Steve Perry reflects on his time with Journey

The singer left the band in the late '90s.

Perry, who left Journey in the late '90s, didn't sing at the ceremony, but he did greet his former bandmates warmly on stage and made a heartfelt speech, sharing fond memories of his time with them.

"It was a complete family affair," Perry told ABC News about the tight-knit relationship between Journey, their crew and their management. He's particularly grateful to manager, Herbie Herbert.

"He heard my demo tape and believed in me and told the band, 'You gotta listen to this tape, I think this is the guy that should be the singer,'" Perry recalled. "[He] honestly made my dream come true, and I'm still living that dream today."

The songs Perry recorded with Journey -- "Faithfully," "Separate Ways," "Open Arms," "Who's Cryin' Now" and, of course, "Don't Stop Believin'" -- are still radio staples. He thinks that's because the band was "honest with ourselves" and kept "reaching for ... timeless performances."

"I think that's probably one of the biggest things that would separate Journey from a lot of the people at that time ... we really reached for something different," he notes.

Journey was inducted by Train frontman Pat Monahan, who said he moved to San Francisco from Erie, Pennsylvania because he heard Journey's song "Lights."

"[It] made me think that maybe I could fit in there and be someone," he told the crowd. "This band changed my life."

The 2017 Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony airs tonight at 8 p.m. ET on HBO.