Public appearances by former Journey frontman Steve Perry are rare, if not virtually nonexistent, and have been that way for some years.
Once a face plastered all over T-shirts, concert posters, magazines and music videos, these days it's his voice that provides a lingering presence via such timeless, iconic songs as "Open Arms," "Faithfully" and "Don't Stop Believin'." But as recognizable as that aim-for-the-heavens wail might be, it's also what drove the now 64-year-old singer to leave the music business behind and pursue a quiet, non-public life outside of Los Angeles.
Perry, who, along with the band's four other songwriters, has a vote in approving usage in film, TV and other medium, points to a pivotal request that he says helped launch the song's second life: the 2003 movie .
As Perry recalls: "[Writer/director] Patty Jenkins emailed my attorney Lee Phillips asking, ' How do I get a hold of Steve Perry?
Within a day of publication, scores of outlets (including this one) picked up the post -- not that Perry noticed. I don't keep up with stuff," he said matter-of-factly. So it's a surprise when anything about me goes viral. I've been gone for a long time, but it's nice to know that people remember you." STORY: Power Lawyers: 5 Music Attorneys to Know That sentiment is one he's exploring right now.
Added Perry: "We were so good together that I don't think we could recreate it again.
I think it was a magical time for music and to be in the music business.
But once I stopped, I didn't want to start back up again.
"And that kind of launched it with sporting events, the Chicago White Sox, -- the synch list only grew longer as did the public's fascination with the rock star who dropped out.To wit: a recent story updating the whereabouts of Sherrie Swafford, Perry's longtime flame and the star of the song and accompanying video for "Oh Sherrie," a Top 5 hit for a solo Perry in 1984."This love-hate relationship that I have with my voice is a tumultuous thing," Perry told at the City of Hope Spirit of Life gala honoring CAA managing partner and head of music Rob Light (pictured with former Journey bassist Randy Jackson) on Sept. "You love music, but it's a tough relationship." As Journey continued on without him -- famously hiring Filipino singer Arnel Pineda in 2007 after seeing him belt their songs on You Tube (the story is chronicled in the 2012 film festival favorite, -- Perry decisively disappeared from 1998 on. "I jumped off the Journey merry-go-round when it was still selling large venues.I got burned out and had to leave." The reasons were as much musical as they were personal.
I'm with Charlize Theron and I'm editing this film ... '" Such 11th hour placement asks are precisely why directors are discouraged from using real songs as temp music, but being a good sport, Perry asked to see footage of the scene.We need to get the song -- it's already cut in the movie. "It was the most beautiful adaptation of the song," he said.