Former Journey singer Steve Perry joined an alternative rock band on Sunday to perform a pair of classic Journey tunes. This marks the first time Perry has performed live in nearly 20 years.
Following the release of Journey's 1996 reunion album, “Trial By Fire”, Perry was diagnosed with a degenerative bone condition. He was unable to tour, but kept putting off surgery which put the band’s plans on hold for almost two years. The band gave Perry an ultimatum: get the surgery done so they could tour, or they would have to find a new singer. Perry refused.
Neal Schon recently told Classic Rock magazine that Perry was not pushed out of Journey. "I never kicked him out of the band," Schon said. "He chose not to perform. He didn't want to sing with us. He didn't want to do a record. He didn't want to do anything. That was pretty much where he was at. And he wanted us to sit still and not do anything too. But we all wrote the music together, and I think we're all entitled to play it if we wish."
Schon also spoke fondly of Perry. "Steve and I had some really amazing times together," he said. "He was a very funny guy, and he liked to party with the best of us. In the beginning, when we wrote 'Lights' and 'Patiently', the first two songs we wrote together, we realized immediately that we had chemistry. And the guy was really funny to be around, so we hung out all the time. We were very tight and close for years and years."
Since the split, Perry became somewhat of a recluse and has rarely made public appearances. Here are the vids of Steve doing “Open Arms” and “Lovin, Touchin, Squeezin” with the band EELS in St. Paul, Minnesota.