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20 Interesting Journey Facts: Think You Know The Band?

Journey is one of the best-selling rock bands in history. They formed in the early 70s, and their music has stood the test of time. Keep reading because we’re going to tell you 20 interesting Journey facts… think you know the band? 

Journey Formed in 1973 And Used A Different Name 

It was in 1973 that Journey formed, although the band didn’t go by that name at the time. They were known then as Golden Gate Rhythm Section, but they weren’t very popular while using this name. It was one of their roadies, John Villaneuva, who suggested that their name be Journey, and everyone agreed so they changed their name. 

Funny enough, there was a competition that was held during this time by a local radio station to have the listeners come up with the group’s name. They even offered concert tickets for life to the winner, but with the horrible suggestions that they got, they decided to use Journey and then made up someone named Toby Pratt as the person who came up with the name.

However, there really was a Toby Pratt who lived in the area, and he then claimed he deserved the prize, and the radio station had to give him some sort of prize even though he was not truly the one who came up with Journey.

Recommended: Top Journey songs

Journey Broke Up For Eight Years In The 80s

While Journey has been together since 1973, the band did break up for around eight years beginning in 1987. The issue with them was that there were many creative differences that were leading to disagreements between members including Ross Valory, Steve Smith, and Neal Schon, and they couldn’t easily be resolved. However, they did resolve the issues years later and got back together in 1995, which is when they started recording albums and touring once again. 

The New Lead Singer Was Found On YouTube

We’ve all heard stories about YouTube helping talented people become famous, and that’s what happened with Arnel Pineda, who is now the lead singer for Journey. He comes from the Philippines, and in 2007, he started uploading videos of his band The Zoo performing covers of Journey songs.

March 20, 2009 – Arnel Pineda performing in Macau, 2009. Image source: Phey Palma, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The guitarist for Journey and songwriter, Neal Schon, saw the video and began researching Pineda, and by 2008, he was their new lead singer. Funny enough, he at first thought the offer was a prank and didn’t believe he was being asked to front the band for several weeks. 

Steve Perry Left To Focus More On His Health 

April 11, 2019 – Steve Perry at the Pop Conference 2019, MoPOP, Seattle Center, Seattle, Washington. Image source: Joe Mabel, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Steve Perry was a part of Journey for almost 20 years until he quit the band. At this time, he was in need of hip replacement surgery due to injuries sustained in an accident while in Hawaii hiking. He would later say that he didn’t feel the music in his heart anymore and that his health was now his focus.

Neal Schon Is The Remaining Original Band Member 

September 16, 2008 – Journey (Neal Schon) in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Image source: Matt Becker, CC BY 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Journey released their first album in 1975 named after the band, and Neal Schon, the guitar player, is now the only original member left who was there when that first album was released. That means he has been in the group for every one of their 14 albums, which explains why their sound hasn’t changed that much through the years. 

Escape Featured Three Of Their Biggest Songs 

Journey released the album Escape in 1981, and on this album, you’ll find three of their biggest hits such as Open Arms, Who’s Crying Now, and Don’t Stop Believin’. The top hit out of those was Open Arms, which went to number two on the Billboard charts, with Who’s Crying Now landing at number four, and Don’t Stop Believin’ coming in at nine. 

Journey Was Inducted Into The Rock and Roll Hall Of Fame 

In 2017, Journey was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall Of Fame and a notable moment from the ceremony was that Steve Perry joined the band on stage. This was the first time that he had been on the same stage with the rest of the band in more than 20 years. They were inducted the same year that other artists including Pearl Jam and 2Pac were inducted. 

All Former And Current Members Are Still Alive 

One thing that stands out with Journey compared to many other bands out there is that all of the current and former band members are still alive. For them to be around for 50 years with everyone still alive is actually pretty remarkable. 

Journey Is One Of The Best-Selling Bands In History 

Journey - Don't Stop Believin' (Live 1981: Escape Tour - 2022 HD Remaster)

Journey has remained incredibly popular throughout their 50-year history and has sold more than 48 million records in the United States. They have sold more than 80 million albums throughout the world, and it continues to rise every day. According to the RIAA, Journey is in the top 30 on the list of best-selling artists ever, which is simply amazing. We can probably thank Don’t Stop Believin’ which has become their signature song and an anthem for their everlasting popularity. 

Don’t Stop Believin’ Turned 40 In 2021 

Don’t Stop Believin’ turned 40 years old in 2021, and in the United States, this particular song is one of their biggest hits with more than 5.4 million sales. It’s the number-one track in iTunes history for songs that have been released before 2000.

Recommended: The meaning behind Don’t Stop Believin’

Journey’s Music Is Featured In Several Movie And Television Shows 

Steve Perry on how Don't Stop Believin' made it into The Sopranos finale

If you were a fan of The Sopranos, then you know that Don’t Stop Believin’ was featured in the last episode of the show as the family gathers at the restaurant and it infamously cuts to black. Other shows have used this song too including Glee, Family Guy, Scrubs, and Moneyball. They have multiple tracks that have gone on to be in movies and television shows including Lights, Anyway You Want It, Wheel In The Sky, and Faithfully. 

Steve Perry Was Not In The Original Lineup 

The most famous lead singer of Journey was Steve Perry, and he is loved by fans everywhere, but he wasn’t a part of the original lineup like many believe. He did not join the band until 1977, which was four years after they originally formed.

Journey - Feeling That Way (Official Video - 1978)

The original singer was Gregg Rolie who had previously worked with Santana before forming Journey with Neal Schon, another former member of Santana. He stayed in the band for a total of 21 years before leaving in 1998. 

None Of Journey’s Pre-Steve Perry Albums Sold Well 

Interestingly, Journey had released three albums before Steve Perry joined the band, but none of the albums were considered to be a success. Once he joined the band, everything started to change for them, and they started to gain popularity among rock fans. 

Journey Has A Star On The Hollywood Walk Of Fame 

January 17, 2005 – George Tickner at Hollywood Walk of Fame induction. Image source: Steve Roseman/George Tickner, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Journey received a star on the Hollywood Walk Of Fame in 2005, and many of the prior members of the band were there for the ceremony including Steve Smith, Steve Perry, and George Tickner. However, Gregg Rolie did not attend this ceremony. Everyone was surprised that Perry showed up for the ceremony, including his bandmates who were happy to see him.

They Were Inducted Into The Music Hall Of Fame 

In 2003, Journey was put into the San Francisco Music Hall Of Fame since they were formed there and are from the Bay Area. 

Journey Has Never Won A Grammy 

Journey - Open Arms (Official Video - 1982)

What’s really weird is that even though the band has had hits like Don’t Stop Believin’ and Open Arms, they’ve never won a Grammy Award. They were only nominated for a Grammy one time, which was in 1997, but The Beatles ended up winning that year. However, several other famous musicians have never won a Grammy including 2Pac, Queen, and Bob Marley, so Journey is in good company. 

They Have 25 Albums That Went Platinum or Gold 

An impressive feat that the band has achieved is that they have had 25 of their albums certified by the RIAA as Platinum or Gold. The Escape album from 1979 was Diamond Certified, which is also incredible. 

Journey Hasn’t Had a Number One Single 

Despite the success of Open Arms and obviously Don’t Stop Believin’ the band has never had a number-one single on the Billboard charts. They have had 19 different songs in the Billboard Top 40 chart, but not one single track has ever made it to number one in America. This puts them on par with Electric Light Orchestra who had 20 songs hit the Billboard Top 40 without one of them reaching the number one position. 

Two Albums Hit Number One On Billboard 200 Chart 

Journey has had two albums that landed at number one on the Billboard 200 chart, which were Frontiers and Escape. These two albums also did well on the UK Album chart but only reached number six

The Current Line-Up Changed As Recently As 2021 

Journey - "Only The Young" - Live Video from Lollapalooza 2021 | @journey

Journey is a band that has had several different members throughout the years, with the current iteration of their lineup featuring Todd Jensen, the bass player who joined in 2021. They now consist of the following members: 

  • Arnel Pineda – Lead vocals
  • Neal Schon – Backing vocal and lead guitar
  • Jason Derlatka – lead and backup vocals and keyboard 
  • Deen Castronovo – backup vocals, drum, lead vocals
  • Todd Jensen – Bass and backup vocals
  • Johnathan Cain – backup vocals, keyboard, rhythm guitar, piano, and harmonica

Previous members of Journey include:

  • Gregg Rolie 
  • Steve Perry 
  • Ross Valory 
  • Prairie Prince
  • George Tickner 
  • Aynsley Dunbar
  • Jeff Scott Soto 
  • Robert Fleischman
  • Steve Augeri 
  • Randy Jackson
  • Narada Michael Walden
  • Steve Smith
July 15, 2015 – Steve Smith with Mike Stern / Didier Lockwood Band featuring him and Tom Kennedy. Image source: Dean Zobec, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

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