Steve Perry Kept Two ‘Traces’ Songs Hidden From Late Lover
Steve Perry explained why he’d kept two songs from his comeback album Traces hidden from his late girlfriend, Kellie Nash, who inspired him to return to music before her death.
The LP, released today, is his first work in 24 years, and comes after the former Journey singer rediscovered his love for music.
He previously told how he’d met Nash while she was dealing with cancer for the second time, and that she said to him, “If something was to ever happen to me, make me a promise that you won’t go into isolation again. … I think it would make this all for naught.’”
By the time she died 18 months after they’d met, he'd started working on Traces.
In a new interview with Classic Rock, Perry revealed he hadn’t let Nash hear “Most of All” and “In the Rain” from the album. “I wrote [‘Most of All’] with Randy Goodrum, the same guy that co-wrote ‘Foolish Heart’ and ‘Oh Sherrie’" from Perry's solo debut, Street Talk, he said. “It was around even before I met Kellie. I didn’t tell her about it to avoid affecting her struggle. But after she passed, I remembered it on my hard drive and realized that it was about her before I even met her, and now it’s even more about her after I lost her. It’s a very important song on this record."
He said "In the Rain” was also written before Nash "came into my life. It deals with profound loss. The lyrics are really poignant in a visual sense. They paint photographs – ‘Your face in a photograph/Staring back in silence/Pretending you’re here tonight’ … That’s what it was like for the two years after I lost her. I sat in my house alone. I no longer have escape behaviors; I behave myself these days, so I had to feel the pain. It was pretty hard. Again, I didn’t play that one to Kellie for the same reasons I just mentioned. She got to hear rough sketches of a lot of the record, but I kept those two completely secret from her.”
Perry also discussed the balance of tempos on the album. “There’s a lot of emotion on the record," he said. "I’ve heard that it doesn’t rock enough, but if I rock a lot, some demand to know where the ballads are.”
He added that Nash "would love this record, but more importantly she’d be proud that I kept my promise to her and made another record – something I swore that I would never do.”