Put Up or Shut Up! An Open Letter To Steve Perry

Thank you for your interest in my Steve Perry essays! They are alive and thriving in their new home…

Chosen Madness
Love, Lunacy, and Steve Perry


7 Responses to “Put Up or Shut Up! An Open Letter To Steve Perry”

  1. 1 Esther Schlobach

    Amen to that! We all love Steve P. but nuff said! What’s he afraid of? So many other singers of his era are still whooping it up! No arena stages necessary, just small, intimate musical venues. We can’t even send him fan mail! I know he’d be snowed under with mail — he can hire me as his secretary!

  2. 2 Deborah Bancroft

    Honest to God, Esther, if i were Steve Perry, I wouldn’t come back out either. And NOT because of my many, uh, ENTHUSIASTIC fans.

    It would be because the critique would be pretty much black and white: can he hit the high notes in [name your song], or can he not. If you’re “The Voice”, and you got to be “The Voice” because you could hit crazy high notes, and because you could do all these nimble little tricks, and because you sang with insane power and control… then how hard is it going to be, especially after such a long absence, to come back out and face that yes-or-no assessment. If the answer is that the high notes are a little less crazy, the tricks are a little less nimble, etc., then how can he still be “The Voice”? And if he’s not “The Voice”, who the hell is he? And who wants to walk out into that kind of nothing? I’d stay home too.

    Of course all of that stuff is bullsh*t, and there’s a LOT more to singing than those things, and Johnny Cash’s version of ‘Hurt’ broke my heart even though he sounded like a rusty screen door, and the old guy might have learned a thing or three that we’d find interesting to hear.

    I wrote more on this subject somewhere — I might resurrect that chunk and post it because I have strong feelings about this topic, being a maturing singer myself.

    Anyway, the point is that as much as I feel justified in my righteous indignation, I do understand his perspective (or what I think might be his perspective, always bearing in mind the fact that Steve Perry Does Not Exist). He tests the waters, does an interview here and there, sees whether the demand is strong enough to justify what he might see as a meager supply. Hearing “WE MISS YOU STEVIE!” has got to be a balm to the lonely soul, but in the final analysis is it enough to counter that very human fear of rejection, of disappointment, of the confirmation that one has lost something so basic to one’s self image? Not to mention the potential drain on the accounts of a man notoriously cautious in that regard?

    You know, whatever. As much as I love me some Stevie P., it seems inevitable that unless he comes up with something relatively soon, at some point he’ll reach out to yank the chain again… and realize that the dog has up and died. And I’ll still have a 7 1/2 hour playlist of that voice so, as I say, whatever. To thine own self be true, Stevie.

    • 3 lara

      cool piece! funny, i wrote something very similar right about the same time you were writing this! great minds channeling each other i think. 🙂

      i posted it in one of my desertusa columns – but then yanked it. sometimes i change my mind. 🙂


  3. 4 Mich Lucas

    That was such a fun read!!! Good for you for gently putting into words how we’ve ALL been feeling for such a long time. So many of us are absolutely hungry to hear him once more that his teasing us with a “possible new release” simply makes us ache. Well worded … much needed … now how can we get him to read it ~~~ 😉

  4. 5 Deborah Bancroft

    I’m glad you enjoyed it, but there is no flippin’ way Steve Perry is ever going to read it! How’s he ever going to see it? I find it hard to believe he’s in the regular habit of Googling himself, and, what, a friend is going to tell him?

    “Steve, dude, I saw the greatest thing yesterday… you gotta see this!”
    “What is it?”
    “It’s an essay about you…”
    “Oh, fer chrissakes…”
    “No, really! It’s really funny!”
    “I’m sure it’s hysterical. But we don’t get internet or cable in the underground lair… sorry, maybe next time!”

    And even if he does read it, I gotta think my opinion doesn’t count for too much in the grand design.

  5. 6 Amy


    I had no idea. Really. Wow.

  6. 7 ohthatdeb

    I had no idea… there was so much going on in the secret underground Steve Perry community…?


    I had no idea… you were such a complete and total nutcake?

    I have a sneaking suspicion it is the latter…!

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