The movie of the week for January 21 was Don’t Stop Believin’: Everyman’s Journey. As you may expect from the title, it is about the band Journey. Journey gets a lot of crap but, you know what? I dig them. I dig them the most. I don’t really care for the old, old Journey; the pre-Steve Perry Journey. But once Perry showed up, they were great. I liked them. I liked them with Steve Augeri, too. He sounded a lot like Perry and that worked for them.
I’ve grown to like them even more as an adult and throughout adulthood. Good rockin’ tunes and nothing to be ashamed of. This film, though, is not really about Journey, the band. It’s about the current lead singer, Arnel Pineda.
Pineda, 47, is a Filipino singer who was discovered via Neal Schon’s late night YouTube obsessing. He was looking for a new singer and this was his find. He and Jonathan Cain, the keyboard player, contacted Arnel and asked him to come do the audition thing. Just like in the film Rock Star he didn’t believe it really was them calling. He tried out and made it. There’s no spoilers in that.
This is a documentary, or close-up look, at Arnel being in the band and how he’s handling it, how the rest of the band handles it and how he lives with his new-found celebrity. He showed that he is a genuine, humble and hard working guy. He takes his position very seriously and loves being in Journey. It also shows his relationship with the other guys in the band, and they are really fond of him. Cain, really takes charge of conditioning Arnel and really is the musical director of the band, even though it’s always been Schon’s baby.
Arnel, when speaking, seems to have a little trouble with the language, which is totally understandable, but when he sings, it’s darned near perfect. He’s energetic and has great stage presence. The film briefly touches on all the other band members, including Deen Castronovo and original Journey bassist, Ross Valory.
I thought this was a great documentary and even made sure that I recommended it to Eugene on Netflix. It was directed by Ramona S. Diaz and was released in 2012. I’m giving the film 4.5 Stars. Watch it for yourself and see if you don’t love it, too.
Until tomorrow, same blog channel…
“Just a city boy, born and raised in South Detroit, he took the midnight train into the night!” – “Don’t Stop Believin'” (Cain, Perry, Schon) from Escape (1981)