‘This is gonna be hard to believe’: Former frontman ignored Journey once Steve Perry took over

When Robert Fleischman, Journey’s pre-Steve Perry frontman, tells you he’s never looked back, he means it. Gone since 1977, Fleischman is preparing to release a new album having largely ignored his old band ever since.

“I know this is gonna be hard to believe,” Fleishman tells RothnRoll, “but I’ve never really listened to any of their albums all the way through — except for Infinity.”

Fleischman entered the sessions for that 1978 project having already appeared on stage with Journey. He proceeded to co-write a number of songs, and recorded several demos, during the early sessions for Infinity before Perry was brought in. Three tracks co-credited to Fleischman ultimately made the album, including Journey’s breakthrough “Wheel in the Sky,” as well as “Winds of March” and “Anytime.”

Two members of his former band, Gregg Rolie and Neal Schon, appeared on Fleischman’s 1979 solo debut, called Perfect Stranger. He later worked with Kiss alum Vinnie Vincent’s Invasion and with Kelly Hansen, who now fronts Foreigner, before forming a new band called the Sky. Their latest release, ironically enough, is called Majestic — the title of a song from Journey’s follow up to Infinity, 1979′s Evolution.

Not that Fleischman has ever heard it: “I had no idea that Journey had a song called ‘Majestic,’ but I did have people tell me on Facebook about this, thinking I intentionally did that,” Fleischman says, before quipping: “I’m waiting for people to play the CD backwards, then ask if I have put in hidden messages.”

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