Part 235: Steve Perry

RECORD STORE TALES Part 235: Steve Perry

One Saturday in 2002 after a long (8 hour +) shift at the record store, I went over to my friend Shannon’s house. Her next door neighbors were having a karaoke party that night and we were invited. I like karaoke, although Shannon warned me in advance that her friends didn’t have many songs I’d like.  If any.

She was right. Among the Shania Twain, Meat Loaf and Grease songs were a few rockers, but her neighbors didn’t like rock. So I sat quietly and listened to some of the worst singing I’ve heard this side of Britney Spears. A little bit later on, another rocker guy showed up. For the life of me I cannot remember his name. (George? Gord? Gomer?) It doesn’t matter, because from that day forward he was known to us as Steve. Steve Perry.*

As soon as he walked in, long hair and pack of cigs in hand, I whispered to Shannon, “Does that guy not look like Steve Perry from Journey?”

Shannon turned and looked.  Turned back.  “Oh my God.  He kind of does!”

Once Steve Perry showed up, we managed to get a little rock into the night.  I dueted with him on “Jump” by Van Halen, but I was most excited to share the microphone with Steve on “Don’t Stop Believin'”.  A picture was taken of this life changing moment.  Incidentally, singing Journey songs in general is really, really hard!  I don’t recommend it to the weak willed.


Microphone in one hand, pack of cigs in the other.

I sent the picture to My Favourite Aunt.  “Doesn’t this guy look like Steve Perry?” I asked in the email.

She responded, “No.  Steve Perry from Aerosmith is sexy.  That guy doesn’t look anything like Steve Perry.”

I was a little ashamed that I had to explain the difference between Joe Perry and Steve Perry to my Aunt.  She told me she didn’t know who Steve Perry was so she couldn’t offer her opinion on his doppelganger.  However I remain convinced that my co-lead vocalist that night bore a passing resemblance to the rock great.  Visually, not vocally.  Vocally, “Steve” would have given Rebecca Black a run for her money.

Note:  Shannon tells me that for some reason, she still remembers Steve Perry’s real name:  Ed!


  1. I had a chance to see Steve Perry in my hometown many years ago (with a free ticket I’d won from a radio station). Unfortunately, I was very sick and there was a snow and ice storm that night (although the show went on as scheduled) so I didn’t get to go. I consider Steve to have one of the best voices in rock and roll – ever!


      1. Yes, he was solo. It would have been sometime in the mid 90’s, I believe. It really upset me that I couldn’t get there. But between having pneumonia and not wanting to fight slick roads (I only lived about 10 blocks from the auditorium, but lived on a steep hill) it was impossible to get there.


        1. Man. And it’s not like he plays live anymore. I’m sorry to hear this story. But I’ve had pneumonia once (both lungs) so I get the discomfort. And of course I respect the slick roads reasoning too. Last year was bad for me, but I got new tires and was OK for the rest of the winter.


  2. Great story. The Steve Perry vs. Joe Perry conundrum for an older generation was similar to my parents not knowing the difference between Suzanne Somers & Donna Summer (they probably still don’t). Inevitably they would be referred to as “Suzanne Summer” or “Donna Somers,” of course. I wonder what we’ll end up mangling when we start approaching a certain age. Wait, I might already be there, but when it comes to pop culture names I’m usually pretty accurate.


    1. Dustin Beaver for example?

      There’s a Canadian singer, Matthew Good,who had an eponymous band in the 90’s. A customer once came in and asked, “Matthew Good Band, and Dave Matthews Band. What’s the difference?”

      The spell and pronounce their names differently.


  3. My Mum gets Bruce Dickinson and Bruce Springsteen confused fairly regularly. Can definitely see the Steve Perry resemblance.

    I refuse to do Jump at Karaoke anymore as it always seems to be the version from the VanHagar live album with lots of silly ad-libs. I generally stick to Def Lep’s Animal and Bon Jovi’s You Give Love a Bad Name at Karaoke now.


    1. Is it just because of the name Bruce? Because really, they’re not even close…

      “Shot thrrrroo the hearrrt, and yerrrr to blame…” I wanna hear you sing that with yer Scottish accent. Oh man.


      1. It’s a thing of wonder… and at the rate their going I’ll probably be the new Bon Jovi vocalist before long.
        It’s just that there are two singers called Bruce. You can see how that might get confusing.


        1. So would you consider Glasgow the New Jersey of Scotland?

          In all fairness, I imagine there are a lot of Bruces over there, so trying to keep track of two singers she likely doesn’t care about would just add to the confusion. ;)


    2. I used to do Immigrant Song in my younger days.

      Shame about that Van Hagar. I would hate to have to do that one. “Hey Mikey’s what’s up?” The wife and I were just comparing and contrasting Van Halen and Van Hagar today actually.


      1. Sure, thanks! But no, you couldn’t get me drunk and make me sing. Usually I fall alseep after two drinks, so I’m not usually the type to get drunk and do dumb things. Sorry Dude, karaoke just ain’t happening. This is NOT a challenge. Repeat. Not a challenge.


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