A Conversation With Dennis DeYoung, Former STYX Vocalist

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A Conversation With Dennis DeYoung, Former STYX Vocalist

Postby tater1977 » Thu Sep 22, 2016 8:17 am

A Conversation With Dennis DeYoung, Former STYX Vocalist

Michael Cavacini

https://michaelcavacini.com/2016/09/18/ ... -vocalist/

- to read full conversation

...
Q. I don’t know if anyone ever pointed this out, but there are parallels between you and Steve Perry. For example, both Journey and STYX were massively successful in the 1980s, both you and Steve released your first solo albums in 1984 and both Journey and STYX reunited in the mid-1990s. Also, both you and Steve Perry were replaced in your respective bands because of an illness. Steve had an issue with his hip and you had a viral illness that caused light sensitivity. Have you and Steve Perry ever discussed this?

DDY . No, Steve and I never discussed this but I did take note of it. Here are the differences between Steve and I. Back in the day, STYX was more successful than Journey and those guys watched us carefully. They watched our success, including their very astute manager at the time, Herbie Herbert, and Steve and all the guys.

Over the years they’ve surpassed us in popularity and it has a lot to do with a couple things. One is, as a band, the subject matter of their songs, in my opinion, was less socially conscious. It was more insular than ours. We fancied ourselves as smart asses and we delved into all sorts of musical styles, where Journey was more homogeneous in what they did. It’s paid off for them.

Two of the very best STYX songs, “Suite Madame Blue” and “Crystal Ball,” nobody plays those kinds of songs on the radio. Anything that smacks of progressive rock has died the death of a ragdoll, for the most part. You barely hear any Emerson, Lake and Palmer, all that kind of music we were involved in, that just dried up and blew away.

What Journey did was a very accessible, smart, excellent, mainstream rock. And they had Steve Perry’s voice. That’s a pretty awesome combination. So, over the years, Journey has surpassed STYX. And what they did after Steve Perry, in my opinion, was the only way to go. They always knew they had to try and get a new lead singer that sounded as much like Steve Perry as possible. This is something that I don’t think STYX has done. But Journey did that. After 30 or 40 years, a lot of the fans never even got a chance to see the real guys. They don’t even know who the real guys are! So, it’s the songs baby. It’s the songs always and forever that matter. They matter more than you or me, the singer – they matter. Other people can come along and play those songs and people are still happy. And that’s what Journey has done.

In terms of the parallels of our career, there are. Steve’s first solo album outsold Desert Moon by a lot. He has that voice. That’s a pretty cool thing to have. He doesn’t sing anymore. The differences I think between me and Steve are, from what I understand, he did take control of the band in ways that I’ve been somewhat accused of in my own band. Steve went in and replaced bass players and drummers and stuff like that. (laughs) I never did anything like that.

I think, look, Journey is a great band. STYX was a great band. But we’re very different. If you look at all of Journey’s music, there is an extremely identifiable quality about it. It is a lot more homogeneous than ours. If you brought somebody down from another country and played them “Renegade,” “Babe” and “Mr. Roboto,” they would think they were three different bands. That’s what we did. We did all kinds of music, all styles of music. In our lyrics, we touched on social issues. That’s all well and good, but a straight-ahead rock and roll or love song, people always love those forever because they’re always in vogue.

Journey is a great band, and Jonathan Cain is a great songwriter.

...
Perry's good natured bonhomie & the world’s most charmin smile,knocked fans off their feet. Sportin a black tux,gigs came alive as he swished around the stage thrillin audiences w/ charisma that instantly burnt the oxygen right out of the venue.TR.com
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Re: A Conversation With Dennis DeYoung, Former STYX Vocalist

Postby STORY_TELLER » Thu Sep 22, 2016 8:34 am

Perry and Journey are brought up every time I've seen or read an interview with Dennis. He always comes off ticked at the comparisons, and this time is no different. Can't say I blame him, but I tend to take his comments with a grain of salt because of it.
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Re: A Conversation With Dennis DeYoung, Former STYX Vocalist

Postby FamilyMan » Fri Sep 23, 2016 2:24 am

I think the writer oversimplified the situations facing both bands by making it about the illnesses, and allowed DDY to essentially duck the question. The "lead singer disease" - as both Dennis and Steve have been accused of having - is what their bandmates would say was the reason they moved on. Dennis is trying to be diplomatic here, but you can tell he's dying to call Journey cheese. And to suggest that Gowan isn't a sound-alike is laughable.
"I'd love to hear his voice again." - Neal Schon 2008
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Re: A Conversation With Dennis DeYoung, Former STYX Vocalist

Postby JourneyHard » Fri Sep 23, 2016 3:01 am

It sounds as if Dennis wants to replace Jonathan Cain in Journey! Look at what he said. Dennis said it is the songs that are important. He said anybody can play them. So, Dennis can slip into Journey and play piano. Dennis also praised Journey and Jonathan Cain so much that it looks as if he is trying to butter them up! Dennis wants to be part of the band! :D :D :D
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Re: A Conversation With Dennis DeYoung, Former STYX Vocalist

Postby Monker » Fri Sep 23, 2016 3:04 am

I was just going to post this....

The thing that got me was Dennis saying Styx was more successful and Herbie learned from them. WTF? That is so off.

When the 80's came and Escape and Frontiers hit, Styx was NO WHERE NEAR the level Journey was.

And, Journey's popularity sustained the late 80's and 90's because Herbie knew how to manage the catalog....and Styx didn't manage theirs. Yes, it's the songs...but it is also knowing how to put together a 10x platinum GH CD, and a box set with newish songs...and a couple movie soundtrack songs. Styx simply vanished.

And, no, I don't think Gowan is a Dennis clone at all. But, what does Dennis' comments say about his choices to replace JY and Tommy in his solo band?

And, he is more similar to Perry than he wants to admit. True, he didn't fire members of the band. Although, I've read people say that he made JC feel completely worthless and that is the reason he left the band. But, Dennis took full control of the band, dictating the concepts and even production. By ROR, Perry was doing the EXACT SAME THING. So, yes, they were both being control freaks who pissed off the rest of the band. ...and is the reason both were essentially fired from their bands.
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Re: A Conversation With Dennis DeYoung, Former STYX Vocalist

Postby Monker » Fri Sep 23, 2016 3:05 am

JourneyHard wrote:It sounds as if Dennis wants to replace Jonathan Cain in Journey! Look at what he said. Dennis said it is the songs that are important. He said anybody can play them. So, Dennis can slip into Journey and play piano. Dennis also praised Journey and Jonathan Cain so much that it looks as if he is trying to butter them up! Dennis wants to be part of the band! :D :D :D


Journey will have to crack the stone for that to happen.
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Re: A Conversation With Dennis DeYoung, Former STYX Vocalist

Postby WalrusOct9 » Fri Sep 23, 2016 3:41 am

Monker wrote:I was just going to post this....

The thing that got me was Dennis saying Styx was more successful and Herbie learned from them. WTF? That is so off.


Styx was successful for a few years before Journey released Infinity, I'm assuming that is what he's referring to. They released five or six LP's before The Grand Illusion and built success somewhat slowly, and I'm sure their path to "Come Sail Away" in 1977 was carefully observed by Herbie.
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Re: A Conversation With Dennis DeYoung, Former STYX Vocalist

Postby perryfan61 » Fri Sep 23, 2016 3:42 am

No mention of Neal at all, but at least he acknowledges SP's voice, and Cain's songwriting. Doesn't seem to have much respect for the band....I can hear "corporate rock" in his mind.

But he is right, 2 different sounding bands, his just did not have the number of hits, or the staying power. It was one of my favourite bands, back in the day.
The injury that we do to a man must be such that we need not fear his vengeance. Steve Perry
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Re: A Conversation With Dennis DeYoung, Former STYX Vocalist

Postby scarab » Fri Sep 23, 2016 6:46 am

For me the difference is even at their best Styx had 5-6 songs on an album that I liked. At worst 2-3.
Probably because of what Dennis said, that were very more eclectic.
And Journey, during the Perry Era, and even before, At best I liked every song, well maybe not homemade love. :lol:
At worst, ROR and TBF, I liked 7-8 songs.

Journey went on and did 4+ 1 EP albums. Cant say the same about songs I like ratio. But they kept making music.
Styx did a very bad original tunes and okay cover CD in that same period.
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Re: A Conversation With Dennis DeYoung, Former STYX Vocalist

Postby JourneyHard » Sun Sep 25, 2016 2:45 pm

Now for my two cents.
Styx was Dennis DeYoung's band, but it took the addition of Tommy Shaw before they became big. Meanwhile, Journey was Neal's band (and Gregg Rolie's band), but it took the addition of Steve Perry before they became big. Thus, it is kind of crazy that Dennis was kicked out of his own band. Can you even imagine Neal Schon being kicked out of Journey with Steve Perry and Jonathan Cain replacing Neal with somebody else?
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Re: A Conversation With Dennis DeYoung, Former STYX Vocalist

Postby Journey/Survivor » Mon Sep 26, 2016 9:59 am

I like Styx a lot, but I don't really keep up with very much news about them. How was Dennis DeYoung kicked out of his own band?
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Re: A Conversation With Dennis DeYoung, Former STYX Vocalist

Postby scarab » Mon Sep 26, 2016 10:31 am

the story parallels Journey to a point. except Styx toured behind their comeback.

Dennis was diagnosed with a medical problem that prohibited him from touring.
Instead of waiting for him to recover, they chose to move on. Sound familiar?
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Re: A Conversation With Dennis DeYoung, Former STYX Vocalist

Postby tj » Tue Sep 27, 2016 2:45 am

JourneyHard wrote:Now for my two cents.
Styx was Dennis DeYoung's band, but it took the addition of Tommy Shaw before they became big. Meanwhile, Journey was Neal's band (and Gregg Rolie's band), but it took the addition of Steve Perry before they became big. Thus, it is kind of crazy that Dennis was kicked out of his own band. Can you even imagine Neal Schon being kicked out of Journey with Steve Perry and Jonathan Cain replacing Neal with somebody else?


Actually, yes. Most fans noticed that Augeri wasn't Perry and now know that Arnel isn't Perry. The same most fans wouldn't know that Neal wasn't in the band because he was never the focal point. His early work on the pre-Perry albums doesn't really count because they were not commercially successful and most fans who saw the band after Perry joined know nothing of those albums.
As long as the playing was similar to Neal - even Neal is quoted in the past as saying there are guys who play his licks better than he does - a lot of people wouldn't notice.

DDY was a the primary voice in Styx, but TS was a close second. Perry was the ONLY voice for Journey. Gowan is a servicable replacement for DDY, in my opinion - much like Arnel is for Perry. Neither are the original, but are a very good substitute if you can't get the original anymore.
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Re: A Conversation With Dennis DeYoung, Former STYX Vocalist

Postby tj » Tue Sep 27, 2016 2:45 am

JourneyHard wrote:Now for my two cents.
Styx was Dennis DeYoung's band, but it took the addition of Tommy Shaw before they became big. Meanwhile, Journey was Neal's band (and Gregg Rolie's band), but it took the addition of Steve Perry before they became big. Thus, it is kind of crazy that Dennis was kicked out of his own band. Can you even imagine Neal Schon being kicked out of Journey with Steve Perry and Jonathan Cain replacing Neal with somebody else?


Actually, yes. Most fans noticed that Augeri wasn't Perry and now know that Arnel isn't Perry. The same most fans wouldn't know that Neal wasn't in the band because he was never the focal point. His early work on the pre-Perry albums doesn't really count because they were not commercially successful and most fans who saw the band after Perry joined know nothing of those albums.
As long as the playing was similar to Neal - even Neal is quoted in the past as saying there are guys who play his licks better than he does - a lot of people wouldn't notice.

DDY was a the primary voice in Styx, but TS was a close second. Perry was the ONLY voice for Journey. Gowan is a servicable replacement for DDY, in my opinion - much like Arnel is for Perry. Neither are the original, but are a very good substitute if you can't get the original anymore.
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Re: A Conversation With Dennis DeYoung, Former STYX Vocalist

Postby perryfan61 » Tue Sep 27, 2016 8:25 am

JourneyHard wrote:Now for my two cents.
Styx was Dennis DeYoung's band, but it took the addition of Tommy Shaw before they became big. Meanwhile, Journey was Neal's band (and Gregg Rolie's band), but it took the addition of Steve Perry before they became big. Thus, it is kind of crazy that Dennis was kicked out of his own band. Can you even imagine Neal Schon being kicked out of Journey with Steve Perry and Jonathan Cain replacing Neal with somebody else?



If in an alternate universe it was Neal who was gone, I'm pretty sure that 20 years after the fact, people would not be clamouring for him to come back, like they are for SP.

Most fans, when they hear Journey songs, hear SP's voice, not Neal's guitar. But, on the other hand, Neal can play just as good as he did back then, while the same can not be said for SP's voice.
The injury that we do to a man must be such that we need not fear his vengeance. Steve Perry
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Re: A Conversation With Dennis DeYoung, Former STYX Vocalist

Postby Journey/Survivor » Tue Sep 27, 2016 12:38 pm

perryfan61 wrote:
JourneyHard wrote:Now for my two cents.
Styx was Dennis DeYoung's band, but it took the addition of Tommy Shaw before they became big. Meanwhile, Journey was Neal's band (and Gregg Rolie's band), but it took the addition of Steve Perry before they became big. Thus, it is kind of crazy that Dennis was kicked out of his own band. Can you even imagine Neal Schon being kicked out of Journey with Steve Perry and Jonathan Cain replacing Neal with somebody else?



If in an alternate universe it was Neal who was gone, I'm pretty sure that 20 years after the fact, people would not be clamouring for him to come back, like they are for SP.

Most fans, when they hear Journey songs, hear SP's voice, not Neal's guitar.



I think that that all depends on whether you're talking about casual Journey fans, or diehard Journey fans.
Casual fans probably care more about Perry than Schon. But many diehard Journey fans like myself care more about Schon's guitar playing.
I love Perry's singing. He's my second favorite singer of all time. But I would miss Schon's guitar playing even more than Perry's singing. And there are many others that feel the same way.
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Re: A Conversation With Dennis DeYoung, Former STYX Vocalist

Postby Eric » Tue Sep 27, 2016 10:11 pm

Journey became as popular as they did because of Perry's voice....but Journey is and always has been as good as they are because of Schon's guitar.
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Re: A Conversation With Dennis DeYoung, Former STYX Vocalist

Postby perryfan61 » Wed Sep 28, 2016 1:29 am

Eric wrote:Journey became as popular as they did because of Perry's voice....but Journey is and always has been as good as they are because of Schon's guitar.


Well said.
The injury that we do to a man must be such that we need not fear his vengeance. Steve Perry
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Re: A Conversation With Dennis DeYoung, Former STYX Vocalist

Postby Pacfanweb » Wed Sep 28, 2016 12:34 pm

Eric wrote:Journey became as popular as they did because of Perry's voice....but Journey is and always has been as good as they are because of Schon's guitar.

Maybe when they were actually recording and Neal was coming up with those guitar parts...sure.

But what was mentioned was NOW....if Perry was still there and Neal was gone and they were doing what they are now...touring as a nostalgia act, nobody but the die hards on message boards would be missing Neal, while EVERYONE misses Perry.

Tons of guitarists could replicate Neal's guitar on the classics now. He wouldn't be missed, other than just seeing him there and knowing the original guy is there.

It's like Van Halen with Wolfgang on bass, sorta. Wolf is playing all of Michael Anthony's parts and the people are still showing up. Came out in droves for the "reunion" tour with Roth. Mikey being there wouldn't have sold a single additional ticket.

Would have been nice to have him there, but the casual fan doesn't care. They still go. It'd be the same with Journey with Perry and minus Neal or Jon or anyone else.

That's why they have to have a Perry soundalike. Or someone close to that. Journey could never get together with say, Sebastian Bach. Nobody would go see that, because he can't sing most of their material, and what he could sing wouldn't sound good.
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Re: A Conversation With Dennis DeYoung, Former STYX Vocalist

Postby JourneyHard » Fri Sep 30, 2016 1:47 am

perryfan61 wrote:If in an alternate universe it was Neal who was gone, I'm pretty sure that 20 years after the fact, people would not be clamouring for him to come back, like they are for SP.

Most fans, when they hear Journey songs, hear SP's voice, not Neal's guitar. But, on the other hand, Neal can play just as good as he did back then, while the same can not be said for SP's voice.


Hold on. If it were an alternate universe where Neal was gone, and Steve Perry were still in the band, Journey would be playing even ballad they ever did, and the audience would be 90% female. The male fans would want Neal back!!! :D
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Re: A Conversation With Dennis DeYoung, Former STYX Vocalist

Postby koberry » Fri Sep 30, 2016 2:56 am

If Neal had been fired from the band and Perry were still the lead singer, they would effectively be retired - no new music, no touring. And you all would be here talking nostalgically about a band that hadn't released anything since RoR
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Re: A Conversation With Dennis DeYoung, Former STYX Vocalist

Postby Pacfanweb » Sat Oct 01, 2016 12:58 am

koberry wrote:If Neal had been fired from the band and Perry were still the lead singer, they would effectively be retired - no new music, no touring. And you all would be here talking nostalgically about a band that hadn't released anything since RoR

LOL, true.

However, I think the premise was, if Neal retired/was fired in the 90's and Journey continued with Perry.
That assumes that Perry would have wanted to continue.

If that happened....then it's after all their hits. Nothing written after the last Perry album matters, is cared about by the general public, or is even played live for the most part. Plus, it'd have all been much different if Perry was there anyway.

So....assuming no Neal from about 1998 and Perry is singing....yep, nobody cares, people still go to the shows. All you need is someone to play his guitar parts. He's not the draw. Cain's not the draw. Smith isn't. Ross isn't.
Do they, together, make it better? Sure. Does your average person who goes to see them play DSB and Open Arms care? Nope.

If Journey went another direction and hired a different type of singer....someone who did not sound like Perry and couldn't if they tried.....they're done.
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Re: A Conversation With Dennis DeYoung, Former STYX Vocalist

Postby Abitaman » Sat Oct 01, 2016 3:38 am

perryfan61 wrote:
JourneyHard wrote:Now for my two cents.
Styx was Dennis DeYoung's band, but it took the addition of Tommy Shaw before they became big. Meanwhile, Journey was Neal's band (and Gregg Rolie's band), but it took the addition of Steve Perry before they became big. Thus, it is kind of crazy that Dennis was kicked out of his own band. Can you even imagine Neal Schon being kicked out of Journey with Steve Perry and Jonathan Cain replacing Neal with somebody else?



If in an alternate universe it was Neal who was gone, I'm pretty sure that 20 years after the fact, people would not be clamouring for him to come back, like they are for SP.

Most fans, when they hear Journey songs, hear SP's voice, not Neal's guitar. But, on the other hand, Neal can play just as good as he did back then, while the same can not be said for SP's voice.


It was not just Perry that made Journey popular, it was Neal and Perry with Rolie and Cain. Perry's solo cds were not near as big as Journey's and this was after 2 huge selling Journey cds. The difference, who he was working with. Schon was the fire to Perry's passionate voice, and Cain was the heart that held the 2 together.
Yes Perry may have been big without Journey, but not as huge a s Journey was. Neal had someone who could match his playing, and Perry had someone who could play as well as he sang.
Styx, like DDY said sounded like 3 different bands, and I knew people who knows songs by DDY and not Tommy as being in the same band, and the other way around too.
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Re: A Conversation With Dennis DeYoung, Former STYX Vocalist

Postby JourneyHard » Sat Oct 01, 2016 8:11 am

Steve Perry would want the following set list for every Journey Concert:
1. Separate Ways
2. Stone In Love
3. Send Her My Love
4. Lights
5. Open Arms
6. Missing You (Solo)
7. Oh Sherrie (Solo)
8. Why Can't This Night Go On Forever
9. When I Think Of You
10. Lovin', Touchin', Squeezin'
11. Who's Cryin' Now
12. When You Love A Woman
13. Wheel In The Sky
14. Any Way You Want It
15. Faithfully
16. Don't Stop Believin'

People would want Neal back more than you know.
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Re: A Conversation With Dennis DeYoung, Former STYX Vocalist

Postby Pacfanweb » Sun Oct 02, 2016 12:39 am

JourneyHard wrote:Steve Perry would want the following set list for every Journey Concert:
1. Separate Ways
2. Stone In Love
3. Send Her My Love
4. Lights
5. Open Arms
6. Missing You (Solo)
7. Oh Sherrie (Solo)
8. Why Can't This Night Go On Forever
9. When I Think Of You
10. Lovin', Touchin', Squeezin'
11. Who's Cryin' Now
12. When You Love A Woman
13. Wheel In The Sky
14. Any Way You Want It
15. Faithfully
16. Don't Stop Believin'

People would want Neal back more than you know.


Why? That's basically the same setlist they've been playing for years, other than the 2 solo songs.

What would Neal's presence do to the setlist? They'd play what Perry wanted to sing.
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Re: A Conversation With Dennis DeYoung, Former STYX Vocalist

Postby Art Vandelay » Sun Oct 02, 2016 3:57 am

JourneyHard wrote:Steve Perry would want the following set list for every Journey Concert:
1. Separate Ways
2. Stone In Love
3. Send Her My Love
4. Lights
5. Open Arms
6. Missing You (Solo)
7. Oh Sherrie (Solo)
8. Why Can't This Night Go On Forever
9. When I Think Of You
10. Lovin', Touchin', Squeezin'
11. Who's Cryin' Now
12. When You Love A Woman
13. Wheel In The Sky
14. Any Way You Want It
15. Faithfully
16. Don't Stop Believin'

People would want Neal back more than you know.


And this list is based on what? Perry never opened with Separate Ways, and never performed 8, 9 or 12 live.
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Re: A Conversation With Dennis DeYoung, Former STYX Vocalist

Postby scarab » Sun Oct 02, 2016 4:23 am

as much as a die hard Perry fan, I would never attend a Journey concert without Neal.
Saw Augeri 5 times, and JSS once, mainly to hear Schon's classic riffs. (But JSS was a nice changeup)
No interest in Arnel singing the dirty dozen even though he does have the pipes.

An Escape/Frontiers tour would maybe bring me back, but not with a 3 band packaged deal.
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Re: A Conversation With Dennis DeYoung, Former STYX Vocalist

Postby Moonglow » Sun Oct 02, 2016 8:28 am

scarab wrote:An Escape/Frontiers tour would maybe bring me back, but not with a 3 band packaged deal.

Same here. I could not bring myself to attend another "dirty dozen" concert, even with Smitty back in the fold.
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Re: A Conversation With Dennis DeYoung, Former STYX Vocalist

Postby perryfan61 » Sun Oct 02, 2016 1:28 pm

koberry wrote:If Neal had been fired from the band and Perry were still the lead singer, they would effectively be retired - no new music, no touring. And you all would be here talking nostalgically about a band that hadn't released anything since RoR


Aren't you forgetting Trial by Fire?
The injury that we do to a man must be such that we need not fear his vengeance. Steve Perry
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Re: A Conversation With Dennis DeYoung, Former STYX Vocalist

Postby Pacfanweb » Mon Oct 03, 2016 5:16 am

Art Vandelay wrote:
JourneyHard wrote:Steve Perry would want the following set list for every Journey Concert:
1. Separate Ways
2. Stone In Love
3. Send Her My Love
4. Lights
5. Open Arms
6. Missing You (Solo)
7. Oh Sherrie (Solo)
8. Why Can't This Night Go On Forever
9. When I Think Of You
10. Lovin', Touchin', Squeezin'
11. Who's Cryin' Now
12. When You Love A Woman
13. Wheel In The Sky
14. Any Way You Want It
15. Faithfully
16. Don't Stop Believin'

People would want Neal back more than you know.


And this list is based on what? Perry never opened with Separate Ways, and never performed 8, 9 or 12 live.


Yeah, but you have to think that he'd have done at least 9 and 12 had he stayed on in 1998-ish and Neal had left. He never did them live because he's never toured after the record was made.
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