Most of us probably haven't thought about Steve Perry's origins. For many of us, he's just this super-talented anomaly, who burst onto the music scene in the 70s, rocking a flowing mane and powerful pipes, only to retreat to obscurity in the late 90s. But, kids, Steve Perry has an origin, and I'm about to lay it on ya. Forget what you've read on Wikipedia or on the official Journey website. This is the real story. It's just way too awesome for most people to handle.
One-month old Steve was found floating down a river in Portugal in an empty guitar case. Now, this should have tipped off his adoptive father, but the kindly man who found him didn't make the connection between the case and his son's genius. He did know the boy was special, however--not many one-month olds have a head of long, super-shiny, super-soft black hair cascading down their backs and stopping at their feet. But young Steve did. His adoptive father, who had started losing his hair in his mid-twenties, saw in this strange baby an opportunity to leave his legacy--a legacy who flaunted better hair and who was easier to come by than one who was born via some knocked up chick. So the man named him Steve (after himself), scooped up the baby, guitar case and all, and took him back to his village, to his cobbler shop, hoping to teach him the trade and eventually leave the shop to him when he got of age.
For a long time--years--young Steve didn't talk. Or cry. Or laugh. Or make any kind of noise whatsoever. He would just sit in his father's cobbler shop, watching intently, absorbing the process. At first, it didn't bother the elder Steve, but by the time the boy turned 5, he began to wonder if maybe his son was retarded. Or autistic. If the child did have special needs, he questioned whether he could properly meet them, and began entertaining the idea of taking young Steve back down to the river where he was found, and leaving him there, hoping somebody else would take him in. This option saddened him, as he had grown very attached to the boy, but he didn't know what else to do.
So one afternoon, after pleading with his son to talk, to say something, the elder Steve took a deep breath, and lead his boy back down to the river. Just as he was about to turn and leave, young Steve opened his mouth, and sang out, "Father, please don't leave me here!"
It was loud. The ground rumbled. Leaves blew. Long after it was over, an echo resounded throughout the trees. And the elder Steve just stood there, awestruck, with his mouth hanging open. He realized that his son was neither retarded nor autistic, but quite the opposite--a musical genius. He quickly went back to his village, young Steve in tow, and took him to the seeker--an elderly lady whose lined face looked like a roadmap of experience and had a reputation of accurately predicting the future. The elder Steve commanded his son to sing, and Steve obediently opened his mouth and sang, "This old lady scares me! She looks like a witch!" The seeker, too blown away by Steve's voice to notice the insult, predicted that the boy would have great success with music in his life.
The news about young Steve's talent spread quickly throughout the village, and the cobbler shop was often visted by curious onlookers, hoping to hear a little of what had been nicknamed the "Big Voice." Young Steve was soon putting on concerts three times a day, singing early variations of what were to later become some of Journey's biggest hits. As he grew, his voice matured, becoming even more brilliant, and when he turned 21, he decided to set off for California and fulfill his destiny.
The rest, as they say, is history. Journey had some of the biggest hits in the 70s and 80s, and Steve Perry became a household name and an object of lust by people of all ages, sexual orientation, race and creed. And now he's retreated into obscurity. But I don't think that's the last we'll hear of him. My guess is that he's working on something extraordinary, and when the time is right, he'll explode back onto the scene in full force, adding another chapter to his epic legacy.