Revisiting Steve Perry’s Last Performance With Journey
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Steve Perry performed his last show with Journey on Nov. 3, 1991, at an all-star concert to honor late promoter Bill Graham. The performance came almost five years after Perry’s last full concert with the band, on Feb. 1, 1987.
The reunited group got together to pay tribute — along with other artists who got their start in the San Francisco scene, including Carlos Santana, the Grateful Dead and Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young — in Golden Gate Park. Graham died in a helicopter crash on Oct. 25.
Journey hadn’t played together since the end of their Raised on Radio tour, and even though their performance at the Graham tribute was brief — less than 10 minutes, and featuring “Faithfully,” “Lonely Road Without You” and “Lights” — it was a welcome return for fans who had been waiting for the moment since Perry retired from the group, which broke up following the singer’s departure.
Following a 1994 solo album, Perry reunited on record with Journey for 1996’s Trial by Fire album, which reached the Top 20 and spawned a trio of hit singles. The band was all set to tour in support of the record, but after Perry injured himself in a hiking accident, the tour was canceled and Perry left the group for a second and final time.
The band continued with new singer Steve Augeri, while Perry has remained mostly quiet over the past 20 years, showing up to sing “Don’t Stop Believin'” with San Francisco Giants fans and onstage with the indie-rock band Eels.
In 2016, Journey were among the artists to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame the following year. Guitarist Neal Schon said he would welcome another onstage reunion with Perry at the ceremonies in April 2017. “Musically speaking, I’d love to have him do a song with us – or two, or whatever,” he said. “What would be even greater would be for him to do a song with Arnel too. I’m open to everything. I’m very open-minded to whatever happens, and any ideas that are brought forth.”
Perry commented with just a simple, “I am truly grateful that Journey is being inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame” at the time.
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