Steve Perry on how Journey has become a soundtrack for sports: ‘I gotta tell you – I got kind of emotional’

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He’s been a fixture at San Francisco Giants games since 2002, but Steve Perry says he had no idea before his first game that Journey had become part of the soundtrack of sports.

“I walked into to Pac-Bell Park, it was in June, it was about 7 o’clock,” Perry says of a facility now known as AT&T Park, in a new talk with Buster Olney. “The lights were on, and I saw that green field, and I saw the bay. That’s the first time I’d ever been in that park. I got bitten by that Field of Dreams kind of feeling — and I’ve kind of been there ever since.”

After all, Steve Perry adds, something magical happened.

“I did not know that they were playing ‘Lights’ around the middle of the eighth inning,” he says. “I found out they were actually doing ‘Lights’ [from Journey’s 1978 album Infinity] over at the Oakland A’s stadium, too. I didn’t know any of that, because I had not really been attending many sporting events. I was just into music, and all of that. When I first heard ‘Lights,’ I gotta tell you: I got kind of emotional about it. To hear people singing along, I didn’t know that there was this kinship between that music and sports.”

A few years later, Steve Perry took part in the Chicago White Sox’s 2005 World Series run as the team made Journey’s 1981 Escape-era hit “Don’t Stop Believin'” its anthem.

“They asked me to be their guest,” Steve Perry adds, “so I flew out to Chicago and that was such a thrill to hear that song become such a — I don’t know what you would call it. A rally song, for sure. But the thing about that song is, it seems to belong to everyone, which is a dream come true. It doesn’t belong to anybody. It really belongs to people who want to believe, and want to keep hoping and keep reaching, and not give up.”

“Don’t Stop Believin'” has since been used by a number of pro teams, including Major League Baseball’s Diamondbacks, Dodgers and, of course, the Giants.

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