After the release of the release of their first three albums, Columbia Records wanted Journey to have a lead singer. The only way Herbie could keep the recording contract was to add a lead singer. The band decided to add someone who could scream like a rock and roll singer. Herbie knew better, he knew to get a voice that would not only complement Gregg's voice but also be able to take the reigns as lead singer and energize a crowd.
They ended up finding it twice in 1977. The 4 remaining members of the band wanted Robert Fleischman who had a great voice and he fit the bill perfectly. At the same time Herbie Herbert received a tape from Columbia Records of a singer named Steve Perry. The story goes that after Robert was hired, Herbie insisted on Steve Perry being the lead singer and there was some back-stabbing and who knows what that went on behind the scenes.
WHEEL IN THE SKY (Demo) 1977 JOURNEY with Robert Fleischman vocalsIn interviews, Steve Perry, has said many times proudly how they would have Robert not be at a gig or Steve would be working backstage and then come on stage during the show while Robert was away. What? What a shitty thing to do, really, they had to be sneaky like that? It doesn't make sense anyway. If Robert is the lead singer of the band where could they send him during a show? Who's going to sing his part? That's ludicrous, I mean did they send Robert to the hardware store to pick up some cables? It's during a show, Robert's the lead singer, he's not going anywhere.
Steve Perry has also said in interviews how he would join the band onstage during "Feeling That Way" and that's how they would introduce him. I have heard almost every recorded live show out there. There is no live show that supports this, always has "La Do Da" come sometime before "Feeling That Way" which means the whole introduction of Steve Perry could not have happened during "Feeling That Way".
There really isn't a way to find out what really happened as all Journey members past and present are under gag orders to not talk about these types of things. Journey always a democratic band that got along perfectly, so we were supposed to believe at the time.
I'm wondering if they ever considered a woman as lead singer. That would have been interesting, maybe Neal should be looking into that now.
It seems there is and only will be one true lead singer in the band Journey and everything else fails in comparison. Yes, Steve Perry made the band it into one go the biggest bands in history, he also tore it apart and discarded it leaving the fans in the dark.
Let's now take a moment and take a look at the man that almost had that spot, or had it for a very short time, Robert Fleischman...
Visit www.robertfleischman.com to keep up with Robert!
Visit www.theskyofficial.com for information on Robert's current band "The Sky"
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More to come on Robert Fleischman