JOURNEY vocalist Arnel Pineda (pictured) says that the door is open for the band’s former lead singer Steve Perry to rejoin group, saying that “it’s [Steve‘s] righteous place” and explaining that he wants to see Perry and his JOURNEY bandmates “happy together.”

Although the pipes were a bit rusty, Perry thrilled audience members on Sunday night (May 25) during a surprise appearance within the encore set of alterative rockers EELS in Saint Paul, Minnesota. According to The Pulse Of Radio, Perry — whose rumored return to JOURNEY has been the cause of rock gossip and band denials for several years — joined in on the EELS‘ song “It’s A Motherfucker”, which Perry had previously included on his iTunes celebrity playlist.

Following that, Perry and the band launched into two JOURNEY classics — 1981’s “Escape” power ballad “Open Arms” and 1979’s “Departure” album standout “Lovin,’ Touchin’, Squeezin'”.

After a JOURNEY fan tweeted a link to a video of Perry‘s performance to Pineda, Arnel responded: “He should come back. His voice is still there. [I] missed that voice.” The fan continued the conversation, writing: “It will be cool if [Steve would] come to one of your shows and just come up and sing with you guys. That will definitely be epic.” Arnel then wrote: “He can take over too. It’s his righteous place anyway. [I] wanna see them happy together.” When the fan praised Arnel for being so “modest” and “humble,” Pineda replied: “We are all but transits in this world. Borrowed time is all we have. We do what we can while it’s in our favor.”

After announcing in April that he was recording a solo album, Arnel said: I’d be more than happy to give way. As long as they need me, I will be there. I’m never gonna quit on them.”

On Tuesday (May 27), he tweeted: “Let me be clear. I took JOURNEY‘s leap of faith ‘coz they generously gave it to me. Yet I’ll never be addicted to fame.”

Pineda was previously rumored to be leaving JOURNEY back in February, citing the demands that the band’s touring schedule places on his family. However, he shot down those reports, saying in a statement: “I am as happy to be in JOURNEY today as I was when I first joined the group. Next to my family in Manila, JOURNEY is my family. When I’m not working, I spend time at home with my wife and kids, and my foundation. Now, I am busy preparing for our tour with STEVE MILLER BAND and TOWER OF POWER. I wish whoever is making up these lies would put their time to good use and stop spreading these false stories.”

Perry told The Pulse Of Radio that the passage of time only further solidified his opinion of how incredible JOURNEY was during its heyday. “What a great band we once were,” he said. “What a great band. I think the older I get, the more I’m able to look back at the forest now, ’cause I certainly walked out of the trees. I think everybody was just following their heart and their nose and following that lead. Just doing what we do. We’re a band. We record, we rock, we instinctually reach for what we believe’s a good idea — and argue about stuff, agree, disagree and move forward. And we were just crankin’.”