This past weekend, Mrs. Dubbatrubba and I attended a fundraiser concert with our neighbors. The show was called “The Cancer Journey.” (Note to the fundraiser organizers: you’re not exactly “selling the sizzle”… or selling a ton of tickets… with a name like that.)
The reason “Journey” was in the title was because Kevin Chalfant was sitting in with the cover band. Never heard of Kevin Chalfant? Neither had I. So I did some exhaustive research (a.ka. “checking Wikipedia”).
It turns out that Kevin was a rock star. But not quite a big of a rock star as he might’ve been. He was the lead singer of a band called 707 that had a rock hit with “Mega Force” back in 1982. In 1990, he teamed up with a few former (and future) members of Journey, Ross Valory, Gregg Rolle, and Steve Smith, in a band called The Storm.
Released by Interscope Records in late 1991, The Storm hit the album charts and the band’s first single, “I’ve Got A Lot To Learn About Love” surged well into the Top 40 of the Billboard Hot 100. Faring even better at Mainstream Rock radio, the single peaked at No. 6 on the national Billboard charts, and its follow-up, “Show Me The Way” went to No. 22. That spring, the band went on a major US tour in support of Bryan Adams, then at his commercial peak, and playing arenas, moving on to open for Peter Frampton, as well as several headlining dates.From Wikipedia
Wow, two hit songs and tours in front of big crowds… but that’s when fate intervened for the first time:
When it came time to release the second Storm album in 1993, however, the band found their label, Interscope, entrenched in the burgeoning rap scene. The band’s second album, The Eye of the Storm, did not find label release until 1996, and by then the winds powering The Storm had died out.Ibid… and nice “winds powering The Storm” line…
But fear not — Kevin’s connection with the Journey dudes was about to pay off.
By 1993, Journey had been on a nearly seven-year hiatus, and the late-70s lineup was poised to regroup, minus singer Steve Perry, who was in the midst of working on a second solo album. Chalfant stepped in to tackle Perry’s parts for a live performance in October 1993 for a Herbie Herbert roast at Bimbo’s in San Francisco, he performed five songs with Neal Schon, Jonathan Cain, Gregg Rolie, Ross Valory, Steve Smith and Aynsley Dunbar at a roast for manager Herbie Herbert.. Chalfant proved to be a good fit and was invited to formally join the band. Chalfant then began writing material in 1994 with Rolie, Neal Schon, and Jonathan Cain in anticipation of a full album and tour.Same Wiki entry as above
Wow, things are looking up for our friend Kevin. He’s about to become the lead singer for Journey…
By 1995, however Steve Perry had returned for a brief, Grammy-nominated reunion of their early-80s lineup instead, leaving Chalfant suddenly on his own again.
Wow, talk about the mother of all bait-and-switches.
Wheel in the sky keeps on turnin’ / Don’t know where I’ll be tomorrow
So the reformulated Journey keeps on filling arenas and outdoor sheds — with, it should be noted, a lead singer they found on YouTube — and Kevin Chalfant plays casinos and fundraisers with his “Journey Experience” show.
The dude has chops too.
The misquote of Hunter S. Thompson really does apply here.
The music business is a cruel and shallow money trench, a long plastic hallway where thieves and pimps run free, and good men die like dogs. There’s also a negative side.
During his on stage patter, Kevin Chalfant referenced his faith. He seemed happy. At peace. Even though he and his old Journey buddies went separate ways.
If you must go / I wish you luckJoourney “Separate Ways”
Even though “The Cancer Journey” is a terrible name for a concert, it raised funds for a great organization. Cincinnati Cancer Advisors is a non-profit that offers free second opinions to cancer patients.
Cincinnati Cancer Advisors exists to improve the care of cancer patients seeking a second opinion so that they walk away with a thorough understanding of their diagnosis and confidence in their plan of care.
So they give cancer patients more reasons to…. yes, you guessed it… Don’t Stop Believin’.