Millions of fans might have been surprised by the ending of “The Sopranos” on Sunday night. But Journey lead singer Steve Perry wasn’t one of them.
That’s because the rocker knew exactly what was coming.
According to an article on MTV.com, the only way the former Journey front man would allow “Sopranos” boss David Chase to use the band’s song “Don’t Stop Believin’” for the series’ final moments was if Chase revealed how the show was going to end.
“I was not excited about [the possibility of] the Soprano family being whacked to ‘Don’t Stop Believin’,” said Perry, who tuned in along with 12 million other fans on Sunday night. “I told them, ‘Unless I know what happens-- and I will swear to secrecy-- I can’t in good conscience feel good about its use.’”
The show’s producers reportedly made Perry promise to keep it under his lid, which he did, and then they spilled the beans on how the song was used and how the show ends, after which Perry signed off.
“There’s nothing more in my lifetime that I wanted than to be part of a band that wrote the kind of music we did when we were together. … When I saw [‘The Sopranos’] last night, what I saw was the director pull back into the foundation that was there all along during the most important moment when all this chaos [is going on]. The song was, literally, cutting from lyric to lyric, from mother to son to James [Gandolfini] at the key moment and on [the lyric] ‘streetlight people,’ it pulls back with the cameras to reveal a streetlight and I said, ‘My God, this director [Chase] got it. He got the song!’ Perry told MTV. “The whole thing blew my mind.”
Fellow Journey member Jonathan Cain, who wrote the song with Perry and Neal Schon, didn’t know how it would be used when they agreed to the licensing. Cain kept the fact that it was going to be in at all a secret, then watched the episode with his family.
“I didn’t want to blow it,” he told The Associated Press on Monday. “Even my wife didn’t know. She looked at me and said, `You knew that and you didn’t tell me?”’
Some have suggested Chase, who has curated two soundtrack albums for his series, and made music a key part of the stories, used “Don’t Stop Believin”’ was part of the elaborate inside joke he made of the final episode.
It’s also possible he found the end of the last verse too hard to resist: “Some will win, some will lose,” Perry sings. “Some were born to sing the blues. Oh, the movie never ends. It goes on and on and on and on … "
Journey released the song in 1981, and it reached No. 9 on the singles chart. And clearly, using it during one of the most talked-about moments of recent TV history hasn’t hurt the song’s popularity.
On Tuesday, the track was listed as #26 on iTunes Top Songs of the Day, as determined by user downloads.