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ARNEL, Cherry and Cherub in their Quezon City home.




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INQUIRER EXCLUSIVE
Arnel Pineda seriously planning for life after Journey

By Pocholo Concepcion
Philippine Daily Inquirer
First Posted 20:47:00 08/10/2010

Filed Under: Music, Celebrities

MANILA, Philippines?Arnel Pineda knows how it feels, as Bob Dylan sang, to have ?no direction home, like a rolling stone.? That?s why he?s putting to good use the money he?s earned, thus far, as the Filipino lead singer of the American rock band Journey.

Apart from having built a spacious house in Quezon City, which he shares with wife Cherry and their son Cherub, the 42-year-old Arnel has been investing in real estate. With a business partner, he?s likewise putting up something very close to his heart?a music club, generically named Rock Bar, set to open in late October on Timog Avenue, QC.

?I know I won?t be singing forever with Journey? if we?re good for 10 more years, why not? I can go on until the guys don?t need me anymore,? he told the Inquirer on Monday.

Soon, a movie

Life?s been good to Arnel since Journey?s comeback album, the double-CD ?Revelation,? went platinum; the world tour to support the album did 150 shows in two years.

Arnel recalled the band canceling a gig only once, in Las Vegas, when he lost his voice. He was rushed to Los Angeles to be treated by a doctor whose clients have included Eddie Vedder, Axl Rose, Steve Tyler and the late Michael Jackson.

Journey had its heyday in the 1970s and 1980s, but is currently enjoying a resurgence?thanks to popular TV series ?The Sopranos? and ?Glee,? that used the band?s classic hits in their soundtracks.

Royalties still pour in for the band?s songwriters, Neal Schon, Jonathan Cain and Steve Perry?something that Arnel wishes could also happen in the Philippines. ?The Eraserheads, Bamboo, Rivermaya, After Image and other Pinoy bands would be richer kung maayos ang royalties nila,? he said.

He has no problem with his current status in Journey: ?We have a gentlemen?s agreement ? Everything is up-front?how much the pay is from the album, the tour, the merchandise, the movie ??

Awkward

The movie is ?Don?t Stop Believin?: Everyman?s Journey,? a documentary on the band by Fil-Am filmmaker Ramona Diaz, reportedly for release next year.

Arnel confessed he?s not exactly thrilled about the docu: ?I felt awkward being followed around by the camera. Hindi naman kasi ako feeling artista. All my life parang I have remained mahiyain, kilala lang ng mga mahilig sa slow rock at mataas na boses.?


But he?s writing a story inspired by a loyal, hard-core fan who became a friend. He?s pitching the story to a TV network for a possible teleserye.

He?s flying back to the United States on Sept. 15 to resume recording for Journey?s still-untitled new CD. He said he?s contributing two tracks, both ballads??She?s A Mystery,? co-written with his brother Eric, and ?To Whom It May Concern,? a collaboration with Journey co-founder and lead guitarist Neal Schon.

?Before we record again,? Arnel volunteered, ?I have to meet with this English teacher in San Francisco for speech lessons. I still have a hard time with some tongue-twisting words in the lyrics. And I have to sing with an American accent.?

He?s not complaining, not at all: ?Yung leap of faith na binibigay ng banda sa ?kin to take up the same spot where Steve Perry used to stand, in front of thousands, that alone is a big honor and privilege.?

He?s so thankful of his fortune, that he?s helping out street children through the Arnel Pineda Foundation Inc. (AFPI), whose mother unit was established in the United States last year. ?People have been helping me since I was 15?actually, 13 pa lang pagala-gala na ?ko.?

After medical-dental missions and donations to poor communities, AFPI will soon launch a mobile education project, much like what CNN?s 2009 Hero of the Year Efren Peaflorida pioneered.

To raise funds for the project, Arnel is performing in a special gig on Sept. 11 at Metro Bar on West Avenue, QC. Backing him up is the Ammo Band, composed of his old mates in The Zoo.

The future looks bright in Pineda?s eyes. When he?s old and gray, he said, he would like to manage young, hardworking talents.



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