Journey singer Arnel Pineda says he would love to see original vocalist Steve Perry return to the band.
Pineda made the comments after Perry’s surprise return to the stage, appearing with alt rock band Eels at a show in Saint Paul, Minnesota at the weekend.
Journey has been fronted by Pineda since 2007, but he admits he wouldn’t stand in the way of any possible Perry return. Perry left the band in 1997 after injuring his hip.
Eels unveiled Perry as part of their encore on Sunday night and he sang their song It’s A Motherfucker. They finished their set with the Journey songs Open Arms and Lovin,’ Touchin’, Squeezin’. It was his first live performance in 18 years.
A Journey fan sent a video of the Eels encore to Pineda via Twitter. Pineda replied: “He should come back. His voice is still there. I missed that voice.”
When the fan said it would be great to see Perry join the current Journey line-up at a future gig, Pineda added: “He can take over too. It’s his righteous place anyway. I wanna see them happy together.”
Meanwhile, Eels frontman E said the encore came about because Perry has been a regular at Eels gigs for some time. He previously included It’s A Motherfucker on his iTunes celebrity playlist and became good friends with the band, even sitting in on their rehearsals.
E tells Ultimate Classic Rock: “He would just sit there and watch us. Over the years, guys in the band would try to bait him by playing a Journey song hoping he would grab the microphone and start singing, but he never would.
“And then one tour rehearsal probably three or four years ago, it happened, where he surprised us all and grabbed the microphone. And for the first time in 18 years or something, he started singing a Journey song. And it sent shivers down my spine.”
“We started talking to him about it, like, ‘Hey maybe you’d want to do this on stage with us sometime.’ And he’d say, ‘Nah, too much pressure.’ This year it was different. He showed up to our tour rehearsals like he always does, but on the second day he came in carrying his own microphone that he brought with him.”