Journey Day in Los Angeles: January 21, 2005, Star On The Hollywood Walk Of Fame for Journey.
January 21, 2005 will forever be known as "Journey Day," as declared by Hollywood's Mayor Johnny Grant. That's the date Journey—who has sold over 75 million albums worldwide making them the 29th best-selling music group of all time--were honored with the 2,275th Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
The Eastbound lanes in front of 6750 Hollywood Boulevard—directly in front of the renown Musician's Institute--were closed off as hundreds of fans from all over the world descended there to witness history in the making.
Not only was the entire current line-up in attendance (guitarist Neal Schon, bassist Ross Valory, keyboardist Jonathan Cain, singer Steve Augeri and drummer Deen Castronovo), but several band members from the past as well: drummers Steve Smith and Aynsley Dunbar, guitarist George Tickner and singer Robert Fleischman.
Perhaps the greatest surprise of all—not only to the fans in attendance, but to the band most of all—was the unexpected appearance of the group's legendary former frontman Steve Perry, who had not been seen anywhere with the band since his departure in 1996 after "Trial By Fire" was released and earned the band's first Grammy Award nomination for "When You Love A Woman."
After several attempts were made to contact Perry inviting him to participate in the ceremony, with no response either way, they ultimately thought that he'd be a no-show. Then at 11:30am, when the ceremony was set to start, he quietly emerged onto the scene and was soon laughing and smiling along with the rest of the band, much to the overwhelming delight of everyone in attendance.
Following glowing introductions by Mayor Johnny Grant and local morning show DJs Mark Thompson & Brian Phelps from KLOS-FM, Neal Schon, Ross Valory and Steve Perry addressed their adoring fans, giving thanks and expressing their heart-felt appreciation to their families, the team who helps keep them together behind-the-scenes, and most importantly, and Journey fans from there and everywhere who were ultimately responsible for nominating the band for the sidewalk tribute in the first place.
"Who could have imagined, so many years later, a Star on the Walk of Fame," said Nea Schon. And Steve Perry continued, "No one ever mentions the unsung heroes, the road crew who...made us look good."
Later that evening, to celebrate their Star, Journey performed at the House of Blues in West Hollywood, CA. After going on sale December 18, tickets for the show sold out in three minutes. Celebrities in attendance included Dan Aykroyd, Paul Stanley of Kiss, Fred Coury of Cinderella, Dan Estrin of Hoobastank, and "American Idol" finalist Ryan Starr.
Before the show, Journey had promised their fans some surprise guests and spontaneous jam sessions and that's exactly what the fans got. During the two-hour concert chock full of Journey classics, the band was joined onstage by Aynsley Dunbar, Robert Fleischman, and Steve Smith for "Wheel In The Sky," "Lights," "Chain Reaction," "Walks Like A Lady" and "Voodoo Child."
Current "American Idol" judge and former Journey member (playing bass on the "Raised On Radio" tour in 1986) Randy Jackson, who regrettably couldn't be at the ceremony or concert because he was in New York City promoting the TV show, sent a tape-recorded message in his place which was played at the concert before the show began.
In it he said, "…thank you so much from the bottom of my heart for letting me be a part of your lives and for making such a huge difference in my life. It's one of the best times I've ever had being a part of the Journey gang. Not only being a part of a great legendary band, but just being a part of a group of really really unbelievable people, friends and unbelievably talented musicians, singers and songwriters. You guys so deserve this! I think Journey is one of the best bands in the world ever and I don't know what I can say to even thank you for letting me be a part of that experience…I am so proud of you and I am so proud to have even been a small part of your legacy. Congratulations again."
January 21, 2005 is now in the history books and Journey put it there with grand force and certainly gave their fans a day to remember forever.
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