THE JOURNEY ZONE

Editorials: 2009-2018



Index
  • 2006-2009: Ross Muir's Journey E-Book
  • July 8, 2009: Journey: The Biggest Classic Rock Band Ever?
  • January 19, 2010: It goes on and on and on part 93766
  • January 21, 2010: It goes on and on and on part 937Aw to hell with it
  • February 4, 2010: Recent Muirsical Thoughts
  • February 9, 2010: Don't Stop Being Cynical/Big in Japan
  • February 15, 2010: It goes on and on and on part 93768
  • September 3, 2018: Welcome Back, Steve Perry

  • July 8, 2009
    Op/Ed: Journey: The Biggest Classic Rock Band Ever?
    by Bryan Reesman

    Sounds absurd? It isn’t. Not totally.

    Melodic rockers Journey have sold boatloads of records (an estimated 75 million) since vocalist Steve Perry joined the group back in 1977, not to mention plenty of concert tickets. Even their short-lived reunion with their famous frontman in 1996 did not derail them. The San Francisco quintet has had three singers since Perry’s departure and can still play to crowds of 10,000 people or more, effectively warding off the frontman curse that befalls any superstar group that loses its “voice”. On top of all that, Journey’s 2008 album Revelation (a Wal-Mart exclusive) even hit #5 on the Billboard Top 200 Albums chart and sold over 1,000,000 copies in America. Classic rock dinosaurs? Far from it.

    More importantly, Journey’s songs have become pop culture touchstones that work everywhere, from major video games like Rock Band to TV shows. When The Sopranos used “Don’t Stop Believin’” for its series finale in June 2007, the song shot to the top of the iTunes chart and become the site’s biggest selling download ever, reaching the 2 million mark as of last November. The same tune, along with “Any Way You Want It,” has been used in the new Broadway jukebox musical Rock of Ages. And it is also sung by a high school glee club in the finale to the pilot episode of Glee, a charming Fox TV series due to air in September. (And by the way, what is “Don’t Stop Believin’” about anyway? Despite being an inspirational song for many — the first stanza seems like the lyrical rough draft for Bon Jovi’s “Livin’ On A Prayer” — the rest of it is essentially snapshots of everyday people’s lives with little characterization.)

    At any rate, it’s all about perception. While heavier bands like AC/DC and Led Zeppelin have probably sold two to three times as many albums as Journey (we won’t include Elvis or The Beatles here since they trump everyone), downloads and individual songs are how you reach people these days. The band is doing big business that way, and many of their instantly hummable, melodic tunes are tailor made for mass media consumption. I don’t mean that as a diss. While I generally can’t stand their hit ballads, I think that Journey actually write a lot of great rock songs that often spotlight stellar musicianship, and their timeless quality has helped their music endure. The fact that they are undergoing a massive resurgence simply adds to their legend and should keep their fanbase growing for years to come. Like it or not, disbelievers.

    ©2009 Bryan Reesman; reprinted with permission.

     


    January 19, 2010
    Op/Ed Columnist: It goes on and on and on part 93766
    by by Ross Muir


    Except this time I go on and on and on with it...

    ok so I'm a cuppla months late to the table and some of you may have already seen/ heard/ bought/ avoided (depending on taste) but Rock Sugar and their re-imagined rock just hits a spot with me...

    So thanks RS - You just cost me 17 bucks or so to order a copy of the album.

    And thanks, RS - for putting a smile on my face this week, and more importantly providing a version of DSB that I can listen to, and thoroughly enjoy, other than the original.

    No band should have that much fun recording and performing.

    Will have to update the site now to include a bit on Rock Sugar...

    Even their 'story' and 'bio's are re-imagined tongue in cheek pieces, and you could do worse than check out the audio clips from the album and see how many pop or rock hits you hear...

    http://www.rocksugarband.com/home.aspx

    R.

    Ross Muir writes at: http://www.fabricationsHQ.com

     


    January 21, 2010
    Op/Ed Columnist: It goes on and on and on part 937Aw to hell with it, I can't be arsed counting any more...
    by by Ross Muir


    Oh FFS....

    Is this ever going to end, or is it truly destined to go on and on and on and on?

    After the refreshing and clever cover sounds from Rock Sugar and their Reimaginator concept, normal services have been resumed...

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9wceKiDBjFM

    Nick Pitera, who could almost be described as a professional YouTube singer and who has also been featured on the Ellen DeGeneres show, is the latest to deliver a cover/ take of the rock 'anthem' Don't Stop Believing. This time around however it's a tribute & cover of the 'Glee' version of the song, which in turn is based on the 1981 original, as written and performed by Journey.

    The Glee version came in at #5 in the U.K. Singles chart, with the Journey original just behind it based on it's recent high volume of i-tune downloads, which were themselves based on the curious wanting to hear the original after hearing an X-Factor singer covering it here in the U.K. and, of course, the U.S. Glee remake.

    You're all 29 years too late, kids.

    We all miss musical era's, significant events, or 'back in the day' moments we truly regret not being part of or simply weren't around to see/ hear - but that's life. So move on, nothing to see here (or hear) people - go create your own musical moments, stop re-imagining someone else's.

    Goddamn lazy entertainment for a lazy Hollywood re-imagined movie generation.

    What? You do have your own musical creations? But they're called the X-Factor and Pop Idol?

    Ah, I see your point - keep on re-imagining, then. Sorry to have bothered you.

    Ross Muir writes at: http://www.fabricationsHQ.com

     


    February 4, 2010
    Op/Ed Columnist: Recent Muirsical Thoughts
    by by Ross Muir


    Steve Perry was interviewed by Planet Rock's Nicky Horne on the Wednesday evening of February 3rd which was quite a scoop for the station, but for others was more a case of same 'song' (and dance), different interview...Don't Stop Believing, the importance of said song (globally and personally), his Wannabee DJ thoughts, and the old 'testing the waters'/ possibility of new material soundbite, amongst other topics.

    I have to admit though I did have a wry 'bloody told you so' smile on my face when he confirmed his writing/ demo processes and how far he had gone with the recordings over the last couple of years, thus obliterating the credibility of The False Prophets of the Musical God Internet, who all claimed that a February 2010 release date (or at least the 'first quarter' of the year) for new material was on the cards (they all know who they are).

    Clearly though, not only was there a misunderstanding about interview schedules (it was originally announced that the interview would be on Monday 1st February) there was also a misunderstanding about what he was going to be talking about...

    I, for one, was disappointed and surprised he didn't use the opportunity for an 'exclusive to the U.K.' announcement for the forthcoming 'Steve Perry's Revelation' Triple CD pack that will include a Sam Cooke covers album and a 're-recorded classics' album, which would have then led to the confirmation that his 2010 Comeback World Tour would kick off in the U.K. with the first date in Glasgow, some thirty one years after his last (and only) musical appearance within my own Scottish borders. You'll probably now find the above on the sites that expected a new album in February 2010...

    Oh, just to finish on another wry smile, I was talking to Nicky earlier that day (about American Football, of all things) and mentioned I had heard the Monday misunderstanding was all their (Planet Rock) fault. His considered, delicate, response? "Bollocks".

    Ross Muir writes at: http://www.fabricationsHQ.com

     


    February 9, 2010
    Op/Ed Columnist: Don't Stop Being Cynical/Big in Japan
    by by Ross Muir


    Following the Nick Pitera 'Glee cover', this is the next in line, and takes the phrase 'big in Japan' to a whole new level...

    www.youtube.com/watch?v=qZtAgc9iLMM

    Kerrist almighty, this, truly, will go on and on and on and on. The only person on the entire planet who hasn't had a go at this song lately would appear to be the guy who sang the original.

    Whatever happened to him?

     


    February 15, 2010
    Op/Ed Columnist: It goes on and on and on part 93768
    by by Ross Muir


    As I was writing the first Draft of an article for my site yesterday, my wife Anne was watching the live final of 'Got To Dance' on SKY television, a new dance/ entertainment show featuring predominately teenage and younger children.

    One of the finalists were a young dance troupe collectively known as 'The Box' from Glasgow - they didn't win, but they did win the hearts of the audience and judges with their 'dreamscape' dance to Hallelujah (Alexandra Burke's version, highly unsurprisingly), while their other performance was a more colourful routine... to Don't Stop Believing (the original version, highly surprisingly).


    Co-incidentally, the piece I was writing at the time was about the association DSB now has with Glee (the U.S. musical comedy drama), and the 'Glee effect'.
    Except I don't believe in co-incidence.
    Now if you'll excuse me, I have to go do a second/ final Draft...

    Ross Muir writes at: http://www.fabricationsHQ.com

     


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


    "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."

    References:
    "No Erasin'" by Steve Perry
    Hear the song on Steve Perry.com
    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

     




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