This may be my apology to my old buddy, Greg. On various occasions, I have been known to be kinda vocal and abrasive when I talk and write about some music. It has been suggested that I have gone off and verbally attacked some bands in ways that may have been un-warranted. Specifically, I suppose I’m talking about Journey.
Over the years, I have written a great deal about my distain and loathing for Journey, and at times, my criticism will extend to the fans of Journey’s music. In many ways. it was uncalled for.
I met my buddy, Greg in Sonoma county a few years back, when he and I were both working at a unique little guest resort. Greg was a 40 year old heavy metal guy and I was a 40 year old punk rocker. There were certain bands and artists and some music that we could see eye to eye on, but mainly, he thought my music was noisy and un-accessable to mainstream society, while I thought his music was either mass-produced pop, or cheese-metal crap that was marketed to people who didn’t know any better. or both. Perhaps both of our attitudes were a bit harsh and were in serious need of adjustment.
The thing is, Greg is a good guy. He played drums and drank beer. He had a good heart, and even though we came from vastly different musical backgrounds, every once in a while, we could come together and agree on some music
One of Greg’s favorite bands was Journey. Being the pretentious music snob that I am, this made Greg a target for my wrath and abuse. I’m not saying it’s right, I’m just saying that it was there.
Journey–Just because I hate Journey doesn’t mean that I don’t like you
The thing is, journey was very successful and popular during the 1980s when they were making their magic. Journey was formed in 1973 in San Francisco by former members of Santana and Frumious Bandersnatch. Its strongest commercial success was during the 1980s. During that time, Journey released a series of hit songs, including 1981’s “Don’t Stop Believin'”, from the studio album, Escape. That record reached #1 on the Billboard 200 chart, and yielded another of their most popular singles, “Open Arms”. Its 1983 follow-up, Frontiers, was almost as successful in the United States, reaching #2 and spawning several successful singles.
Sales have resulted in two gold albums, eight multi-platinum albums, and one diamond album (including seven consecutive multi-platinum albums between 1978 and 1987). They have had eighteen Top 40 singles in the US, six of which reached the Top 10 of the US Billboard Hot 100 chart and two of which reached #1 on other Billboard charts, and a #6 hit on the UK Singles Chart in “Don’t Stop Believin'”. Originally a progressive rock band, Journey were described by Allmusic as having cemented a reputation as “one of America’s most beloved –and sometimes hated–commercial rock/pop bands” by 1978, when they redefined their sound by embracing traditional pop arrangements on their fourth album, Infinity. According to the Recording Industry Association of America, Journey has sold 47 million albums in the US, making them the 28th best selling band of the 20th century. Their worldwide sales have reached over 80 million albums. A 2005 USA Today opinion poll named Journey the fifth best American rock band in history. Their songs have become arena rock staples and are still played on rock radio stations across the world.
But, I still think that their music was terrible. It would be a lot more rational, and perhaps I would be a lot happier if I were to just ignore Journey, and live my life without having to insult anyone, but there is something in me and there is something about Journey that is just so damned annoying that I can’t let it go. When I hear journey’s music, it causes an emotional response in me that really isn’t good for anyone, especially me. I can’t help it, I fucking hate Journey!
So, my buddy Greg and I were both so passionate about our tastes in music, that it was inevitable that one or both of us was going to start acting like a jerk. Depending on which one of us was on the offensive,it was often implied, and in fact, argued, that anyone who truly likes–or doesn’t like–Journey is a fucking idiot who doesn’t know his ass from a hole in the ground.
Journey–More Personal Attacks
I understand that in a free society, people have the right to enjoy whatever kind of music they like. And while it isn’t spelled out in the Constitution, people should be able to like whatever music they want without fear of persecution. But, damn! Do I hate journey!
One evening after the work day was done, we were all gathered around the campfire, enjoying our well-deserved beer. In a moment of callousness, I mentioned that I wished I could do a Back to the Future deal, and go back in time to keep Steve Perry’s grandparents from ever meeting–by whatever means necessary– to insure that Steve Perry would never be born and Journey would never exist as a band.
Yeah, again, it may have been uncalled for, but I thought it was funny. I was ready to let it go, but Greg took it personally, and said it was one of the most hateful statements he had ever heard. He almost kicked my ass for it.
The thing is, Journey really was one of the most successful bands of the 1980s. From 1978 through 1987, they had a slew of top 10 songs and gold records, including Any Way You Want It, Don’t Stop Believin’, Who’s Cryin’ Now?, Open Arms, Separate Ways, Wheel in the Sky, the Eyes of a Woman, and Lights. How can I argue with that kind of success?
I hate Journey.