I was in Providence, RI this past weekend for StokerCon2018. I will definitely be blogging about that later, but I wanted to share a conversation I had with some friends*.
It was about — of all things — Journey.
You know, the band fronted by Steve Perry and his luscious, feathery hair.
We were talking about music we liked, and I brought them up because I’d always enjoyed their harmonies.
The room got quiet.
They all gave me funny looks.
Then they started saying things like:
“What harmonies?” and
“I’ve only ever heard Don’t Stop Believin’” and
“They’re terrible” and
“What the hell is wrong with you, freak show?”
Okay … maybe they didn’t say that last one. But I could see it in their eyes…
I found myself in the strange position of defending the shit out of Journey.
I’m not even that big of a fan. As a kid I had one, maybe two, cassette tapes (yes, cassette tapes … lord, help me) that I really liked, but that was it. Never saw them live, didn’t have their posters, didn’t know anything about anyone other than Steve Perry and his luscious, feathery hair**.
So I dragged out my phone and Googled their songs. About 20 came up, and I’d heard of most of them. They’d only heard of one or two.
How was this possible? How could they not know Journey’s songs?
In the 80s, Journey was everywhere: MTV, movie soundtracks. EVERYWHERE.
I felt like every time I turned on the radio (yes, the radio … lord, help me), I heard something by Journey. They’re even on the radio now (and they’re one of those bands I find eminently listenable).
So I played them a few songs. And I swear to god, they all looked at me like this:
It was a losing battle. So I cut my losses and shut the hell up.
But … after seeing all the titles listed together, I noticed something: when put in the right order, those song titles could probably tell a story.
So I wrote one … sort of … it might actually be a poem.
Here goes (song titles are in italics):
A Journey in Titles
by Meghan Arcuri
When You Love a Woman,
Nothing else matters.
And you really Don’t Stop Believin’ that.
You believe it Faithfully.
Because she’s the only one that gets you Feeling That Way.
But sometimes you’re too intense.
So she leaves you, and you go your Separate Ways.
You think, I’ll Be All Right Without You.
But you’re lying to yourself.
Ask the Lonely. They know.
And Who’s Crying Now?
But don’t blame her: Girl Can’t Help It.
Sometimes she needs a break.
After the Fall, you apologize, saying she takes you to a Higher Place.
Turns out, she misses you and feels Just the Same Way,
So she comes back to you with Open Arms.
When she returns
You don’t get it Anyway You Want It,
But there’s plenty of Lovin’, Touchin’, Squeezin’.
So turn out the Lights.
*To add context, these friends are in my generation and the generation before mine. So we were all alive in the 80s. And I know plenty of people in the generation before mine who know Journey’s stuff.
**Just so we’re clear: I don’t think Steve Perry is hot. But his hair was pretty amazing, wasn’t it?