A Whole New Journey  

Posted by Alex Pendragon

Ho-boy...where do I start? Right now we're listening to the second coming of Journey, that 80's epic rock band ONCE fronted by Steve Perry, only now reincarnated with an amazing new/old voice performing vocals by the name of Arnel Pineda. This HAS to be the ultimate rock and roll cinderella story if there ever was one. I remember way back in the day when I was stationed at various Naval bases and one of the places you spent your meager paycheck was at the Enlisted Men's Club, where there were few women, lots of booze, but sometimes some pretty damn good bands. One of the mainstays of the entertainment venue at EM clubs was the Philippino touring group. I said then, and it's been proven over and over again, and especially now with THIS example, that Philipinos are the ULTIMATE musical mimics. I have no idea why, but these guys can sound like any rock group who ever recorded with eerie accuracy. And now, thanks to You-Tube, the legendary rock group Journey has found a new front man to replace their intransigent and broken legendary lead vocalist Steve Perry with a young man who sounds as though he's channeling one of the best rock vocalist ever to moisten a microphone.

I won't even try to delve into the politics of what happened with Steve, who it is said suffered a fractured hip (yes, Kansas, we rockers are getting on in years) and never seemed to be able to recover to the point that he was willing to tour or record again with the group, but that aside, what happened since is somewhat amazing. It seems that the rest of the group was quite willing and able to continue touring, and needed to find a new front man, but where in the HELL do you find ANYONE, regardless of talent, who can front the band against such a legend as Steve?

Enter You-tube. They find this amazing young Philippino singer who sounds JUST LIKE Perry singing with his own group called ZOO, doing cover songs, including Journey. So this young man, Arnel Pineda, who has certainly paid his dues, gets a call from people in the States claiming to be the legendary Rock group JOURNEY, asking him to audition for them. Yes, of course, he HAD to think somebody was pulling a prank on him. But it was REAL, and right now I am watching a DVD concert video of this young man in concert with THE GENUINE ARTICLE, sounding just like the missing yet who-in-the-hell-could-ever-copy Steve Perry. I can't imagine what Steve must think about all this, but the band HAS stated that they had repeatedly asked Steve to come back with them to tour and never got a reply, so if that is true, then he'll have to suffer from the flatterery this young man pays him.

Just like the Eagles, another LEGENDARY rock group has done, Journey has struck a deal with Walmart (shudder) to distribute exclusively their CD's, and it's very reasonably priced at around eleven bucks for a THREE disc set (concert DVD included), and it's worth every penny and MORE. I HATE that you have to give your business to Walmart to enjoy this band, but I suppose it's a perfect business solution for the band considering that the record companies of late have such a piss-poor record of promoting our classic rock bands while allowing them to actually have any of the money earned for their efforts. Personally, I would have preferred that iTunes had distributed the music, but that's a new era in music promotion, best suited to the clueless generation. I guess I DO appreciate the fact that I have the actually DISKS in my possession for my money, even though I immediately loaded them into my iTunes for listening.

I DO appreciate modern music. BUT, there's something about this EPIC arena rock that we old fucks grew up with that just doesn't seem to be duplicated by this younger, albeit more talented, generation. I think perhaps it's the content of the music, the lyrics, and the story it wrote about a generation that was trying to survive a whole new way of thinking about and doing things that totally overwrote the story of the previous one. We had to had to shout out to the universe with ENERGY what was going on with us, none of this polite, reserved, and in many ways boring stuff that our parents were forced to accept by the system. So, I welcome back Journey, and it's fresh new blood, a perfect blend of the best of the young and old, a force that will ALWAYS have to be reckoned with. At least until we kill ourselves with our excess.

This entry was posted on Sunday, June 15, 2008 at Sunday, June 15, 2008 . You can follow any responses to this entry through the comments feed .

4 slick comments


More talented? Methinks you are being extremely kind. Perhaps all of the good rock music has damaged your hearing.

June 16, 2008 at 1:10 AM

Very well said..objective abd really DID your homework by listening to the new JRNY music FIRST!!! Too bad others let their prejudice and small-mindedness cloud their better judgment! I enjoyed your blog, and maybe you can post it in the official Journey website and be a member of a truly suipportive, positive and loving fan community:


June 16, 2008 at 9:18 AM

I had heard about this lucky dude, and I'm so happy for him. Steve Perry is one hard act to follow.

Is there any new rock music? My daughter is 14, and all the guys she knows love Aerosmith, Lynryd Skynyrd (probably butchered that spelling), Zeppelin, the Stones, and Bob Dylan. Oh, and Janis Joplin. I loaded some Doobie Brothers on our music file, and I hear my daughter listening to them all the time. And her favorite band is The Who. She is 14. Did I say that?

June 16, 2008 at 9:21 AM

Great story! I would not have known about it unless I came to your blog. Best of luck to this young man!

Too bad Walmart got in the middle of it all. Would you burn a CD from your iTunes for me and I promise to make an online donation to the group? We can leave Walmart out of the mix! :)

June 16, 2008 at 12:02 PM

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