "When You Love a Woman", what you hear is the Steve Perry we remember. A catchy mix of old Journey and his solo work, the lyrics tell a relatable story as we've come to expect. How is it that Perry is so adept at taking a common experience and condensing it into just a four-minute story, while also putting it to music? I feel like that is the mark of a true songwriter: someone who can tell a story, set a mood, paint a picture within the 'format', term format used loosely. Yet what I get out of the song will be different from the fan listening next to me, and the fan two rows behind me, and the fan at the back of the venue - so while relatable, it means something different to everyone. It will also likely be different than what the writer himself envisioned when he put it in words. How magical is that gift? And Perry has not lost that. Also, it is the sound and the voice we have been waiting for far too long. And I will admit that took me so far back into memories, I had to listen several times before I really heard the whole song. As far as I am concerned, if the rest of the CD is anything like this song, Perry fans, if not Journey fans, will be more than satisfied with the entire release.

And if you participated in any of the pre-order hoopla, you have only two days until the next "instant gratification" release. But then, you have entered that event into your iPhone calendar, right?

Did I jump right in there and participate in the pre-order? Of course. However, with age comes restraint; while I was going through and viewing all the packages saying yes, yes, oh yes, and yeah, I *need* that, reason ruled the day and I ended up ordering something within the budget. A chunk of your fans are much older now Steve, and need to need to show a little self-control when ordering, but you would not know it by the number of those merch packages, some pretty pricey, that are already listed as sold out. If by some miracle, there is a tour, will I jump on Ticketmaster (ugh, but that is another discussion for another time) to get them? Yes. Wait, let me say that correctly: Hell yeah!! I've waited far too long for it not to, and that is where my budget may protest. Loudly. And Tammy will be there with me, in spirit. My guess is that it will, at least initially, be very limited in scope, which will leave many fans wanting an expanded circle. Remember, touring is still very likely to be a thorn in Perry's side, so we may get dates in fits and spurts. I am fine with that if it keeps him interested in reaching all of us. And to Perry's team, I have venue suggestions if you should need any, lol.

You are going to find endless interviews out there, and hundreds of links to opinions. It's hard to keep up with them all; it's even hard to keep up with your own particular favorite interviewers and sites to get all the info beyond his own site. (Of course, you are going to come here to The Journey Zone. And I'd also recommend the Eddie Trunk interview.) Read what you want, take from it what you want. Feel free to disagree. Whatever you do, don't form your opinion until you have at least heard the song.

For me, what I have to say in a nutshell is this: After all this time, we have still been waiting, hoping. We may have become impatient or even irritated over all these years with what has felt like teases and promises unfulfilled, but yes, we have been there. And yes, we are glad you finally did whatever you needed to do to be happy and to choose music again.

For that we say, "Welcome back, Steve."

"No Erasin'" by Steve Perry
Hear the song on Steve
Read the lyrics on AZ Lyrics
(while not official, these are spot on)

"Welcome Back" by John Sebastian
Hear the song on You Tube
Read the lyrics on Genius

"When You Love a Woman" by Steve Perry, Jonathan Cain, Neal Schon
Hear the song on You tube
Read the lyrics on AZ Lyrics

Last Updated 03 September, 2018 (JW/dhg)