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Review: Cinderella tale of Journey's Filipino lead singer is fascinating
Don't Stop Believin': Everyman's Journey (Monday, 9 p.m., PBS/Ch. 7) tells a story that would be impossible to believe if it wasn't true.
It's the story of Arnel Pineda, a down-on-his luck Filipino singer who battled addiction, who nearly lost his family, who was about to quit the business. And then Neal Schon, the guitarist for the band Journey, saw Pineda on YouTube and found a new lead singer for the band.
It's a little more complicated than that, but not a lot more. Which is pretty unbelievable.
In 2007, the band was looking for a lead singer. They'd had a couple of others after Steve Perry left, but neither worked out in the long term.<
"I'd been looking non-stop,
honestly, for two days, like, day and night, and I'd just about given up," said Schon. He finally came across YouTube videos of Pineda and quickly decided, "This guy's the real deal.
I listened to him do everything in the genre from Led Zeppelin to Journey and
everything in between. The Police, Aerosmith -
which is not an easy voice to do either, Steven
Tyler. Like I said, Robert Plant. And then a zillion other artists. And I thought I've
never heard anybody that could really be such a
chameleon and do it so authentically. And I was just taken aback by his talent.
"The more videos I watched of Arnel -- he had about
40 of them up - the more I was just astounded."
But he had to find a way to get in contact with Pineda. And then the tough part was getting Pineda to believe this was for real.
Pineda's first reaction, not surprisingly, was, "This guy, he's nuts. He's crazy. He's not real. This is a hoax. They're just trying to scam me for money."
Schon and Pineda emailed. They talked on the phone. But Pineda still wasn't altogether convinced and insisted on a face-to-face meeting over the Internet.