Rockline with Bob Coburn - May 19, 1999
Bob Coburn: "Tonight's special encore Rockline comes from May 19, 1999 and features Steve Perry. Steve is one of our most requested guests on Rockline and he has an open invitation to come on the show anytime...anytime he's feeling that way. Steve's the kinda guy who doesn't seek out media attention unless he has a project to promote. We keep telling him that doesn't matter, your fans still want to talk with you, so while we keep contacting Steve with available dates on Rockline, you kick back and enjoy this truly classic show from just over two years ago. The visits from Steve are always too far apart and that's where I began this show."
Bob Coburn: It's great to have you here. It's been way too long since you and I have sat down in front of a couple of microphones and done one of these.
Steve Perry: It has been a while I know that.
BC: It has been a while..Ah, let's begin with the solo CD Greatest Hits + 5 Unreleased.
BC: I'm curious why the album "Against the Wall" was never released.
SP: Well, that's a really good story. Ah, that album was recorded just right after the "Street Talk" record and it was due to be released. And then I went back to Journey and did the "Raised on Radio" instead and went on that tour. And it sort of got shelved in the can there, and I just had them taped and waited till this moment when the Greatest Hits was talked about with Sony and myself. Ah, with "Oh Sherrie" and "Foolish Heart" and other things like that. So, I thought this was a great opportunity to put all of this unreleased stuff that I'm very proud of.
BC: Now, you've got the 5 unreleased and it's a dozen in there. There's rare tracks, B-sides that type of thing as well.
SP: Yeah. There's actually, legally, 5 cause we had to say legally 5 -
BC: (laughs) Legally 5.
SP: Because there were one or two that might have appeared on the back side of a single that was sold, but ah, there's actually 9 unreleased things on there.
BC: Yeah, because when I listened to it, actually a while ago now, and I kept saying "I don't remember this, I don't remember this, oh this rings a bell, but, I can't quite put my finger.."
SP: Yeah, yeah it's familiar but it's never been heard before. (chuckles)
BC: You know one thing about you though, there's never any doubt that it's you. You just have such a distinctive quality and you emote so much in your songs. You really put a lot of feeling into them.
SP: I owe you money again, Bob!
BC: Oh, just stop it..
BC: Just slip me a $20.00..
SP: (laughing) Thanks, I appreciate it!
BC: Slide a Hamilton across the counter here, ya know.
SP: (laughing) No, thanks!
BC: A lot of Rockline listeners are curious about the surgery that you recently underwent.
BC: Uh, what's the story, briefly, and are you ok now?
SP: Yeah, I'm fine right now, I've been 6 months now, on the other side of the surgery. It happened in October and, um, I'm walking around the first three months of, after the surgery, I couldn't walk, really. But now I'm doing great.
SP: I have no canes, no nothing. It was major surgery that I had put off for a while because of, uh, medical reasons.
BC: Now, it was surgery on your hip?
SP: It was surgery on my hip, yeah, in fact it was the surgery that ah, for people who don't really know what happened, that did dig the rift between the band and myself, once again. You know, unfortunately we were getting ready to go on tour, on the reunion tour for "Trial By Fire". And it was one of those things where it sort of, of uh, just dug another rift where it was not a group decision, in my opinion (clears throat), surgery, that is, you know, and ah..
BC: That was your choice.
SP: It was my choice yeah, and so I made my choice, they made their choice and I think that's the way the landscape looks right now. Everybody's doing what they feel is right.
BC: How does this surgery affect your long-term and immediate future in the music industry?
SP: You know, I don't think it's going to affect it at all, now because it's just everyday, it's stronger. I mean people don't even know anything's happened and sometimes I wake up and I don't know anything's happened. I just get up and get going.
BC: Well, there are a lot of days I wake up and I don't know anything's happening either. (Steve laughs)
SP: I love those days (laughing) I look forward to them.
BC: Some people pay big money for those kind of days.
SP: For those kinds of days.. (both laughing)
BC: That's right!
SP: Didn't we all!
BC: Now is this, is just that, that, I don't want to go too deeply into this..
BC: But out of curiosity..
SP: Deeply is the operative word here!
BC: Yeah, let's cut right here, go all the way to the bone.
BC: Did you have a bond fragment or break or
SP: No, I have a, I'm a titanium boy right now. I got a complete titanium hip in there now.
BC: I'm not goin' to the airport with you (both laugh)
SP: (laughing) I do set them off occasionally, but I have a card for that, so they don't shake me down. (Both laughing)
SP: "Jump him, quick!"
BC: Set off all kinds of bells and whistles, everything. "Uh oh, look out, Steve Perry's here!" Now, you were raised where, in a, north of San Diego?
SP: Actually, I was born and raised in the central San Joaquin Valley, in a wonderful town of Hanford, California. Then I went to high school in Leemore, California, um, and that's, that's where I was born and raised. A wonderful little area.
SP: Central San Joaquin Valley.
BC: Fresno area, kind of around there? (At the same time Steve says "Central San Joaquin Valley")
SP: Yeah, Central San Joaquin Valley, yeah.
BC: But you moved to the San Francisco area to be with the band Journey.
SP: Yeah, I joined the band in, uh, actually I met the guys years before, but I joined around '77 '78 and moved to the Bay area.
BC: Was the song "Lights" did that song, um, um, emote the feelings that you had with the city of San Francisco?
SP: Yeah, you know I remember we were at the um, studio rehearsing, and it was studio ?????? and I had that song sitting in the back of my pocket you know, and I showed it to Neal, and Neal liked it. And he helped me finish it. And it just seemed so right that it should be ah, about the City by the Bay because they were a bay area band before I joined them, you know. They had a great following up there, and uh, I was really glad and very, you know, really proud to be in that band, and I wanted to work with Neal for years, you know, because I knew about him. It's a long story, really Bob, I mean I knew about Neal through an old, mutual friend named Larry Luciano who was a friend of his, about 10 years prior. So, we had met before, but to make a long story short, um, I showed the song to Neal and we finished it together. And uh, yeah "Lights in the city".
BC: When the lights go down in the city.
BC: That's from the album "Infinity" "Lights" by Journey, featuring Steve Perry, my guest tonight on Rockline. He is in the Rockline studio and if you would like to talk to Steve our number is toll free (gives number). commercial break.
BC: Our number is toll free it's (gives number) I'm Bob Coburn, and Steve Perry, my guest for the entire 90 minutes tonight. Ready for phone calls?
SP: Yes, I'm ready.
BC: We've got a ton. First up, from Los Angeles, Jeff, you're on Rockline with Steve Perry.
Jeff: Yeah, Hi Steve!
SP: How ya doin' Jeff?
Jeff: Oh, pretty good, I have a couple of questions.
SP: Uh huh.
Jeff: Have you written any new music?
SP: I'm starting
Jeff: (at the same time) And, uh, ok
SP: Sorry! I'm starting to write right now. Just started.
BC: Who are you writing with?
SP: I'm writing a lot by myself, right now. I have a computer set up in my house, been doing that. But I'm probably going to write with a lot of different people but right now, I'm just sketching a lot of beginning ideas.
BC: And question number 2, Jeff?
Jeff: Ok, uh will you ever be touring with Journey again, Steve?
SP: Boy, I don't know. I'm one of those kinds of guys that never says never, you know. But uh, you know, I think we have really gone our separate ways. That's what it looks like to me.
BC: And now your worlds apart.
SP: And now we're worlds apart, yeah.
BC: I'm sorry, I couldn't resist.
SP: Thanks Jeff!
BC: When will we, we see some of this new music?
SP: I don't know, I'm working on it right now. I'm sketching some stuff and I'm really enjoying it. It's really, really fun and different, the music I'm coming up with.
BC: Now, I know you're meticulous, and you take your time, but you end up with good results because of that. Now, when you say different direction, and breaking new ground and everything
SP: Well, part of the new direction is not to be so meticulous, to be honest with you. I mean, to let some of the simple stuff that has magic, stay. Because I have been the kind of guy who does like to polish and sometimes, I've learned lately, to polish is to tamper. Some of the raw stuff has really, really got the emotion.
BC: What's the old line "Over analysis leads to paralysis."
SP: Yeah, and an artist told me "To polish is to tamper", and uh..
BC: That's a good one.
SP: I like that one.
BC: Jeff, thanks for being on. Let's head to Las Vegas, Nevada. It's Sandra on Rockline, here's Steve Perry for you!
Sandra: Steve Perry, how are you? (screaming in the background)
SP: I'm good, how are you Sandra? Is someone screaming in the background? Who is that?
Sandra: I'm really good. I've adored you since I was a little girl.
Sandra: Oh my god, it's like I can't believe I'm on the phone with you.
SP: We are, we are talking together on the phone.
Sandra: Oh my god!
BC: Sandra, what's going to happen when you have to call 911 and you're on the phone with Steve here? (Steve laughing/Sandra talking at the same time)
Sandra: They've already got them on hold for me. Actually, I wanted to know, oh, I'm sorry
SP: That's ok!
Sandra: I wanted to know like, what an average day is for you? What you do, I don't know..
SP: My day is really just like yours, now I mean I get up in the morning, I meet some friends for coffee. Um, get into my day, I go into my room, I write some ideas, sometimes I wake up early, 4 or 5 in the morning, go in and turn the computer on, sketch some changes and then mess with the melodies later and then I go meet my guys for coffee, like I said. And then uh, we talk like a breakfast club thing, then my day goes just like yours, phone calls, driving to lunch, you know doing things everybody else does.
BC: Do you have to do any kind of therapy for uh, for your hip?
SP: No, you know, this particular surgery is, I just supposed to start walking on it. Which I have started now. I've been walking on it now, for 3 weeks solid. Every morning, that's one of the regiments.
BC: You know, if you can learn to hit a golf ball or baseball with it (Steve laughs) that thing's going to take off like a rocket, man. Titanium stuff, I'm telling you man, (Steve laughing) that's the "in" thing right now. Sandra, thanks and uh, careful with the ??????? in Las Vegas.
BC: Take a couple of deep breaths, you're going to be alright. Portland, Maine here we come. Tony you're on with Steve Perry on Rockline.
SP: Portland, Maine talk to me!
Tony: Portland, Maine.. Hi Steve, how ya doing?
SP: I'm doing good, how's everything in Portland?
Tony: Good! You are the greatest Rock and Roll singer walking. I'm telling you!
SP: Oh, man, you're so kind, thanks.
Tony: Hey, definitely. Uh, my question is, I was wondering if you ever had any interest in acting at all.
SP: Yeah, I do. I really would love to do something like that. I've been approached a couple of times, but I've never followed through with it. But, somebody told me recently, that uh, that I should look into that, and I'm going to. I think it would be fun.
BC: Now, who was that, that told you recently to do that?
SP: Uh, she's over here in the corner. (Both laugh)
BC: You kind of turned around and looked at someone, that he introduced to me before the show. Hi Robin, how you doin' in there?
SP: Look at Robin, she looks so cute.
BC: What would you like to do? If someone could say "play any part you want". Would you play a "Bela Lugosi", would you go for a "Tom Hanks" style thing?
SP: I think it would be a street character. I would love to play a street character of some kind. I'm not sure exactly what that means, but I mean it could be anything from a homeless guy to one of the good guys (in a slight Italian accent) "You know, hey listen.". I don't know, something.
BC: What, who are some of your favorite actors, out of curiosity?
SP: Oh I love DeNiro. I love that last movie he did, it was so funny. "Analyze This" was great.
BC: "Analyze This" yeah
SP: Um there's just some great actors, I mean they're all wonderful.
BC: Let's play a song right now, we're going to go to a song from "Escape" this is "Don't Stop Believin" for ya on Rockline.
Song "Don't Stop Believin"
BC: "Don't Stop Believin" Journey, featuring Steve Perry, the "Escape" album. I'm Bob Coburn, we have Donna on the line in Philadelphia. Welcome to Rockline, Donna!
Donna: Hi Steve!
SP: Hi Donna, how are you?
Donna: I'm doing great, how are you?
Donna: That's good listen, I, I, you know what, I'll tell you I've been a fan since 1978 when you went with the band.
SP: Uh huh.
Donna: Yeah, and I've worked actually, I've worked in the music industry, I've worked with the Stones and a whole bunch of other people.
Donna: Never got to work with you. I have a question for you.
SP: Uh huh.
Donna: You did, um, "For the Love of Strange Medicine" by yourself.
Donna: Alright, where did you get the background for "Donna Please"?
SP: Well, (laughs) that song came together at a Chinese restaurant. The band was sitting there for lunch that, the band that I had put together, which was the "Strange Medicine" group. We were sitting there and Lincoln, the guitar player, had some changes with Paul Taylor and the next thing I know, we just sorta put the thing together, after lunch in rehearsal. And the inspiration, I have to tell you, is sort of a secret.
BC: Ooooh, draw the line there leave us in the lurch.
SP: (laughing) It's because I swore not to divulge the, the source of that song.
BC: You wrote a lot with, with Paul back in those days, didn't you?
BC: And then Lincoln, I guess you got a tape from somebody of Lincoln?
SP: Yeah, I got a tape of Lincoln, a wonderful guitar player, really young kid. He was like 20 at the time, I think, and he was about the size of this mike stand. So, I used to call him "Chicken wing", and uh onstage we'd have a lot of fun with that you know. "All white meat chicken wing" I'd call him. (Steve and Bob laughing)
BC: Ah, thank you Donna and we head to Raleigh, NC now to speak with David. Uh, David, you are on Rockline with Steve Perry.
David: Hi Steve!
SP: H! How ya doing?
David: Alright, let me ask you, how did you get to sing back-up vocals with Sammy Hagar in '79? And um, would you consider working with him again in the future?
SP: Boy I don't remember that. Now, refresh my memory. I've done so many things that I don't remember, that was, tell me what that was.
David: Uh, it was on the songs "Iceman" and "Run for Your Life".
SP: Oh my gosh, I do remember a song called "Iceman". You know I don't remember. Uh must have been one of those, uh, moments, if you know what I mean. (laughs) I don't know what to tell you. We did a lot of things back in the Bay area. We would just show up and just sing back-up on people's, you know, projects. I don't remember doing that though. But, I guess I'm there.
BC: That was a good, healthy musical community there!
BC: A lot of bands back then at that time were strong and viable and working.
BC: And a ton of them too!
SP: Yeah, I float around like that. I just recently worked on a project wit Nikki Sixx, has his own record label with a group he's producing and I just went down and did some back grounds on their, uh, their project. And the name escapes me right now. But that's coming out I guess, too. So, I float in and out of these things, so, some of them I don't remember. Sorry about that!
BC: That's ok! David, thanks for being on. We're going to talk to Carol. Carol is in the New York City area. Hi Carol!
Carol: Hi! Hi Steve, how ya doin?
SP: Hi Carol, how's everything out there?
Carol: Great! I have to tell you, "Open Arms" is the only song that my 17 year old daughter and I agree on. (everyone laughs). It's fantastic.
SP: Otherwise it's a big split.
Carol: That's right, I was wondering what ethnic background you are?
SP: I'm Portuguese. I am Portuguese.
BC: You know how I found that out?
SP: And people think I'm Indian because I look like an American Indian. And, uh, I've tried to tell people that I'm Portuguese and they don't believe me.
BC: You know how I found that out? Nuno Bettencourt, the guitar player for "Xtreme".
SP: That's right.
BC: Because he's Portuguese as well, and you used to hang, I think his Mom didn't she used to cook for you guys?
SP: Well, I went out there, that's another story I have some of those songs. Him, I, wrote some songs and those are in the can too. And we got together and I speak Portuguese, he speaks fluent Portuguese and his Mom had this bread called "sweet bread" ah, which is really a wonderful kind of everyday bread and we sat there and had dinner and hung out, it was really great.
BC: How's your Portuguese?
SP: My Portuguese is pretty good (speaks a sentence in Portuguese).
BC: Will you take me to Rio de Janeiro? (both laugh) They speak Portuguese down there, and I'd love to go, you know. Can you say "We'll be right back on Rockline" in Portuguese?
SP: No, I can't, actually. (both laugh) Usted Bob Coburn on Rockline. (with accent) That's the way they say it. (both laugh)
BC: Back in a second.
BC: I'm going to play a song right now from the "Infinity" album "Wheel in the Sky" by Journey, featuring Steve Perry on Rockline.
Song "Wheel in the Sky"
BC: It's Rockline, my guest Steve Perry, I'm Bob Coburn. Your number is toll free. (gives number) "Wheel in the Sky". What is the wheel in the sky?
SP: You know, I'm really not quite sure, I think it does have some spiritual connotations, uh, you know.
BC: There are a lot of ways to look at it. (at the same time as Steve)
SP: The circle of life.
BC: I've heard people say it's just planet earth, I've heard other say it is the cosmic mandella, that you know..
SP: Yeah, it is a bit of a mandella thing, that's what I was told. Yeah.
BC: Yeah, great song. Did you realize what great music you were making at the time or were you just going about your business?
SP: No, we were just writing cause, like I was telling you, when we were off the air, the band had a mission, it really did. We knew we wanted to be successful playing the music that we were, and we really worked hard at it, and we just consistently just pushed, and kept writing, kept touring, and we got very fortunate. And the rest took care of itself, I guess.
BC: It always comes down to songs though.
BC: We've got Chuck on the line in Philadelphia here, he wants to talk to you. Chuck, you're on Rockline with Steve Perry.
Chuck: Hey Steve how ya doin'?
SP: Hi Chuck, how are you?
Chuck: Good! I think you're awesome, man!
SP: Thanks, man.
Chuck: I got a question, will you be doing, do you think, anymore "We are the World" stuff, or benefits or anything like that?
SP: I, you know, I don't know when I'm going to do, uh, I'm talking about right now, um, a website, I'm talking about a lot of unreleased material I have laying around and some new things I'm writing, and maybe touring behind some of that. Um, that's probably what's in store, coming up next, you know. But, uh, I don't know if any of that's coming up. I'm sure they'd give me a call, I'd sure love to do something like that, that was really fun to do. "We are the World" thing.
SP: I was very, very nervous being in that room, looking around the room and all these people, , I didn't know why I was there, to be honest with you. I said "Look at these people!" you know.
BC: Is that story true the sign above the door that said "Check your ego at the door"?
SP: It is true, it is true and it worked for most of us. (both laughing)
BC: Now, who did it not work for?
SP: I'm not going there.
BC: You're not goin' there, yeah. (both still laughing)
BC: You ever think about a "Live Aid" style charity for Kosovo, has anyone ever approached you for anything like that?
SP: No, I don't know, maybe that is in the works.
BC: You know, there's, there's no shortage of things right now. I mean something could be done for Littleton, for the tornadoes in Kansas and Oklahoma
BC: What an end to this millennium!
SP: I know!
BC: You know, I thought when we had the O.J. trial, I thought this is the capper for the millennium.
SP: Oh no!
BC: Then we go to Clinton/Lewinsky and then we go from that to Kosovo and then we go. I mean the climax to this millennium is unbelievable!
SP: Yeah, Dominic ??????? we were talking before we went on the air, and I'm in reflection at the end of this year. Actually, people say "Well, what are you doing, what are you doing?" I'm just lookin' back at the end of this whole thing, and when 2000 clicks, then, you know, I think it's going to be a fresh, new beginning for me, personally. But I'm in reflection about all this cause being in Journey was the biggest thing that ever happened in my life, you know, and writing those songs, like you just said. And the solo projects I got to do, so, I feel very fortunate to be a part of all that.
BC: I do that on New Year's too. I look back, what was the year like, what did I do, what could I have done better, what could I do the next year that will be better than the previous year was. I think it is a time for reflection.
SP: Um hum.
BC: Let's take another call from the Los Angeles area. Karen, it's your turn with Steve Perry on Rockline.
Karen: Hi Steve!
SP: Hi Karen, how are ya?
Karen: Oh, I'm great now. (all laugh)
Karen: Oh, my question is what has been the highpoint in your career, thus far.
SP: Ahhh there have been so many highpoints, I mean that, that is a very difficult question. I was telling Bob, that when the first highpoint hit, was a, a cousin of mine called me on the phone and says "I saw your Mom the other day, um, your first album came out and she had it on 8 track "Infinity" and she put it in the car and said 'Listen to this.'" And she pulled him in there and turned it up, and she was so proud, he says, you couldn't believe it. And that was a very highpoint in my life. To have that come back to the phone, that my Mom was pulling (laughing) relatives off the street saying "Get in the car, listen to this, this is my son." you know. (laughing)
BC: We're going around the block one more time!
SP: We're cruising the block and you're going to listen to this one. (both laughing)
BC: You haven't heard "La Do Da" yet!
SP: That's right, that's right.
BC: Ah, love it. Karen, thanks for helping us out and thanks for being on tonight. Eileen, patiently waiting her turn in the Raleigh, NC area. Welcome to the show, Eileen!
Eileen: Steve, I am a relatively new "Stevette".
SP: Uh oh, "Stevette"!
Eileen: But a very devoted one.
SP: Stevette, I like that, it sounds like..
Eileen: I like it better than "Perryhead".
SP: Yeah, well, "Perryhead", yeah (all laugh)
Eileen: But I am trying to collect music and I understand through some of the stuff on the internet that there was a time when you might have done a couple of songs with Jon Bon Jovi?
SP: No. Never worked with Jon.
SP: Ah, I've worked with Nuno Bettencourt, maybe that's the confusion, but they're not really similar.
SP: No, not at all.
BC: Pretty well draw a line right between the two of them.
SP: Draw a line down the middle of that, yeah. Uh, no, didn't work with Jon.
BC: Actually, I believe you were working with Sammy Hagar at the time.
SP: I was working with Sammy in the studio, doing backgrounds. (both laugh)
SP: And I don't remember that much..
BC: Eileen, what, where again, was your source for that, on the internet?
Eileen: It's one of the things that was on the internet, just some information about a live concert, you might have sung with him.
SP: Ummm.. Well, you know what they're probably talking about, I did sing live with him one time in San Francisco, uh we sang a Sam Cooke song for an encore and we did uh, they also were closing their show with a, I think, 4 Tops song called "Reach Out", and I did that with him. But I don't think there's a tape, unless, Jon's circulating a bootleg. I don't know.
SP: Maybe Jon's doing it.
BC: Do you remember the Sam Cooke song, I love Sam Cooke.
SP: Oh, I love Sam Cooke, all his stuff is great.
BC: Do you remember what song you did?
SP: Um, we did, um gosh what was it? You really pinned me now. Um, it wasn't "Let the Good Times Roll", it was another one. It will come to me. Uh, in the next caller I'll blurt it out, and they'll go "What?!" (laughing)
BC: "What are you talkin' about? What's going on here?" Alright, we're going to play a song right now "If You Need Me, Call Me" I'm going to ask you to set this up.
BC: Because there is a lot of history with this song here.
SP: Well, this is a song, for the lady who just called in, and other people, you know I was doing demo's in Los Angeles, trying to get people to realize that I'm a singer, who want to be in the music business. And this song, which is on my, um, on my recently released "Steve Perry Greatest Hits", uh it's a demo that got me the gig in Journey. And it was the one that was played for the manager and the manager played if for everyone in the band, and unfortunately, the bass player was killed in a car wreck, and that band was on it's way. Um, because of that terrible story, Journey heard that tape, and I got the gig because of this demo. "If You Need Me, Call Me." This is from 1977.
Song "If You Need Me, Call Me"
BC: "If You Need Me, Call Me" what a great title for a song for a guy looking for a gig. (both laugh)
SP: Yeah, it was, it was.
BC: Put your number on the tape there and everything. You know, that still sounds really good.
SP: Well, that's 1977 you know, we were just talking, it's like they're pictures from the past, and you know, they're like audio pictures. I mean, they are what they are.
BC: Yeah, and we were what we were.
SP: That's right.
BC: But we're not that anymore.
SP: Yeah, yeah. But it is a fun song.
BC: We are in the Los Angeles area for our next call, it's Rebecca, Hi Rebecca, welcome!
Rebecca: Hi Bob! And thanks again for bringing us Steve Perry tonight.
BC: Ah, Steve Perry came on his own. And he's right here for ya.
Rebecca: When Jonathan Cain, thank God he came to your band, and came to you with that incredible melody, that sold over a million single copies from the album that sold several million copies which was number one for over a hundred weeks.. (Steve laughs)
SP: Do you do this for a living? You're good at this.
Rebecca: Yeah, "Escape", the greatest album, ever.
BC: Steve, I'll be back in about 5
SP: Yeah, yeah Bob, we'll just take over here.
Rebecca: No, I do my homework, I know my information on you. I love you, I've loved you for years. Um, when he came to you with "syrupy melody" that John Waite would have nothing to do with, begosh him, um "Open Arms", my most favorite song..
Rebecca: Because it has a special memory for me. Ah, was there anybody special that that was a poem to, or do you just come up with these incredible lyrics?
SP: Well, you did, you did your homework, because what happened was, Jon Cain showed up at my house with a Whirlitzer piano, a little piano, and he had these ideas and one of them was this beautiful melody, which is the beginning of the song you can hear him play the intro which is the basic melody of the song. And he played it for me and he said, uh, "I got this idea, but maybe, maybe, I don't know. I played it for John Waite when I was in the Baby's, but he thought it was to syrupy." And I said, "Well, play it for me, I'd love to hear it." He played it and I was floored, you know. I said "I don't care what you think it is, it's beautiful. And we should finish it." You know, and we did. And we put, you know, a power ballad sort of feel to it, which had really never been done before, we put some size to the ballad.
BC: People get married to that song.
SP: I know that now, isn't that something? I used to get the prom requests, people say "You know that's our song" and da, da, da.
SP: And they still do, yeah.
BC: It's one of those that you remember where you were when you first heard it.
SP: Yeah, that's nice, because that is pre-video.
SP: See, that song is your video, where you were - is your video.
SP: And the song is yours.
BC: Yeah, I like videos inside the head a lot better (Steve laughs) not to knock anything on TV, there's good work out there.
SP: No, no, I'm just saying it was pre-video. Yeah.
BC: Rebecca, thanks. We head to um, we're going to talk to our main man, it's Gary in Portland, Maine Hi Gary, how are you?
Gary: Hey, how ya doin'? Great. How you doing, Bob? Uh, Steve uh, just saying I've been listening to your music for years and I think it's absolutely fantastic.
Gary: It's a privilege to talk to ya, and I'm just saying that I know can hold your own on music and I just turned my girlfriend on, the other night, to your music. And she usually listens to Country music and she says "Who's this guy?" (Steve laughs) That's Steve Perry and she goes "Yeah" so I pulled out all my music collection that you got, and I just wondered, I know you can hold your own, just in the future, uh have anybody in mind that you're going to do a collaboration with or something?
SP: You know I'm not really sure, I , I really did enjoy working with David Foster and Carole Bayer Sagar recently on the "Quest for Camelot". I had always admired their talent so that was a fun collaboration, and um, so I would like to do more stuff like that in the near future, you know.
BC: Gary, thanks for being on.
SP: Thanks Gary!
BC: We're going to head to Dayton, Ohio to speak with Paula. Paula you are on Rockline with Steve Perry.
Paula: Hi Steve, how are you?
SP: I'm good, you?
Paula: I'm great, thank you. I just love you so much and I'm thrilled to be speaking to you.
Paula: Ok, I have a question, um is music totally fulfilling for you? Or do you have other creative outlets?
SP: (sucks in his breath) Music is like a double-edged sword for me, it's fulfilling, and it's frustrating. Uh, it really comes with a double-edged sword for me. Uh, it's a love-hate thing. I get rid of of. It really is. I, I, I'm not pleased, easily, with myself and I do have to reach to be pleased with what I come up with. And, uh, so, that's the struggle and the frustration. But also, I end up, being pretty happy with it, you know, when I'm done.
BC: You could be describing a lot of things.
SP: Yeah, I know!
BC: My golf game. (both laugh)
SP: It's all the same, it really is.
BC: It really is.
SP: It's the "zen" of it the zen of golf, you know, the zen of songwriting.
BC: Yeah, I keep telling myself that when I slice one in the woods, you know. (Steve laughs). Now, when you have somebody, like your friend a moment ago, come to you with "Open Arms" and play the piano part..
BC: Did the lyrics immediately come to you?
SP: That one, that one started coming together pretty quick, but Jon and I did finish it together. You know, he brought a good lyric sense with myself. I mean he really, really had a great lyric contribution to that song.
BC: Did that opening verse just hit you immediately?
SP: You know, I don't remember. I think "I came to you with open arms nothing to hide, believe what I say" was what came first. Then the bridge came later, you know.
BC: Man, that's such, just such good stuff. You know, we'll be back in just a moment, but first, Rockline Remembers. Can you remember what year these events occurred? On the 10th anniversary of Jim Morrison's death, the three surviving members of "The Doors" led fans in a graveside tribute in Paris. Bruce Springsteen headlined the "No Nukes" benefit concert at the Hollywood Bowl. And Journey released the album "Escape" which contained this song "Stone in Love". Was it 1981, 1982 or 1983? We'll be back with the answer and Steve Perry, in a moment.
BC: Hey, welcome back to Rockline, I'm Bob Coburn with Steve Perry. Rockline Remembers. Can you remember what year these events occurred? On the 10th anniversary of Jim Morrison's death, the three surviving members of "The Doors" led fans in a graveside tribute in Paris. Bruce Springsteen headlined the "No Nukes" benefit concert at the Hollywood Bowl. And Journey released the album "Escape" which contained this song "Stone in Love". Was it 1981, 1982 or 1983? Steve Perry?
SP: I don't know. We were talking about it, you've got a whole fan base in here saying, they're saying 2 or 1.
BC: They're holding up 1, 2 or 3 fingers.
SP: I'm thinking maybe 1. But like I said, it was a blurr, maybe 1 maybe 2, I think.
BC: Well, I'm going to narrow you down.
SP: Alright, 2.
BC: Pick one.
BC: (makes a buzzer noise)
SP: Oh!! Where was I? I thought I was there!
BC: August 8, 1981, it charted on Billboard Magazine, so it probably came out a week or 10 days before that, but that's when you actually charted on Billboard Magazine.
SP: Yeah, I knew that, I was just testing you, Bob. (laughs)
BC: How about we play "Against the Wall" Would you like to hear that?
SP: Well, "Against the Wall" should I tell them what that is?
SP: That's the title track of the album that never came out. That was the second solo album, after "Street Talk", which had "Oh Sherrie" on it, um it never came out. Uh, I went back and did the "Raised on Radio" record and then "For the Love of Strange Medicine" came after that. So, it's been released on the "Greatest Hits" which is out right now and this is the title track, "Against the Wall".
Song "Against the Wall"
BC: "Against the Wall" you know, that's a really good song!
BC: That sounds good on the radio, too, doesn't it?
SP: Yeah, that's the first time I've gotten to hear it on the radio, honestly.
BC: Ah, that's cool!
SP: It sounds good, thanks.
BC: Glad we could do that for you. Los Angeles, here we come. Debbie, you're on Rockline with Steve Perry.
Debbie: Hi Steve!
SP: Hi Debbie!
Debbie: I was just wondering if you were just planning on being solo or considered going with, sing another group?
SP: You know, I haven't that's a good idea! Maybe I should join some other band, I don't know. You know, right now I'm just still writing songs, and uh, just doing that. Thinking about what I am going to do, just sort of like what we were talking about reflecting at the millennium, waiting for 2000 to hit.
BC: You could do a song called "If You Need Me, Call Me Again".
SP: Again, yes, I'm ready again.
BC: What bands do you like right now? Who has captured your interest?
SP: I like Kid Rock, I went out and bought that immediately, because I liked it, and him. I also was listening to another radio station in town of course, I do scan the dial, you won't hate me for that, will you?
BC: Can we cut this out? (Steve laughs) Just hit the delay button, just scoop this right out.
SP: Anyway, I was scanning the dial and I ran into the "Low Fidelity All Stars", and I liked that song, you know. It's called "Red Flag, Black Flag", I don't know what it's called, but it's so great!
BC: Can you pronounce the latest Kid Rock song?
SP: No, but I love what they say in there.
BC: Ba with the ba.
SP: But they say something, something about the monkey and all this thing, it's great.
BC: Yeah, he's a cool guy.
SP: Yeah, he is.
BC: Yeah, you got to meet him sometime, you'd like him a lot. Debbie, thank you very, very much. We're going to talk to Syracuse, NY where Sue is. Sue you are on Rockline with Steve Perry.
Sue: Hi! My heart is like just jumping out of my
SP: Hi Sue, how are you doing?
Sue: I am fine.
Sue: Oh, it's been so long since we've heard your voice.
SP: Oh, it's been a long time since I've heard my voice, let me tell you that. (everyone laughs)
Sue: I have a question.
Sue: I know that you have a lot of different favorite singers but and you've sung with tons of different people
Sue: Is there anyone you haven't sang with that you'd like to?
SP: (sighs) Oh man, do you know what I'd really like to do, is uh, there are some master tapes laying around of Sam Cooke. And, you know, David Foster did a version with Nat Cole and her father and I would love to do a duet with Sam, in the same way that they're able to put it together because of technology, we can pull off those vocal performances and sing along with him. And I think it would be fun to do sometime.
BC: You have complimentary voices, too.
SP: Yeah, yeah, well I've loved him my whole life, you kidding me? First time I heard Sam Cooke, I was in Pismo Beach, in my Mother's Thunderbird driving down the street, you know, and I heard "Cupid" come on the radio and I about died, you know. So, from that point on.
BC: He did so many great songs, "Don't Know Much About History".
SP: Yeah, he was talented - excellent. I still can't remember the song! It wasn't "Let the Good Times Roll". (both laugh)
BC: You know when it will come? It will come at a minute past the top of the hour, when we've signed off, that's when it will come.
SP: Or, I'll be on the freeway.
BC: Got to play this one tonight, without a doubt, here's "Oh Sherrie" by Steve Perry, on Rockline.
Song "Oh Sherrie"
BC: "Oh Sherrie", Steve Perry, my guest on Rockline tonight, how could you resist? (Steve laughing)
SP: You've got that night time voice, you know.
BC: Yeah, but I work afternoons.
SP: I know, but you should do like the midnight to like three shift going "Love Songs with Bob".
BC: (in slow, sexy voice) That's right. "Yes, it's Bob Coburn with Steve Perry on Rockline." (Steve laughing) "On the FM network" (back to normal voice) Next call is from Trisha in Philadelphia. Hi Trisha, how are you?
Trisha: I'm good, how are you?
SP: Hi Trisha!
Trisha: Hi Steve, how are you?
SP: I'm good!
Trisha: Um, I just wanted to know what's the weirdest thing a fan ever did to you or for you?
SP: Oh god! To you or for you, let's leave the to you off! (both laugh) The for you. Gosh, I don't know. You know there's been some strange things. Tthe flowers! When I did the solo tour, I'd forgotten what used to happen when I was on tour with Journey. Uh, I did the solo tour about, uh, '94/'95 and the flowers that would show up and be thrown onstage I mean, I'd walk off with an armful of flowers. And, that wasn't weird, it was just great. It was just one of the wonderful things.
BC: Now, you mentioned off the air, that some people had sent things over the years to offices.. and everything.
BC: You've got quilts.
SP: I got quilts. Yeah, I get all kinds of handmade quilts and a lot of them line my studio and they're on the walls, cause they look nice and they're great sound absorbers. So, uh, I got that stuff, yeah. One, one specific is the uh, cover of "For the Love of Strange Medicine" it's really nice.
BC: Really? Someone did the cover on a quilt for you?
SP: Yeah, they did the cover, it's really beautiful.
BC: Wow, that's unbelievable! Man.
SP: Yeah, a very nice quilt.
BC: Trisha, thanks for being on the air! And a reminder, anyone who gets on the air tonight, gets a copy of Steve Perry's "Greatest Hits + 5".
SP: Yes, which is out right now.
BC: Which is out right now.
BC: Available at your local CD store and courtesy of Columbia Records and Rockline. Back with Steve in just a moment. Call us toll-free at (gives number).
BC: And welcome back to Rockline. I'm Bob Coburn, and Steve Perry with me tonight and uh, we have a call from Chicago, it, Tony on the line, Tony you're on Rockline.
Tony: How you doin' Steve?
SP: Hey Tony, how are ya? How's everything in Shytown?
Tony: Ah, everything's goin' good here. I just want to say, I'm a big fan of yours and I have a question, uh, what was your inspiration behind the song "Send Her My Love"? It's one of my favorite songs.
SP: That's funny because we just came on the air with that song. That is one of my favorite songs too. Um, I sat down with Jonathan Cain and that song just slowly started coming together, and it was sort of a goodbye song, you know, uh that if you see her, send her my love, even though it's over with, you know, I hope she's doing well, do me a favor, you know. Jonathan actually had told me, he says, you know, more times than not, you'll run into someone says "I saw your old girlfriend" and the best, he said, he could come up with was, you know, do me a favor, send her my love. And that was how the title sort of came into if my memory serves me well. And it began that way. And it's funny you mention that because that is one of my most favorite songs as far as it's cinematic. It has this sort of, it's cinematic. It's like 70mm, that track. I'm really proud of that song.
BC: It's got imagery.
SP: It's got imagery.
BC: Which creates that kind of picture.
SP: It has, it has pictures to it, for some reason.
BC: You have worked with really good people over the years.
SP: Oh yeah, oh yeah. I've been blessed.
BC: And Jonathan, uh, you know, I've had Jonathan on Rockline. I've also played ball with him.
BC: He's a good ball player, man!
SP: Yeah, he is a baseball guy.
BC: He's pretty darn good you know. (Steve laughing) He hit me with a line drive one time, and there's still a mark, I think. Thank you Jonathan, so much. Tony, thanks for the call. We head to the New York City area to speak with Linda. Linda, I've got Steve Perry for ya!
Linda: How are you?
SP: How's everything in New York?
Linda: Weather's been a little lousy, but that's ok.
Linda: Um, I have a question for you.
Linda: On the "Trial By Fire" CD you have 2 bonus tracks, one was only in Japan, and one is a hidden track that's on the last, at the very, very end.
Linda: Do you have any other hidden tracks, that you know of, that aren't
SP: Aren't released?
Linda: Yeah, that aren't released, or that are only in Japan, like not here in the States?
SP: No, you pretty much covered it. On the "Trial By Fire" CD there is a bonus track that was not released here and um, and the regae song, which is the fun song, on the hidden track for "Trial By Fire", but you have to let your CD keep playing because it's not listed, you know, the whole thing, yeah.
BC: You know, one of the things that amazes me about tonight and the people that are your fans..
BC: They're really into it.
SP: They know more about what I'm doing, than I do, Bob. You know, I mean one guy says "Don't you remember singing with Sammy Hagar?" I mean, I forgot that I did do that. And it's coming back to me now, bit by bit, you know.
BC: You still can't come up with that Sam Cooke song though, can you?
SP: No, I can't "Come on Baby, Let the Good Times Roll" I don't know, maybe it was that one.
BC: Maybe it was that one, huh? Linda, thanks! Back to the Los Angeles area to speak with Mary. Mary you're on Rockline with Steve Perry.
Mary: I have a question for you. You ever consider writing an autobiography?
SP: Um, I've been approached by a couple of, um publishing houses on that. And we've talked about that. And I don't know what's happening, with that right now. I've sketched a few things down, starting from the very beginning, and it's been therapeutic. To sit there and just start saying, in front of my computer, where I was born, uh what happened, uh who my parents were, and uh, ect. I've sort of started doing some of that on my own, and uh, like I said, it's been therapeutic, believe me, to look back and get some gratitude for where it started.
BC: That's an interesting question, Mary, and a very good one. Thanks for being on Rockline tonight.
BC: Hey, we're giving you a chance to talk with Steve Perry. Trying to be accommodating tonight on Rockline and givin' it to you
Song "Any Way You Want It"
BC: From "Departure" "Any Way You Want It" Journey, with Steve Perry. Do you remember the Sam Cooke song?
SP: Yeah, it was, I think it was "Bring It On Home to Me".
BC: Yeah? Now, you sang a verse to me, can you sing..
SP: (singing) "If you ever change your mind, about leavin', leavin' me behind, oh bring it to me, bring your sweet lovin'. Bring it on home to me." Yeah!
SP: Yeah! Come on Bob, give me some! (both laugh)
BC: You got to point at me quicker, man! (both laugh) That's why I talk and you sing, thank you very much. Ah, that was great, way to go! (clapping). Uh, to the Hartford, New Haven area, we have Dawn on the line, Dawn you're on Rockline.
Dawn: Hi Bob, Hi Steve!
SP: Hi, how are you?
Dawn: That wasn't fair, I'm a puddle on the floor now.
SP: Oh! (both laugh)
Dawn: That was wonderful!
BC: What a vivid image!
Dawn: Thank you for the music, I've been wanting to tell you that for years. I can't believe I have this opportunity. My question is, I still can't believe that despite Journey's such huge success, the band never won a Grammy. How do you feel about that?
SP: Well, I think we're in good company. Because there is a lot of people that haven't won Grammy's that have just been respected and I think we're in good company. Um, there were a lot of people who won Grammy's and their careers were kinda, like over. There was talk amongst a lot of people that you really don't want to do a big sweep, you kinda want to be respected and win a couple, you don't want to clean up on year. Cause sometimes you go away.
BC: That happens to a lot of people.
SP: It happens. Yeah, no reflection on the Grammy's, just sort of, I don't know, happens, you know.
BC: You know, then there are those that win Grammy's that you just kinda go "Oh man" and then some of them get busted later on. Like Milli Vanilli, remember all that stuff?
SP: Yeah, that's actually a really sad story, because one of them ended up uh, killing himself. That's pretty sad, people don't realize that, that didn't turn out too great.
BC: Yeah, well, that is sad, yeah, don't want to bring it up for that particular reason.
BC: Christopher Cross comes to mind, who won the Grammy for "Sailin".
SP: Yeah, oh he cleaned up!
BC: Yeah, yeah!
SP: And then you know, then that's it.
BC: There are a lot of friends that I don't want to mention..
SP: He's a great guy I mean he's got a lot of music coming out, on the internet, so he's doing great too, Christopher Cross is.
BC: The internet is changing everything.
BC: It's it's the brave new world, I'm tellin' ya. Ah, Tom in Los Angeles, welcome to Rockline, here's Steve Perry.
Tom: Steve, it's a thrill to talk to ya!
SP: Hi Tom, how are you?
Tom: I'm doing great and happy to hear you're doing well too!
Tom: Umm.. before I ask my question, just want to say I was a fan of, of your work with Journey and uh your solo work, been to concerts for years and years and years. My wife and I started dating to your music, and my brother, 10 years younger than me, I brainwashed him into thinking you guys were the greatest and to this day, he's a bigger fan than I am.
SP and BC: Laughing
Tom: It's, it's great and what I really want to say to you, besides ask my question, is thank you. Thank you for all that you've put into your music and thank you for all that you have given us, over the years. Uh
Tom: We fans can't complain. You, you've really done a lot for us.
SP: Oh, well thank you so much. You guys have changed my life, you can be sure of that.
Tom: And, and, the question that I had was, you know, you mentioned earlier in the interview, um, the internet and the internet is a powerful medium, changing things. And um, I belong to discussion groups and now I'm wondering if you do delve into that medium. You know, are you going to do something that's one-way communication, do you plan on trying to have some kind of discussion group where we can get with you as well as fan, two-way? What do you think?
SP: Well, that's a really good question. I would like to take this opportunity to tell you that if there's anybody out there posing as me and discussing things about me, because it's been happening, it's not me. Cause, I'm not chatting on the internet. And people have been out there in that medium and enjoying the secrecy of posing as me and talking for me. And I'm not on the internet, so I'm just glad that you brought that up, it gives me an opportunity to clarify that. Once in a while, I will go through the old Journey fan club, and when that happens, it is me. Uh, but as far as the music goes, I think that the future of uh, all types of free music will end up on the internet, eventually. And uh, groups are doing it now and I plan on having a website, where I'll have a lot of unreleased things, um my high school's band, and I found the tapes recently. I was telling Bob, of the Rock group I was in, in high school. And there's a process. I have to bake the tapes to play them once to put them on digital, uh to capture them, because their really, pretty old tapes. And a lot of other things I've got laying around, that I like, that I haven't released, so, and new stuff, I think it's going to be fun, to release a lot of things like this on a website.
BC: But somebody has actually been uh, an imposter of you on the internet?
SP: Yeah, yeah. They have and they've done some, some not great things.
BC: So, I guess that means I'm not meeting you at the park at midnight?
SP: That's right! That's right!
SP: That famous park over here on Sunset. Don't start with me Bob!
BC: Won't be happening, huh?
SP: I won't be there. No bathroom jokes, Bob!
BC: Thanks for being on the line, Tom. Uh, no we won't go to the ???? thing at all.
BC: Uh, we have Joe from Boston, MA, you're on the show.
SP: Hello Joe! (pause) Hello Joe?
BC: Hey Joe?
BC: You're on the air.
SP: Hi Joe, how are ya?
Joe: Pretty good, yourself?
SP: Good, how's everything in Boston?
Joe: Oh great! Uh, I just wanted to call and thank ya for a couple of songs. My girlfriend and my, our song is "Faithfully" and it's just a beautiful song, all the way around. And uh, "Don't Stop Believin'" whenever I'm down and feeling down in the dumps and all that sort of stuff, or don't think something's going to happen, I just think of that song, and it helps me get through those times, whatever it may be.
SP: Well, you know something, I mean people think that I was fortunate enough to be successful in the music business that I don't have down times, and the truth is, that's not true at all. I have the same kind of down times you do. And uh there's a lot of music that gets me through those times and every now and then those songs help me get through it too! When we wrote them, you know I wrote them with hope, with the guys and uh, put that kind of image and feeling into them, but I never realized that there have been some times, recently that they have helped me, myself. Believe me.
BC: Sometimes you get a little distance. We had Alice Cooper on a few weeks ago and he has a 4 CD Boxed set and he was actually driving and he plugged the CD in and he forgot.
BC: And then it dawned on him "Oh my gosh, it's me!" You know.
SP: And, I mean it isn't like I'm sitting there going "Check me out". No, I just don't, you never get
BC: No, that's not it at all.
SP: You never get a chance to get on this side of a looking glass. You've been behind it for so many years that you don't get a chance to actually, to look at it like, like, the fans here in the studio have a chance to look at it. Every now and then, you get a perspective glimpse that they get and it kind of stuns you. Like "What's that?" And (laughs) it's just nice to hear yourself from that perspective.
BC: We'll be back with Steve Perry in just a moment, on Rockline.
BC: I think one of the things, perhaps, and I hope that you've learned from this evening, is that you've really touched a lot of people over the years, Steve. You've really made a difference in people's lives and made things a little easier, when, when times were rugged and I believe it was Tom from Boston, who called a moment ago and was talking about exactly that. What is success for you? Is it the money, is it the artistic feeling, is it the recognition, what is success for you?
SP: I think it's everything and, but you have to add on and that is you have to be able to survive real life. You know, John Lennon said that life is what happens to you while you're busy making plans, and I was fortunate and really, really fortunate, a lot of them, all my dreams came true. Uh and then just like everyone else, adult things happen to you and life things, losing my Mom, losing my Grandpa who raised me, my Dad recently, uh a year ago, so I thing surviving and continuing, uh is success. And moving forward and using, if you have another song that loves ya, and even if it's not one of mine, you know, something that gets you in that feeling where you feel good about your life and you love your life. And music really can do that.
BC: Very quickly, you have a chance, and a paragraph, to say anything you want to the band Journey. What do you say?
SP: Oh your doin' it to me. I uh, that's a tough one, uh I do wish everybody well, I think everyone is really doing what they really feel is right, and that means myself. And I think them too. And, uh, so.. so goes everything with that. You know, I think that everybody does the best they can and uh, and does what they feel in their heart that is absolutely right. And that is what's going on right now, with everybody. And including, I think, yourself. We do what we love.
BC: Yeah, absolutely. I gotta thank everybody for listening and for calling tonight. Also want to thank Tommy Edwards at the Arrow in Los Angeles, and to you Steve Perry, what a great 90 minutes!
SP: Thanks! I appreciate it!
BC: This has really been cool. I'm B.C. and I'll be seeing ya!