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Mike Wise on Journey

Since this is the Interweb's No. 1 spot for information on the America's Cup of Polo, the horse-and-rock-and-gourmet-food-fest that Leesburg will unleash on the world this weekend, I wanted to touch on the other time in my life that Journey, the band, interacted with the glamorous world of sports media.


Thinking of you, Mike.

That would be August 17, 2003, my birthday, when Mike Wise (a famous New York Times sportswriter I had not yet met) poured out his heart in the Times's Style section. He was writing about youth and wisdom and reconciliation and his favorite rock band. He was writing, friends, about Journey.

HERSHEY, Pa.--Steve Perry was on the other end of the phone and, unbelievably, I was interviewing him. Soon, he would break into a Journey song. Honest.

Thirty-nine is supposed to be too old to be like the awestruck kid in "Almost Famous," Cameron Crowe's movie about a teenage rock 'n' roll writer who hangs with the band. But you weren't there in 1983, when Mr. Perry, the rock idol of my youth, was crooning the chorus to "Separate Ways (Worlds Apart)."

"Some day, love will find you/ Break those chains that bind you."

I rushed the stage from the sixth row. He looked and pointed right at me in my concert T-shirt.

It only gets better, if you can believe that. Wise talks about listening to "Don't Stop Believin'" while riding in his VW Bug. He talks about listening to "Send Her My Love" after his first love gouged out his heart. He talks about his dreams of reuniting the guys. He hangs out with the band members. He gets this quote:

"You go to a Journey concert to make out or meet a girl," said Deen Castronovo, who has been the band's drummer for five years. "You go to Metallica to get punched."

Wise's dreams of reconciling Perry with Journey did not come true by the end of the story, but he does close his eyes, "hoping to see and feel 1983." One day, perhaps, maybe following an international polo match and maybe not, Mike Wise and I will close our eyes together during "Don't Stop Believin'," and together we'll attempt to see and feel 1983, possibly while drinking PoloRitas, possibly not.

By Dan Steinberg  |  May 11, 2007; 11:07 AM ET
Categories:  Weirdness  
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Comments

It doesn't get much better than Don't Stop Believin'.

Posted by: Skin Patrol | May 11, 2007 11:32 AM | Report abuse

Wow, I always figured that if I went to h.s. with Wise, I would have made fun of him.

Posted by: mike | May 11, 2007 11:36 AM | Report abuse

Hmmm...does this mean that Wise is also a fan of Styx, Boston and REO Speedwagon in addition to Journey?

After all, all of those bands sound the same.

Posted by: DK | May 11, 2007 12:02 PM | Report abuse

Suddenly the wardrobe makes a lot more sense.

Posted by: Unsilent Majority | May 11, 2007 1:13 PM | Report abuse

Dear Mike,

I'm having a Bread with David Gates party soon. If you can attend, please bring the Zima....Nothing makes a party like "Baby I'm A Want Choo", or any cutting edge Journey.

I think if Mike Wise ever made it as a big leaguer, he'd have "Oh Sherie" play as he comes up to bat.

Posted by: Submit & Preview | May 11, 2007 1:14 PM | Report abuse

"Some day, love will find you/ Break those chains that bind you."

oh the high school memories that brings back!

Posted by: b | May 11, 2007 1:22 PM | Report abuse

my excitment for tomorrow is almost at a peak after reading this ... BogTV is going to be all over this one folks ...

Episode #16: Mike Wise Loves Journey

Posted by: littles | May 11, 2007 1:34 PM | Report abuse

This justifies everything I've felt about Mike Wise. Good work, Steinz!!

Posted by: Lamont Trellington | May 11, 2007 2:20 PM | Report abuse

Kornheiser was right about Journey. He said they sounded like all those other 80s hair bands. I can just imagine Wise and Steinberg holding up their lighters after Open Arms. This is just a sad day for the Post sports department.

Posted by: Steveareno | May 11, 2007 2:21 PM | Report abuse

I have always been a big Mike Wise backer. Every time Kornheiser took a cheap shot at him I thought it was mean-spirited. Every time he wrote something controversial that no one would have the courage to write, I gave him credit for it. But my support ends today. Journey, Mike? How could you?

Posted by: ralph from silver spring | May 11, 2007 3:12 PM | Report abuse

In honor of Dan Steinberg's maiden voyage to see the greatest band of all time tomorrow night, I have decided to post today. That and, well, I'm waiting for the Comcast guy to fix my ON DEMAND.

Some of you will never know the majesty of Journey, I know. And I feel sorry for every one of you. But don't be disrespecting the people who brought you "Open Arms" on prom night. Or "Lights". Or "Lovin', Touchin', Squeezin'," which has some great bluesiness to it. It's not right.

Lastly, comparing Journey -- the magical pipes of STeve Perry -- to REO Speedwagon, Styx, et al., is probably one of the great blunders in talk-radio annals. My colleague's moonlighting as an informed and learned music critic ended right there for me. Tony should know better.

Journey 4 Eva.

Posted by: mike Wise | May 11, 2007 3:24 PM | Report abuse

You think Wise has got Journey's #!,catch his Bon Jovi Karoke sometime...

Posted by: WGDC- | May 11, 2007 3:39 PM | Report abuse

Mike,

This:

"Lastly, comparing Journey -- the magical pipes of STeve Perry -- to REO Speedwagon, Styx, et al., is probably one of the great blunders in talk-radio annals."

Uhh, Mike, it's not talk radio that made these comparisons. It was only about 1.2 million rock critics who said the same thing about Journey back then. Were you too stoned on wine coolers & Zima to have read them?

What are you going to suggest next - that the Hyundai Accent is one of the classic sedans in automobile history?

Posted by: Submit & Preview | May 11, 2007 3:59 PM | Report abuse

The very ones who listened to all the 1.5 million rock critics who suggested that Journey was just another Styx or REO or "corporate rock" are probably the same who have their CD collection filled with boy bands and gansta rap!

Journey is and was one of the most talented rock bands of all time. While the other bands of that era had some good hits, Journey was legendary. If anything, all of those other bands rode the coat tails of Journey. Their music has stood the test of time. Not many of those other bands have had the same legacy.

Posted by: Greg Sykes | May 14, 2007 12:02 PM | Report abuse

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