Note – I’ve been trying to find a way to create Taylor (my girlfriend) a mix tape and I don’t have any medium that I could actually create a physical tape with (no cassette and I haven’t used a CD drive in a computer in 5 years), while reading Rob Sheffield’s new book I came up with this idea. I can write about songs that we love, that I think fit her, and songs that just always remind me of her. A written mix tape, however cheesy that sounds. This is the first installment. I’m not sure how regularly I’ll do this but I think it’s a nice distraction from my usual reviews.
Journey – with Steve Perry. I accept no alternatives.
When I met Taylor I was an awkward twenty-six year old college Junior working at the university’s library. She had gotten a job working there too and I took her picture for our ID tags that we had to wear while on duty. I don’t really remember doing so, though I think she does. I was “dating” a girl and it wasn’t working out. When Taylor met me she was a seventeen year old (only days shy of eighteen) incoming college freshman. I couldn’t begin to tell you her dreams or aspirations but I’m not entirely sure I was part of them even after that first meeting. Fast forward nine months to June. School is out. By this point we knew who each other were, we had worked a shift during the spring semester together and I had thought she was cute. Problem was, throughout that semester she had a boyfriend. I thought I was a better choice then he was (don’t we always think that?) but was still wrapped up in my own drama. So when June came I was at Bonnaroo when I said screw it and was ready to be single for my upcoming senior year.
A week later I asked Taylor to go to see Toy Story 3 with me and a few friends. I had no other motives other than to just try to cheer her up and get her out of the house (she had finally broken up with her boyfriend). So how does this all tie in with Journey? Simple, we bonded over Facebook by talking about Glee.
Journey is one of those bands that you hear and you’re like “oh this is pretty cool” but outside of that you’d never really admit to any of your friends that you really like them. They’re not a “cool” band, at least not anymore, though I’m not sure they were considered cool when they first came around. Actually, I think they’re only cool now in an ironic, hipster sort of way. Their songs are catchy and Steve Perry’s voice is like a gift from God, and the songs lend themselves well to singing along to. One of the things that has happened along the way for me is that things that I start to like ironically or jokingly, I end up actually loving. While I wouldn’t call myself a Journey-junkie, I am a fan and will happily blare their music when it comes on. When Glee covered the song it became a favorite of mine. Cory Monteith wasn’t the worlds best singer, or at least, he certainly wasn’t Steve, and I could maybe, sort of, kind of sing along a little bit better now. One of the more interesting things about Journey is that while they’re not a “cool” band, they are a band that everyone knows and everyone has some story based around a song by them. Some couples undoubtedly conceived a child to Journey, some couple somewhere had their first dance to “Faithfully” and the list goes on and on. And while they might not be as heavily important to music as a whole like say Led Zeppelin or The Rolling Stones, they’re a relationship band and in some ways that might be more meaningful.
Back to the story. I picked up Taylor for our first hang-out/proto-date and on our way to the movie had a Glee playlist going and when “Don’t Stop Believin’” came on and eventually we found ourselves singing along. I’d like to think that Journey is the crux of our relationship, had they never existed then maybe we wouldn’t either. It’s hard to put that kind of pressure on a band or even a song, but I bet there are thousands of other relationships that are formed off of just one song (and probably half of those relationships are formed out of a Journey song). Soon after seeing the movie we started actually dating and then we became a couple and three years later our adventures have brought us far and wide, but no matter where we go if this song comes on it gets blared and we start singing along.
Thanks Journey and Glee. Thank you Steve Perry. I love “Oh Sherrie” as well. I wish that you were still with the band, but I get how politics work and you probably still feel a sense of betrayal for how all the reunion stuff went down but despite that dude from YouTube being a soundalike, he’s just not you. In the end our roles might be a little reversed, I’m a small town girl and she’s just a city boy but we’re still taking a midnight train going anywhere and we never will stop believin’.