Thursday, September 11, 2014

Out of the closet - here comes the web angel for Journey Revisited

Anyone who's followed me over the years knows that I'm a dedicated (encyclopedic) Journey fan. Even Melissa Harris-Perry made note of it on her show when I decided to shut down my political blog.

So it's not surprising to share that a new passion of mine is fun work I'm doing for Journey Revisited, a fantastic tribute band that I've previously blogged about. They are awesome.

What started out as a complimentary comment on Facebook about the band's incredible rendition of "When You're Alone (It Ain't Easy)" back in June, has turned into a love-fest because of the way JR brings back the classic Journey sound to audiences. And Journey Revisited does it without pre-recorded backing vocals; it's all live, all the time, in the organic, stripped-down way those beloved tunes were performed in concert back in the day.

Jeff Salado
The original web site, which didn't do the band justice to showcase their talent, I offered to reboot and turn it into a site with a blog. Working with lead singer Jeff Salado on the project has been a dream (he's full of creative ideas) -- so the web site work on design and functionality, turned into writing JR's blog, and doing audio and video editing. Then I took on other internet presence work re: social media -- Facebook and Twitter.

That stuff above sounds like a lot of work -- it is, but it's an exciting life change to have your work produce results and for it to be appreciated. Given I have a "real" job and my rheumatoid arthritis deals me a lot of fatigue, I had to figure out when I could slip some time into this project. It has been challenging, mostly because of the time difference -- the band is West Coast-based (Modesto, CA), so it's a three-hour difference.

How I do it

It took some time to figure out that it was OK to go to bed early (since I'm toast after work) around 6:30 or 7 at the latest, and sleep till around 11 or midnight. Stereotypically, rock singers aren't morning people -- and that fits Jeff to a T, so I get back up and do a couple of hours of work, then hit the sack again after taking my 3:30 AM meds. It's a weird cycle, but it's worked out. I can only do that a couple of days a week because my body just can't handle it, so progress has to come in fits and starts, but a surprising amount of work has been accomplished in a short time.

So my Jane-of-all-trades noodling around for the band needed an unofficial title for my gratis work, so I am now deemed the JR Social Media/Web Angel. I think it's kinda funny, but it fits, I suppose. In the real world, this would be called Internet Presence Manager or some such. But whatever I am, it's a great deal of fun and very fulfilling.

It's a completely different world - nothing like political blogging. This is no Pam's House Blend of dealing with politicos, fundamentalist nuts, or speaking engagements, and it's a relief, actually. The world of entertainment/performance representation, along with fans, and gigs is so foreign to me, but it's interesting to see that my skills used above can easily be applied in this environment. The rest of the business side of matters is fascinating as well.

Bright ideas

One of the ideas I came up with, Journey geek that I am, was to interview each of the band members and ask them about how they were introduced to Journey music, how they developed their passion into a tribute bands. You have fans that just go to enjoy a concert to reminisce about the songs in the timeline of their lives, and there are the other, more devoted (or obsessive, depending on your POV) fans, who want to know what makes an artist tick.

Those interviews have been extremely fun to do, and they give fans insight into the process of emulating artists whose talent they admire. You can read how Jeff Salado preps for a show, his process of bringing Steve Perry authenticity to his performance. I've also interviewed Dave Hawkes, Journey Revisited's drummer, in similar fashion. He's actually met Journey's former drummer, the incredible Steve Smith and shared a wealth of information and perspective while being incredibly entertaining. I've enjoyed this process so much; it's nice to deal with such down-to-earth people in such a different milieu.
Journey Revisited: L-R - Michael Gonzales, bass, vocals; Kevin Jachetta, keys, keytar, vocals; 
Jeff Salado, lead singer; Val Popovic, guitar and vocals, Dave Hawkes, drums and percussion. 
Photo by Jessica Ruggiero.
After all, lots of folks like me are passionate about their favorite artists, but would never imagine getting up to perform as that artist before people. It takes a special kind of person to have that confidence in their drive and talent to be in a top-notch, dedicated-to-quality tribute band.

It all makes me want to run and join the circus! These guys are great. They have a growing fan base, and bring down the house at every gig. It's gratifying to see their enthusiasm, it's infectious! :)

I just have to work on getting them to take the East Coast by storm...

Journey Revisited is the real deal. Watch:

Also read:
* Tribute band Journey Revisited on the road, paying homage to the classic sound
* There's nothing like an ace tribute band - check out Journey Revisited

* Web:
* Twitter: @JRNYrevisited
* Facebook: Journey Revisited

1 comment:

  1. Cool band! I would definitely tell my colleagues in to check you out!