Thursday, December 14, 2017

Rock News Artist Of The Year No. 8: JOURNEY

As part of the 2017 hennemusic Rock News Awards, the daily news site is counting down the Top 10 Rock News Artists of the year.

Finalists for the 8th annual hennemusic Rock News Awards are chosen by readers: winners are determined by the combined total page views of the top 50 hennemusic rock news stories of the past twelve months.

The 2017 hennemusic Rock News Awards winners will be announced on Thursday, December 21.

2017 Rock News Artist Of The Year – Top 10


Rock News Artist Of The Year No. 8 – JOURNEY

A big question hung over Journey as 2017 began: would former vocalist Steve Perry reunite and perform with them at their induction into the 2017 Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame in April?

The classic Perry lineup of Journey Neal Schon, Jonathan Cain, Steve Smith, Aynsley Dunbar and Ross Valory – were selected to enter the 2017 Rock Hall alongside founding keyboardist/singer Gregg Rolie.

Journey had their most successful commercial period with Perry, who joined the group in 1977; a string of multi-platinum albums followed before his departure in 1998. The last time the singer performed with his former band was at a tribute show for legendary concert promoter Bill Graham following his passing in 1991.

“I'm hoping that Steve Perry will get up and do something with us,” founder and guitarist Neal Schon told Rolling Stone last December. “We'll have to see.”

Confirmation of Perry’s status came during Journey’s spring North American tour, a little over a week before the induction event.

“The ceremony is the first time we’re going to get to see Steve Perry in a long time, so that’ll be fun,” Cain revealed to the Dayton Daily News. “As far as we know he’s just going to accept the award and then skedaddle. That’s all I know, unless something changes. Arnel is going to represent very well, like he always does.”

Perry was on hand at New York’s Barclays Center on April 7 to join Journey for their induction, joining Pearl Jam, Yes, Electric Light Orchestra, Joan Baez and Tupac Shakur as part of the Class of 2017.

As the band members delivered their acceptance speeches, the reclusive singer enthusiastically raved about the fan’s support, even after all his years away from the group.

“You're the ones who put us here!,” Perry told the crowd. “You are the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame! You put us here! We would not be here had it not been for you and your tireless love and consistent devotion. You never have stopped. And from my heart, I must tell you, I have been gone a long time, I understand that. But I want you to know, you've never not been in my heart. I want you to know that. And I love each and every one of you.”

Following the speeches, Journey hit the stage with longtime vocalist Arnel Pineda to perform “Separate Ways (Worlds Apart)”, “Lights” – which they dedicated to Perry – and their signature song, “Don’t Stop Believin’.”

While Perry did not perform, Schon later tweeted his thoughts with a picture of Perry, writing “Well he didn't sing tonight but understandably, as it was a very emotional rekindling ... I was very moved, very proud.”

Journey returned to The Joint at Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Las Vegas for a nine-show residency entitled “Journey Las Vegas” in May before heading out on a summer US tour with Asia in June.

In early June, Journey hit the headlines when Schon revealed some apparent dissention within the band during a series of social media posts directed towards keyboardist Cain.

“I want to be elevated by whom I play with, not feel like I've got cement shoes,” posted Schon on Instagram. “If anyone is unhappy they are not running My band, then They should leave.”

Schon got more specific with some follow-up comments (which were deleted), writing, “I’ve stated how I felt about mixing Religion and Politics and how our music is not of 1 religion – Democratic or Republican. This is and has been an issue with myself Mr Cain and his now wife since he married” – a reference to Cain’s wife, Pentecostal Christian televangelist Paula White.

Pineda jumped into the fray to play peacekeeper between the two, and the group managed to finish their 2017 live schedule in July with an appearance at the Classic East festival in New York, where they playing as part of a weekend lineup that included The Eagles, Fleetwood Mac, Steely Dan, The Doobie Brothers and Earth, Wind & Fire.

In December, Schon released his first-ever holiday EP; the four-song set includes "Ave Maria," "Can’t Help Falling In Love", and instrumental renditions of Journey hits "Open Arms" and "Faithfully."

The guitarist also announced plans to perform a benefit concert for those affected by the wildfires sweeping across California.

Dubbed "Neal Schon's Journey Through Time", the February 9 event at The Independent in San Francisco, CA will see the rocker joined by former Journey members Gregg Rolie on keyboards and drummer Deen Castronovo, as well as bassist Marco Mendoza and keyboardist John Varn.

See also:

Search Journey at hennemusic
AC/DC sweep the 2016 hennemusic Rock News Awards
Van Halen and KISS top the 2015 hennemusic Rock News Awards
Van Halen sweep 2014 hennemusic Rock News Awards
Van Halen and Pearl Jam top the 2013 hennemusic Rock News Awards
Van Halen dominate the 2012 hennemusic Rock News Awards
Van Halen win two hennemusic Rock News Awards
Guns N’ Roses named hennemusic’s Rock News Artist of The Year
Jimmy Page’s 2011 plans named hennemusic’s Rock News Story Of The Year