Don’t es-STOP. Bel-EEEBin.

by Leonard Cervantes

This is old news, but just in case you already didn’t know —

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Legendary rock band Journey has a new lead singer and he’s PINOY! If you don’t know who Journey is, you are probably:

a) a youngin
b) too cool
c) too cool for school

The members of Journey ended up flying Arnel to America for an in-person audition and they signed him on the spot as their new lead singer. It’s the ultimate Cinderella rags-to-riches story and would have been the perfect ending — if not for the racist reactions of some Journey fans.

Rock legends Journey actually went on YouTube to find a new singer when another one of their leads blew their voice out (if you’ve ever tried to sing a Journey song, you know how much strain it is!). The came up with Arnel Pineda, a singer in the Philippines with a band called Zoo.

Journey is responsible for such classic rock hits as “Don’t Stop Believin'” and “Open Arms” (for you kiddies, I think Mariah Carey covered this one). The original vocalist, Steve Perry, had to resign from the group because he blew out his voice. Since then, the rest of the band has made-do with replacement vocalists, none of which have succeeded in capturing the unmistakeable essence of Steve Perry.

Angry comments around the blogosphere included the ridiculing of Arnel’s Filipino accent when he’s making his on-stage banter (last I checked, he IS Filipino), that Journey is an “All-American Band”, to likening Arnel’s hiring to the sweatshop labour that many U.S. corporations use to make their products.

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It’s pretty nuts. Just when you think the world is changing, huh? I know one thing, it’s gonna be crazy fun to go to the show the next time Journey is in town. Those racist rock fans can smell our ulam coats and kiss our brown asses for all I care! Don’t Stop Believin’ we can kick your ass!

Philmusic.com wrote about it first. Give it a read then post what you think about that here on BrownScene.

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3 Responses to “Don’t es-STOP. Bel-EEEBin.”

  1. I felt proud when i first heard that arnel pineda got picked as journey’s front man. I found out about it couple of months ago from a friend of mine who is journey fan (and he’s younger than me! go figure!) It’s amazing how Filipinos are starting to get noticed in the entertainment arena. GO ARNEL..
    LEN, thanks for posting this…..

  2. Way to go Arnel !!!! The journey is back!!!!

  3. omg… tell me why my uncles knew arnel back in the day when they were still living in the P.I. he was so poor he lived wit my uncles and one of my uncles helped him with a plane ticket to vietnam where he did more singing. we are currently trying to get back in touch with him… my uncle two of my uncles wud tell me stories about him… how he could mimic anyone singing on the radio…now here he is!!!.. doin it big! wow..

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