Steve Perry in 1981 (Photo: Chris Walter)As far as ’80s pop muses go, she’s right up there at the top along with the Knack’s "My Sharona" and Tommy Tutone’s "Jenny 867-5309." She’s Steve Perry’s ’80s girlfriend Sherrie Swafford, who was the subject of Perry’s 1984 solo hit "Oh Sherrie." She appeared in that song’s video and also inspired such Journey hits as "Open Arms" and "Separate Ways."
Like Journey’s "Don’t Stop Believin’," which was given new life in the final episode of "The Sopranos" and on "Glee," "Oh Sherrie" has enjoyed bit of a comeback thanks to its inclusion in the Broadway production of "Rock of Ages."
Swafford, who has long shied away from the spotlight, was recently found by Marc Tyler Nobleman, author of the Noblemania blog, while he was working on a piece about all the lovely ladies who appeared in the "Separate Ways" video. She declined to be interviewed but gave him a short statement acknowledging that his detective work was spot on and giving him the low down on her current activities.
“MTV, VH1 [contacted me and] I did nothing and hoped they thought it was the wrong number!," she wrote. "I am an esthetician, teach yoga, never married, no children. Love my animals, planting flowers and life. Cherish my friends (including Steve) and my privacy. It was so different for us! It was just Love, nothing else!”
In an interview with the Tampa Bay Times in November 2011, the now 64-year-old Perry recalled his relationship with Swafford, saying, "Sherrie and I were crazy in love, I can tell you that. And it was a very tough time because the band was peaking. And if any woman out there thinks that it would be real exciting to be the girlfriend of somebody in a band like that and that it would be all peaches and cream, the truth is that it’s hard to navigate a relationship when you’re in the midst of such a ride."
We’ve since learned that Perry was involved in a recent relationship with another woman. In June he opened up on his Fan Asylum website, telling the world that he fell in love with psychologist and breast cancer survivor Kellie Nash in 2011, but sadly, her cancer returned and she died in December 2012.
Find out what more ’80s video girls are up to now: