A lot of my writing, to this day, is based on my emotional attachment to Lemoore High School.” — Steve Perry

Steve Perry, the rock ‘n’ roll legend who was born in Hanford, tells The New York Times that his Valley roots cling to him today.

“A lot of my writing, to this day, is based on my emotional attachment to Lemoore High School,” Perry says.

Perry talks about how he found refuge in music after his parents — both Portuguese immigrants — divorced.

(GV Wire Graphic/Alexis DeSha)

“I became invisible, emotionally,” Perry said. “And there were places I used to hide, to feel comfortable, to protect myself.”

Sometimes Perry would crawl into his grandparents’ garage.

“I could get lost in these 45s that I had. It turned on a passion for music in me that saved my life.”

Journey Skyrocketed When Perry Joined

When Perry joined Journey in 1977, the band was blending jazz and rock and experiencing limited commercial success.

Perry’s dynamic singing voice changed Journey’s sound — pushing it into classic rock — and fortunes.

They released hit after hit and had eight multiplatinum albums.

But, writes Alex Pappademas, “a road-worn Mr. Perry took a hiatus, effectively dissolving the band he’d helped make famous” in 1987.

Perry returned only to leave for good in 1997.

Perry Is Releasing New Album

As Pappademas notes, “Since December 2007, (Journey’s) frontman has been Arnel Pineda, a former cover-band vocalist from Manila, Philippines … discovered via YouTube. When Journey was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame last April, Mr. Pineda sang the 1981 anthem ‘Don’t Stop Believin’,’ not Mr. Perry.”

Says Perry: “I’m not in the band. It’s Arnel’s gig — singers have to stick together.”

But Perry is coming back to music. In October, he will release a solo album, “Traces.”

You can read the entire the entire NYT profile of Perry at this link. 

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