“Don’t Stop Believin': The Untold Story of Journey”
Omnibus Press (978-1-84938-657-9)
By Michael Popke
Neil Daniels claims this first biography of Journey is the band’s “untold story.” But the book is based on hundreds of previously published quotes from dozens of sources, with nearly 400 endnotes. So this story actually has been told before – not just in one concise volume.
Nevertheless, “Don’t Stop Believin’” is highly readable and thoroughly researched, spanning Journey’s awkward beginnings, the glory years with vocalist Steve Perry, and the drama surrounding the post-Perry years (marked by three different lead singers). Though Daniels lacks a compelling narrative style, Journey’s colorful history provides strong material as he recounts the good, the bad and the ugly.
He also relies on his own interviews with Perry replacements Steve Augeri and Jeff Scott Soto, as well as former longtime Journey manager Herbie Herbert – who emerges as more of a main character than some of the band members. But that’s no excuse for Daniels giving Herbert a free pass with his quotes, calling keyboardist Jonathan Cain an “asshole” and taking relentless shots at Perry; those kinds of comments demand further justification. Many quotes should have been more judiciously edited and fact-checked.
Worthwhile appendices include a detailed discography; a “where are they now?” section for former band members, session players and touring musicians; and a dissection of Perry’s solo career.