“…Unless it is completely broken.” Steve Perry
Words from a man who walked away from what some of his fans believed was his gift, his calling, but in making his decision he broke the hearts of many. Then Perry returned and his fans learned he eventually found love, lost love and found his passion when his “love” made him promise not to go back into hiding.
Many years ago I made a few silly videos where my character coined the desperate phrase, “Where are ya, Perry?” in search of the ever elusive Steve Perry former lead singer of the band Journey. In the videos I poked fun at why he left, where he could be and that I missed the way he sang and danced in circles on stage like a drunken puppy summoning the rain gods. I had a few fans, people who loved Perry and probably thought if he saw my videos he would return. I had, however, no idea what Perry was going through at that time. Eventually, I moved on from making the videos, but I wondered why, when so many artists NEVER give up on what they love, why did Perry walk away? Hip replacement, failed relationships, nothing, in my mind, warranted the man to simply leave, especially with the talent he possessed.
I had found online a huge and often-times fanatical Steve Perry and Journey fan-base, some of whom I met. These people are the most devoted, but especially to the ever elusive Perry. I had no idea people were so into the guy! I had penned a book draft filled with fans’ online testimonies of having seen concerts and their love for Perry and messages and just tons of heartfelt thoughts and cries from fans who wished Perry would return. But, I gave up on publishing that book. I am a fan, but I guess I am not that devoted, I figured if Perry didn’t want to sing again then that was that.
In my research I found that some of his fans did not give up like I did. They are faithfully devoted to the guy, some with a longing to meet and even marry the man! Some fans wish Perry would return to Journey as if his voice would register as it did when he was younger. And some fans make a living being fans, rather, they turn their fan worship into a fan based-business that keeps them connected to Journey and Perry as associates, secretaries, business partners. I had never before known such admiration, especially of a recluse like Perry. But, he does have that beautiful voice! And, I have to think back to when I was a little girl and the fanatical devotion I had for a beautiful black boy with doe-shaped eyes, a big afro and beautiful full lips and bell pepper shaped nose, who brilliantly sang and danced his heart out, the late Michael Jackson. Oh, how I wished I could have married him and had 10 kids and become the Black Brady Bunch! Of course as soon as poor Mike went from being the “King of Pop” to an unusual-looking, strange behaving recluse and a converted Caucasian with almost no nose whatsoever, well I just lost interest. But, anyway, back to Perry.
I continue to be a fan of Schon and Perry and all the other Journey members, Valory, Cain and Smith. And I occasionally see Mr. Schon when his son does venues here in San Francisco, they both treat me like they know me, that makes me very happy. But, as for Perry, I stopped making my silly “Where are ya, Perry” videos and rightfully so at this point. Steve Perry has returned to the spotlight and to singing, and most importantly to his PASSION. And, he has opened up, literally bled out to his audience of his life, his loves, his losses and something I have lived with my entire life, depression, self-doubt, anxiety. To be perfectly honest, I admire Perry for sharing his life with his fans. I also admire that his new CD, Traces, is his way of letting his fans know through music that although he is in pain, he is willing to pull through with an open heart. Good for Perry, as I call him. I will not give a music review, I’ll just state that I enjoy all of the songs, although, two of them make me very, very sad and cry like a baby – won’t be listening to those songs on replay, sorry. But, it is Perry’s voice that makes me very happy, I thoroughly enjoy hearing him sing.
I don’t know if I agree that “a heart is not complete unless it is completely broken,” but if a broken heart is what it takes to take a leap of faith, forsake fears and other issues, I am happy Steve Perry finally took that leap and I cannot wait until I have the courage to do the same. Thank you, Perry!