We have discussed their Greatest Hits album a while back and how it was a great bridge for my daughter and I, musically speaking. She loves Glee and when they did a Journey episode, I insisted she listen to the original tracks, too. She loves them.
We also have a cousin’s cousin (Jay Gore) who plays in a great Journey tribute band (Escape) and she dug seeing them, too.
After all the morbidity of the Sunset Strip and the stories of woe from Janis Joplin (who died 41 years ago today in the Landmark Motor Hotel… now the Highland Gardens Hotel at 7047 Franklin Ave.) and Jim Morrison, I wanted some good, late ’70s rock. Plus, my buddy Brad and I were gonna road trip up to the Santa Barbara Bowl tonight to see Journey, but with the impending rain and spousal disapproval, we opted to stay home.
Journey – Infinity
This album was a major turning point for the band, for it is the first one with Steve Perry, who took them off the path of rock and jazz fusion and onto the long, winding road of stadium and arena Rock n’ Roll.
I have not seen the “Filipino Steve Perry,” but when you listen to this album, you realize, there is really only one, true steve Perry. He was a great songwriter and a wonderful compliment to the musical, guitar genius Neal Schon. “Lights” (is he chewing gum???), “Wheel in the Sky” (the big one at the time) and “Anytime” (great Gregg Rolie vocals, too) would grace the FM waves for years to come. Perry literally sent the band soaring… and I am pretty sure my cousin Lori wanted to marry him… or was it Tommy Shaw of Styx? We’ll say Steve… That’s the story and I’m sticking to it…
The beautiful ballad “Patiently” was the first song Neal and Steve wrote together… Not a bad way to start at all…
I always forget that the core of the band was originally part of Santana… Manager Herbie Herbert took Neal Schon and keyboardist Gregg Rolie from Santana and paired them with bassist Ross Valory, rhythm guitarist George Tickner, and drummer Prairie Prince of The Tubes… okay, totally did not know that one!!! (Although he did not last long with the band and went back to The Tubes). The band was fairly forgettable until Steve came to town. Once he did, the boys and the band from the Bay exploded.
And hey… Randy Jackson played bass for the boys for a few years in the ’80s!
For me, Journey helps define late ’70s and early ’80s rock. The music, the album art… it was all part of the package. They were always in heavy rotation and made many a prom playlist. It’s funny how they and bands like them are now called “oldies.” Ouch.
I guess I’m a bit sorry I won’t be seeing them tonight… but I have seen them before. People love ’em, people hate ’em… but no matter what you say, these guys created what I know as “classic rock.” And the music goes on and on and on… So come take a journey… and enjoy the ride.