Steve Perry and The Case of Green "Paint"

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Steve Perry and The Case of Green "Paint"

Postby bellairepark73 » Thu Jun 22, 2017 5:38 am

This is actually kind of a sad and serious story...
Posted previously in Journey thread under Steve and Diamond Dave

Excerpt from 'Runnin' With the Devil' , ref/ the guacamole bowl hitting SP .


"The whole band was there, along with some of the guys from Journey and other various hangers-on. Ordinarily, the place would have been rockin’. This time, in stark contrast, it felt almost funereal. I thought briefly about backing out of the room and claiming plausible deniability, before I finally asked, “What’s going on, guys?” I was met with complete silence, and my heart sank. I looked around the room. My gaze came to rest on a large and well-lit full-length mirror, the type artists would normally use to check themselves out before going onstage. For some reason, there was a broad green streak running diagonally down the length of it, as if someone had splashed paint on it.

In the middle of this swath was a large, man-shaped gap—as if someone had been standing in front of said mirror when the shit went down. I moved in to get a better look. Around me, no one said a word. I reached out to touch the evidence, and on closer examination, the “paint” revealed its true nature: it was guacamole, thick and viscous and already starting to turn brown. Oh, shit. I turned to face the band. David and Edward were slumped in their chairs, trying not to make eye contact with me. I didn’t blame them.

“All right, boys,” I said, mustering up all of my courage, and preparing for the very
real possibility of our being kicked off the tour. “Out with it. What the hell happened?” If that makes me sound like a parent dealing with children, well, that’s pretty much the way I felt.

After a few moments of tense silence, Edward spoke up. “David started it,” he said, pointing an accusatory finger. “He threw a bowl of peanuts at me.” There was a pause, and I noticed David trying to stifle a laugh. Are you fucking kidding me? I thought. “Fuck you, Dave,” Edward said and looked back at me. “See, I had to retaliate. He deserved it.” This was excellent logic—for a six-year-old. (And, I suppose, for a rock star.)

“What did you do, Edward?” I asked. By now they were all laughing. The tension began to clear from the room—no doubt being absorbed straight into my shoulders and chest instead. “I threw a bowl of guacamole at David’s head,” Edward explained, shrugging and smiling that goofy grin of his. “But I hit Steve instead.” Oh, boy. “Steve? As in . . . Steve Perry?” I braced myself for an answer I knew I wouldn’t like, and Edward nodded sheepishly. Someone giggled. Well, I thought, that’s the end of that. We’ve had a good run. Time to pull the soil over the freshly dug graves that Edward Fucking Van Halen had dug for us and call it a night. “Shit,” I said, rubbing at my mustache and trying not to lose my cool.

Something funny happens to you in the middle of a disaster—sometimes you’re able to hold it together just long enough to try to fix the shit show. “Where is he?” I asked. David nodded toward the bathroom. “In there, I think.” The next thing I knew, I had gone against every single instinct I had and walked into the bathroom, where I found Steve standing in front of the sink.

From the top of his luxurious mane of silky black hair to the middle of his shimmering new sateen Journey jacket, he was completely covered in guacamole. “Hey, Steve.” I tried to keep my tone gentle, and the sheer terror out of my voice. “You okay?” Steve slowly turned around so that I could get a full frontal view of the onslaught. “I was going to wear this onstage tonight,” he told me, tapping the chest of his jacket, his lower lip quivering. “Look at it now—it’s fucking ruined.” Words failed him, and for a moment I thought he was about to erupt—to start screaming, to demand that we pay for damages and leave the tour immediately, have our heads mounted on spikes and set outside the front doors of our next gig, but instead he simply began crying, a soft, sad little whimper, and I felt bad for him.

Here he was, an emerging rock star fronting a ridiculously popular tour, and he had been reduced to tears by a pack of incorrigible, food-fighting kids. I can only imagine that Steve must have felt like he was back in middle school, crammed into a cafeteria with a bunch of heartless, mean children. If it had been me, I would have thrown that bowl of guacamole right back at Edward. Or punched him in the face. Maybe both. Alas, for better or for worse, not everyone is built this way. Steve had a titanic voice, but it came from a small and gentle man. He was an artist, not a fighter or a guacamole thrower.

“It’s okay, Steve,” I said. I won’t lie, I was a little relieved—but I did my best to conceal that fact. “We’ll get you cleaned up, and we’ll find another jacket.” “There’s not enough time.” “Sure there is.” I offered him a smile and armed myself with paper towels. For the next half hour, I stood in that bathroom and helped wipe guacamole from Steve Perry’s hair, face, and clothes, all the while talking to him, trying to cheer him up—and keep our asses from getting canned. Eventually, through much hard work and determination, we reached a point of respectability, if not outright cleanliness. He still smelled faintly of avocado and onion, sure, but you had to be awfully close to notice.

It certainly could’ve been worse. “How do I look?” he asked. “You look great, Steve. Go get ’em.” As we walked out of the bathroom, Edward was the first to speak. “You okay, Steve?” He sounded apologetic. Steve, ever the trouper, nodded at him. “I’m fine. Don’t sweat it.” They didn’t. No sooner had Steve exited the dressing room than the party resumed, albeit with a noticeable absence of guacamole. I breathed a sigh of relief. Later that night, I was approached by Journey’s capable but understandably exasperated road manager, Pat “Bubba” Morrow.

Bubba was in the unfortunate position of having to act as an intermediary between the bands; as tour manager of the headliner, he also took most of the heat when our boys acted out, which they did quite frequently. “Noel, this can’t continue,” he said. “Your guys have got to start behaving better or we’re going to ask you to leave the tour.”"


Monk, Noel. Runnin' with the Devil: A Backstage Pass to the Wild Times, Loud Rock, and the Down and Dirty Truth Behind the Making of Van Halen (Kindle Location 3010). HarperCollins. Kindle Edition.
bellairepark73
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Re: Steve Perry and The Case of Green "Paint"

Postby bellairepark73 » Tue Jun 27, 2017 5:38 am

I tell you...this incident rings true on so many levels. While Steve is no "shrinking violet"...this might be a moment where he was trying to "fit in" and was caught in the process. Noel's tenderness, care and concern was so clear and evident, without any pretense. And his care and concern translated to whomever was there as they made sure to clean up every residue of that terrible event. Also...think back to the We Are The World...how Steve went out of his way to compliment Cyndi and those harmonizing with her and tried to be humble and stay focused as he was helping others. He was part of the group...not the individual and understood the great goal and need. Perhaps...just perhaps that may have been why he was asked to donate another song...or perhaps that was his idea. Also...remember what Lionel Richie said what Steve said the next day. Lionel said that Steve called him and he sounded upset. Lionel asked him what was wrong. He said that Steve said he just had to call someone and tell them. He wanted to talk. He ordered room service and his breakfast came on a silver platter. Steve lifted the top off and set it aside and as he looked at it, started to cry. His real spirit. You see...as some fans may know or may not know...Steve struggled, like Neal, REAL hard. He worked 2, 3 jobs while in college and suffered hunger many times and was on government assistance. That's a terrible pain. I can just imagine that it came back to him and the song they sung wasn't just a song...but a life he lived. This moment described above made me so very quiet and I was moved...almost to tears...and I don't cry easy. I don't like to show my emotions like that...even in private. So this moment took time for me to digest...and once I got over myself...I believed this from Van Halen's former manager and accepted it.
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