Replacing a band member is risky – you just don’t know how fans would react especially when it comes to the lead vocalist or frontman. Besides, no matter how good or better the replacement is, there’s bound to be a little resentment and resistance. People judge even before hearing them. Case in point: Brian Johnson filling up Bon Scott’s shoes but we’ll go into detail about that later.
The thing is, there are those who tend to be overly dramatic when it happens to their favorite groups. “No one can do it like…” or “He doesn’t come close with..” are pretty much the most common arguments. The fact remains that there’s nothing permanent in rock including band members. They come and go – doesn’t matter if they’re only starting out, at the peak of their popularity or are already well-established.
At the end of the day, we don’t know what happens in the recording studio or backstage. And let’s face it, we have little say in these matters.
To be fair, Steve Perry isn’t even the original frontman of Journey but the band achieved mainstream success when he joined them. In the early days, they released one massive hit after another and had several classics under their belt.
Everyone couldn’t get enough of Perry and his golden pipes. He effortlessly belted out to “Open Arms,” “Don’t Stop Believin’” and “Faithfully.” After pursuing solo careers and going on hiatus, Journey came back in 1998 with a different Steve – Steve Augeri. They released “Arrival” which was a minor hit.
In 2007, Neal Schon and Jonathan Cain found their new frontman, Filipino Arnel Pineda, via YouTube.
“I must give a complete shout out to someone who sings his heart out every night, and it’s Arnel Pineda.” – Steve Perry during the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction
Fans aren’t exactly thrilled with Arnel, referring to Journey now as nothing more than a “tribute band.” He sounds a lot like Steve and he can nail the high notes. But you know, you can never please everybody.