JOURNEY: Steve Perry, the Hall of Fame & the Price of Growth

Today in Brooklyn, JOURNEY was inducted into the Rock ‘n Roll Hall of Fame, for most fans the wait of eternity lifted and walking out on stage was an era that for most is unrepeatable.  Cleary, on stage for the first time together since 1986, band members each spoke, it fell to Perry to speak last; clearly the band members have reconciled in ways untouchable to those outside their immediate family.  What I saw was a man completely reconciled to himself, his conscience and his craft.  A rare gift, if you saw it.

For months now we’ve been kept waiting, Perry’s representative never acknowledged if he would even appear and social media was alight to the possibility of a tour.  What was demonstrated today throughout the ceremony was exceedingly rare for our secular times.  A man moved on. . .

For those that don’t know, here’s the summary:  JOURNEY was by far the most successful musical group throughout the ’80’s.  Perry was working as a farm hand on his uncles Turkey coup when the call came.  Initially, the original band members rejected Perry’s vocal style and writing craft; until those members saw set record attendance in stadiums across the planet.  Each new release staggered previous recording achievements, Perry (lead vocals) arrogated to himself a plenary role of leadership that left fellow members confused.  In the end, his stardom and vocals carried him and JOURNEY to financial success.

This vortex ushered in a collapse that finally broke mid tour in 1986.

Immediately after the Great War, Arnold Toynbee gathered his belongings and boarded the Orient Express to Istanbul.  Upon waking in Thrace (ancient name for modern Macedonia), he conceived of a twelve volume study of the rise and fall of every civilization titled A Study of History.  The series would be completed shorty before his death in the mid 1970’s.  For Toynbee, the crisis of growth for civilizations is identical to individual identity.  The crisis of growth is resolved only in an act of perpetual self determination.  It is moral agency and its consequence that procures traits uninhabitable to the pre-crisis persona.

What was evident to me this evening was a reconciled adult acknowledging that to grow, he had to move on.

Bless the man and his conviction.




About William Holland

Systematic Theologian/International Relations
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