Back in September, my wife and I had a chance to see Journey and Def Leppard in Las Vegas. Since we were going to be in Vegas anyway, we jumped on it. It was one of those times when the stars aligned perfectly. Journey was the second concert I had ever seen when I was a teenager. Back in the days before Netflix and cell phones. Yes, kids, those didn’t always exist. Journey’s show in Las Vegas was amazing, and even though my wife and I were primarily there for Journey, I was also there to see Arnel Pineda.
The story of Arnel Pineda is a unique one. But first, a little Journey backstory. The band’s iconic lead singer, Steve Perry had quit in 1995. They found another Steve (Augeri), who carried the lead vocal duties until his voice gave out for good in 2006. Both Steves had long hair and big honkers, so unless you were a big fan, you probably didn’t notice. Journey had a tour booked in 2007, and suddenly the band had no lead singer. Neal Schon and Jonathan Cain began surfing YouTube, desperately searching for someone who could get them through the tour. Enter Arnel Pineda.
Pineda was on the verge of giving up his singing career in the Philippines. Then he got an email from Neal Schon. Of course, he dismissed it as a hoax and ignored it. After Arnel was prompted by his friend, (who Schon had contacted for Pineda’s email address), he responded. Schon called back within ten minutes. After Arnel got the gig as Journey’s lead singer, he became an instant millionaire. This was great news for his wife and young son, who he had been supporting with his shaky singing career. This was Journey’s most popular song, in action. Pineda has now been Journey’s lead singer for over ten years, and he was incredible in Las Vegas. He had been on the verge of giving up, then his life was changed by a single phone call. Don’t Stop Believin’, indeed!
His story is chronicled in the documentary Don’t Stop Believin’: Everyman’s Journey
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