Don’t stop believing

I’m listening to Journey. That’s right, I said I’m listening to Journey. To some that’s a crime but I don’t care. Journey was the first band I ever saw live. My dad bought tickets to the first ever Day On The Green in Oakland[1] and it completely floored me. For whatever reason, my dad liked Journey. He’d always compare Steve Perry to Barry Manilow and say: “Steve Perry don’t wear those frilly silk shirts like that Barry Manilow guy.”

Thinking back, the band lineup is pretty funny. Night Ranger opened, so I guess that was technically my first rock and roll experience. They definitely rocked. I remember them sounding great. Then came Eddie Money followed by Brian Adams (I think; the order might be different). Triumph was up next. I knew Triumph from MTV and I really liked them, so that was fun.

Then came Journey. The stage crew dropped down the big blue alien face from the Frontiers album in huge banners on both sides of the stage and Journey fully rocked in their signature grandiose style. The show went late into the night, they played all their big hits, and I dug every minute of it.

My music tastes have changed dramatically since that first concert, but at the time it was quite an experience. It got me into  becoming a real fan of music, rather than just listening to certain radio stations I liked. I started buying albums (Led Zeppelin 4 was my first) and before long me and my best friend would go to Tower Records almost every weekend. We’d kind of challenge each other to find cool new stuff and then we’d go back to his house and record them from vinyl to cassette and swap tapes.

So yeah, sue me, I like Journey. (“Open Arms” was also my first slow dance with a girl, so that had an effect as well.) They may be sitting on the cheese shelf in the rock and roll history museum, but I don’t care. They’ve got a prominent shrine tucked back in a far corner of my own museum.

[1]Oops, nevermind. It wasn’t the first ever Day On The Green. It was the first of that particular summer. I had no idea DOTG went back as far as 1973!


5 Responses to “Don’t stop believing”

  1. Don’t stop believing, what a song!

  2. Journey wrote terrific pop songs and should be acknowledged for it. I don’t know who was their main songwriter, but the motherfucker knew how to craft a hook for sure.

    Led Zeppelin 4? The first record I ever bought was Led Zeppelin 2, for 50 cents from my neighbor.

  3. And Steve Perry has a serious set of pipes.

  4. Neil Schon and Steve Perry did most of the writing during their early rockin’ period. Then Jonathan Cain came on for their peak with “Escape” where the three of them wrote all those big poppy hits.

    I bought Led Zep 4 because of that line from the movie ‘Fast Times at Ridgemont High.’ I was trying to get the song Kashmir and later realized it wasn’t on that album.

  5. Well, I learned something new. I can enjoy listening to Journey, but I can’t look at them in those clothes.

    Wish Schon had let it rip more, but that wouldn’t be pop.

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