How Steve Perry Went from ‘Starving Drummer’ to Journey Star
The leader of a '70s-era Canada-based band called Privilege recalled how Steve Perry was a “starving drummer” before receiving the offer to join Journey.
Andy Krawchuk agreed to let Perry join his group alongside their established singer around 1976, but the warm relationship didn’t last in the cold northern weather.
Perry and Krawchuk first met when Privilege were recording in Bakersfield, Calif., and immediately hit it off. At that time, Perry had been through a handful of failed musical projects, after learning to play drums and sing at school.
“Steve was a starving drummer doing session work, but he was also in a band,” Krawchuk tells Hicksbiz.com. “He loved our horns and came to see us in Hollywood when Privilege was warming up for the Ike and Tina Turner Review. … We developed a nice friendship. Unfortunately, I had to cut it short as we had a gig at the legendary Pussycat a Go Go in Las Vegas.”
When the band returned to Canada, Perry called them up. “He wanted to join Privilege,” Krawchuk said. “At that time, Randy Broadhead was our vocalist, but I was thinking about Randy and Steve – both great singers – being like a Righteous Brothers combo, with crushin’ harmonies. We were planning a cross-Canada tour and invited Steve to come. He did. He sang with us across Canada but it was getting cold and he really had a problem with winter, California boy that he was. By the time we got to Montreal, he’d had enough of our weather. Plus, he got the offer to join Journey. The rest is history.”
Perry touched on his chilly Canadian experience during an earlier interview with music journalist Mitch Lafon: “It's so beautiful up in Montreal,” Perry said. “I was on tour one time up in Canada with a band called the Privilege when I was a teenager. They hired me as a singer and I was one of their frontmen, and we ended up in Quebec and Montreal. In Quebec, we stayed at the Chateau Frontenac and my big thrill was having onion soup at the Chateau Frontenac.”
Asked if he’d consider returning to Montreal, Perry replied: “Yeah, but how about in the spring? Is that okay?”
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