I've been wildly in love with Steve Perry since I was a little girl. His voice, his crazy 80's hair, his smile, his cheekbones, just everything, I love it. Now, I know my mom was a total groupie in the 70's/80's and she was way into all the big hair bands. She is the one that got me hooked on all that music. I remember the first time I ever heard Journey and Steve Perry's voice just resonated into my soul. That was it. It was love. I was 12 then. I'm now 26 and for any other Steve Perry fan out there, you know he hasn't performed with Journey in about 26 years. So, I have never, in my entire life, had the chance to see him perform with the greatest band to walk this Earth. That's pretty upsetting stuff.
So, like I said, my mom was a big groupie and we all know what that means, she was a ho. Power to her, she was single. Well, my friends all have this ongoing joke that my dad isn't my real dad because of my mom's previous life choices. I know my dad is my real dad because they were married in 1983 and my mom stopped ho'ing. I know he's my dad because of all the countless medical issues I've had and being in and out of the doctor, they would have figured that out. I have never doubted my parents at all, it's just a joke with my friends so they can tease me. To me, it's always been funny and harmless.
Flash foward to last week. Journey, with original vocalist, Steve Perry, was finally being inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and I. Was. Losing. My. Shit. For the first time in MY WHOLE LIFE there was the possibility that I could see the Journey that captured my 12-year-old soul perform together. I couldn't believe it because I HAD WAITED MY WHOLE LIFE FOR THIS MOMENT. I couldn't contain myself and I just had to tell all my friends about how great Journey is and how Steve Perry will always and forever be the greatest voice to ever exist. The induction was set to take place Friday, April 7th. I had spent the entire week leading up forcing my friends to listen to every Journey and Steve Perry song the entire week. The excitement was just overwhelming. I watched every video of them and even their Behind the Music episode. I was shook, but in a good way.
My and my mother/whole family have this interesting relationship where we don't particularity communicate. It's not due too harsh feelings, it's just how my family is and how we deal with our inability to communicate effectively. But, hey, it works for us. Well, one thing I can always text my mom about is music. We have nearly identical tastes in music. I remember when I went to see Boston last year and texted her all my pictures of their performance and of me crying of excitement.
But this was Journey, my soul's OG one true love. I texted her telling her they were being inducted that week and there were rumblings the love of my life might perform. She is some country bumpkin now so I thought she may not know. She responds and informs me she saw them in concert with some kissy emojis. I thought, okay mom, easy with the emojis when you talking about my man that ain't my man, but is my man. I brushed it off, and just said hopefully he performs and asked what year she saw them. 1982, she responds. Okay, great, one year before she stopped ho'ing. My skepticism rises a little. Then she mentions their song Lights, which is a beautiful song about his hometown, San Francisco. I know my mom was born in San Diego, which is about 8 hours away, but still a beautiful beach town in California. My skepticism retreats thinking, okay she's just a California girl loving a California based song. My man that ain't my man, but is my man is safe from my mom's ho'ing. Then I decided to watch the video for it, that's when my entire life changed.
The "live" version of the video was great, they show some good B-roll of the tour buses mixed with different live concert scenes with them performing and the audiences. It was about 3 minutes and 30 second long. I'm nearing the end and that's when I see it. There is a girl in a purple polka dot bikini on someone's shoulder. She has a hat on with sunglasses tucked into her bikini. Very quickly, she's on for 3 seconds tops, you see her pull down one side of her bikini and flash Journey, including my beloved Steve Perry. I'm not stupid, this is the concert of hugely popular band, I'm sure they have seen some titties in their day, just like every other musician has. As the video continues, something in the back of my mind sparks and I rewind to see this girl. There is something familiar about her (her breast is blurred, so don't be weird with it). I rewind, and there it is. She has this unmistakably recognizable tattoo on top of her left breast. It's a butterfly and I know it because I've seen it my whole life peeking out from behind the neckline of my mom's shirts. No. No. No, no, no, just no, that's all I can think. No, there's no just NO way. My skepticism reaches a maximum. My mind is spinning, there is no way my mom flashes the love of my life. This just can't be happening. In a daze, I try to reason this occurrence out of being.
Okay, Lights came out on the Infinity album, which was released in 1978. She saw them in..what was that...uh...1982.....AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH
*skepticism seeps from pores*
I remembered the kissy face emoji from earlier.
My ears are ringing and I hear my text notification go off somewhere in the distance. My vision is blurred, but I look down and see my mom has responded to the last thing I said to her about Steve Perry, which feels like eons ago at this point.
I'm crying tears made of complete and utter skepticism at this point.
I tried to bring myself to type "Did you flash Steve Perry?" and I just can't. My sad, delicate fingers can't do it. I will have to type that sentence from beyond the grave with cold, dead fingers. I try to reason with myself.
You're being stupid, I sobbed. Mom didn't sleep with Steve Perry. He was with Sherrie Shawford at that point and would never be unfaithful. I whole heartily believe that and my skepticism backs down.
But, wait. That doesn't rule out her flashing him. Sure she didn't sleep with him, but did my own mother show the love of my life her titties 8 years before I was born??????
Through shaky hands, I managed to type "Did you ever meet him?"
Okay, so she says no, I should just take her word for it, right? My mom has an interesting track record in stretching the truth, so I'm still skeptical. At this point, I've screenshotted the mom-but-maybe-not-my-mom girl from the video and have over analyzed that tattoo to the point where I'm seeing flashing butterflies when I look away.
That's her tattoo and I know it. I comb through old photos trying to find one of her at that age with her tattoo showing. I find one of her a year younger, but her top doesn't really show any cleavage. However, she is wearing a button up flannel shirt that has the top few buttons undone. Right there in the middle of her chests sits a butterfly necklace.
I'm Red Wedding shook at this point. I'm moving pretty quickly through the stages of death, having already passed denial and anger. I have landed at bargaining.
Who cares if he saw her boobs, I'm sure he's seen thousands, if not millions of boobs, right? Like, why should it matter, right?? I mean, I wasn't even born at this point, how could I have stopped it, right??? RIGHT???????????????
Then I made the ultimate mistake. I told my friends. I sent them the picture of the girl (before her boob was out, I'm not that messed up). I sent them screenshots of the conversation with my mom. I sent them all my worry and panic and they ran like the fucking wind with it.
Immediately the "Guess he's your real dad and not Def Leppard", "My guess was on ACDC, but that's her tit alright" ( they don't listen to music from that time period so I guess in their minds an entire band could somehow be my biological father). I was born in 1990 and her tit came out in 1982, obviously, she didn't carry me for 8 years. Especially since my brother was born in 1984 and my sister in 1987. I know he can't be my real dad, but after hearing them all gang up on me every ounce of logic just flew from my body.
There I lay, motionless on my bed as the text are flying in and I'm getting roasted on the group chat. My whole life, is it a lie? Who am I? This just can't be, I have loved him for so long and this just can't be. Then the Lannister jokes start coming. I keep responding in all caps telling them to shut up, that I fucking know who my real father is and it's not Steve Perry!
Eventually, I fall into an Ambien induced coma and dream that I'm at a Journey concert begging Steve Perry for forgiveness because my drunk mother has tried to rush the stage. My alarm blasts through my dream and I am overcome with complete sadness. I can't even look at my phone to see what those bastards have said to me overnight. I get ready for work and I thought to myself, this must be the depression phase of death.
I spent the first 4 hours of work trying to get the courage to ask my mom if that was indeed her tit and I can't do it. I slowly start thinking, I know he obviously isn't my real dad and my friends were just riding my ass continuing this groupie joke, and even if she didn't meet him, she still could have flashed him. I realized I needed to come to terms with the fact that he probably saw my mom's breast. He saw my mom's breast before I even got to see him perform. It's one day before the induction and I need to be okay so that when he takes the stage, possibly to sing, I can be happy.
I followed up my mistake by involving my sister, an even bigger mistake. We over analyze the photo of the girl and she concludes the girl does indeed have mom's tattoo and even goes as far to say they have the same jaw line. I go home and down 4 glasses of wine to calm my nerves.
Induction day comes and I wake up feeling so excited at the possibility that Steve Perry may actually perform with Journey. I don't even think of my mom's tit. I blow through work and come home, anxiously waiting for the induction ceremony. I, being in Louisiana, could not be there for it, but I planned to watch it through Periscope and other social media. The ceremony took place in Brooklyn, which is an hour behind us, so I only had to make it to 6 p.m. for what could possibly be the best day of my life.
The clock strikes 6 and immediately start refreshing the tags #steveperry and #rockhall2017 on every social media. I need to see what is going on. I did not know the order the inductees would be performing, so I had to be vigilant. They begin moving through the inductees and introductions. ELO, Joan Baez, Yes featuring Geddy Lee and right before Tupac's induction, my friends calls me. She had a bad day and wants to vent, she asks me if I want to go out with her and I decline stating my top priority right now is Journey and Steve Perry. Sorry, but this could be once in a lifetime. She doesn't understand and keeps talking about her day. I continue to refresh my social media tags and see that the newest singer of Journey has taken a picture with Steve Perry, which confirms he is at least at the ceremony!! I hide my excitement as I pretend to offer support for the bad dining experience she is describing in detail to me.
Tupac's induction moves forward and she is still trying to convince me to go out.
"I can't, drop it, nothing is changing my mind unless you physically had Steve Perry with you and I know you don't because he has been confirmed in Brooklyn."
I take a break from social media to offer her real support. I'm thinking, as big as their reunion will be, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame will most likely save it for last. I give my input on her situation and return to social media, that's when I see it.
I have the inability to hang up on people so I quickly blurt out, "OMG THEY ARE ON I LOVE YOU BUT GIRL BYE" *click*
They start with a tribute video to Journey and then the performers came out to accept their award. There he is. There is Steve Perry standing on stage with all of Journey. My heart leaps from my chest and then I remember it. The tit. It creeps into my mind and the skepticism begins to grow.
Then a rush of memories from the last 14 years come flooding back. I think of how much their music has touched my life and how it saved me from some of the darkest times. If I'm being honest, years 13 - 25 were pretty rough for me. I remember how watching their videos gave me such joy and hope and how Steve Perry's voice could rescue me from anything. I remembered how Wheel In The Sky got me through my cat running away. Don't Stop Believe will never not cheer me up, I mean hell I walked down the aisle to an instrumental version of that song. Open Arms reminds me of my grandmother and how much she changed my life. Any Way You Want It will always be my getting ready jam. Faithfully will always be the ultimate love song. Every single one of their songs has a special place in my heart and always will. Journey is the soundtrack of my life and has helped me navigate this shithole we call Earth. Her tit or not, I'm done giving a shit about it. I love Steve Perry and he is The Voice and he will always be The Voice, no matter whose titties he's seen!
In the end, as all of us know, Steve Perry didn't sing with Journey. Their new lead singer, Arnel Pineda, performed with them. He is very talented and does an amazing job, but I'm not going to lie, the heart of that 12-year-old girl who first heard the chorus to Feeling That Way on the radio and asked her mom, "Who is that??," was heartbroken. I understand Steve Perry has been through all kinds of ups and downs and I don't fault him for not performing. I'll always love him and his ability to lift the spirits of millions with just a single note. His speech was amazing and the other members seemed to embrace him. I'll hold out hope for him performing in the future, and if he doesn't, well then I still have YouTube.