Steve Perry walked away from the music business 24 years ago! As one of the greatest rock voices of the 70’s, 80’s or any other decade for that matter, it was a shock to fans, including yours truly. No one realized that Perry would be gone so long, including Perry himself. Years went by with very few sightings of Perry and he became known as the Howard Hughes of music. It was a mystery as to why he left and where he went. In 2018, we are finally getting some answers from Steve as he comes back with a new album called “Traces” which is released everywhere today!
In 1977, manager Herbie Herbert brought a new singer to the already formed band Journey from San Francisco. They were looking for a new sound and they got it with singer and songwriter Steve Perry. They hit #57 with “Wheel in the Sky” and for the next ten years the hits just kept on coming. In 1984, Steve had a successful solo album with “Street Talk” and the hits “Oh Sherrie” and “Foolish Heart” both in heavy rotation on MTV. After leaving the band in 1987 and coming back in 1997 for a short time, Steve left for good. Steve recorded one more solo album in 1994 titled “For the Love of Strange Medicine”. In 2005, we got a Perry sighting on Hollywood Boulevard when Journey got a star on the Walk of Fame which included past and present members. In 2017, Journey was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame with Perry in attendance with his fellow band members.
Over time, it seemed that Steve might never return. There were always rumors of him going back to Journey. Occasionally he would show up at a San Fran Giants game seen on YouTube. In 2014, he made several surprise appearances with the band, The Eels. This just lead to more talk about reunions and new albums, but again met with silence. Then out of nowhere in the middle of the night on August 14, 2018, Steve Perry has a new song called “No Erasin” on YouTube along with a new website and a presence on social media! This was one of the best kept secrets in music! Perry was able to pull off the miraculous return fans had been waiting for all these years without it leaking out. A great and wonderful surprise! But there was the big question, can he still sing? The rumors that he left because his voice was shot were completely untrue. Perry has said he just needed to walk away, he was burnt out and was struggling with the “party favors” of touring. He left and went back to living life in the real world. His love for music had left him and he didn’t even listen to music much, he has said in radio interviews in the last several weeks. So why is he back now?
He met a girl who brought his love of music back to him. Dr. Kellie Nash, a psychologist Perry met and fell in love with was battling breast cancer. She made him promise not to go back into seclusion. Ms. Nash lost her battle and Steve is keeping his promise. He had been recording “Traces” at his home studio with musicians he hand-picked since 2015. He has released three performance videos of tracks including “We’re Still Here” and “No More Cryin”. If you purchase the album at Target stores, they have an exclusive extra five tracks! Mr. Perry’s voice is like fine wine, it has aged well at 69. He is not trying to hit the notes of his youth, but his falsetto is as emotive as ever. It is still our old friend Steve, who told us “Don’t Stop Believin” but who has been going through his own life’s journey. It may have taken Steve Perry a while to come back but it is always great to see and hear an old friend, no matter how long it it has been…. Don’t miss an interview with Steve on CBS Sunday Morning this Sunday October 7th!
Photos courtesy of StevePerry.com