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A new national holiday?



If I'd only known today was his birthday, I'd have taken the day off from work, loaded up my iPod with his tunes and thrown a huge party in his honor. All the guests would wear designer jeans, t-shirts with tuxedo tails over the top and white Nikes. And we'd all talk in falsetto.

IT'S STEVE PERRY'S BIRTHDAY! (Trumpets blare, doves are released, fireworks burst in the sky.) And until it's properly recognized as a national holiday, this blog item will have to suffice. No singer in the 80s had more energy and charisma than the now -- gulp -- 57-year-old Perry. From 1980 through 1986, Journey and Perry were the uncontested kings of FM radio and concert arenas. Departure, Captured, Escape, Frontiers, Raised on Radio -- all classic albums. Own those and you essentially own their box set.

Some big moments in Perry's career:
-- Fronted the band Alien Project in his 20s. Gave up singing when the band's bassist was killed in a car accident.
-- 1977: Journey's manager talks him singing with the band. Makes debut to mixed reviews.
-- 1978: Infinity is released to good reviews, particularly the first song he writes for the band, Lights.
-- 1979-80: Evolution and Departure are released. The band's tour is recorded for the live album Captured.
-- 1984: Steve Perry releases his solo album Street Talk featuring the hits Oh Sherrie and Foolish Hearts.
-- 1987: Journey disbands after the Raised on Radio tour.
-- 1996: Journey reunited for Trial by Fire, but Perry can't tour because of a degenerative bone condition. The band opts to find a new lead singer, Steve Augeri.
-- 2001: In VH1's Behind the Music special on the band, Steve says he never felt like part of the band. (Steve, you WERE the band.)
-- 2005: Steve Perry gets a star on Hollywood's Walk of Fame and, with the band's blessing, produces a concert DVD of Journey's 1981 Escape tour.

What does the future hold for our 80s hero? Who knows? But enjoy the moment, Steve. Instead of singing Happy Birthday, let's all just sing Oh Sherrie instead. "You shoulda been gone! Knowing how I made you feel. Oh and I shoulda been gone!...."

[Last modified: Wednesday, June 9, 2010 2:16pm]


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