Saturday, February 27, 2016

Drummer Steve Smith Rejoins Journey in 2015 for the 2016 Tour

Journey's Third Drummer, STEVE SMITH, was with the band from 1979 until 1997, give or take a couple years in the 1986 area. Steve was also the best drummer. His drums and percussion helped create the known "Journey Sound".

Steve Smith and Neal Schon of Journey
Steve Smith has joined the band again and will begin playing on the 2016 Tour set to begin at Madison Square Garden in New York City on April 13, 2016!

Journey pretty much plays the Greatest Hits and the albums after 1986 are often left out. Steve Smith knows all those songs since he helped create them. Adding his drumming style to the later songs if ever brought out in concert would be an excellent addition making them sound more like the "old Journey"

The first photo of the new line-up of JOURNEY!
You can find more about Steve Smith at his Vital Information website link below;

Friday, February 26, 2016

Journey's Temporary Superstar Drummer for the Canadian Tour 2015

Just before the Canadian leg of the 2015 North American Tour Journey was faced with finding a new drummer, Fast!

Who they found was none other than Superstar Drummer Omar Hakim. Omar started out as a graduate of the New York School of Music and Art, He began his career recording with various pop and soul groups. His father, Hasan Hakim, had played trombone for Duke Ellington and Count Basie and that influence helped to warm the younger Hakim's ear up for the part he would play in one of the most famous jazz fusion acts ever, Weather Report.

In 1984, Hakim did most of the drum work on Dire Straits' album Brothers in Arms, when the previous drummer Terry Williams' performance was found unsuitable for the desired sound of the album after most of the songs had already been recorded. Hakim recorded all the drum tracks on the album in two days and then left. Williams was, however, brought back for the tour.

By the mid 1980's, Hakim was teaching himself to program drum machines, which put him in even greater demand as a pop, rock, and R&B session musician, and landed him work with Madonna. Meanwhile, he continued his work as a jazz fusion drummer; just a partial list of his credits over the 1980s and '90s includes work with Miles Davis, David Sanborn, Roy Ayers, George Benson, Joe Sample, John Scofield, Lee Ritenour, and Najee. In December 1989, Hakim released his first solo album, Rhythm Deep, which occupied a middle ground between jazz, R&B, and pop, and gave him a chance to showcase his vocal abilities as well. The results earned Hakim a Grammy nomination.

During the 1990s, Hakim continued to improve his skills in the realm of electronic percussion, keeping abreast of new technologies and thereby keeping his session career in good stead. He performed on albums by Mariah Carey, Celine Dion, and Jewel, among other successful pop stars, and initially kept his jazz work going as well, though it had tapered off by the middle of the decade.

In 2000 Hakim released his second solo CD, The Groovesmith, which was produced, recorded and mixed in his personal recording studio "The OH-Zone".

In 2010 Omar formed a band with wife Rachel Z called "The Trio of OZ" and they recorded and toured extensively internationally behind their highly successful eponymous release. In 2014, he released his third album, entitled We Are One with great critical reception. He is currently in the studio working on the second "The Trio of OZ" to be released in 2016 on his label OZmosis Media Group.

More information can be found about Omar Hakim at his website;


These are the dates Omar Hakim played with Journey;

June 20 - Los Angeles, CA - Hollywood Bowl
July 4 - Provo, UT - Stadium of Fire
July 6 - Winnipeg, MB - MTS Centre
July 8 - Calgary, Alberta - Fort Calgary
July10 - Penticton, BC - South Okanagan Events Centre
July11 - Vancouver, BC - Rogers Arena
July 13 - Victoria, BC - Save-on-Foods Memorial Centre
July 15 - Prince George, BC - CN Centre
July 16 - Dawson Creek, BC - EnCana Events Centre
July 18 - Edmonton, AB - Rexall Place
July 19 - Lethbridge, AB - ENMAX Centre
July 21 - Regina, SK- Brandt Centre
July 22 - Saskatoon, SK - SaskTel Centre
July 25 - Hamilton, ON - First Ontario Centre
July 26 - Kingston, ON - Rogers K-Rock Centre
July 28 - Montreal, QC - Centre Bell
July 30 - Moncton, NB - Moncton Coliseum
July 31 - Dartmouth, NS - Alderney Landing
Aug. 2 - St. John's, NL - Mile One Centre
Aug. 3 - St. John's, NL - Mile One Centre

Here's a statement from Omar on replacing Deen Castronovo;


Thursday, February 25, 2016

Journey ex Drummer Deen Castronovo is in Recovery and doing very well

On June 14, 2015, Deen Castronovo was arrested and charged with physically abusing and harassing his now-ex-fiancee, Deidra. Two weeks later, a rape charge was added in his indictment.

The charges led to his dismissal from the band in August, and on Oct. 12, he accepted a plea deal and was sentenced to four years of supervised probation, pleading guilty to two counts of fourth-degree assault, two counts of menacing, one count of coercion and one count of unlawful use of a weapon.

Deen Castronovo  November 2015
By November 5, 2015 Deen was already admitting his wrong-doing and started getting the help that he needed. There is a full article in Billboard magazine by Michele Amabile Angermiller. Click below for the full article;


Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Journey Albums Ranked Worst To Best by Ultimate Classic Rock

Ultimate Classic Rock has put together a list of all the Journey albums, worst to best.

Journey has been through their share of incarnations over the past four decades. Here's how Classic Rock ranks their resulting studio albums...

Click below for the full article.


Tuesday, February 23, 2016

The Journey Force Newsletter continues from July 1985

This week is the ending to the Ami Valentine Story.

There is also some talk about the new album being deleted to the end of 1985.
We're supposed to believe that they are trying to achieve a better sound that is taking the extra time.
It states that the band is not willing to settle for what they may have settled for in the past.
Well, why not? The fans seemed to have love it so far.

There are also some great shots of Neal Schon and Jonathan Cain, including one with Ami Valentine!

Enjoy this weeks installment of the Newsletter...

Continued next week...

Saturday, February 20, 2016

Steve Perry takes the spotlight at the 1980 Bammie Awards

Steve Perry wins Best Male Vocalist at the Third Annual Bammie Awards!

Steve Perry has been getting all the spotlight since he joined the band in 1978 and that's no different at the Bay Area Music Awards as shown in the paragraph about Journey;

Journey closed the show with a powerhouse rendition of the band's hit, "Lovin', Touchin', Squeezin'," that blended the Sounds of Delight into Journey's basic five-pice sound, while vocalist Steve Perry dragged various vocalists - from Eddie Money to rank amateurs - onstage to sing the final choruses.

Aynsley Dunbar also wins Best Drummer / Percussionist as part of Jefferson Starship!

Saturday, February 13, 2016

Journey 1983 Frontiers Tour Book - Making and Breaking Records

The last three pages of the Frontiers Tour Book starts with a double page thanking the road crew on one side and Journey's biggest albums artwork on the other.

JOURNEY Making and Breaking Records;

The Frontiers Tour was a huge success. Until this point Journey had been working hard touring and making albums that they decided to take a break after the tour.

This is the first time that the band had ever stopped after a tour, they usually would go right back into Studio to record another album.

We take a moment to reflect on where we've been and where we came from. What started as a little jazz fusion band in 1973 had become the biggest Rock and Roll Band in America!

...and then there was the back cover;

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Journey Force Newsletter New Large Format from July 1985

Welcome to the first edition of the newsletter featuring the larger format!
The newsletter now is on giant newsprint paper. The color pictures are much better now!

The front cover of the newsletter in July 1985 shows the band with a Journey fan named Ami Valentine. Read all about Ami's struggle with blindness and how the band Journey was ready to help.

Also there are many pictures of members of the band with Journey Force Staff including Cynthia Poon. I met Cynthia at a Journey Concert in Oakland in 1982. I still have the jacket that she is wearing in the picture of her with Steve Smith.

The third page this week is the very popular Mailing With Department Codes page. The other half of the page is sale items from the Journey merchandise store.

Continued Next Week...

Saturday, February 6, 2016

Journey's 1983 Frontiers Tour Book makes an Escape

The next pages in the 1983 Tour Program from Journey's Frontiers Tour is an ad for the Data Age Video Game "Journey Escape"

The ad is by Data Age, the makers of the Journey Escape Video Game released in 2 formats. The most popular was the Atari Video Game System, but this was also released for Sears' Tele-Games Video Arcade which I have never heard of.

This is one of the rare ads for this game. The game was released in 1982. It was based on Journey's Escape album. The idea of the game is that you try to help the band Escape.

I've also included a link to a play-through video of the game. This takes you quickly through all stages of the game.

Click below for the original 1982 TV commercial for the Journey Escape Game;


Concluded next week...