Home Q News Entertainment “Don’t Stop Believin'” — The Story Behind One of Pop’s Most Enduring...

“Don’t Stop Believin'” — The Story Behind One of Pop’s Most Enduring Songs


L-R: Steve Perry and Neal Schon of Journey in 1980; Richard E. Aaron/Redferns (NEW YORK) — It’s been featured on Broadway, and in TV shows as different as The Sopranos and Glee, and in the more than 30 years since its release has proven to be one of pop’s most enduring hits. 

“Don’t Stop Believin’,” by Journey, was first released in October of 1981 – and it’ll definitely be on the set list when Journey returns to their hometown of San Francisco Sunday to play a very special show: San Francisco Fest 2016

Journey’s Jonathan Cain tells ABC Radio it’s “just remarkable” how long that song has endured as long as it has. 

“It’s a song that gives people permission to dream,” says the keyboard player. “You know, it says ‘Go ahead and dream and maybe something will happen. Be positive.’ It’s a song of hope.”

It was Cain who had the initial idea for the song, based on some advice his dad gave him when he was ready to throw in the towel on his music career.

“I called my father and said, ‘Is it time to come back to Chicago and just forget this dream? I just can’t do this anymore,'” recalls Cain. “And he said, ‘OK, well, I’ll send you some money, don’t stop believing.'”  Cain recorded the line in a notebook and years later, when Journey needed another song for their album Escape, Cain says he figured, “[Journey frontman] Steve Perry would sing this!”

“I put together a chorus, and I brought it in that day and we improved it all together,” says Cain. “It was just a beautiful afternoon of constructing something. And then we wrote the lyrics the following day, and that was it.” 

Journey will  join three other famous San Francisco bands — The Steve Miller Band, Santana and the Doobie Brothers – Sunday at San Francisco’s AT&T Park for San Francisco Fest 2016.

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