In 1978, I photographed a band called Journey at the Aragon Ballroom in Chicago. Two years later they were the biggest band in the world!! They were made up of a couple of guys from Santana (Neal Schon and Greg Rollie) and a really bad singer named Robert Fleishman. Shortly after that they met a guy from LA named Steve Perry who had a song he had written called “Lights”. They had him rewrite the lyrics to talk about their city, San Francisco. They asked him to join the band and the rest is history. In a couple of years they were playing stadiums and arenas around the world.
That is when their manager called me and asked me to do a session with Steve Perry for a poster. He had just put out a solo album which spawned the #1 hit “Oh Sherrie.”
I was told to shoot the three shows in Chicago, and during that time, I was to talk Steve into doing a quick photo shoot. Easier said than done! Three days later he had refused to do the shoot, always saying “Lets do it tomorrow.” I was getting paid for each day regardless, so I traveled to Wisconsin to shoot two more shows and try to get Steve to do a shoot. Finally, after sound check the second day, I walked up to him and said, Joking (I think), “Hey I am getting pretty sick of you guys. Can we do the shoot now?”
He agreed as long as he could go out in the woods backstage and I shot him without him knowing I was shooting. It worked perfectly!!
Shortly after that he quit the band. They found a Filipino singer who sounded just like him and continued on.
In 2005 the Chicago White Sox used the song “Don’t Stop Believin'” during their World Series run, and the next year the Sopranos ended their series with a black screen and the same song playing!
Recently, Steve has been spotted singing with the band “The Eels” at a few of their gigs, and word is he sounds great. What will the next chapter be?
Count me in!!!!