This is a short and grumpy e-conversation with John WAIT [yes, WAIT, someone apparently forgot to include a "e" somewhere? Nope, not anyone at RockUnited.com, but rather someone at his promotional department? Anyhow, all hell broke lose]. John WAIT is the ex-Babys & Bad English [surely he must see the irony?] singer, with massive hits such as "When I See You Smile" [#1 in 1989] and "Missing You" [as a solo artist]. His latest release is a compilation CD with laidback and unplugged versions of old material and a couple of new ones. One of the below answers is already classic stuff (you'll notice which one of them). It's also the only proof of some real rock'n roll attitude lately.
Hello John, how are you? "Downtown Journey Of A Heart" sounds like a very personal thing and description. Could you let us in on the real story behind the title.
John: The title was taken from Johnny Thunders "Diary Of A Lover" It started out as a very straight forward " Greatest Hits" for Europe but I got bored and decided to put a twist on the songs. There hadn't been an official release overseas for 4 years. It's not really for anyone who knows my work, more a crash course in my style.
"Downtown Journey Of A Heart" has been received with positive and negative feedback from the press. Do you ever pay any attention to what the deadbeats are actually writing?
John: I don't read too many reviews, I don't really fit into anyone's idea of who they think I am. Take it anyway you like just spell my name right!
OK, does it feel like you've reached a certain point in your life, where loud guitars are definitely out of the question? Have you slowly but safely turned into your parents ;-) :-)
John: Fuck off!
Okie-dokie... there's been two somewhat similar John Waite releases lately, "The Hard Way" and "Downtown Journey Of A Heart". You're not afraid that you could scare away any potential buyer with the re-recorded material?
John: It was meant to catch people up with what I'd done...... I prefer the new versions of the older songs. "Missing You" is really great. Then again if you like the old version better; play that.
Would you say it's harder being a recording artist in the year of 2006 rather than 1976 or 1986. Considering internet, downloading, budget, etc, etc.
John: If you're doing good work and moving forward you're winning. If you live in the past you're dead.
By the way, it's now been 30 years since your first album with The Babys. Congrats, could you ever imagine being a professional musician for this long back in the early days?
John: I was afraid I'd never last 3 years. It's far from over.
Do you feel fortunate (a popular American phrase) or has it been a struggle and hard work?
John: Work is getting up at 6am. to do something you don't want to do. I love my life. I really paid some serious dues. It was never work.
Any chance you could release the John Waite/Bad English demos from the 80's one of these days? We would love to have them all on a CD, two... or three?
John: I Don't Release Demos.
Do you find it difficult to talk about the 80's? Are you fed up with journalists asking you about this special time and era? [nope, we're not ashamed to be major fans of the 80's at RockUnited.com].
John: People like to compartmentalize artists. My 80's were guitar driven. I had a ball in the 70's too. Actually, the 90's were pretty cool as well!
You've worked with several big "songsmiths", like Desmond Child and Diane Warren. Were these collaborations suggested by record companies or how did you meet up? And did you enjoy working with them?
John: Whoever I work with it's pretty spontaneous. I usually jam with the guitar player.
There was a crazy rumor about a Bad English reformation a few months ago, actually an interview on our site was mentioned as the source (never mind that the last one we did with you was in 2002 or thereabouts). Have you ever even talked about the possibility in any media?
John: Not me, I'm the guy that left. I've read that you were once considered as the vocalist for Foreigner, but it didn't work out. Can tell us about that experience - how far did it go, did you rehearse with the group?
John: It was never going to happen, I really wouldn't do it. I don't see the point.
Could you tell us a little bit about your acting days on "Paper Dolls". How the heck did you end up in such a soap opera in the first place? :-)
John: They paid me an huge amount of money.
You've had band experiences, but most of the time you've been a solo artist. Do you prefer going solo?
John: The band I tour with is a flat out rock band. About a third of the gigs are unplugged (that's Waite with an e).
W-t-a-i-e?... The Northern Europe is a bit of an unexplored territory for you I believe. We'd like to see you over here in Scandinavia, any touring plans for Europe?
John: We tour the U.K. in November. If theres any demand to play in Scandnavia we'd love to come. That's the whole point of releasing "Downtown Journey of a Heart" (that's Waite with an e!).
W-i-t-a-e? Thanks for everything, if there's anything you'd like to say, add, or promote, please do:
Final RU words: So, what did we learn from this conversation with John? well, 1: never make any jokes about him or his persona, since he lost all of his sense of humour during WWII. 2: His name is WAIT, 3: comedy is overrated?. 4: the fuck off reply is classic schtuff. 5: let me just say that he's still a favourite singer and songwriter here at RockUnited.com 6: "Music rules - musicians don't". 7: ahww... who gives a toss... we're all a bunch of deadbeats anyhow...
www.RockUnited.com (c) 2006