In the 10 years that Steve Perry spent writing, singing and performing with Journey, that band sold in the neighborhood of 35 million records throughout the world. From 1978 to 1987, through six multi-platinum-selling albums and seven top 10 singles, Steve Perry's name was synonymous with success.
But following Journey's 1986-87 tour, Steve Perry disappeared. He vanished. He left the building. Not only had Journey disbanded, but its frontman had become MIA.
"At the end of that tour, I honestly had to stop," he says today, armed with the objectivity of one who has carefully observed these events from a safe distance of about seven and a half years. "I was suffering from serious fatigue, job burnout, and all sorts of other things happening in my personal life as the result of the 10-year burn."
So, in essence, Steve Perry set out in search of Steve Perry. "I had to get off the merry-go-round," he admits. "And there is no easy way to get off when everybody else is on it with you. But it really felt that my life depended upon it."
It took a year, but eventually Perry began to feel the need to write again. But with no intention of getting back into the game so soon, he allowed the rest of the '80s to expire as he casually wrote and recorded a number of songs at his own pace.
Finally, in 1992, Steve hooked up with keyboardist/guitarist Paul Taylor, and things started to really click. "He had a sense of melodics in his chord changes that I had not heard before, and I liked a lot," Perry says of his new collaborator. A few months later, Randy Jackson (A VP/A&R at Columbia and himself an alumni of Journey) gave Steve a tape that had come across his desk. The demo was from a guitar player by the name of Lincoln Brewster. Unlike the other guitarists Steve had been checking out, Brewster's playing had "heart." He was in. A short time later, one Moyes Lucas, Jr. wandered into the drum auditions and asked if he could have a shot. The first thing Moyes played with Perry, Taylor and Brewster was an impromptu jam that turned into a song that made it to the album ("Listen To Your Heart"). Steve had his drummer.
In early 1993, Steve began recording the album. Perry and his band (along with a combination of Mike Porcardo, Larry Kimpel on bass, and Todd Jensen) entered the studio to begin recording For The Love Of Strange Medicine. It's his second solo outing, and ultimately comes 10 years after 1984's double-platinum Street Talk which produced four hit singles, including the #3 smash "Oh Sherrie" and "Foolish Heart."
"After eight years of absence from the music scene I must say that I never knew how much I loved something so much until I let it go. It feels good to be back."