Phone interview with Sam Malone & Maria Todd
March 18, 1999
Transcribed by Kathy Williams
Intro Music: Live Lovin’ Touchin’ Squeezin’ from Capture
Sam: For years on the road with Journey, the Lead Singer, the most recognizable voice in Rock ‘n Roll today.
Sam: Please welcome back to the show Mr. Show Business Steve Perry
Steve: That’s show biz…yea. How are you Sam?
Sam: Good man. Are you show biz Johnny? Are you like in a big room with dark sunglasses?
Steve: No, no, no, no, no, no. I’m just sitting here in my chair talking to you.
Sam: Are you out in LA or NY or?
Steve: I’m, I’m in the West Coast, yea LA…south of LA.
Sam: South of LA, that would be Mexico.
SteveP: No, not quite that far.
Sam: Okay, San Diego.
Steve: Yea, San Diego.
Sam: What, ya got a big house, a condo…what do ya got?
Steve: No, I don’t actually. I do have a condo in San Diego.
Sam: Ah, that’s sweet. Does it over look some water.
Steve: It’s kind of like my hotel.
Sam: Kind of like a hotel.
Maria: He’s got people that come in that bring him food, all that stuff.
Steve: Well you know when you tour as long as I did, I mean I almost more comfortable in a hotel environment than I am in a house.
Sam: What was the nicest hotel, being all those years on the road. What was like the one hotel that you stand out that you would send us to, and by the way…money is no object.
Steve: God, I can’t…there seems like there was one in Tennessee and it might have been in Nashville. I can’t remember, but there was one that duck that went through the lobby everyday. They had ducks that would live in the pond in the center of the lobby and they would bring them in the morning from this special roof top area, they would go down the elevator, and it was a big deal. They would roll out a red carpet and the ducks would waddle to the pond and they would stay there the entire day, and in the evening at five o’clock there was a big poo poo hour with the bar and the cocktails and they would roll the carpet up and they would go back up for the night.
Maria: Man, the ducks had a good living.
Steve: It was good to be a duck!
Sam: And if the ducks were ever late for the red carpet there was a nightly special of duck.
Maria & Steve: (Laugh)
Sam: (Laugh) Chef Wang Hu!
Steve: Oh ho (Asian accent)! You’d need sour sauce with those ducks.
Sam: That’s great so what city was the duck in?
Steve: I can’t …I think it might have been Nashville…ugh…Nashville, Tennessee or Knoxville. One of the…some where in Tennessee.
Sam: Do you ever get confused? You go oh, Nashville, Knoxville…what the hell’s the difference?
Steve: You know I think I’m confused what city it is now (laugh).
Sam: (Laugh) Right. Houston, Honolulu…what the hell’s the difference?
Steve: You know when I was singing in Journey we would travel daily and, and we would just wake up in another place. And, ugh…to me it was a situation were I was just at another venue…another show and, and it was just to me it was all about just the people and being in front of all those people, and I almost didn’t know one place from another.
Sam: Wow! Did you have to like write down the city…ugh like on the stage some where? You’d go “Thank you…ugh…Detroit!”
Steve: You know what…ugh…how do you know these things? You know, it’s funny you say that because I was one time in Toledo and we were in Ohio and we were actually in Cleveland. (Laugh) I thought I was in Toledo and I said “Thank you, Toledo!” and it was f*** you. Oh, excuse me (laugh).
Sam: (Laugh) That’s okay.
Steve: And I…ugh…from that point on I did, I had a little piece of paper put between the bass drum.
Sam: (Laugh) That’s great! Did the people like boo or something?
Steve: No…they kind of looked at me like…you know…
Maria: Like, What kind of crack are you smokin’?
Steve: Yea, some things wrong with this guy!
Sam: (Laugh) So you would past the city by the bottom of the drum there?
Steve: I did…I did…yea.
Sam: That’s beautiful man!
Steve: Yea, but you know I did that a lot with in the middle of “Oh’ Sherrie” I’d forget the lyric and I’d just repeat the 1st verse for the 2nd verse and the audience would be looking at me like RCA dog.
Sam: (Laugh) Man, you know I stole when I was like 18 I was making out with the girl named Abby and I stole your lyrics…you know baby one heart feeds the fire…one heart feels desire…wonder Who’s Cryin’ Now. And she thought that was the most romantic thing. I don’t even think she had a radio. I totally bogarted your song “Who’s Cryin’ Now”.
Steve: (Laugh) You just sort of talked the lyrics.
Sam: Talked in her ear and she just like melted, baby. Like…
Maria: Yea, and then 2 years later she got a copy of the album…and called your ass up!
Sam: (Laugh) And I got a copy of a subpoena.
Maria & Steve: (Laugh)
Sam: And the kid looked a hell of a lot like me but I’m still fighting it.
Steve: Well, you know if her name was Sherrie then I would say it might work, but if it wasn’t it would be a trouble thing for you.
Sam: Who was Sherrie? Was that a former wife?
Steve: Ugh…that was a girl friend I was with for about 6 years.
Sam: That’s cool. Did she ever hook up with Sharona from the ‘Knack’?
Steve: (Laughing) No.
Sam: (Laughing; Acting like Sherrie & Sharona were talking.) “Really, well I sold 2 million. Well my song about me sold 4 million.”
Steve: The final test backstage sort of thing, yea.
Sam: So what was Sherrie like? Was she just like a babe?
Steve: She was a great girl. She was from a small town and I liked that about her. She was a great girl…was very calming and centering for me when I was at the peak of the insanity of the success.
Sam: Man…so did she get a piece of the action?
Steve: (Laugh) I did give her the songwriting, yes I did.
Sam: YO DUDE!!!
Steve: See, I wrote the song and and it was about us and you know the song was kind of about what was happening when we were falling apart and…and at the same it was also about what holds it together, but she was inspired the whole thing. She inspired the whole deal so I just gave her the songwriting.
Sam: So if I want to lets say redo, Maria and I get a lounge band and we redo and re-record ‘Oh Sherrie’, this Sherrie from the small town in Schmuckola, Arkansas…
Steve: She might get a check.
Sam: Is going to get a check from us.
Steve: Well, with a check, ya know, it’s a small checks…maybe she could buy a cup of coffee. I don’t know.
Sam: Man. Why don’t you write a song about a fat DJ in Houston, ya know?
Maria: And his hip black side chick.
Sam: Come on Steve.
Steve: Maria & Sam.
Sam: Steve, pen the paper right now.
Steve: Okay…Maria & Sam
Sam: Just something and just like write it and I don’t care if doesn’t sell…just something and give us the rights to it.
Sam: Come on Steve…
Maria: We’ll get someone to re-record it and we’ll just keep doing it until it’s a hit.
Steve: Well…if I had my equipment up and running I’d write you a jingle for your show, but I don’t have it with me right now.
Sam: A jingle…that’s what we need a freaky jingle.
Maria: Look, I’ll take the jingle.
Sam: It’s like, “Are they a morning show? No they’re a breath mint”.
Steve: And what do you call your show in the morning, by the way?
Sam: I don’t know. Just bunch of people getting like way too much money.
Steve: Too much money with too much caffinated coffee or something like that.
Sam: You know what. I get up at 03:50 in the morning.
Sam: It’s like 4 hours of hard work and that’s it.
Sam: But on the other hand, what you guys would do on the road. You know you spend all, you’d do the sound check at like 4 or 5 in the afternoon?
Sam: And then you’d have to kill time and that’s got to…you know.
Steve: You’d be surprised, ugh, how boring it can be. Because I mean you spend so much time I your hotel room either trying to sleep or just relaxed or…cuz your so amped and the you do get…I would get down to the venue way early because I’d just want to be around the, ya know, the village of people that travel with you, ya know, and the tribe. And then we’d have the sound checks bout 4 o’clock and the you try to check your voice out during the sound checks to see what you have left from the night before…see how much you’ve taken away or kept. And, ugh, then you’d, ugh, then you’d have like…you know I could never eat dinner. Everyone would eat dinner at 6 o’clock…you know cuz there is a crew, you know. I could never eat because the food would be around in my stomach come about 8 – 9 o’clock at night running around going…BURP!
Steve: I’d never eat dinner so I would starve myself and the by the time the shows over I would just mack.
Sam: What were the back stage parties like? We ask all the people on the show…was it like whisky and bikini tops?
Steve: Well…ya know. There was a time but for me personally and I’m just speaking for myself personally, ugh, no. I was…I was to focused on what was required of as a singer to honest with you.
Sam: I’m sorry I hear blah, blah, blah, blah, blah!
Maria: He was trying to find some food.
Steve: I’m serious, but I would mack some food and then I would leave and I would go back to the hotel because if I sat around backstage and met 150 people that wanted to meet me, 1 of them has got a cold and I’m done. So I would hide out most of the time and that is were that isolation thing got a little rough.
Sam: What was the money like in the early days when…you join in what ’77 – ’78 some were around there?
Steve: Ugh…I join Journey exactly ’78 and it was in the beginning of ’78 in…ugh…February 1st it was kind of official.
Sam: What kind of money did they like lay out on the table? I’m sure you would have probably taken…
Steve: No. It was peanuts. The band was changing over from being coming a jam band and it was the first time they had a lead singer and that was me and…um…it was…we were starting up. We had a Capri Chevrolet which we use to pull a Uhal behind and then we had a bob tail truck from the rest of the spill over gear. And we would just play gigs across the country. I mean, and then finally got to were we had a bob tail and then we just drove 2 Capri Chevy’s.
Maria: Oh man!
Steve: No…that’s what it was like. And so it was that way the first year so there was no money their. We were just creating more dept than we were making but we had to get out there and support what was at that time the Infinity record. We had this new band opening the tour for us in all of the Theaters across the country called Van Halen.
Sam: Oh…those kids.
Maria: Oh…They’ll never get work.
Steve: (Laughing) They’ll never go nowhere.
Sam: Those kids with there rock ‘n roll.
Steve: (Laughing) It’ll never work.
Steve: They were amazing. They were fantastic. They would truly kick our butts to another level every night. We’d have to come up with it because they were such a great band.
Sam: See the groupie factor in an early question was probably through the ceiling and your probably lying through your teeth. If you’ve got Journey and Van Halen on the road at the same time. Alex Van Halen, Eddie Van Halen, Steve Perry, Neal Schon, Jonathan Cain (which all great Journey fans know Jonathan was not with the group then) you are so full of crap.
Steve: You forgot David Roth.
Sam: David Lee Roth.
Steve: The worst of all.
Sam: Let me tell you, don’t…
Maria: So women did know where to pop their tops that was the problem. You knew it was coming off it was just when to take it.
Sam: Before women left for the concert they were taken their tops off.
Steve: That was so great though! Oh…that was so great though…
Maria: They were running out of panties and hotel room keys.
Steve: Well they use to throw bras and panties and the boobage sometimes would be just fantastic.
Sam: See…that’s a gig.
Steve: That’s a gig!
Sam: That’s why I’ve been trying to get Maria to do something because it’s been six years.
Maria: I threw a hotel room key one time and blacked your eye.
Steve: What you need, I think, is a topless audio engineer siting on the other side of the glass for you.
Sam: Yea but Chuck our engineer won’t take his top off.
Maria & Steve: (Laugh)
Sam: He’s got the hairiest nipples in Texas.
Steve: Well that will work for Maria.
Maria: Well…there you go. I’m not shy.
Sam & Steve: (Laugh)
Sam: Hey, you know our anniversary is coming up.
Steve: Oh, your 6th anniversary, I heard.
Sam: Numero sixo…
Steve: That’s a long time being a station alive in this business. Congratulations!
Sam: You know that’s like being with the same record label six year.
Steve: Yea… or the same band.
Sam: Oh…it’s nice to have you on the show.
Steve: I’ve really enjoyed it, Thank You!
Sam: You’re a good egg. Ladies & Gentleman…the one and only Steve Perry.
Steve: Thank you! Thanks Maria…Sam.
Sam: Steve you’re a good egg.
Sam: Thanks for joining us as part of our 6th anniversary special.
Steve: Congratulations again.
Sam: All right bro…See ya!
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