Journey singer leaves band

Full story: Waved Rumor 30
In a story that could be pulled straight from the pages of The Onion, a "chronic throat condition" has forced Journey's lead singer Steve Augeri to leave the band. Full Story
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Ross from Scotland

Berrow, UK

#2 Oct 2, 2006
Interesting that this thread is still ‘topical’ as only a few short month ago we were debating Perry/ Augeri/ Journey and the (subsequently successful) UK/ Euro dates.
Now the same thorny issues may be raised again with the band having just announced further UK dates for March ’07, and might even still be fronted by Jeff Scott Soto.
I understand the official statement regarding Augeri’s (temporary?) departure and JSS stepping in, but don’t accept it.
I genuinely believe the lip sync allegations were true and for me it’s an unforgivable act - especially with the history, legacy and pedigree of this particular band.
Recent reports and reviews seem to indicate fairly mixed receptions with JSS - many love it, some just wonder what the hell is going on and others like myself were just hoping they would get the Leppard Tour over and put it to bed, leaving the legacy a little tarnished but intact, based on past glories.
Oh, and considering Steve P again would be gargantuan p.r. but may turn out to be no revelation.
SP had lost a part of his range by the ‘Medicine’ tour (but jeez he could still deliver), and a further near-decade of retirement will not have helped the voice.
Would any real fan want to see the ‘classic’ line up one more time if there was any chance of the boys not being able to recreate the magic?
Well, yes, I would love to see it one more time but based on current activities and relationships (let alone could SP still cut it?) I think it’s highly improbable.
In fact I don’t think SP would want to touch it now - been there, done that, bought the Infinity Tour T-Shirt, thanks.
Which is a shame, because Perry may well have lost some of his register and confidence (having not sung in anger for years other than occasional soundtrack and guest vocalist work), but his very presence and voice would change the dynamics dramatically.
The presence of Perry and Schon on stage and the ego bubbles that surrounded them (certainly from the Frontiers tour onwards) were so big that it’s a miracle Cain, Valory and Smith could fit on stage. Any friction between them on stage or in the studio (which was actually a positive as they constantly raised each other’s game) produced that very fire that cannot be reproduced without both being part of the entity IMHO.
Heart and Soul baby, Heart and Soul.
Luckily, or unjustly (depending on your stance), the band have probably ridden the storm out, and the vast majority of Journey fans and concert goers will probably never know there ever was such a ‘controversy’ in the first place.
Add to the fact that the Tour with Def Leppard brought them to bigger numbers than they could commands on their own (audiences of between 5000 and 20000 depending on locale) and you have, ironically, their healthiest situation in years (by ‘today’s Journey’ standards).
Personally?
I had limited interest in the post 1998 Journey, and now I have zero respect.
I was also lucky enough to have seen them ‘back in the day’and I’ll keep those memories, thank you very much.
Let the Journey end guys, because you’ve done nothing worthy of the name lately - quite the opposite.
And if you don’t agree you can eat my 1979 Evolution Tour Boxer Shorts.
Entoone

Cedarpines Park, CA

#3 Oct 15, 2006
Great viewpoint, I totally believe it, and must say that I have been a Journey fan for decades. I'll also go on record to say that they need to wrap it up, or get a new singer. I saw them last night in Devore and to be honest the new Mr. Soto SUCKS!-- he was awful both in the vocal capabilities and his stage antics and presence. If I would have known he was going to be the new singer for the group I would have stayed home. I'm glad that I did attend the show so I could hear first hand on what the fuzz is all about. I'm sad that the train has left the station, but this should be the end of the ride. It's just not happening any longer with the current vocalist.

*** The good news is that the drummer kicked butt, and did sing two great songs during the show, he was the highlight and they (Neil and the boys) should be very happy they found and hired him. Another low note of the evening is that not one single song from the latest release was played, not one! I'm not sure how you can release an album but not perform any song live from it. What do I know? I'm a consumer and a fan.
Ted Oliphant wrote:
Journey Vanilli
Yes it's true, the hard drive crashed and there was poor Steve Augeri naked with his real vocals coming through the P.A.
Deen Castronovo (who can play all Steve Smith's Drum parts while singing all of Perry's vocal parts perfectly) saved the day by jumping off the drum riser and taking over vocals. His roadie took over drumming.
No one has heard Steve Augeri sing for 3 years. I did a video of them in 1999 at Concord Pavillion and poor Stevie (a very nice guy) was having trouble even then. People told me it was the best Video of Journey they had ever seen, all except Neal Schon who watched my video and cringed as Augeri regularly went off key and his voice cracked. Neal has perfect pitch. Herbie Herbert (former Journey Manager) told me "Man when I first heard Augeri's audition tape, I said he owns these songs."
But the following year Stevei A. was in trouble, by the time they did the Live DVD Video from Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas, Nocturne (The video production company formerly owned by Schon & Herbert) had to isolate all of Stevie A.'s vocal tracks and "Fix" them in Pro-Tools, correcting pitch etc. A deviated septum surgery didn't help matters at all.
When you watch my videos "Concord & Beyond"&"Fillmor e Boogie" on the www.journeymusic.com website (Click on "Fan Club" then "Photos & Videos" to download, you'll notice I had to take Stevie A. out of both videos or they never would've seen the light of day.
Former Journey guitar wizard/composer George Tickner told me yesterday "It's pathetic, now they're only in it for the money". Former Production Manager Allen Craft also is "Feelin' That Way" he said to me "You can't stop the Gravy Train".
Seems like this Gravy Train has de-railed itself, now it's a Crazy Train. By the way I was at Skywalker Ranch when Journey recorded "Trial By Fire" and Steve Perry was pleasant and could still sing great. If they had waited until Perry decided to have surgery on his own and not gone out with Augeri, Perry would still be with them today. I always said "Hell, just put him in a wheel chair and get him to the show and "Wheel In This Guy".
Oh well as Perry said to Jonathan Cain "You know there's no going back"
Ted Oliphant Las Vegas, Nevada tedoliphant@hotmail.com
Billleeboy

Mississauga, Canada

#4 Jan 1, 2007
It's a fact.I am getting my Butt kicked on the Journey board .I think Soto isn't Journey material and they are getting upset at me for saying so.I guess if i worked for Journey i would to be a Soto fan too.Soto's voice is all over the place .He can't stay in a high note without screwing the whole thing up from going to high to low and just ain't keeping up with the songs.People downed the idea about Steve Augeri but his stage show was a hell of a lot better then Soto's.Steve go out before Journey went down.Soto's is going to sink this ship.It's too bad...Such a good band waisted ..Now fronted by a Perry Wanna-be
RME

Chicago, IL

#5 Jan 10, 2007
Soto sucks! here's an idea-get a new drummer and let Dean be the new singer!
Ted Oliphant

Las Vegas, NV

#6 Jan 19, 2007
DME, well all of you pretty much nailed it.
I saw Peter and Gordon last year and they could still sing.

Gregg Rolie
Robert Fleischman
Steve Perry
Steve Augerri
Dean Castronovo
Jeff Scott Soto

Journey has had more Lead Vocalists than Spinal Tap has had drummers

Ted Oliphant
tedoliphant@hotmail.com
Eileen

Lancaster, CA

#7 Jan 27, 2007
Jeff definetly does not fit in with the Journey group. Augeri looked great but I guess behind the scenes sounded hoorible. I Love JRNY but I passed the extra concerts this past tour because of Scott. I took the trip to Chula Vista and was so dissapointed. Dean however is ammmmmazing. He should take the lead.
LVNG Augeri
Eileen, Chino Hills
Don't Stop believing
Eileen

Lancaster, CA

#8 Jan 27, 2007
Can Augeri not sing at all??? Was he lipsinging during the LV DVD????
I Love all the Gossip

.Eileen Chino Hills, Ca
Ted Oliphant wrote:
Journey Vanilli
Yes it's true, the hard drive crashed and there was poor Steve Augeri naked with his real vocals coming through the P.A.
Deen Castronovo (who can play all Steve Smith's Drum parts while singing all of Perry's vocal parts perfectly) saved the day by jumping off the drum riser and taking over vocals. His roadie took over drumming.
No one has heard Steve Augeri sing for 3 years. I did a video of them in 1999 at Concord Pavillion and poor Stevie (a very nice guy) was having trouble even then. People told me it was the best Video of Journey they had ever seen, all except Neal Schon who watched my video and cringed as Augeri regularly went off key and his voice cracked. Neal has perfect pitch. Herbie Herbert (former Journey Manager) told me "Man when I first heard Augeri's audition tape, I said he owns these songs."
But the following year Stevei A. was in trouble, by the time they did the Live DVD Video from Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas, Nocturne (The video production company formerly owned by Schon & Herbert) had to isolate all of Stevie A.'s vocal tracks and "Fix" them in Pro-Tools, correcting pitch etc. A deviated septum surgery didn't help matters at all.
When you watch my videos "Concord & Beyond"&"Fillmor e Boogie" on the www.journeymusic.com website (Click on "Fan Club" then "Photos & Videos" to download, you'll notice I had to take Stevie A. out of both videos or they never would've seen the light of day.
Former Journey guitar wizard/composer George Tickner told me yesterday "It's pathetic, now they're only in it for the money". Former Production Manager Allen Craft also is "Feelin' That Way" he said to me "You can't stop the Gravy Train".
Seems like this Gravy Train has de-railed itself, now it's a Crazy Train. By the way I was at Skywalker Ranch when Journey recorded "Trial By Fire" and Steve Perry was pleasant and could still sing great. If they had waited until Perry decided to have surgery on his own and not gone out with Augeri, Perry would still be with them today. I always said "Hell, just put him in a wheel chair and get him to the show and "Wheel In This Guy".
Oh well as Perry said to Jonathan Cain "You know there's no going back"
Ted Oliphant Las Vegas, Nevada tedoliphant@hotmail.com
Rudeman

Smyrna, GA

#9 Aug 2, 2008
well, amazing all of this lead up to Arnel Pineda who absolutely kicked Charlotte NC's ass tonight...Journey is in fact back...don't judge Pineda on ANYTHING you see on youtube, see the show yourself and this cat will leave you speechless!
real_rocker

Woodbridge, VA

#10 Aug 27, 2008
you guys must have been the geeks in school or something...Journey? Get your nice white Nike's and Jordache jeans out...

Jimi
Stevie Ray
Eddie V

Just a few who could rock...Journey is for immature high school kids.
Ted Oliphant

New Orleans, LA

#11 Sep 11, 2008
Steve was not lip syncing, he was actually singing during the LV DVD, but his vocal tracks had to be fixed in post production because there were problems with his performance. On subsequent gigs he was singing, not lip syncing, they just weren't letting his actual vocals come through the P.A. It was either Deen's live vocals being pumped through, or a hard drive vocal pre-recorded that they'd punch in when he wasn't cutting it. This went on for three years before they finally let him go, brought on by the hard drive crashing and poor Steve's real vocals coming through. So it was not technically Lip-Syncing, but is was not his live vocals coming through the P.A. 100 percent of the time either. It's sad these guys still have top tour to make a living.
Aaron

Owings Mills, MD

#12 Sep 15, 2008
It's too bad because Augeri was really a great singer.
The Evil One

New Orleans, LA

#13 Jan 12, 2009
The Real Reason Steve Perry isn't with JOURNEY

I had a very interesting conversation with a very old friend tonight, who once played with Journey. We talked about recent Perry sightings in a recording studio that I shared photographs of, with several of you.

He said: About the time of the "Hollywood Walk of Fame" Star induction, Perry approached Herbie Herbert in 2005 making overtures about a Journey Reunion with he (Perry) Singing again. Still pissed, Herbie thought it was "Too Little, Too Late" Perry wanted back in. It's a fact. Herbie won't let it go. I understand. That's why it didn't happen. When Perry came back for TBF, he insisted that Herbie be jettisoned, in favor of Irving Azoff. The band agreed.

Traditionally these guys have never gone to bat for each-other:

Nobody went to bat for Tickner when he was fired.
Nobody went to bat for Ross & Smitty when Perry wanted them gone.
When Perry Insisted that Herbie be dropped, nobody went to bat for Herbie.
When Brett Valory had his finger smashed and Castronovo & Cain wanted him fired, nobody went to bat for Brett.

These guys base all their decisions on their pocket books. Not what's Right or Wrong. Hence decisions like allowing Augeri to have his life voice replaced either by a hard drive or Deen's live vocals when he wasn't cutting it, on some nights.

When Tickner & I were talking about it, when they got caught, but somehow dodged a bullet, he said to me: "It's pathetic, they're only in it for the money money now".

So that's the Rest Of The Story. I found it enlightening. Perry wanted back in but he burned too many bridges. I'm not sure the band even knows this since my source was also burned by them.

E1
carol burnett

Middletown, OH

#14 May 17, 2009
well if perry wanted back in it should have been done. he bought all the sucess to the band and this is how i veiw the name journey:

j-joy, what joy they bought all of us with their lyrics ,gituar,keyboards,drums, and oh that voice.

o-outstanding-againwhat a band

u-unbelievable is alli can say

r-reunion-put aside the differances and give your faithful fans one more song or cd

n-nutty, one time they had fun and showed their nutty side.those are the memories they should hold dear.{ remember how you felt steve when neal got hit in the head with a bottle on the fronteirs tour. and neal steve came to your aid.

e- elated is what we will beif they can forget and make peice. we want them togrow oldwith no regrets

y- your fansare forever faithfully yours. journey {the old journey} was the best band in the land. i only wish they all would not have let it go to their heads. everyone has to give and take turns giving. many, many fans are sad at the way things were left. when i hear steves anyway i cry.

i got this off my chest i only hope journey can do the same.forgiveness releases the pain.
carol burnett
Jontarzan

Wentzville, MO

#15 Aug 2, 2009
I don't know where this Ted Oliphant cat is getting his info about Augeri but don't believe it! it's crap! I saw Journey 3 times with Augeri & it was clear that he was singing it live without any track aid. Go to youtube & you can see Augeri singing a duet with Hugo of the Journey tribute band "Evolution" & it sounds great! or with "Tall Stories". All singers have an occasional bad night but not all the time! The truth why Augeri left Journey is more about Schon's huge ego & desire for the spotlight to be on him. Journey has become their own cover band. Sad!
Mark Beck

Lamoni, IA

#16 Nov 26, 2009
i have always loved journey's music but didn't like the way schon ruled the band with an iron fist. i know that its his band and all but come on. they need steve perry back. if it wasnt for him they would have faded out in the late 70's. they new that he wouldnt work for pennies like arnel. as for arnel i think the ONLY reason they hired an asian singer was to get a global wide fan base. they could have hired a mentally challenged guy in a wheelchair and got the same effect. arnel's singing on the new album doesn't even sound like journey. he is a good singer dont get me wrong, but i bet they dont pay him squat. they took advantage of a dirt poor guy. i think it wont be long and they will give him the ax now that they are back on top. you watch they will let him go and come up with an american singer that sounds more like perry.
ELVIS

Los Angeles, CA

#17 Dec 7, 2009
Lot's of good stuff here. I go back with Journey all the way.I've Been in the bizz for thirty five years. I personally witnessed Steve and Neal go through a lot. Crack binges. These guys used to try to out do each other even in the crack pipe category. On 711 Pacific Coast Highway Huntington Beach. at "Poor mans" (KROQ) house 1985 they would roll in there with five grand in smoking paraphernalia and never come out at least for five days to two weeks sometimes. Gnarly! lol
Drugs took their tole on Steve. Neal got away a tad bit less unscathed because he was not a singer. Journey lost its love over drugs then overinflated ego and false senses of self worth pulled them down. Standard Doctor Phil stuff. In truth Perry lost it a bit. His voice would have recovered, But he knew his insides were falling apart, Steve Perry needed to sing from the inside out to be who he was. I am sure this was horrible to go through. It was horrible to watch. "Separate Ways" etc really showed what drugs could do to a honey coated throat. "Spin it" they said and they did. Passing Perry off as going a bit "rougher" Yeah right. Road kill set in in and that was it. Irreversible nodes. Neal is a Tyrant when it comes to shows. Anyone who gets between him and his ego or his money is toast. Herbie epitomizes a business man and he knew everything about Journey down to their freaking underwear. After Hawaii, Perry was buttered and served for breakfast. Drugs and the downward spiral, irreversible damage to the physical and spiritual Journey this was was finite, Giving Schon all the reason to check the expendable box on Perry's application. New singer were a good way to keep going yes the other Steve is talented. But Soto. Yuk. That is like bringing a bologna sandwich to Arnie Morton's. Jeff Scott Soto was in way over his head. And he is marked as a plagiarizer. Just get out the Phenobarbital and put this dog down! Greatrun though. Unprecedented.
Thanks for all the great shows and records guys.
OnMyJRNY

Evansville, IN

#18 Jan 6, 2010
Let's face it, Arnel is a great singer but he was brought in for the publicity more than his voice. "Journey Hires Yet Another Lead Singer" would hardly make the headlines that "Journey Finds Starving Artist on You Tube and Makes Him a Star" created. IMO, it's just another Karaoke version of Journey though; the real band ended in 1996.
Perry still sounds terrific though. He may not have the upper range that he used to, but personally I think his voice has more depth and soul to it now than it did back in the 70s and early 80s. Can't wait for the solo album!!
Ernie shepherd

Charlotte, NC

#19 Oct 12, 2010
I do a journey tribute...check it out at myspace.com/ernieshepherd .
TenaAustin

Chicago, IL

#20 Aug 19, 2011
Oh my my…Yes, Mr. Steve can still sing fine in the studio thank you very much. But you will never hear him singing “La Do Da” like he once did in the studio for us.
If Journey wanted to do a dozen dates throughout the USA, then Perry would persevere.

But if they even attempted to do a ¼ of the shows they’ve done in 2011, Journey would be cancelling quite a bit or uses tapes all over again. Give the guy a break; he is 65, rich, and finally enjoying his life.
A huge kiss and hug to Steve Augeri. He is such a sweetheart that you can’t help but love the man. I loved running into him every time we crossed paths. What a class act.
I’ve never had an opportunity yet to meet Arnel, but I’m hearing great things about him from everyone.
So many bumps in the road through the years but I wouldn’t change a thing. Everything happens for a reason in life. Love to all!!
Hans Guhrlich

Emmaus, PA

#22 Nov 4, 2011
Ted is only half right. Vocal tracks were used for hard-to-reach high notes starting around 2003, but only sparingly. Like many bands, tapes were used to embellish things. Maybe a song or two here or there. Full blown lipping began in 2005 after early shows on the Generations tour showed that Augeri was not up to task. The band gave him an ultimatum when they toured with Def Leppard in the states, but Steve could not last the distance and Jeff Soto was brought in. Ted makes it sound like the Augeri-era was all tape, all the time - and that is wildly off the mark.

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