Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Steve Perry is now a short Filipino man

Like a lot of people, I love listening to the band Journey. I wasn't a fanatic and didn't know all their stuff, mostly just the radio songs, and I loved Steve Perry's voice and the power of the songs. I think they're the band that put "power ballad" on the map. Since Steve left, I didn't really pay that much attention to them anymore, other than hearing bits and pieces over the years, like they hired another lead singer whose name was Steve and whose last name rhymed with "Perry". Weird. And then last week, I heard some program announcement for a show (maybe Ellen DeGeneres) that Journey would be on with their new lead singer. Hmmmm, new lead singer, ok, kinda curious, but apparently not enough to tape the show in question.

When I mentioned it to the husband earlier this week, he said that yeah, he'd heard about the new lead singer thing. I asked if his name was Steve as well. He said no, that the new guy is actually a short Filipino man who apparently sounds just like Steve Perry. OK. I had to go find out more.

Here he is.

Here's a bigger picture of him.

And here's the new band photo.

He's standing below all the other guys, so you can't really tell how tall he is in comparison. Name doesn't sound anything like Steve Perry, nor does he look anything like him.

And how did Journey find their new lead singer? This is from the website:

When it was time for JOURNEY to look for a new lead singer, the internet came to their rescue. Guitarist Neal Schon wanted someone new to the music business, so he turned to YouTube. After finding Arnel singing “Faithfully,” he knew he had found the perfect frontman.

Go to this link, and then scroll down to the December 5, 2007 story for more information.

(The band Boston found their new lead singer in a similar fashion, except in that case, it was myspace and not YouTube.)

Here's the video that Neal saw of Arnel with his previous band, The Zoo, singing "Faithfully". Wow.

I think it's particularly funny and amazing to hear him talking at the beginning, normal voice, idle chit chat, and then he just launches into "Faithfully" and belts out the song. He doesn't sound *exactly* like Steve Perry, but he's pretty close, and regardless, he sure can carry the notes. Arnel's quote from the website: "It’s so exciting to sing with one of the best bands in the world. It’ll be a lot of hard work on my part and I’m actually looking forward to the scrutiny I’ll get from the hardcore Journey fans. I know they’ll expect me to sound exactly like ‘the voice’ (Steve Perry), but that will never happen. I know there's only one Steve Perry in this world."

And here's Arnel with The Zoo singing "Don't Stop Believin'". It's just incredible. Can you imagine walking into a club and hearing this?

Here's Journey with Arnel as lead singer on "The Ellen DeGeneres Show" recently, performing "Faithfully".

There's a video telling the story of how Neal Schon found Arnel, but YouTube won't let me embed the video, so here's the link.

And here's an interview with Journey, including Arnel, on the June 1, 2008 CBS Sunday Morning News.

And just for embarrasment value, here's a video of Arnel Pineda as a small child singing along to "Faithfully". He's just too cute.

Journey has its voice back.


Sherry said...

I'm glad that he stopped holding onto his pants when he got older. :)

I had shared the Ellen video on my blog, but didn't do nearly as much research as you. Thanks for the videos. I've been listening to Journey for the last couple of days,and keep picturing Arnel, wondering how he'll do with all of those songs. He did a great job with "Separate Ways" on the Ellen show, too.

Anonymous said...

That absolutely could NOT be Arnel singing Journey songs as a child! Arnel was born in 1967--the child in the video is about 2 yrs old.

Are you saying Journey was together and recorded this song on or before 1969? Of course not.

Please people use your head and do the math.

Arnel is a 41 yr. old man. And Journey first album came out in 1978 when Arnel was 11. Obviouslt Arnel could not learn a Journey song at the very least until he was 11 yrs. old.