Sunday, April 29, 2012

"Don't Stop Believin': Everyman's Journey" - Tribeca Film Festival's Documentary Film About Discovering "Journey" Lead Singer, Arnel Pineda

Last night, the final screening of the new documentary "Don't Stop Believin': Everyman's Journey" was held at the SVA Theatre 1 in Chelsea as part of the Tribeca Film Festival. Ramona Diaz's film tells the story of how "Journey", the iconic, quintessentially American rock band who recorded eight platinum-certified albums during their heyday between 1978 and 1986, discovered a lead singer in a manner befitting this internet age: they found him on YouTube. Arnel Pineda is a soft-spoken band member and "cover singer" from the Philippines. Pineda had been on his own since he was 13, even homeless for several years. He eventually made a decent if not extravagant living as a musician, singing a mix of originals and covers, for a time in Hong Kong and then in Manila. In 2007, his life took a dramatic turn. An ocean away, Journey guitarist Neal Schon was desperate for a new lead singer to replace Steve Perry, his band having auditioned and rejected countless singers. Messing around on YouTube late one night, Schon spotted Pineda singing "Faithfully" and other Journey hits. Stunned by how precisely Pineda mimicked the voice of Steve Perry and other rock singers including Bon Jovi, and Don Henley, Schon was enthused but wary. The film chronicles the audition process and how he was eventually hired as the frontman. The movie then follows Pineda as he embarks on a global tour with the band and attempts to adjust to life on the road. One of the highlights was the band's performance in Manila of "Don't Stop Believin", the most downloaded track recorded in the 20th century. It is also the most "covered, karaoked, and parodied song in modern music history. Ramona Diaz was in attendance last night and she answered questions from the audience after the screening.

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