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The Eels

Fri
20
Jun

STEVE PERRY REFLECTS ON HIS PERFORMANCES WITH THE EELS

Artist: 

Article courtesy of FAN ASYLUM - http://fanasylum.com/steveperry/

 

Steve Perry hit the stage for the first time since 1995, for three guest appearances with The Eels.

 

June 11 @ The Orpheum Theatre in Los Angeles CA: 
"It's A Motherfucker" (Eels), "Only Sixteen" (Sam Cooke), "Open Arms," "Lights" & "Lovin', Touchin', Squeezin'" (Journey)

May 31 @ The Lincoln Theatre in Wash D.C.: 
"It's A Motherfucker" (Eels), "Only Sixteen" (Sam Cooke), "Open Arms," & "Lovin', Touchin', Squeezin'" (Journey)

May 25 @ The Fitzgerald Theatre in St Paul MN:
"It's A Motherfucker" (Eels), "Open Arms," & "Lovin', Touchin', Squeezin'" (Journey)

E (Mark Oliver Everett of The Eels) explains Steve's surprise return to the stage and shares the story of their long friendship at Stereogum.com

Bob Lefsetz analyzes Steve Perry's performance with The Eels and nails it in "Steve Perry Returns."

 
Bob Lefsetz sums up the joy of hearing Steve Perry's voice in "Steve Perry At The Orpheum."
 

We had a quick chat with Steve and he shared his thoughts on the incredible and surprising events of the past few weeks.

Your three performances with The Eels really blew up social media! The YouTube videos have several million views, you were a trending topic on Twitter and just about all major media outlets picked up the story. Were you surprised by how big the reaction to you joining The Eels on stage was?
SP:  Yes, I was very surprised. I woke up in St. Paul MN thinking I'd have a little YouTube leak about the gig and that would be it. After 20 years of not singing Live I really thought I could just stick my toe in the Waters of Love and then go home and start blowing the rust off my pipes……. but that's not what happened. So I flew out for a second one in D.C. and that was even more fun SO-- I did L.A. and that was even more FUN-NER!

After watching your performances with The Eels, we hope you are finally coming back to music. Your fans love you! How did it feel when you walked out on the stage again?
SP:  I realized in a nano second as I walked on stage how much I had missed it. I had been away from Live performing for a long time. Walking out on that Stage was like having sex for the first time in 20 years. I didn't have a lot of stamina or restraint ……. but it still felt really AMAZING!!

You mentioned that you promised your late girlfriend Kellie that you would sing again. Is that what motivated you to join your friends The Eels on stage?
SP:  The promise that was made to her was not that I would sing again but more emotional and personal in nature. Since promises are best fulfilled in secret, I think I’ll keep them that way…….. but I am keeping my promises to her.

You've said in the past that you don't read reviews but hopefully you have seen the two amazing blogs posted by famed music industry analyst and critic, Bob Lefsetz. Did you know he was at the L.A. show and what did you think of his comments on your performance?
SP:  I did not know he was in L.A. until after he wrote the article. I do not read reviews but I was encouraged by a friend to read his St. Paul and his L.A. ones. Holy Moly…….. I was stunned at some of his analogies and kind words. I wish I could have met him after the show. I can honestly say that in my lifetime I have NEVER had anyone say such truthful things about what Rock and Roll once was and should be and then include me in his words!?!  

WTF…….Thanks Muucho Bob!!!!

Would you consider recording a cover of "It's a Motherfucker?" Your take on that song is so beautiful and heartfelt.
SP:  Yes, I may record it. When I first met E…… I told him that I wanted to sing that song. It was a song that spoke to me back then and then after losing Kellie, it's speaking to me again on a whole new emotional level.

Would you consider collaborating on new music with E? You two would come up with some great material!
SP:  I've known E for many years now and I think that's possible but we both have our own process of writing and we both understand and respect how that works. It can be a very personal, alone process that doesn't lend itself to collaboration. Just listen to "It's a Motherfucker" ……… The reason that song hits me so is because I can feel the solitude and loneliness that's in it and was required to write it.
 
The Sam Cooke song you did in D.C. and Los Angeles (“Only Sixteen”) was amazing. How did you decide on how you were going to do it?
SP:  I have always loved Sam’s songs. A capella versions are something I've been wanting to do for a long time.
 
A huge part of the pleasure of seeing you on stage again is in witnessing your enjoyment of performing. Reaction from fans has been overwhelmingly positive! What's next for you?
SP:  Honestly…...It's been many years since I've tried to sing at live levels. Many years ! I think I will start rehearsing at those Live Levels to blow the rust off these old pipes. That's my plan …….. After that is done, I'm sure more thoughts and ideas will appear.

Arnel said he would gladly step aside to let you return to Journey. What are your thoughts? Would you consider a Journey reunion?
SP:  I don’t know who or what would make Arnel want to say such a thing. He's their Lead Singer and I only wish him all of the very best! There is no reunion.

Loved your "SPelfie" at the Wash D.C. show. Would you consider doing more of those?
SP:  I may do another "SPelfie" very soon.

Even if you don't do a full tour again, would you consider a few televised appearances?
SP:  I have been approached about TV but I have never been a big fan of TV appearances. I think it's a loose, fun Rockin' evening in a room with fans that makes life worth living. TV never really represents that. I am getting a bit more open to the idea though……. more than I ever thought I would. So---- I will stay open minded about it and perhaps it will happen……. but I still have my deep opinions and thoughts about it……..

Of the three shows you played (St Paul, D.C. and L.A.), which was your favorite?
SP:  The first one was in St Paul and I was truly a bundle of nerves. After 20 years, I guess that is understandable. But it certainly didn’t stop me from having the time of my life! After St Paul, I thought, “Maybe that’s it,” but E said, “Why don’t you come out to do another one,” so I went to Wash D.C. That show felt so much more relaxed for me and I was able to concentrate more on singing. I think I sang bit better in D.C. than St Paul. That was my second gig in 20 years. Driving up from Del Mar to L.A. gave me plenty of time to remember how much of an industry town L.A. is and I was hoping my performance would be good enough. I honestly only wanted to sing again in front of people and so backstage I reminded myself there are several reasons why I wanted to go out there….some you know about and some you don’t. But the bottom line is it’s about rediscovering my love for singing.

 

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Fri
13
Jun

STEVE PERRY JOINS THE EELS ON STAGE IN LOS ANGELES

Artist: 
 
 
After Eels' triumphant performance at L.A.'s Orpheum Theater last night concluded with a five-song encore, including Nilsson's "Turn on Your Radio," the band was joined by Journey's legendary one-time lead vocalist Steve Perry, who has joined them on several dates of their current tour after decades of avoiding the stage.
 
The interesting thing about this guy is, he walked away from it all 20 years ago," observed Eels leader Mark Oliver "E" Everett, addressing the crowd from the stage, "and then in Minneapolis, he came back to sing with us. Then he walked away again, and six days later in Washington, D.C., he came back again. And then he walked away again. Ladies and gentlemen, for the first time anywhere in 12 days -- and the first time in L.A. in 20 years -- please welcome Steve Perry!"
 
"It's been so goddamn long," said Perry to the audience. "I gotta thank the Eels for inviting me out here -- the best band that any singer could want. I met E because of a friend of mine, Patty [Jenkins, director of Monster]. She burnt me a CD of Daisies of the Galaxy, and I told Patty, 'Someday I want to sing that song.'" Then Perry and Eels performed the Eels tune, "It's a Motherf---er." "Steve motherf---in' Perry! He IS a motherf---er," exulted E, who then joined Perry in a superb rendition of Sam Cooke's "Only 16," which morphed into a bit of Journey's "Open Arms."
 
"Steve, what about trying one you haven't done in a long time?" asked E. "You did that one 11 days ago."
 
STORY: Steve Perry Performs For the First Time Since 1995 in Surprise Appearance (Video)
 
"How about this one?" said Perry. "I wrote this one in LA, then I joined this band called Journey, moved to San Francisco, and we finished it up ithere, and changed 'L.A.' to 'the Bay.'" Dancing like a man at least 20 years younger than his 65 years, Perry rocked out on "Lights (When the Lights Go Down in the City)," nimbly leaping over the microphone cords perilously snaked around the stage, turning his back on the audience to groove with Eels drummer Knuckles (Derek Brown), then facing the audience to hit the high trills flawlessly, yet with a new rasp in his voice sounding just a bit like E himself.
 
"The 'cit-ee' is L.A.!" shouted E.
 
"Here's another," said Perry. "I was 18, working as an assistant engineer in a music studio... I'm out of breath! I guess I haven't done this enough lately to get in shape. Anyway, I was 18, and this girl pulls up in a Corvette with a guy, and they were mackin' it up -- tongue and shit! She denied it. So I wrote a song about it, and it went like this." Perry then launched into "Lovin' Touchin' Squeezin'," putting his hand to his ear to make the audience sing along (rather well) with the "na na na na" chorus. When he hit the high notes, he sounded like Minnie Riperton on testosterone.
 
At a party after the show, Knuckles said, "We've been bugging him to perform for years. He came to our rehearsals, we'd play a Journey song, and he'd say, 'Oh, guys, I'm not gonna do that.' He's a sweet guy we're happy to play with, not just because he's Steve Perry, but also 'cause he's a buddy."
"He does 'It's a Motherf---er' completely different," said E. "When I sing it without him, I feel like I'm just like basically talking."
 
"Listen, I've done the 20-year hermit thing, and it's overrated," said Perry. "Why now? It's a long story, but it has to do with a lot of changes in my life, including losing my girlfriend a year ago, and her wish to hear me sing again." Writer Joel Stein, who plays croquet with Perry and Eels, said, "I know she had cancer."
Jon Hamm, a friend of Eels, said, "You've got to remember, Steve's in his 60s -- it's a pretty impressive performance. It was really nice to hear that voice again."
 
"When he sang 'Only 16,' the hairs stood up on my head," said Eels guitarist and trumpet player P-Boo (Mike Sawitzke). "He sounds better with a rasp, more mature and grown-up."
 
But all members of Eels' croquet circle urge the public to stop believing in Perry as a croquet player. "He was bad," said Stein. "His croquet nickname was 'Hacksaw' or 'Chainsaw.'"
 
As an Eels singer, however, Perry shows distinct promise. "I passed the audition!" he said.
 
 
 

 

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