The Voice is Back!
After 19 years since his last live performance, Steve Perry made a surprise appearance during rock band The Eels’ concert at the Fitzgerald Theater. The crowd roared with excitement as Perry performed the Eels hit “It’s a Motherf—er”. This inevitably led to the Eels backing up Perry’s “Open Arms” and “Lovin’, Touchin’, Squeezin’” with the ecstatic crowd singing along.
“It’s a Motherf—er” was originally written by Eels frontman Mark Everett as a way to cope with his mother’s death from cancer. Likewise, Perry lost his girlfriend to cancer in 2012 and was diagnosed with melanoma in May of last year. At the end of his performance the crowd rose to their feet in tribute to the rock star’s return, leading Everett to joke “They don’t applaud like that for me! I guess I gotta disappear for 25 years!”
Growing up in Handford, California, Steve Perry wanted to become a singer after hearing the Sam Cooke song “Cupid” on the radio. After that, Perry found mixed success as a solo artists before winning the open lead singer position for the rock band Journey. With them, Perry became a household name thanks to nine wildly successful albums and countless hit singles such as “Don’t Stop Believing”, “Any Way You Want It”, “Faithfully”, and “Wheel in the Sky”. Perry enjoyed solo success as well during that period, most notably with “Oh Sherrie” which peaked at #3 on the Billboard Hot 100.
The 90’s proved to be a difficult time for both Perry and Journey, as a hip injury would reveal Perry’s degenerative bone disease and stall the band’s momentum for two years. In 1998 Perry and Journey parted ways due to the delay in tours and albums caused by Perry’s diagnosis. Journey would cycle through many replacement lead singers before finding Youtube sensation Arnel Pineda who became world famous for his perfect mimicry of Perry’s voice. Perry would spend much of that period battling his bone condition and going into surgery for Melanoma. Surprisingly, his voice sounds just as powerful as ever,
It’s unknown whether this appearance signifies a possible reunion with Journey or an imminent album release by Perry. Only time will tell. In the meantime, Steve Perry’s brief but spectacular set with the Eels can be seen on youtube here.