Perry quit the group in 1998 after 21 years as its lead vocalist and after stints with singers Steve Augeri and Jeff Scott Soto, longtime members Neal Schon, Ross Valory, and Jonathan Cain invited Arnel to join the line-up in 2007 after spotting the Philippines native's talents in a YouTube video, in which he performed with his Journey tribute act, Zoo.
Arnel has fronted the group ever since, but reveals he has never had the opportunity to meet Perry, whose songs he sings onstage.
"I'm longing to at least shake his hand," he tells TMZ.com. "I haven't had the chance for it (sic) for the past nine years. I've never met him. I hope we get inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame so maybe I'll get to see him."
The Don't Stop Believin' hitmakers have made the shortlist for the first time for the Class of 2017, and although Arnel isn't part of the line-up being recognised for its achievements, he is just eager to come face-to-face with the rocker he has long admired.
"It's only for the originals," he explains, adding, "I'm OK with that."
Artists are only considered for a nomination into the fabled institution at least 25 years after they released their first single or album.
Journey join the likes of Pearl Jam, Jane's Addiction, Depeche Mode, Janet Jackson, Chaka Khan, Kraftwerk, and Tupac Shakur on the latest shortlist for induction.
The Class of 2017 will be announced in December (16), ahead of a ceremony at the Barclays Center in New York in April (17).