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!
4 replies on “Dipping Into the Well Again”
Thanks for this. I wasn’t aware of how much retread Journey had been through. The story about Pineda is particularly interesting… the power of the internet to bring people together. (I have a mental image of the guys ego surfing themselves on Youtube and finding that video… the opening is painful… and then he starts singing — or channeling Steve Perry).
Wow. What a story. But, I have to say – that guy is just FREAKY. Sure, he does a dead-on Steve Perry – but have you listened to his other covers? He nails Bryan Adams, Sting, Don Henley – all of whom have pretty distinctive voices. This guy is a vocal chameleon!! THAT takes serious talent and vocal ability.
Thanks for the distraction — I just spent the better part of the past two hours siting here, listening, and saying, “Ben! You’ve gotta come hear this one!!” 🙂
Thanks for posting this ! I honestly had no clue that the band had found a new singer. Excellent 🙂
I assume the Henley you listened to was the “Hotel California” cover. I went and listened to that one again along with “Summer of ‘69″ and “Roxanne.” Honestly, all of his impressions are pretty impressive, but some are definitely better than others. Out of those three, I think the Sting is the best. His accent sticks out quite a bit in the other two. I really do think his Steve Perry is just spot-on perfect, though. I can tell that he has listened to those songs obsessively.
His ability reminds me a lot of a band that Amy and I saw in Fort Lauderdale called Breeze. When you’ve got a few minutes, listen to their demo MP3.