Whatever Happened To Steve Perry?

via Michael Kovac/Getty Images for City of Hope

The Voice Behind Journey’s Biggest Hits

Steve Perry was a household name back in the ’80s mostly thanks to Journey’s string of radio hits. He could hit the high notes almost effortlessly and to top it all off, he’s easy on the eyes too. Every teenager in that era daydreamed of him because he had it all – talent, looks and fame.

But for the past few years, he shied away from the public. He’s had very few appearances and he’s been a recluse for the most part. Interestingly, Journey hired a new vocalist Arnel Pineda and went on touring.

So what happened here?

When he released his solo album, “Street Talk,” it was supposed to be an one-off thing like some sort of breather from the mega-popularity he experienced with the band. But while in the process of reuniting with his band, his mother became sick and eventually died. It wasn’t long before he departed from Journey.

In 1996, he reunited with them for the album “Trial by Fire” which was hugely successful. However, just as they were about to embark on a tour supporting the record, Steve Perry suffered from a hip injury and after a series of tests, he was diagnosed with degenerative bone disease. Over a year later, the rest of the band members were becoming impatient and so they told Perry he could either undergo a surgery or they would find someone to replace him.

In one interview, Perry shared that he didn’t take ultimatums kindly. So he permanently left Journey and many thought that was the end of it. But it seemed like the conflicts were still there when he was interviewed by VH1 for their Behind the Music documentary series. The other members were shocked when Perry revealed that he “never really felt like [he] was part of the band.”

Over the years, he’s had a few public appearances. From having solo projects to being seen at sports events, fans had glimpses of the legendary rockstar but nothing that would indicate he was the least bit interested in joining Journey once again.

In 2013, he had a cancer scare after a mole was removed which turned out to be melanoma. Fortunately, all the cancer cells were removed after he underwent two surgeries.

Last year, fans were thrilled to see him on stage alongside other Journey members during their induction at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. He didn’t perform with them, as everyone hoped, but it was all well and good. Recently, Neal Schon expressed his desire to work with Perry again and we don’t know if something will really come out of it.

However, the fact remains that the more Steve Perry hides from the public, the more we crave hearing his voice live again – it doesn’t even matter if he no longer has the same vocal quality as he did in his prime. Once a rock god, always a rock god.