Steve Perry Talks Reissues, "Don't Stop Believin'," New Music -- and No, He's Not the Band Perry's Dad
Former Journey vocalist Steve Perry has been out of the spotlight for awhile, but the good news is that in addition to some reissues of his old music that he's been overseeing, he's also working on some brand new material.
Last week, Steve's 1984 solo debut Street Talk was reissued, not on CD, but on vinyl. Why vinyl, of all things? Steve tells ABC News Radio, "There's a very, very big interest again and a resurgence of people buying turntables and playing vinyl. It kind of went away for a while but it's coming back, and I think one of the reasons...is because of the sound quality." Steve says he still has a fondness for Street Talk -- when he hears the album's hits "Oh Sherrie" or "Foolish Heart" on the radio, he says, "I turn it up. I'm a bit indulgent that way. I really do want to hear what it sounds like on the radio."
Steve hasn't put out any new music since 1994, but he says that lately, he has been writing songs. The only thing keeping him from actually recording and releasing them, he says, is his own perfectionism. "I'm so hard on myself," he admits. "I play these sketches in my computer for friends and they say 'Gee whiz, the vocal's beautiful.' I hear, 'It needs to be better.'" But when he does decide to record the tracks, he says he'd like to enlist Journey's former bass player, Randy Jackson -- yes, American Idol's Randy Jackson -- to help him. "I'd love to get [him] to play bass on some stuff," he tells ABC News Radio. "'Cause, you know, other than being an American icon, he truly is an amazing bass player."
While we wait for new Steve Perry music, new generations of fans are discovering and loving the music he made with Journey, especially "Don't Stop Believin'," which every kid knows, thanks to either Glee, sports teams or the final episode of The Sopranos. And Steve says he couldn't be happier. "I just think it's amazing that a generation that young are embracing these songs," he marvels. "I go to baseball games...and I'll have fans walking up with their children or their grandchildren, saying that they really love the music and would I sign the ball or sign their glove or something. To me, it's just...stunning." As to why that song has such enduring appeal, Steve claims he doesn't really know, but offers this explanation: "It's about hope, y'know? I know people who are struggling with cancer, and they'll come up to me and tell me what that song meant to them. It isn't just The Sopranos."
Meanwhile, other musicians with the last name Perry are storming the charts, including Katy Perry and The Band Perry -- and in fact, the Band Perry, who are all siblings, has said that because their father's name is Steve, people assume that he's THE Steve Perry. Asked if anyone's ever assumed he's the Band Perry's father, Steve laughs, "No! I mean I've heard the name, but I've never been asked that before, no. But it's a pretty interesting idea. But, no, I'm not their dad!"
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