Steve Perry on Journey snubs: We don't need to be in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame

Ex-Journey lead singer Steve Perry, fresh off overseeing his former band’s Greatest Hits Vol. 2 and a vinyl reissue of the smash 1984 solo album Street Talk, is taking a broader view on a series of Rock and Roll Hall of Fame snubs over the years.

“I think that, honestly, Journey doesn’t need to be in the Hall of Fame,” he told Billboard magazine. “With everything we accomplished … we’ve had our Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, you know? It’s in the hearts of the people out there and their experiences and their memories of what we did together and how we all had the time of our lives with the music that we loved to perform and they loved to hear. I really don’t want someone to qualify it any more than that.”

[ONE TRACK MIND: Drummer Steve Smith goes in-depth on songs from throughout his career, offering insights into recordings with Journey, Jean-Luc Ponty and Vital Information.]

Perry, who split with Journey after hip problems kept him off the road in the 1990s, now says he ready to record again — as soon as he’s finished a new studio in his southern California home. There is, however, no formal timetable for Perry’s first new material since 1998. “I don’t want it to have pressure,” Perry said, “because I’ll worry about it sucking, and then what am I gonna do? I’ve got all this pressure … that I just don’t want on me, so I’ve allowed myself the ability to sketch and write as I go, and I’ll do it at my own pace.”

Meanwhile, Perry has made a few forays back into the world of music, including a turn as a guest vocalist — singing “na nas,” Perry lightheartedly offered in a Q&A on his Web site — on Cassidy’s Follow The Freedom release from last fall.

As for that new home studio, Perry says it will have a control room and “a tracking room about the size of Motown. … I’m finishing that room up and I’ve written a whole bunch of ideas and directions, all over the map, in the last two, three years,” says Perry, Journey’s frontman from 1977-98. “So I’m plan on getting in the studio at some point and start trying to track these things and see where they go.”

Touring is another matter, though. Though Perry says he’d “love to” play live again, the 62-year-old admits “I’m no spring chicken. The same arthritis that ate up my left hip that finally got replaced hasn’t stopped there … and touring is a lot of work. I’m impressed when I see people like Eric Clapton out there. Gee whiz, Eric, give me a break! It’s amazing. I know it’s gotta hurt somewhere.”

Perry has also nixed any reunion ideas with Journey, despite a recent overture from co-founding guitarist Neal Schon to join the band — which has moved on with a new lead singer — for a guest appearance on stage: “That’s a kind invitation, but I respectfully decline,” Perry said in the fan Q&A. “But I want you to know this: I just spent the last three months listening very closely to the new Journey Greatest Hits 2 and the first Journey Greatest Hits: Every single one of those tracks is a magical moment in time. … Still are and will always be forever timeless. And there’s one more thing everyone should know, I will never stop believing in all the original and amazing music we created together.”

[SOMETHING ELSE! INTERVIEW: Can’t get enough of Journey or Santana? Check out our in-depth talk with Gregg Rolie, where he discusses his Hall of Fame career as a founding member of both bands.]

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