Let’s say your band was one of the biggest hit-makers of the late 70s and early 80s. You went through your requisite Our Lead Singer is a Megalomaniac Crisis™ and went on hiatus for eight years or so. You managed to scrape everyone back together, record an album of totally new material, get nominated for a Grammy, and gear up to promote the album on tour. Then, just when everything looked like it was about to crank up again, your lead singer has a medical crisis, and it all hits the ground with a resounding thud. What do you do?
Well, you fire your lead singer (who happens to have one of the most recognizable voices in power ballad history) and look for a new one. Lo and behold, out of the woodwork comes someone who sounds mostly like your old lead singer, and he even has the same first name. What luck! You get to tour again! So, back out on the road for another 8 years or so. Flog the old hits, record yet another new album of new material, etc. Things are going great… until your lead singer has a medical crisis and has to leave the band. What do you do?
Well, if you’re Journey, you look on YouTube and happen to find a video of a bar band in the Philippines. After picking your jaw up off the floor and recovering from the brain explosion, you call the guy (named Arnel Pineda) and offer him a job as the lead singer of your band. Next thing you know, you’re on stage in Chile performing to another screaming horde.
I have to think that Neal Schon and Jonathan Cain are so tired of still playing those same songs 25 years later. I hope I’m wrong. I hope they’re still having a blast. Here’s to tenacity and the luck of the Irish!