UPDATE - 12/6/07 – Arnel Pineda is the new Journey singer
JOURNEY: STEVE AUGERI RETURNS HOME – JEFF SCOTT SOTO FLIES IN:
Steve Augeri has stepped down as lead vocalist for Journey on their current tourand has returned home. This follows recent reports of vocal problems. His last show for this tour was in Raleigh, NC on Tuesday night.
During recent shows he has struggled with his voice and as I understand, he was aware before the show that this would be his last performance of this tour.
Although plagued with problems from the outset of the show, Steve handled himself with dignity and grace and has to be applauded for his contribution to the band and the manner in which he has handled himself.
Jeff Scott Soto, Neal Schon’s bandmate in Soul SirkUS has flown in to meet up with the rest of the band and will make his debut Friday night in Bristow, VA.A statement has been prepared by Journey management:JOURNEY FORCED TO MAKE LEAD SINGER CHANGE ON NATIONWIDE TOUR“Jeff Scott Soto to assume JOURNEY lead singer duties starting on July 7th in Bristow, VA due to Steve Augeri throat infection.
Due to a chronic throat infection, Journey’s lead singer, Steve Augeri, has been forced to leave the band’s current nationwide tour with Def Leppard. Jeff Scott Soto, who has previously performed with Journey guitarist Neal Schon, will assume the band’s lead singer duties starting with the July 7th show in Bristow, VA. Steve Augeri’s condition will be closely monitored by his physician to determine when he may be able to rejoin the tour.
According to Journey, “Steve’s been suffering with an acute throat condition since before we kicked off the tour with Def Leppard. We were hoping he’d be in well condition to handle the rigors of the road but unfortunately it appears to be a chronic condition requiring total voice rest. We all wish Steve a speedy recovery.”
For the latest tour dates, please visit www.journeymusic.com.”
Steve Augeri sitting out this tour is another chapter in this band’s long history.
Augeri was recruited into the Journey ranks in 1998 after Neal Schon and Jonathan Cain decided they wanted to move forward with the band without signature member Steve Perry. Augeri had to work with a fanbase that was polarized by the idea of a Perry-less Journey. There were those that remained loyal to Perry, but Steve worked hard at winning fans over and did so with his natural charm and likeability.Steve Augeri’s is today regarded as much for being the ‘good guy’ as he is for being the ‘new singer’ and he now has a passionate and loyal following of his own. He truly is a nice guy and someone that has made time for fans and worked hard at overcoming being known as ‘the guy that replaced Steve Perry.’
Augeri’s contribution to the band to date has forever been captured on the acclaimed, and quite superb, Arrival album and last year’s more diverse Generations release.Steve and the band as a whole has had a grueling tour schedule to adhere to over the last few years. Steve has been suffering vocal problems since the outset of this current tour and no one can blame him or the band for this decision. A solution was needed sooner rather than later, especially with so many dates still to come.
Steve has had a documented history of throat problems and one can only hope that on this occasion he overcomes these issues and returns to full strength.
In the near future fans will be able to appreciate Steve at his very best when Tall Stories unveil their album of lost tracks from the early 1990s.Congratulations to Jeff Scott Soto for being chosen to fill the prestigious role as vocalist for one of this genre’s most loved acts. Jeff is one of the hardest working singers on the planet. His work ethic and dedication to his live performance is unmatched. I should know…I toured with Jeff for 2 weeks in 2004 and was simply amazed at what went into every show. I have seen Jeff live 11 times now and haven’t seen a better performer on stage.
His energy is undying and his stage persona totally engaging. I know Journey fans will be saddened by Steve Augeri not completing this tour, but Jeff will continue the legacy with pride.Most regular readers of this site will know of Jeff and his reputation. On a personal note, I’m thrilled for Jeff – he is one of the good guys.
Those that have followed him for as long as he has been in the business know what a hard working, sincere and honest guy he is. He is one to call it like he sees it and has earnt the respect of his peers and his fans alike.
His interaction with fans on the message boards here is further proof of his efforts to be accessible to fans whenever possible.
Those fans will be proclaiming that it is about time he was recognized for the talent that he is and I have no doubt that fanbase is about to get a whole lot bigger.
Obviously some will know Jeff from his work with Neal Schon in Soul SirkUS, but there is no doubt Jeff will adapt to what is required to sing the Journey classics.
Fans will be seeing a different show come Friday night. Jeff is one of the very finest rock vocalists out there, but he also has a soulful side and is greatly influenced by soul and funk as well and is a huge fan of Prince, the Motown sound and also Sam Cooke – a favourite of Steve Perry’s.
Jeff has been a long time fan of Journey’s, so much so that he has covered Edge Of The Blade and Send Her My Love on previous records. See below for some audio and video samples so you can get to know Jeff.
For those less familiar with the name Jeff Scott Soto, who is he and what’s his background?
He made his debut in 1984, fronting guitar hero Yngwie J Malmsteen’s band for 2 studio albums and a live release.
His main band through the years has been Talisman, a hard rock band featuring some of Sweden’s finest musicians. Talisman has just finished recording their 8th studio album, due for release later this year.
Another band Eyes were signed by a major label in 1990 and their debut album created quite a buzz before disbanding prematurely.
Jeff also recorded 3 albums with German guitarist Axel Rudi Pell – 3 albums that remain favourites among both Soto and Pell fans alike.
Jeff has recorded 3 solo albums – the latest of which is Lost In The Translation, which features a guest appearance from Neal Schon on the track Believe In Me.
Lost In The Translation is a hard rock album through and through. His diverse abilities are showcased on his other 2 solo albums – Prism is very much an AOR release, while his solo debut Love Parade is a mix of funk, soul, R&B and rock.
Jeff has appeared on several tribute albums including ones for Queen, Van Halen, AC/DC, Iron Maiden, The Sweet and Led Zeppelin.
Jeff has also had a long running association with the guys from Queen. Roger Taylor and Brian May have had Jeff up on stage with them on two different occasions and has also been the headline act at the UK Queen Convention twice, with his last appearance captured for a DVD release.
He also supplied some lead vocals for the movie RockStar. The Sammy Hagar written Stand Up being that movie’s best known song. Of course this is a 25 year career summarized in just a couple of paragraphs. Jeff’s website features an extensive bio and full discography for those curious to learn more.
The decision for Steve to return home was obviously one of the most difficult ever made by the band and management. Bringing in a replacement frontman at this juncture is a big move and I give huge credit to all involved for the decision they have made.
Jeff Scott Soto is a bold, but obvious choice. Jeff is one of the greatest frontmen I have ever seen. He will win over Journey fans and he will do a phenomenal job for this great rock band.
I am hoping this move by the band will now calm the message board wars that have been raging for the last month or so. There are no winners in fans fighting each other and while there will always be some that resent this or any band’s decisions, I for one hope that the decision taken this week will be seen as a positive step in getting the band back on track for the future.
Links and Downloads: