Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Sigh...hopeless Journey fan here...Steve Perry sighting (UPDATED)

Update (6/6): This week Mr. Perry posted a rare personal message on his fan site about the facial scar in the pic with Martha Quinn -- and something even more personal about his life over the last year. More at the end of the post.

If you're a Journey fan (and I know there are far too many of them in the closet about it), it can't get much better than this blast-from-the-past reunion of two icons, frontman Steve Perry and MTV VJ Martha Quinn. SP sightings are pretty rare.

The former lead singer/songwriter hasn't been with the band since 1996, and he's much beloved. He probably knows his fans would love to see him record and release the 50+ tunes he says he has in the can.

On my bucket list -- being able to have lunch with Mr. Perry. How that could even happen, I don't know (anyone with connections out there???), but it would make me a very a happy woman. Love, love his voice; have so many questions to ask about his compositions and positive experiences singing and songwriting.

One of my favorites, from a collaborative gig that was never released (but bootlegs are everywhere) that Perry and his Journey mates did singing live in studio on a radio show called King Biscuit Super Jam II is amazing.  And it's full of songs from Infinity (1978) and other gem covers, like this one, that gets to emphasize the influence on SP of soul-singer Sam Cooke, something Journey capitalized on very little during its superstar 80s run.

UPDATE: In a rare public statement about his personal life, Steve Perry explained the scar on his face (melanoma removal; two operations) in the recent photo with MTV VJ Martha Quinn.

Three weeks ago a routine mole was taken off my face and the lab report came back Melanoma skin cancer. I've had two surgeries in two weeks to remove all the cancer cells and I've been told they think they got it all and no other treatments are required.

On Sunday I was a bit depressed because Kellie's birthday was coming up so I went for a drive and ran into Martha Quinn at a street fair. It was so great to see her and in a few short moments I told her most of this story. She asked if I'd take a picture with her and I said, "If you don't mind my face scar." She said, "Not at all." I joked about me and Pirates of the Caribbean and we both laughed.

"Kellie" refers to a woman he began a relationship with two years ago, a psychologist who was participating in a documentary on cancer that he first saw while reviewing footage of the doco with a friend. Kellie was dealing with breast cancer that had been treated, went into remission and had resurfaced as Stage 4 cancer in her lungs and bones. SP goes on to write a moving and unexpected emotional disclosure about meeting her, and the intense love and loss that he experienced over the last year. Click over to read it. It's hard not to feel heartbroken and uplifted at the same time. He notes that encounter with Martha Quinn was therapeutic and Steve thanks her for it in the piece.

As a long-time fan who knows how rare statements by Mr. Perry are about his life -- and those are usually through his site to fans, not the press, what he wrote this week was extraordinarily intimate and revealing about the man whose musical compositions touch so many. And I'm not talking about DSB (Don't Stop Believing) or the myriad harder-edged anthems most casual folks know that he wrote with Journey or during his solo outings.

Many of the mid-tempo compositions (such as "I'll Be Alright Without You") and ballads (Faithfully, Open Arms and a ton of lesser-known pieces that I'm drawn to), in the wake of  how he crafted and shared highly-charged content about what occurred in this relationship reflects how easily these songs flowed from that same personal emotional space years ago. The ability to do so in putting melody and lyrics together serves as a both a therapeutic outlet for to explain experiences and feelings about people and places we'll never know about. The gift is doing it in way that communicated his (deeper-than-we-know) feelings in a universal way -- music -- that is what many of us connect to unconsciously when a Journey or SP song is on. I know it when I sing along...

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