I suppose the idea for BEST came to me last December. I was in Beverly Hills just walking in the rain. There was an exhibition of the photography of Richard Avedon and I’d always been interested in his work so I thought I’d check it out, get out of the rain for a while and then get a glass of wine. I remember a huge white wall with at least 60 different photos–all figurative stuff, all different. It was a very ‘60s approach. I write, play and sing music but I’m also very interested in art. I don’t really see the difference in the different mediums; literature, painting, acting, etc., it’s all expression. I saw the pictures presented that way and considered what its counterpart would be musically and BEST came out of that. I didn’t want to do the obvious thing and simply put out a "Greatest Hits” record as anyone can do that through iTunes. Just download a play list and hey, "presto.”
This collection is called BEST because it’s my best. It’s me putting together my favorite work and it’s totally subjective; I had no one to answer to but myself. It was, I have to say, great fun. I re-sang "Missing You” and "Back On My Feet Again” as the lyrics and melodies had been written literally hours or at most a day before recording the originals so long ago. I always felt I could "do” them better and bring something to them that I’d missed, update the production and make them more vital. And besides, a retrospective was a nice way of looking at my work. I wanted to connect the dots as much for myself as for anyone who might hear it.
I set about the task at hand on my return from England on New Year’s Eve. I’d been making lists over the holidays and decided to simply follow my heart. There was no way I could exclude "Bluebird Café” or "Suicide Life.” I also wanted to add live tracks from my great live band–Tim Hogan (bass), Kerri Kelli (guitar) and Rhondo (drummer)–and I remembered I had a steaming unreleased version of "Every Time I Think Of You” from last year that was so real it bordered on ‘60s soul music. My duet with Alison Krauss on "Missing You” was important to me on a profound level as it showed my love for country, bluegrass and in fact, Alison, whilst "Rough and Tumble” was pure blues rock.
This song is to be featured on the Melodick Rock cd #11
Written by Jesse Harms and John Waite
BBC LANCASHIRE interview: aired nov 25th
Lovely interview, kind of biography written and told by John Waite personally. Topics are his childhood days in Lancaster. Growing up in a terrace cottage house over looking the fields. Telling about his father, mother and brother Jo, en Niece Mary and Cousin Michael who played and got famous in his own right with The Temperance Seven. His first record Apache. But also Love for cowboy music. And how Alison Krauss bought and framed the Marty Robbins album More Gunfighter Ballads and Trail Songs for Christmas. listen and learn about John Waite and his insights on Lancaster.
Fabulous performance : John Waite Suicide Life.
HD Quality with sound quality thats fantastic.
taken from the When You Were Mine Album.
Written in New York when John lived in the The Leonori Building on Madison.
He pointed the building out to me the last time when we met in Februari
New interview with John Waite in the latest Fireworks Magazine !!
read the full interview here:
JOHN WAITE IN CONVERSATION WITH IAN JOHNSON
John Waite a name that conjures up many things to many people. Lead singer
with The Babys and Bad English. A solo artist with multi million selling albums
and a hit single that was number one around the world. John Waite is also a man
who even after thirty and more years in the music business, still wants people
to enjoy his music. He talks with Ian Johnson about the early years, his new
album and surprisingly Canal Barges.
Can I first ask you John, why another live album rather than a studio
Purely inspiration Ian, these guys inspire me and it was an artistic choice
to go out and record a live album with this band. It was never about making
money or anything like that I just wanted to get what we had down on tape. You
never know what’s going to happen
tomorrow, anything could happen, the band could break up someone could get
knocked down (laughs), so I just wanted to capture the moment of playing live
with these guys.
Talking of the new band members Keri Kelli is a hell of an addition, he
really is a great guitarist. What can you tell us about him.
Well what happened was that we had a vacancy in the band and he came along
and filled it, simple as that. A good friend of mine a DJ called Jacky Bam Bam,
told us about the guy so we invited him over to a friend’s house where we jammed for a couple of hours
and it was apparent really quickly that this guy could play. When he knew he was
coming over he’d learnt about eight
or nine of my songs and even though he wasn’t song perfect, I reckon we could have played live that night because he
is that good a player.
To tell you the truth Ian, that was our only rehearsal together before we
performed the live shows, we never played together until we did a live show a
couple of months later. I just gave him and the other band members about fifteen
or twenty songs to learn which they did and then we just got up on stage and
played. I think we play together well, I’m singing a lot better now than I have for years and he’s a great guitar player and the other fellas
are very tight on stage, so everything seems to be working out for us. Also when
your onstage as a singer you need to know that you have the best guitarist you
can have at your side and vice versa, luckily over the years I have had just
that, the best.
The live album was recorded in two parts the first in an old Philadelphia
Church called Philly Sound, which is also a radio station and the second part in
Manchester New Haven. You also opened the doors to anyone who wanted to come for
free, why did you do this.
Again it was the DJ Jacky Bam Bam who invited us to play. I’d been thinking of a new live album even before
Keri came along and when this opportunity came up I thought why not. Tim Hogan
my bass player is from Philly and he was up for it, so the idea for a new live
album took shape from this. Jacky then went on air and invited anyone who wanted
to come down to the recording studio and watch us play to come. The place only
holds about 400 people but it was packed out and it was so hot in the place that
the instruments started to go out of tune because of the heat. I’m really proud that on the whole alum there is
only one overdub and that’s just a
technical thing. What you hear is a totally live album.
You handled the production yourself and it has that wonderful raw feel that a
proper live album should have, are you happy with the sound and how the album
I am Ian, what you get on the album is just us, a band playing live. I
don’t use a lot of effects on my
vocals and I don’t like guitar
players who use tons of effects either. The guys I have been lucky to play with
are great guitarists who know how to play without lot’s of gimmickry. And that’s the John Waite band when it plays live
it’s a warts and all experience. I
really wanted a 70’s sound on the
album and in a live situation I strive for that sound as well. I write music
that can be played in a van driving up the M1, my songs are rock ‘n’
roll songs and I hate stuff that is too overproduced, or live albums that have
had so much work done on them in the studio, that there isn’t any live stuff left on them. The hardest
thing for me during the making of this album was editing the album and deciding
what songs to put on it. When I sat down you see to choose what was going to go
on the album, I didn’t want to just
put out a best of or greatest live hits album, instead I wanted a straight from
the shoulder live release with great songs on it and hopefully that’s what I’ve done.
I imagine that with your back catalogue of work with The Babys, Bad English
and your solo career,that it is hard for you to sit down and choose a
set list that will please everyone. Or do you choose a set of songs that will
please John Waite and hope the fans like what your doing.
No what tends to happen is that I try to do quite a lot of my solo stuff then
I add in a couple of Babys tracks here and there and a few Bad English ones if
we’re doing a long show. But no I
don’t pick songs just for myself,
the show is all about the fans if they are happy then so am I. What I try to do
is pick stuff that suit’s the band
and it’s playing style. Sometimes
you’ll put something in a set and
someone in the band your playing with at the time just doesn’t get the song for whatever reason, so you have
to change that song so that the vibe within the band when it plays live is a
good one. If they don’t get it
what’s the point of arguing about
it? Instead we pull the song and try a new one. Playing in any band is a give
and take situation. I always like choosing songs that have great lyrics and when
you play them in a live setting, you feel a great energy and buzz coming from
the band and audience as they are played. Like ‘Wild One’ which I love but had to leave off the album because as I mentioned
earlier it was so hot in the Church, that Tim’s bass I think went out of tune during the
track and I didn’t want to fix it
in the studio.
Off topic a little John. When you were in The Babys and Bad English did you
ever feel that you and those bands didn’t get a fair chance, with record company politics etc.
To tell you the truth I’m not
sure if anyone else could have survived all the crap that went on and still
would want to continue in this business. I do this because I love it. I love
singing, and playing music and the strange thing is that as all that crap was
going on, I had a worldwide hit single where I sold two or three million
singles. But what you gonna do Ian. Whatever we did in those bands nothing
seemed to go right and I’d rather
leave that question for others if you don’t mind.
No Problem John.
If I may though, what do you think of Tony and Wally reforming the Babys and
were you asked to join.
They did ask and over a two year period there were a lot of e-mails flying
around but I’m very comfortable
with being John Waite the solo artist and I really didn’t want to go back and re-tread the old stuff
once again. Saying that though Ian, I still think our last couple of Babys
albums were five years ahead of anything else around at the time. I’ve also heard the new song by the guys and
it’s very good and I wish them all
the best with it. I still respect Tony and Wally a lot, and I hope that they
have a great time with it.
Can I ask what is John Waite the solo artist going to do next. Another live
album a world tour a studio album, or all of them - what?
I’m going to wait
for a little while and see how the live album goes. I’ve had some of the best reviews in my career
for this album but as we all know you can get great reviews for something and
then the boat can sink. Speaking of which if the album doesn’t succeed and things don’t go well I might just pack it all in (a gasp of no from me). Iremember you see those long summers in
England and watching the barges and narrow boats on sailing along those English
canals. I might just buy myself one of those if things don’t work out with the album and instead
I’ll tour the waterways of England
on my barge. It’s something I have
always wanted to do, so I might take a year off and spend it on the canal. I
bought a book last year all about the heritage of the canals and when I do get
to come back home to Lancaster (North West, England), I spend a lot of time
walking by the side of the canal. So maybe if the new CD doesn’t take off that’s what I’ll do.
I’m not blowing my
own trumpet Ian but I think this is a great live album but we live in a bullshit
showbiz world and if this album doesn’t work, I feel that I’m
probably banging my head against a wall for nothing.
Talking of the North West of England and your home town of
Lancaster, when can we see you over here playing live once again.
Well Ian, I played there a few years back with my American band
which I loved but the problem was you couldn’t get hold of my albums anywhere at all. The
local record shops didn’t hold any
of my stuff, which stops people knowing who you are, which then stops them
coming to your shows. So in a way that’s why I put this album out via I-Tunes, so I could sidestep all that
record release and availability bullshit. If you don’t have any product available in a record store
you don’t have a presence and no
one wants to come and see you. I love getting music from the internet. You can
get the stuff you want right then and there, which helps you to keep your
profile up and running, so when you do a tour people are excited and want to
come and see you. In a nutshell if the album sells then I’ll tour everywhere I can.
I found it interesting that you’re a fan of downloading albums from I-Tunes
etc. Would you ever then consider going down the pledge route and asking the
fans to pay for you to record another album.
God no Ian. What if it was a load of rubbish, what if I took
the money and made a shit album. No I don’t understand the pledge thing, these days you can if you know what your
doing make an album for about £10,000 maybe less. If you can do it this way,
then it’s up to you to make it the
best you possibly can. If someone else is paying and they can’t get in touch with you to say let me hear what
you’ve done so far and if no
one’s there to say that’s shit do it again, you could get away with
murder. I’m not saying any one has
or will do this but personally I’d
rather make my own records and then let everyone decide if it‘s good or bad. Let’s face it with just a little knowledge these
days, you can sit in your garage/bedroom working at your computer and make great
music. The good thing about this, is that the record companies are now on the
back foot because people don’t need
them like they used to. You can do what you want, when you want and surely
that’s what rock ‘n’
roll is all about.
I know you’re a
big fan of country music. Have you ever thought of doing a purely country
I have Ian, I love the storytelling that those guys put into
their music and as you know Nashville is the hit song capital of the world.
It’s strange now though because
country rock sounds more like the stuff I do, than I do and because of this I
now want to make more rock sounding albums that country ones.Again
I’ve been lucky to have been able
to play at the Grand Ole Oprie with Vince Gill and Alison Krauss and that was
something special but again how do you top that. Maybe I’ll go a different route and do a blue-grass
album instead of a mainstream country one but with a very dark edge to the
songs. I know a lot of rock musicians who have moved there because
that’s where the money for good
songs is but you also have to be wary because it’s a very straight laced Christian place, that
has this attitude of, if your not from here or the South, then you’re an outsider no matter what you do. You just
have to work around that.
A question I’ve
been lucky to ask recently is did you ever think that you’d still be making music all these years after
you first started in the business.
Good God no. I knew I always wanted to do something creative
when I was growing up. I went to art college because I wanted at that time to be
a painter but whilst at college I started a band and music became my life. All I
wanted to do from then on was play on a record, even if it was just for the one
time. I knew that I had to make an album. If this happened I thought that even
if it didn’t work out and I had to
go back to my old life, then it wouldn’t be so bad and I could settle down in Lancaster get married live in a
cottage and do normal things I suppose. but. I went off to America for about
five months looking for the right band to be in and then I came home and helped
to form The Babys. The rest as they say is history. I’m especially glad of those early years because
that’s where I learnt to be a song
writer and when you’re a song
writer, it then helps you to become a better singer. You learn your craft over
the years and your life becomes part of your work and even as rocky as my road
has been, I’ve enjoyed almost every
single minute of it. So the roundabout answer is that no I just can’t believe it.
Finally John I really hope that everything goes well with the
album and we do get to see you and the band on tour.
Thanks Ian, it’s
been great to talk with someone from the North of England again and if things
don’t work for me and the album,
you can always come and wave to me as I chug by on my barge.
October 18th 2013
Some random performances from John Waite and his band
First one(s) are from last week a private concert for winners from Rock Cellar Magazine
Head First and Money ( the last one is a rare performance!!!!)
Midnight rendez Vous.
Second from a week before its the Vince Gill song Whever You Come Around
John Waite - Whenever You Come Around - October 5, 2013 at Feather Falls Casino in Oroville, California
Third one from Sault Ste Marie:
Its Everytime I Think Of You
The Hard Way: the full video, never sen before !
Everytime I Think Of You !!! live this month
September 21th 2013
New interview with John Waite from the Rock Magazine:
Quote from this magnificent interview about John Waite "going country "
Question :Would you ever do a pure country album?
John: I sang with Alison Krauss on a couple of her albums and I would love to do it, but one of the reasons I did All Access Live is because everyone has gone country, so the only honorable thing for me to do was to make a rock record. I’m like that…if the trend goes one way, then I go the other.
I made an album called When You Were Mine in 1996 that has strong acoustic values, and tells stories, and it was completely different to what I had done before. I would like to go back and review that and do something like that next, but I don’t think you will ever hear me singing with banjos.
Pict of Nello's : opposite of this restaurant is where John Wrote "when you were mine album"
Vocals - John
Drums - Kenny Aronoff
Bass - Eric Klee Johnson
Guitar - Marc
Hammond Organ - Kevin Silva
August 12th 2013!!
new interview with John Waite in Mayhem Music Magazine
Mayhem Music Magazine: You’ve had a career that has spanned over four decades, form The Babys in ‘76 until your solo career, as well as your time with Bad English. Looking back, are there any parts of your career you wish you would’ve done differently?
John: Alot, a man that says "He has no regrets,” is an idiot. But the fact that we are still talking about The Babys thirty years on, how can you argue with that? I mean,I looked like that. Nobody dressed me. I was wearing vests, suit jackets, I had an earring. And then my boots were made in Kensington, even when I hadn’t got enough money to eat. I mean, that's what I looked like. Nobody said "Look like this.” That’s what I wanted. I think a lot of people construed that as being some sort of record company front, but nobody spoke with me from the record company. I just did believe that I was right. I wrote a song once called "World in a Bottle” and the end, it had a very weird time signature, orchestral thing. I had to go in to meet the conductor, and from the full orchestra, on the Soundstage, to explain the time signature to him, because he couldn’t get it.
John Waite said : " it was a great time. Kerri had been working his way into the songs. The energy
was worth recording. I took a shot at capturing the energy. We were having a
blast and it shows in the performance. I think it was a golden time. It cost a
small fortune to record and some of the shows were just so good it was worth
going after. The band has come a long way and I would like to continue to put
something out every 8 months. It's a great record..... Raw, no overdubs or
bullshit. It's the truth!!!! "
New (old) article about Bad English debut release from 1989 surfaced!!
Its from te leading German Rock magazineBreak Out
They feature the debut album on the cover, and some magnificent reviews which you'll find underneath translated in to English by my friend Christian von Hopffgarten.
Source: Break Out
Pages: pages 28-29 Bad English centerfold,
page 41 three different debut reviews
The magazine included
in this edition a centerfold poster of the band photo, that is also used on the
debut cover. On Page 41 the three different authors review the debut album.
This section was called "Parallel Proof". The following is the translation
of those reviews:
If bands like AC/DC,
THE CULT, AEROSMITH and LED ZEPPELIN belong to your idols and if in recent
times only albums by GUN'S 'N' ROSES,BADLANDS or DANZIG found their way on your record palyer, you may have
problems to get the groove listening to a classic mainstream production. This
won't happen with BAD ENGLISH and their debut, that contains keyboard parts and
highly sophisticated melodic arrangements that are anything else than boring.
Producer Richie Zito - known for his collaboration with CHEAP TRICK - took care
of preserving the edges and some roughness. Probably this hasn't been to
diffcult working with Neal Schon, one of the few mainstream guitar players, who
know how to keep some rock in aor music. Schon's former JOURNEY pal Jonathan
Cain delivers refined keyboard sounds and his variations never seem to be
superflous. First time I heard of drummer Deen Castronovo must haven been six
years ago listening to the debut of the WILD DOGS. Well, the drummer has not
lost his punch. Albeit BAD ENGLISH are an extremly airplay oriented band,
Castronovo plays very heavy; an ace among the drummer's elite. Naturally a
gathering of such extraordinary players needs to be crowned with a first class
vocalist: John Waite (THE BABYS), who is well known among fans of american rock
music. Ricky Phillips on bass guitars completes this line up of experienced
musicians. Right from the start "Best Of What I Got" leaves no doubt
about what the listener will get during the next hour: Highly melodic hard rock
with e perfect balance between the guitar and keyboard ingedients. I am
reminded of Ted Nugent's album 'Predator'. Hopefully this debut does not share
the same fate of Nugent' masterpiece: neglect on the german market. This
parallel proof shoul d arouse your awareness of the class of tzhis album. Three
Break Out writers are rarely of the same opinion, especially when two of them
usually favour classic rock and thrash metal.
In an era where
Sleaze and Glam rule the music scene in the U.S. and speed and thrash metal
become trendy BAD ENGLISH are the glorious exception. Rich AOR oriented
mainstream rock in the succesful style of bands like FOREIGNER, REO SPEEDWAGON,
JOURNEY, NIGHT RANGER and LOVERBOY seems to be their mission. BAD ENGLICH are
anything but newcomers dut to the fact that the band consists of experienced
members of JOURNEY and singer John Waite, who has been successful with his solo
career. Besides, the multi talented Neal Schon just recently published the
extraordinary solo album 'Late Night'. One might wonder, where the source of
his creativity is. Everyone, who wanted BAD ENGLISH to be the JOURNEY folow up,
might be disappointed. The band creates a sound of its own and Waite's vocals
establish a trademark, that is closer to his solo releases than to JOURNEY.
Principally it is inappropriate to highlight single songs of this remarkable
record, but anyone should give a listen to the rocking midtempo tracks 'Best Of
What I Got' and 'Heaven Is A 4 Letter Word' as well as to the ballad 'When I
See You Smile'. No one less than Richie Zito, who worked with EDDIE MONEY in
the past, produced. BAD ENGLISH debut offers more than sixty minutes of first
class music without any fillers. It deserves the label 'special value'.
May we serve another
super group? Without hesitation BAD ENGLISH can be called 'super group' .
That's why this debut did not end up as our monthly newcomer tip. Jonathan Cain
and Neal Schon have been essential for JOURNEY's sound and John Waite can look
back on four mainly excellent solo albums in his discography. The line up is
completed by the sought after session drummer Deen Castronovo and bass player
Ricky Phillips. It's quite obvious that nothing less than above average rock
music could be the result of this debut, that reshapes the genre. Thirteen
tracks and a playing time of more than sixty minutes cover rich hard rock
('Forget Me Not, 'Ready When You Are', 'The Restless Ones') as well as
pittoresque and soulful ballads ('Possession', 'The Price Of Love', 'When I See
You Smile'). It is difficult to highlight songs, because there is not a single
filler. The most potential as an upcoming radio hit may lay in melodic tracks
like 'Heaven Is A 4 Letter Word' and 'Ghost In Your Heart'. Although known for
his work with CHEAP TRICK and EDDIE MONEY, Richie Zito's production is not
overly smooth and maintains the essential rough edges in the music. This lets
the album stand out of many other albums of the genre. It is astonishing that
the album tends more to the musical style of John Waite's solo records than to
the sometimes ostentatious and overtwisted element's of JOURNEY's music.
Keyoboarder Jonathan Cain only sporadically seeks the spotlight ('Tough Times
Don't Last'). Even Neal Schon plays modestly and his voluminous, heavy guitar
sound adds a nice flavour to the sound instead of dominating it. Nevertheless
his masterclass is heard in any tone. As the last chords of the calm 'Don't
Walk Away' end the album, one thing is definite: BAD ENGLISH offer more than an hour of pure rock and
forego any of the typical image obscurities of the genre. Any complaints?
March 31th 3013.
Full video performance of the March 30th show in the Coach House.
John Waite's Missing You in "Warm Bodies "The Movie
John Waite was interview by Entertainment Weekly Magazine february 13th:
Rocker John Waite went to the movies in Los Angeles a couple of days ago to see Warm Bodies. His 1984 hit "Missing You” plays during a pivotal part of the Jonathan Levine film–a moment where the action shifts from the terrifying to the tender. "I was really very pleased,” says Waite. "It’s a great movie.”
For those who haven’t yet seen it, the movie is based on the Isaac Marion novel of the same name and takes place after an unnamed catastrophe has obliterated much of the planet, leaving behind a population of zombies. One in particular, R (Nicholas Hoult) eats the brains of Julie’s (Teresa Palmer) boyfriend, ingests his memories, and falls in love with her. Because he’s a zombie he can only grunt and groan, so music plays an important part in the wooing process. The soundtrack for the film is filled with welcome surprises: "Patience” by Guns ‘N Roses, "Hungry Heart” by Bruce Springsteen, "Rock You Like Hurricane” by the Scorpions and "Midnight City” by M83.
But, says Jonathan Levine, the "Missing You” addition almost didn’t happen. "I’d love to take credit for this, usually I do for music but that’s something my music editor put in. I’ll take credit for liking it,” says Levine, who had written "I Remember You” by Skid Row into the script for that scene. But, he says, "It didn’t work rhythmically and we put ["Missing You"] in and everything just clicked.”
Waite says that he wrote the lyrics to the number one song in about ten minutes. "I took the first line of the song from a baby’s song–every time I think of you–to get me going,” he says. "Then I wrote the entire thing without stopping. It was a magical thing that happens when you’re flying. I think that’s why it has some wings–it’s unpretentious. This all sounds rather lofty but it really was from the heart.”
Februari 12th 2013.
John Waite meets president Clinton
This proud story was featured in the Lancastrian Guardian, the local paper from John's hometown.
Published on Thursday 14 February 2013 13:13
ONE of Lancaster’s favourite sons has joined forces with a former President of the United States for a very good cause.
ONE of Lancaster’s favourite sons has joined forces with a former President of the United States for a very good cause.
Rock star John Waite met Bill Clinton at a recent health summit at the swish Ritz Carleton hotel in Laguna Beach, California.
Lancaster-born John, famed for his worldwide smash ‘Missing You’, is friends with Joe Kiani, the medical entrepreneur who hosted the Patient Safety, Science and Technology conference.
The event aimed to sign up manufacturers and developers of health monitoring devices hoping to reduce unnecessary patient deaths in the USA.
Kiani, owner of leading health technology company Masimo, has been described as the "Bill Gates of the medical world”.
"It’s a very moving thing – many of us have had loved ones who have been in care and didn’t survive,” said John, speaking exclusively to The Visitor from his home in Santa Monica, California.
"Joe is trying to create a database where every doctor can have access to every patient’s complete medical history.
"President Clinton gave a tremendous speech.”
Waite, who was educated at the Storey Art College in Lancaster, has enjoyed two number one hits in America – ‘Missing You’ in 1984 and ‘When I See You Smile’ as lead singer with Bad English in 1989.
‘Missing You’ was also a Top 10 hit in the UK and was covered by Tina Turner.
The rocker, 60, returns home to Lancaster on a regular basis.
He played a live gig at the Grand Theatre in 2011 and was back for three weeks at Christmas to visit friends and family, including his proud mum Veronica, who lives in Scotforth.
"Lancaster is still very much part of my life because it’s a great city,” he said.
"I’m currently mixing an album and working on just a few bigger gigs this year, which opens up more time for me to come home.
"I was just thinking, why is it that the first thing you see driving into Lancaster is a KFC?
"I’ll be back in the spring for a nice holiday. You’ll find me in the Boot and Shoe!”