The Pulse of Radio reports that former JOURNEY frontman Steve Perry, who left the band 12 years ago, is said to be eager to reunite with his bandmates following the continued success of the band's 1981 hit "Don't Stop Believin'", which was most recently featured on the Fox show "Glee". According to London's Daily Star, Perry, who left the band in 1998 rather than be forced into hip-surgery so that the band could tour behind their hit reunion album "Trial By Fire", has since been replaced by various sound-alike vocalists. JOURNEY co-founder Neal Schon was quoted by PerezHilton.com as saying, "(Steve) seems to be enjoying the spotlight a little too much. The fact is he's no longer the lead singer. He walked out."
Regardless of Perry not being welcomed back into the band, there's been no confirmation as to whether Perry has actually asked JOURNEY to allow him to return. JOURNEY, with latest lead vocalist Arnel Pineda, will release their latest studio album next year.
Neal Schon told BBC News that the recent success of "Don't Stop Believin'" being used in "The Sopranos" and "Glee" is actually a mixed blessing for the band. "We really, really don't want to be known for just one song," he said. "It has been good for us, though, in the sense that fans who downloaded that are now looking at our other tracks. We think we have a lot more to offer than 'Don't Stop Believin'' and hopefully this will open up the back catalogue a bit more."
Although current lead vocalist Arnel Pineda is a dead ringer vocally for former frontman Steve Perry, many JOURNEY fans long for a reunion between Perry and core members Schon, Ross Valory, and Jonathan Cain. Cain was asked if the band ever thought to asking Perry to rejoin the band, rather than finding the perfect sound-alike vocalist. "No, because he really sealed the deal back in '98 and said, 'Don't expect anything from me, y'know, we're done. You and I are done,'" he said. "So I know that he keeps his word and I would not make that call because I know that he's quite happy with the life he has. And it's pretty rigorous out here. What we do is very rigorous, and he doesn't need it. Why does he need it, you know? His legacy is already there."
Cain told The Pulse of Radio that the band feels totally secure with Pineda, following the loss of Perry's original replacements Steve Augeri and Jeff Scott Soto. "I think we really looked long and hard at what we had accomplished and we didn't wanna slide backwards at all," he said. "Since '98, trying to recreate the brand and give the people the kind of shows that we'd hoped for. And when you lose a guy like Steve (Augeri),who was a tremendous team player, and y'know, Jeff Scott steps up and kinda helps us out there. But, y'know, his sound wasn't for us and then later on, I think his personality wasn't for us."
JOURNEY along with STYX and FOREIGNER — two bands which also perform without their legendary lead vocalists — kick off a U.K. tour on June 4 at London's Wembley Arena.