Thursday, May 22, 2008

I Love This Story

I was reading GQ this morning while on the throne and came across this story of a rising star who grew up in virtual poverty and was living on the streets since the age of 15. He'd collect cans and bottles to make a living, pulling in about 30 cents a day. For food, some friends would invite him over for dinner, but only if he'd sing for them.

Eventually, this guy met a guitarist and they started practicing cover songs from American rock bands of the '70s and '80s. They formed a band called Zoo and soon developed a loyal following, mostly for their dead-on renditions of their cover songs by the likes of Journey and other rock bands. This, however, wasn't unusual, for the country he lived in was the Philippines, and karaoke stars doing cover songs of American rock bands was nothing special.

Fortunately, for Arnel Pineda (OK, get ready for a really bad and obvious pun), he didn't stop believing....

This is him, playing with the actual group, Journey. Apparently, the lead guitarist of Journey, Neal Schon, came across Pineda on YouTube and was shocked at how accurate his mimicry of former frontman Steve Perry was. So, he called his other band members. Then they invited Pineda out for an audition, along with several others. Here's a recent performance in Las Vegas:

This a radio interview with Journey's Jonathan Cain (you might have to turn up the volume a bit):

Anyway, just thought you'd get a kick out of this like I did. At the age of 40, the guy found international fame, playing with the band he emulated throughout his life.

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