Joey Valentine played by Lorry D'er Cole
Episodes 239 - 393
Joey Valentine had lived all of his life in Westside, but only came to the fore when Toni Windsor saw him playing guitar in the mall. She was amazed by his talent and made it her job to propel him to stardom. She filmed him for her news spot on the WTV8 show, but instead of promoting his music she unwittingly promoted his spot in the mall, which was soon over run with budding musicians all wanting to make some money.
Joey grew up in Westside with a violent father after his mother passed away. He suffered beatings and saw more than a child of his age should have. So, given that words had caused him so much pain, Joey stopped talking and became a mute. Using his music as his emotional outlet, Joey made a solitary but happy life for himself in the squat.
Despite her initial naivety, Joey forms a close friendship with Toni and he becomes a popular figure in the community. His talent is admirable and CJ is sure that with Joey’s guitar skills and Toni’s hidden skills they can become the next big thing. They record a demo with Toni’s band Kon-X-ion and CJ manages to get them a meeting with a major record label. The label are interested but only in Toni. Joey thinks she should go it alone and it’s clear that he’s quite happy playing his music for himself and wouldn’t be able to be moulded by a record company. He supports Toni through her PR process but as the label start to change her he helps her see that she doesn’t need that kind of exposure, and reminds her she’s good enough as she is.
The squat soon becomes a little crowded when Wheels and Jo-Jo move in. Sharing a history of friendship, the three find themselves back in Westside, short of cash and living together at the same time. With Toni feeling she’s not cut out for a career in music, Jo-Jo fronts the band and together with a few old musician colleagues Joey and Jo-Jo become ‘The Liquidators’. With CJ as their manager and Wheels working as their mixer, they begin to make a wage through gigs at Patchetts Pacific. Joey is happy performing but if ever an opportunity arises which means compromising his credibility he shies away from it. He would rather choose his passion over money and that’s often when he and Jo-Jo clash.
With Wheels involved with Sheridan, Joey and Jo-Jo become close and depend on each other. For a short while they even wonder if they could be more than just friends, but their trial date is thrown into chaos when Joey spends another night away from the squat – earning himself a smack in the mouth from Jo-Jo. She demands to know where he is spending all of his time and is convinced he is having a romantic relationship with someone. It soon emerges that Joey is the voice behind Dr Rock – the new DJ in town who had Westside riled up over the whichever issue is hot in the news. Everyone is shocked that Joey has begun talking again, especially Toni who feels that Joey made things hard for her when they first met, due to him not speaking. Joey has found his place on the radio and his show attracts many listeners, making him a bit of an icon. He encourages people to get up and do something about things they are unhappy about. But as popular as he is with the youngsters, George worries that Joey’s show is having a negative affect on Westside by encouraging mob behaviour.
Joey continues playing Dr Rock and uses his show to help Wheels and Sheridan when they go on the run from the police. Due to the help he gives them he is often cornered by Ed Farell – leader of the lynch mob who want Wheels and Sheridan caught, but this doesn’t stop him from doing what he thinks is the right thing.
In awe of her famous friend, Claire Fielding decides she wants to sit with Joey as he produces one of his live shows. Elly reluctantly agrees and she and Bob wait up through the night, as Joey and Claire take to the airwaves. After a successful show, Joey and Claire wait outside the radio headquarters for their taxi home. When there is no sign of it Joey goes back inside to check it’s been booked. When he returns to Claire he is horrified to see she is gone. Within minutes Elly and the police are informed and a search begins for Claire. It soon emerges that one of Joey’s listeners has taken Claire as revenge for not being heard on Joey’s show. He opens up the airwaves and Claire’s abductor Cathy calls in. She is desperately unhappy and confides in Joey that she lost her son many years ago. Listening to the tense conversation, Elly realises she treated Cathy’s son and rushes to the radio station so that she can talk to her herself. Whilst the conversation takes place, Claire escapes to safety. However Cathy is not as lucky and the bomb she had set goes off before she can detonate it.
Joey is racked with guilt over Claire and Cathy and gives up his radio show. Despite help from Jo-Jo he finds it hard to continue, and when a national radio station offers him how own primetime show he declines telling Jo-Jo because of Dr Rock a woman is dead. Joey settles back into life slowly but surely and surrounds himself with all of his friends. He again becomes the strength for everyone else and is on hand to support everyone in their hour of need.
In what seems an unlikely friendship, Joey strikes up a bond with Bob’s brother Jack. They shoot some pool at the pub and Jack gives Joey his beloved pool cue. Joey looks up to Jack in a way and thinks he’s cool. But when Bob dies and the finger of blame is pointed at Jack, Joey feels nothing but anger and has to be held back by Jo-Jo and Jamie when he says that he wants to teach Jack a lesson. He feels he was sucked in by Jacks persona and now has nothing but ill feeling towards him.
Around this time there’s particular sadness for Joey, as Jo-Jo begins to date Jamie. Joey is shocked by the strength of his feelings and realises he is in love with Jo-Jo. With encouragement from Laura he tells Jo-Jo how he feels, but she doesn’t feel the same. The knock back causes Joey to rethink his future, and he decides to take the national radio station up on his offer. Leaving a newly written song for Jo-Jo, he steps into a waiting limo and heads off to pastures new. His gamble pays off and weeks later he sends Jo-Jo a cheque so she can buy their squat and turn it into a café. With their friendship renewed and his heavy heart providing his income, that’s how Joey Valentine exits E Street life.