Review: ‘Don’t Stop Believin” Journey Documentary

Don’t Stop Believin’: Everyman’s Journey follows the real life rock ‘n’ roll fairy tale of Filipino Arnel Pineda, who was plucked from YouTube to become the front man for Journey.

The film starts with Journey guitarist Neal Schon recounting scouring the internet looking for singers. He eventually saw Arnel singing in a cover band on YouTube and was blown away by what he saw. Schon emailed Pineda to see if he would be interested in coming to California to audition for Journey.

When Pineda arrived for the audition, as shown in the film, Journey keyboardist Jonathon Cain was not impressed with what he heard, but by the third day of rehearsals, he was convinced Arnel was the new frontman for Journey.

Although Arnel could sing Journey’s tunes perfectly, the band was worried about his abilities as an on stage entertainer. Before their first show with Pineda, Arnel was extremely nervous but adrenaline kicked in and he is shown to be a monster performer on stage. Drummer Deen Castronovo described him as David Lee Roth meets Bruce Lee.

The documentary then flashes back to Pineda’s poor upbringing in the Philippines where he left home at the age of 14 and was homeless on the streets.

By 1981, Arnel was singing in bands and doing Journey covers. There is rare video in the documentary of Pineda singing Journey songs with a band in what appears to be the mid 80’s.

After bouts with troubled relationships, drugs, and alcohol, Arnel was ready to give up being in the music business when his dream came true after receiving the email from Schon.

The documentary follows Journey’s entire first tour with Pineda, which shows the band returning to its former glory and selling out shows nationwide.

The tour eventually hits Arnel’s hometown of Manila where the band plays to a huge audience and he is welcomed home a hero.

This is a great rock and roll story that will renew your love of Journey’s music and long history. The documentary is currently available for download on ITunes, as well as airing On Demand. Check your cable listings for air dates.

-Roberto Boschian, 104.3 WOMC

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