Saturday, March 13, 2010
Hold On to That Fe-EE-ee-e-Line…
If you didn’t know better and heard my cell phone ringtone on a day I happened to be wearing my vintage Escape Tour t-shirt, you might think I’m a die-hard Journey fan. Not exactly. Let me explain, as there are several factors at play.
Back in the day, I wouldn’t be caught dead listening to Journey. Oh no, I listened to only what Creem magazine told me to… Nick Lowe, Boomtown Rats, the Ramones, Ted-freakin’-Nugent (yes, really!) et al. Now I find I really appreciate a certain kind of earnesty (that’s not a word, is it? It’s the quality of honestly being earnest, or earnest X 2.) in music. And in everything, I guess. (I absolutely don't mean to imply that the aforementioned bands aren't earnest. I meant to imply that I was kinda lame.)
But from what I hear (literally), Steve Perry seems to be very much “Let me sing for you” rather than “Watch me sing.” Yes, even in spite of the spandex/tuxedo get-up.
He has a certain graciousness, elegance and wish to please that I also see in those Motown vocal groups (the Tempts! The Four Tops!) who do all those sweet choreographed moves. You may chuckle when you see them in unison (step-turn-step-clap!), but it’s like, Wow…they’re puttin’ on a show! They want the audience to have a good time!
So yeah, I like Steve Perry’s voice, and I don’t even consider Journey to be a guilty pleasure—the original band contained ex-Santana members (instant cred, music snobs, instant cred!) and Perry is a Tenore contraltino. Oh, and he’s got a Siamese cat. Nothing wrong with that.
What’s my guilty pleasure? I don’t think the Partridge Family counts, since the Wrecking Crew played on all those records (six degrees of Good Vibrations separation!). And the Carpenters don’t count either, since they have their own “respected” tribute album .
OK, let’s dig a little deeper, aim a little lower.
I think this may qualify.
What’s YOUR guilty pleasure? You know you’ve got one!
P.S. I forgot to mention—I’m writing this post in honor of my upcoming trip to San Francisco, original home of Journey.