The song is an anthem but the music video is widely considered to be one of the worst of all time. What happened to Journey when they gathered on a wharf in New Orleans and shot the video for Separate Ways (Worlds Apart)? Let’s break it down:
0:00 — The video starts with a shot of the Louisa Street Wharf in New Orleans. Where’s Journey?
0:03 — There, they are. But where are their instruments?
0:04 — Yes, Jonathan Cain is playing air keyboards.
0:08 — Journey has their instruments now so they look a lot less ridiculous. Still, Jonathan Cain will never live down those air keyboards.
0:21 — A woman in a black leather skirt walks down the wharf. The members of Journey jump out at her. This will prove to be a reoccurring theme throughout the video. The woman was played by a local girl named Margaret Olmstead.
0:35 — Again, Journey has lost their instruments and Jonathan Cain is forced to play air keyboards.
0:41 — If Steve Perry looks more annoyed than usual here, it is probably because he wasn’t happy while shooting this video. This was the first Journey video to have a “storyline,” as opposed to just being edited footage of the band performing. Perry was opposed to the idea. According to Cain, Perry said, “We’re performers, we’re entertainers, but we’re not actors.”
0:51 — Who has stolen Journey’s instruments?
0:54 — At this point, Jonathan Cain’s air keyboards are truly out of control. Is he playing an imaginary synthesizer or is he pretending to be a tiger stalking his prey? Your guess is as good as mine.
0:58 — Not only has Journey lost their instruments but Steve Perry has lost his sleeves.
1:13 — Eagle-eyed viewers will notice that Journey is performing in front of a mattress warehouse. This detail will pay off at the end of the video.
1:27 — At least Jonathan finally found his keyboards.
1:32 — The salesman who sold me my very first used car looked just like Ross Valory.
1:47 — The video was shot on a very cold morning. In between takes, Perry would rush into his camper to try to get warm.
1:57 — The shoot was also tense because of the presence of Perry’s then-girlfriend, Sherri Swafford. Swafford took an intense dislike to Margaret Olmstead and demanded that she be removed from the video.
2:22 — I worked in a warehouse one summer and I can tell you that one thing you never want to do is walk backwards through a maze of palettes.
2:29 — Do you think Steve Smith likes foosball?
2:34 — The members of Journey jumping back and forth and singing while Margaret ignores them is my favorite part of the video.
3:04 — What did they do to Steve’s drums?
3:37 — As if the video hadn’t already flown off the rails, here’s a few minutes of gratuitous slow motion.
4:15 — Say what you will about the video, no one could belt it out like Steve Perry.
4:18 — It was all a dream! That explains so much.
In 1999, MTV named this video as the 13 worst video of all time.