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  • Writer's pictureFred

In Defense of Arnel Pineda

When I was a kid, you know what band I really hated?

Journey


I liked 2 of their 16 Top 40 hits, plus Wheel in the Sky. So a grand total of 3 good songs out of, what? Probably150 crappy songs?


Then what are we doing here?


I never liked Steve Perry, and even though I admit he had a special voice, he came off as pompous and aloof. And I never liked the nameless rhythm section, I thought their musicianship (except for keyboards) was pedestrian at best.


But the Journey soap opera has always intrigued me. When Steve Perry left the band, they should have folded up their tents, but they soldiered on. In 2007, the band stumbled upon Arnel Pineda, who was in a cover band in the Philippines. I saw the rags to riches story on the news and Pineda's energy was down right contagious. I am telling you right now, Arnel Pineda brought a joy and energy to Journey that they had lacked for a long, long time.



But at the end of the day, the news was still talking about Journey, which I hated,


In the last year or so, I kept coming across stories about Neal Schon and the rotating cast of musicians in Journey. I wondered to myself "I wonder if that cool Filipino guy is still fronting the band?"


Today I found out that he is. The question is for how long?


Whoa.

Whoa.

Whoa.

Stop right there.


Right now, in 2023, the only person you CAN'T replace is Arnel Pineda.

Everyone else can go. As a matter of fact, Arnel Pineda could leave Journey and start his own Journey cover band with street musicians. You know what? Let's call that hypothetical band Journey X.


And Journey could replace Arnel Pineda with a different lead singer.


Immediately Journey X would be a better band than the original Journey, which is littered with 60 to 70 year old has beens.


The rest of Journey better figure out their issues real quick, then kiss Pineda's ass and BEG him to stay. Pineda has been in Journey for 16 years and HE is the one that's irreplaceable.


Go back and watch Steve Perry in 1983. He shuffled and sweated, he didn't work the crowd.

Pineda is better today than Perry was in his prime. Yes, I know Perry wrote the songs, but most of the hits are now 40 years old. I remember Pineda talking about how being in Journey was his dream come true and even hoped one day Perry would reunite with Journey.


Jaded Fred scoffed "that dude needs to set his goals higher."


But deep in my cold, black heart, I always admired Arnel Pineda, because he was living HIS dream. And you could tell he was living his dream to the fullest.


 

I would be remiss if I didn't admit that I DID LIKE the Journey video game.




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