‘Don’t Stop Believin’: Everyman’s Journey’ and the Best of the Band

When I set out to watch Don’t Stop Believin’: Everyman’s Journey,  I wasn’t entirely sure of the experience I was about to embark on. First off, I’ll admit: I don’t really know anything about Journey. Sure I know the hits—when I’m five beers deep and "Don’t Stop Believing" comes on the sound system, watch out. But I was not aware of the true weight that this band carries as a piece of American rock ‘n’ roll history.

Having gone through several incarnations since they formed in 1973 and achieving commercial success between 1978 and 1987, the band would sift through lead singers after the departure of Steve Perry in 1994. Everyman’s Journey tells the story of Arnel Pineda, a kid from Manila, Philippines who got the chance to audition for the classic band in 2007 after guitartist Neal Schon had come across some YouTube videos of Pineda while on his quest to find a new lead singer. Schon was blown away. In what is a once in a lifetime opportunity, Pineda was flown to California for a week to meet with the band. The group was preparing to record a new album and embark on a US tour. Pineda went on to land the gig as the next Journey frontman after proving himself to the other band members and days of grueling auditions.

This is the story of a kid who came from nothing and rose to the forefront of an immensely popular and timeless band. His passion always lay in signing, in using his tool—his voice. Throughout the film you are given a look into what life was like for Pineda growing up in an inpoverished society halfway across the globe. His voice became his way to deal, to get him out of the hardships he had to endure. He would sing for friends and book frequent gigs at clubs just to be able to eat. It’s clear he never thought that life outside of Manila was possible and that the far-fetched dreams of success beyond what he knew would someday come into fruition. The film follows Pineda for a year of tours, shows, illness and struggle as he deals with being catapulted into this life so vastly different from what he had known.

Arnel Pienda remains grounded and grateful to the past and the gift he has been given. Journey has gone from not just being an American rock ‘n’ roll band, but to now be a self proclaimed World rock ‘n’ roll band. Breaking boundries and inviting the masses to experience it all with them; this truley is Everyman’s Journey.

Dive into the past as we look back on where Journey has been and then stay for the present.

 

Journey- "In My Lonely Feeling" (1975)

Before the group shifted to their now signature sound they were entracing the world with these trippy tunes.

 

 

Journey- "On A Saturday Night" (1976)

Home on a Saturday night? Sit in a tub and loop this.

 

 

Journey- "For You" (1977)

One for you one for me.

 

 

Journey- "Too Late" (1979)

It’s never too late to make the change. Fly don’t wait.

 

 

Journey- "Don’t Stop Believing" (1981)

Watch Arnel Pienda slay the classic jam. Jaw, drop, yup.

Uncovering The Secrets Behind Broadway’s Bad Boy Hit ‘Rock of Ages’

Every rose has its thorn, every town has its rebel, and when it comes to the Great White Way, Rock of Ages is it. Flanked with a panties-covered set, a cast with amazingly toned abs, and a score full of the best ‘80s songs, this powerhouse Broadway musical defies the conventional stay-in-your-seat theatergoing experience, and transforms it into a sex-soaked rock concert that melds sincerity with parody; beer and shots are proffered in the aisles, rock posters dress the walls, and audience revelry is encouraged and inevitable. This bad boy breaks the rules, and it’s working; in its fourth year, Rock of Ages is selling better than ever. This month, it served its one-millionth customer, and has consistently been one of Broadway’s top 10 most-attended shows this year.

Of course, there are questions: How? Why? What is its mystical secret?

I sat down with two stars of the show to try to unlock these very questions: Jeremy Woodard – who plays Stacee Jaxx, the near-washed up, wild rock star – and Justin Matthew Sargent, who plays Drew, the aspiring rock star.

Apart from the music, what do you think people love about this show?
Jeremy Woodard: There’s something nostalgic about the ‘80s. Seeing as the economy is where it’s at, this show lets you just kick back and enjoy. There’s no drama – everything is said in jest. And when things are bad out there, you need to laugh a lot.
Justin Matthew Sargent: The story, too. It’s not your usual rags-to-riches tale. The characters start with a dream, until they realize the reality of it and that it’s not the kind of life they want to lead. They reevaluate and find new dreams in it all.
JW: The show doesn’t take itself too seriously. At all.

Unlike other jukebox musicals that stick to just one band’s music, Rock of Ages features the songs from a bunch of different ‘80s artists – Poison, Twisted Sister, Journey –  attracting all the fans that come with them. That’s a pretty brilliant, commercial concept.
JMS: Oh, totally.The fans go nuts for this show. It’s all built-in. And even though it’s ‘80s rock music and a niche kind of thing, you have a lot of versatility – you’ve got your power ballads, your songs that kick ass, sweet songs like “Every Rose Has Its Thorn.” There are so many different genres that make up ‘80s rock. And the coolest thing is when the people from those bands come to see the show.

What rock stars have been in the audience?
JMS: We’ve had Journey come to see the show, Phil Collins. We had Dee Snider in the show for a little while, and he’s just the nicest. I was such a big fan of his before we worked with him, and still am.

Jeremy, since you play Stacee Jaxx, the magnetic, women-obsessed rocker, do you receive any crazy emails, dirty underwear, etc. from fans?
JW: Thankfully, no dirty underwear. When I had Facebook, I used to get crazy messages that crossed the line, so I bowed out. There hasn’t been anyone that’s been scary. We sometimes get weird letters, but the girls get stuff more than we do.
JMS: Fans make us food all the time though – lots of cookies. They’ve also made real dolls out of us.
JW: Early on, our original Stacee – James Carpinello – had a lady come out and ask him to sign her shoulder as Stacee Jaxx, and then she got it tattooed afterward. She still comes around every now and then. That’s the craziest thing I’ve ever seen.

What a souvenir. I’ve heard there are fans that have seen this show over 250 times.
JW: Oh yeah. I ask people sometimes how they can afford to see it that often. I like Krispy Kreme, but I don’t think I can eat that many donuts.

Rock of Ages