Hey, Steve Perry!
Yeah, I'm talking to YOU, buster.
Listen, I've been doing some checking and you seem like a decent sort:
and from my personal "I'm married, not dead" perspective, nummy like massa sovada:
Crinkles! Those are the eyes of a man who knows how to laugh!
(I’ll assume that you are also a magnificent human mess, just like everyone else—but we'll stick with warm, goofy and nummy for now.)
So this is gonna hurt but baby, we need to talk.
OK, fine: I need to talk. You need to listen. Stay with me here...
For a very long time you recorded and toured and ran yourself ragged...
And that made a lot of people really happy. But it wasn't making YOU happy (which I guess is sort of important) and you were fried:
So you retired.
And then... you came back! Sweet!
And might I add: Damn!
Aaaaand... then some other crap happened soooooo... you retired again.
But ok, that whole thing sucked, I can understand why you'd throw up your hands. And maybe at some point you'll want to record something else—you, I'm saying. Screw those other guys.
I'm being very nonchalant about this, you notice. We’re cool.
Here's what's NOT cool. Every once in a while, someone says something about you writing new music. New music in 2008! New music in 2009! Oh, now wait... new music in 2010! And who keeps saying these things? Hmmm... let's see... well, among others, YOU do! For YEARS you've been saying this: I'm writing again, I've got some sketches, I go into the studio every once in a while, I've been thinking about it, I can't decide, I think I'll think about thinking about it...
Stephen. My friend. I have to assume that you DO know what your voice means, to so many people. The reaction is not “Oh. That’s nice.” It's emotional. It's visceral. It's sexual.
It's medical! Studies prove that only the very strongest opioids trigger the same endorphine release as listening to Still They Ride live at Budokan, 1983. (Which was, incidentally, named the "Best Vocal Performance of Anything Ever" at a recent UN General Assembly plenary session on Music for Peace and Development.)
But, see... the maddening thing is that you DO sing... anyone with reasonable skill at internet research knows THAT... you're just not sharing, dammit! There you are, storing up for yourself this treasure upon the earth, and every once in a while saying that you're thinking about singing for us again. And then, you know, NOT singing for us. I gotta call bullsh*t on that.
As a matter of fact, I gotta call something else. If I had an attribute that made men melt and swoon (or whatever you guys do... what, howl and hit each other?) Anyway, if I kept saying "Mmmmm, yeah, I've been thinking about sharing this attribute... maybe..." and then when it came right down to it, kept NOT sharing it? Guess what they would call me. Go on, guess. You already know the answer, but I'll say it in good old Anglo Saxon. They would call me a c*ck tease.
Now, I don't know what the male equivalent would be but, with all due respect sir, you are one. Why do I say this? Because you know all about it. I find it hard to believe that you've never Googled yourself, or perused the comments on the squillion YouTube videos of you... you know, the ones covered in virtual lipstick kisses (and/or drool)? Steve, these women... they’re serious. They are in love. And you're toying with their affections.
Even the guys want you back—this is from a recent article on Cherrybomb:
"Is it just Cherrybomb’s obsession with one of the greatest bands of the 80’s, or does Steve Perry not understand his importance in the world of rock and roll? I’m completely f*cking baffled by Perry’s ability to resist his own greatness."
Every time you drop a hint we get all worked up. And I'll be honest -- it almost seems like you're having fun. Example: one of the Q&As on Fan Asylum asked whether you were ever going to release Always (w/ Nuno Bettencourt). And you said "I've thought about it.... Always is a beautiful song."
Honey, why you gotta treat me so bad?
And here you are at the U2 show:
Unfair! Look at you, all trim and relaxed, that long graceful neck, sexy motorcycle boots, even THE NECKLACE. And do I see some classy silver threads in THE HAIR? And the worst part is that little half smile -- you look like the cat that ate the master tapes.
You're trying to kill me. You're trying to kill me right where I stand.
Look, if you DO want to sing and keep your sanity, here's my recommendation: Establish your independence.
Record an R&B covers thing -- whatever you like (as long as you do Jackie Wilson's "I'm the Man" because that's totally hot.) It’s a sure bet for sales, and given your retiring nature, just the fact that you’ve released something is big news. Now here's the beauty part: you release it yourself, on this thing called the Internet. All downloads, very little overhead, you keep the cash. You don't tour, or maybe just a few scattered shows. No, it's not a big worldwide splash, and yes, some a**holes decide to pan it because your voice is different from the way it was 30 years ago. But your faithful fans love it, and you gather about you a cozy little cult following.
Once you've established this setup, you can record and release whatever you want. You can perform when and where you feel like it. You proceed with your current boundaries: If I'm wearing a cool mafioso suit, you may take my picture. If I'm wearing scruddy sweats, get lost. If I happen to be with someone whose precise relationship to myself you know I am not eager to discuss... c’mon, don't be a jerk. (Please. Thank you.) Everyone respects these boundaries, mostly because of your niche-y awesomeness, but also because they know that if they don't, 50 women wearing "Mrs. Steve Perry" t-shirts will sweep in and make with the pummeling.
Once you see that this works, you call me up: "Deb, you were right—this rocks." I do not say I told you so. However I do happen to mention that I make kickass sweetbread (true) and the hands-down best cup of coffee you will ever have (I'm not bragging, these are just facts). You get a wild idea: "Hey, lemme fly you out here, we'll hang around in scruddy sweats, watch baseball, and eat sweetbread until we bust a gut." Awesome! You quickly realize what a truly gifted writer I am and hire me to ghostwrite your autobiography. This is a massive success, we both become rich as Croesus, and everyone lives happily ever after.
See? No big whoop.
So here we are at The Bottom Line.
We miss you, Stevie.
We will leave you alone if that's what you want.
But if that IS what you want then STOP MESSING WITH US!
If you aren't going to sing ever again, just tell us, so our broken hearts can start to mend. (Sniffle, sniffle...)
If you DO want to sing, then SING, DAMMIT!
But baby, please... don't tease.
Love and kisses,