Sunday, July 31, 2016

Journey's "Escape" album 35th Anniversary, Don't Stop Believin'!

Journey ESCAPE album was released on July 31, 1981. It features 4 hit singles and went number one on the Billboard Music Chart. A truly amazing album from a rock and roll band...

Album Cover

Escape TV Commercial;

Escape Promotional Stand-up;

The album spawned an incredible four hit singles with 3 unreleased songs;

1- Who's Crying Now / Mother, Father
2- Don't Stop Believing' / Natural Thing (unreleased song)
3- Open Arms / Little Girl (unreleased song in the USA)
4- Still They Ride / La Raza Del Sol (unreleased song)

By September 1981the album was  so popular it hit Number 1 on the Billboard 200 Chart for the week of September 12-18, 1981.

This was also Journey's biggest Tour to date, The Escape Tour was so popular that it was released on DVD and  CD in 2005 and 2006;


By 1982, Journey's Escape was so popular they made a Video game out of it;

Journey's Escape Game TV Commercial;

Journey's Escape Game run through;

Don't Stop Believing';

Saturday, July 30, 2016

Journey Raised On Radio Tour Book 1986 Concert Program, part 5

Jonathan Leonard Friga, better known as Jonathan Cain, the Keyboard player in Journey. His addition to the band was the first signal that the band might not be all from San Francisco. This line-up definitely severed the tie between San Francisco and Journey.

Jonathan first toured with Journey as part of their opening act during the 1980 Departure Tour. The group was called "The Baby's" and was headed by John Waite. Journey founding member, keyboard player and original lead singer, Gregg Rolie chose Jonathan as his replacement when he decided to leave Journey after the 1980 Departure Tour.

Jonathan cowrote every song for the "Escape album and helped Journey receive stratospheric success with the "Escape" and "Frontiers" albums, as well as "Raised On Radio". Jonathan and Steve Perry became great friends and wrote almost every Journey song together beginning in 1981 and endiing in 1997.

Jonathan has also been involved with other bands throughout his career including "Bad English" with Neal Schon, and his ex-wife's, Tane´ Cain, music career.

Steve Perry got 4 pages in this TourBook, Neal Schon technically got 4 pages. Jonathan only gets 3 pages, unless you count the band photo, then he technically gets 4 also.

Continued next week...

Saturday, July 23, 2016

Journey Raised On Radio Tour Book 1986 Concert Program, part 4

Neal Schon has played guitar his entire life. Playing with Santana at 16 years old and the only founding member of "Journey" still left in the band.

Neal Schon, Gregg Rolie, Ross Valory, and Herbie Herbert set out to create a jazz fusion "San Fransisco Sound" band in 1973 and by 1986 was not that at all. If it wasn't for Neal Schon probably fighting tooth and nail every step of it, this wouldn't actually sound like Journey much. This band was built around the guitar abilities of Neal Schon. Journey lost a lot of it's sound with the loss of Gregg Rolie, If Neal were not there the band would be doing Motown and easy listening slow rock by this time.

Neal Schon has always been in many other bands and playing guitar for other bands. That's what he does. He feels most comfortable with a Guitar in hand, it's what kept him from selling "Italian Ladies Shoes". Neal created his own Guitar before the "Raised On Radio" Tour, called "The Schon Guitar". The Guitar is a redesigned Gibson Les Paul . The Guitars were available to the public for a short time.

Continued next week...

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

The Journey Force Fan Club Newsletter dated June 1, 1986, part 2

The Journey Force Newsletter begins with color photos of the three members of JOURNEY.

Then comes the exciting old merchandise page. It's still all about "Frontiers" on the merchandise, but that will soon change.

The Pen Pal page includes special "Force" seating for the upcoming shows. If you were a Journey Force member you were able to buy special saved seating for "Force" members but you had to buy them at the box office only which made it inconvenient especially in Los Angeles.

The next page is Journey Force News, a "Radio" Pass contest all about Journey trivia. Some Force members questions asked, like "What does R.O.R. stand for?

he last page is the outer address page. I haven't lived at that address in many many years, so don't bother.

Saturday, July 16, 2016

Journey Raised On Radio Tour Book 1986 Concert Program, part 3

This week's part of the "Raised On Radio" Tour Book is four complete pages of Steve Perry!

The "Raised On Radio" album took over 2 years to create. The last Journey album, "Frontiers" was released in early 1983, over 3 years before the release of "Raised On Radio".

When the "Frontiers Tour" ended in late 1983, the band decided to take a year or so break before recording the next album. Each member pursued their own solo projects as a way to entertain themselves with things they couldn't do in "Journey". Steve Perry released his first solo album, "Street Talk" in 1984 which became a huge success. He didn't even tour and the album went double platinum! Now Steve Perry was known for his name, not only the lead singer in "Journey" which was great. He even was asked to join the USA for Africa recording of "We Are The World" in 1985.

Steve was torn between another solo album or another Journey album. What a choice, destroy the band that made you famous, or continue on with Journey, when in actuality he could have done both. Steve saw himself as another Sam Cooke. He wasn't really a rock and Roll singer at heart, he wanted to sing Motown. There is a taste of that sound on his album "Street Talk".

By now Steve Perry was a super star. He didn't really have any desire to get to work which gave him power. Everyone gave in and gave him whatever he wanted just so he would do the album. This ended up with him in complete creative control. Journey has always worked as a democracy, but that now ended. Steve had complete control and he fired a founding member of the band, Ross Valory and the best drummer Journey's ever had, Steve Smith. He also changed the name and concept of the album from "Freedom" to "Raised On Radio".

Journey became a three man band by 1986. Using some original Steve Smith tracks on a few songs that were recorded for "Freedom". Randy Jackson filled in for Ross Valory to lay down the bass tracks. Larry Londin, a stage musician played down the drum tracks. The album design was done by the original drummer of the band before they were called "Journey", Prairie Prince. There are a few songs that sound like Journey, but mostly the album feels like a Steve Perry solo album with better musicians.

After the release of two of the biggest selling Rock and Roll albums ever, "Raised On Radio" proved to be a disappoinment in sales. It only went double platinum, while "Frontiers" went 6X Platinum and "Escape" did even better than that. Steve Perry's bubble was suddenly burst and he ran away, ended the tour early and the "Journey" was suddenly over.

Thursday, July 14, 2016

The Wheel In The Sky JOURNEY Store - Many great Journey items

The WHEEL IN THE SKY has a store. It's through so feel safe and secure ordering the many JOURNEY items I have for sale.

The store can be found in my user right menu, or the link below.

I have Towels, T-Shirts, Blankets, Pillow Cases, Phone Cases, Artwork, Posters, and many many more...


Here is a small sample of items;

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

The Journey Force Fan Club Newsletter dated June 1, 1986, part 1

A brand new look for the Newsletter! The "Raised On Radio" theme takes over. It's odd that this is Volume 1, Number 1.

This exciting edition introduces the "Schon Guitar". There's not only an interview with Steve Perry, but one of manager Herbie Herbert! There are plenty of photos on all three pages this week.

The third page this week picks up the bits and pieces. It talks about Steve Perry's recent Grammy Awards as well as a charity event. Road Manager, Pat Morrow, has a baby while Neal Schon helps out Joe Cocker with some hot guitar licks.

Concluded next week...

Saturday, July 9, 2016

Journey Raised On Radio Tour Book 1986 Concert Program, part 2

The 1986-1987 Raised On Radio Tour was 5 months long spanning from August 23, 1986 until January 31, 1987. The band didn't play in Los Angeles during this tour and I never saw them. Glass Tiger was the main opening band for this tour across America. There was no European stops and only 2 in Japan.

The Tour Book continues with some great photos of the "new" band. In keeping with the theme of the album, the next two pages talk about the Radio and how the members of the band grew up listening to the radio. Well, at least three of them did. Thankfully Randy keeps his shirt buttoned up for these photos.

The next two pages are very interesting. Since this is the first Tour with Randy and Mike, where did the pictures come from that are in the Raised On Radio Tour Book. Was this book available at the first date played of the Tour? Anyway, it's a great montage of the band during the Raised On Radio Tour that was on sale during the "Raised On Radio" Tour.

This Tour was unfortunately cut short when Steve Perry wanted to stop. After the Tour Journey as a band was not heard from until November 3, 1991 for the Bill Graham Memorial at Golden Gate Park in San Francisco, California. Neal Schon, Jonathan Cain, and Steve Perry once again took the Stage to sing two songs, "Faithfully", and "Lights" to a less than enthusiastic audience. Steve does try his best to get the crowd into it though.

Thursday, July 7, 2016

Journey Album Retrospective: LOOK INTO THE FUTURE, Released January 1, 1976

Here's a look back at Journey's second album, "Look Into The Future"...

JOURNEY: Look Into The Future

Original Album Cover Front

Gregg Rolie.....................Keyboards, Lead Vocals
Neal Schon.....................Guitars, Background Vocals
Ross Valory.....................Bass, Background Vocals
Aynsley Dunbar................Drums, Percussion

Original Album Cover Back

Main Release Format.................Vinyl Album (LP)
Label.......................................Columbia Records
Album Cover Photos...................A. Louis Bramy Photography
Album Cover Design..................Spreadeagle Productions

Band Management.....................Walter J. Herbert, A. Louis Bramy
Road Manager...........................John Villanueva

Produced by Journey for Spreadeagle Productions, A division of Herbert & Bramy, Inc.
Associate Producer.....................Glen Kolotkin
Recording Studio.......................CBS Studios, San Francisco, CA
Recording Dates........................August-October 1975
Recorded By.............................Mark Friedman
Engineer..................................Glen Kolotkin
Mastered By.............................George Horn at CBS Studios, San Francisco, CA

Original Inner Sleeve Front

Release Date......................January 1, 1976
Chart Rating......................#100
Number Sold......................-500,000
Catalogue Number..............PC33904
Genre...............................Progressive Rock, Jazz Fusion


Original Inner Sleeve Back

Number of Tracks...........8;

Side 1;
1. On A Saturday Nite................3:58
2. It’s All Too Much....................4:03
3. Anyway................................4:10
4. She Makes Me (Feel Alright)....3:11
5. You’re On Your Own...............5:53

Side 2;
1. Look Into The Future..............8:10
2. Midnight Dreamer...................5:15
3. I’m Gonna Leave You..............6:58

Original Disc Label, Side 1

Original Disc Label, Side 2

Number of Singles...........2;
On A Saturday Nite / To Play Some Music
She Makes Me (Feel Alright) / It’s All Too Much

Original Single

Original Promo Single

Wheel In The Sky Review
Journey's second album, Look into the Future, is a very promising follow-up to the classic self-titled debut album. The band toned down the overt progressiveness a bit at first in favor of a more focused, commercial approach. This resulted in shorter songs with a more lyrical touch, although the band still placed much emphasis on instrumental passages. As the album progresses along it still retains some of the experimental approach and sound of the debut. This is a solid album that incorporates many jazz themes. It is distinctly different from most accessible albums.

George Tickner had left the band to attend Stanford Medical School on a full scholarship leaving Neal Schon to fill both lead and rhythm guitars. Neal blazes though this album, offering world-class riffing and soloing throughout while there’s still great influence from Bass player, Ross Valory. Aynsley Dunbar’s drumming is again a superb backdrop to Gregg Rolie’s haunting vocals. Unfortunately the album was only slightly more successful than the debut album, and was never fully appreciated beyond Journey’s hometown, the San Francisco Bay area.

On A Saturday Nite
By Gregg Rolie
Right away, it seems there was already a push to give a pop spin to Journey’s sound. The piano is bouncy and the involved vocal melody is certainly terrific and catchy. This new approach leaves Neal Schon's electric guitar playing merely in the margins (until during the fade out when it is allowed to go nuts). This is the beginning of the sound that will take this band well into the future.

It’s All Too Much
By George Harrison
Journey’s only cover song. Journey does The Beatles better than The Beatles. The song is not quite as catchy as “On A Saturday Night” though it does still have a decent hook. The song emphasizes Neal Schon's guitar harmonies more than anything else, but it also makes great use of Gregg's keyboards, keeping the rhythm in line. Gregg might not have the chops to take this song to its limits, but his voice could surely soar. The backwards ending is both haunting and inspiring.

By Gregg Rolie
This is an atmospheric and rather heavy ballad, and not nearly as popular as the power-ballads that Journey would come to be famous for, but certainly a solid foundation for what was coming in the later years. The musicianship here is amazing. That spooky, slide guitar in the background sends shivers, and that melody, once again, is fantastic.

She Makes Me Feel Alright
By Neal Schon and Gregg Rolie,  Alex Kash
This one has a heavy riff that's insanely catchy. This song is a hard rocker, one of Journey’s hardest. Just a short song (three minutes) that packs enough of a punch that you can’t ignore it. Schon's guitar solo in the final third is very fast 'n' flashy while Aynsley slays on the drums. Gregg has the perfect voice for a song like this.

You’re On Your Own
By Neal Schon, George Tickner and Gregg Rolie
A fabulous song considering how obvious it is that this was modeled after The Beatles' “I Want You (You're So Heavy),” being faster and containing some really energetic grooves. It may be more fun for some listeners for that reason, though it doesn't have near the psychological impact. Gregg has an awesome keyboard solo in the song that really makes the song fly. Neal just kills on the guitar throughout. This is the song where all the members show their talents and creativity on this album.

Look Into The Future
By Neal Schon, Gregg Rolie, Diane Valory
This song is really amazing. It's an eight minute long extended ballad with plenty of dreamy Hammond organ and dramatic crescendos galore. The riffs do get a bit droney at times, but the crescendos help give the song quite a lot of development. A mostly instrumental song, but the vocal melody when it surfaces is soulful, and Rolie's vocals fantastically wrap around Diane Valory’s poetry. What really shines here the most is Neal Schon's electric guitar playing, which very well may be the best he's ever done. What a great epic ballad!

Midnight Dreamer
By Neal Schon, Gregg Rolie
What needs to be said about a song that is allowed to use a cowbell to it’s full potential? This song has a fast-paced, killer riff, energetic and frantic lead vocals, and it’s just another thrill-ride. This song is probably better suited for Santana fans rather than Journey fans. The song develops in a rather complex manner such that it crescendos flawlessly throughout. The grooves are endlessly entertaining, and the electric guitar solos are fantastic. This song is mainly Gregg Rolie's spotlight.

I’m Gonna Leave You
By Neal Schon, Gregg Rolie, George Tickner
The final song of the album is yet another solid one. That makes this possibly the most consistent Journey album on the planet. This is another heavy and fast-paced groove-song, seven-minutes long, containing some absolutely blistering organ and electric guitar solos. Lots of catchy riffs are thrown in here to help keep this addicting for its entire duration. Once again Rolie's vocals are heavy and this time maybe even a bit glammy. Overall, this is a great closer to the album, and a satisfying progressive rock song.

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

The Journey Force Fan Club - 1979 Evolution Publicity Photo

Journey's fan club, The Journey Force, released this publicity photo of Journey showing off their sausages. The photo appeals to both women and men. The band really let's everything hang out for this photo.

This publicity photo was taken to promote the "Evolution" album in 1979. The photo was released through Columbia Records. This was the look of the band from 1979 through 1980. It's very 70's with the tight pants and open chest shirts tied off at the waist. Ross is sporting some nice bell-bottoms too.

Ross Valory, Steve Perry, Gregg Rolie, Neal Schon, Steve Smith

"Evolution" was Journey's fifth studio album and was released on April 5, 1979 by Columbia Records. The album spawned three singles, "Just The Same Way", "Lovin', Touchin', Squeezin'", and "Too Late".

Saturday, July 2, 2016

Journey Raised On Radio Tour Book 1986 Concert Program, part 1

The cover of the Raised On Radio Tour Book is the main three members of the band in a radio transistor tube and the "Raised On Radio" logo on a deep black background. The Tour Book measures 11 X 14 inches. There are 32 pages including the front and back cover.

The first two pages are a huge poster of the band. Is that the band? Is that just the touring band? What's going on, what happened? We may never know the answer. For the casual Journey fan, who likes the music and might go to a show but doesn't know the band members names, might not notice the change in drummer. Mike Baird is a good drummer, and looks sort of like a heavier Steve Smith so I'm sure some people didn't even notice. Now, if we played the "which one does not belong" game, I'm sure it's not hard to guess. Randy Jackson is a great bass player, but he is no way a replacement for Ross Valory.

If this wasn't the last time Steve Perry would go on tour with Journey would they have made the next album and tour with this lineup? It would have been interesting to see for sure.

With a new and different rhythm section, the band only partly sounded like Journey. With all the hits from Neal Schon and Steve Perry's solo work along with playing cover songs from Elvis Presley and old Motown hits, the shows hardly resembled a Journey show of the past. This was really Steve Perry's second solo album using the "Journey" name. If only Herbie could have kept control, but Steve Perry's solo success was a huge nail in Journey's coffin.

Continued next week...