By Lynn Marie
As a solo artist and as the lead singer of the Baby’s and Bad English, John Waite was the fixture of album-oriented rock radio stations during the 1970’s and 1980’s. Waite has a talent for power ballads and driving arena rock, occasionally touching on new wave styled power pop as well. Though he didn’t consistently have hits, several of his songs including “Missing You,” the Baby’s “Isn’t It Time,” and Bad English’s “When I See You Smile” became radio staples.
John Waite formed the Baby’s in London, England in 1976 with Wally Stocker (guitar), Mike Corby (vocals, keyboards), and Tony Brock (drums). Initially conceived as a teen pop band, the Baby’s earned a record contract based on the strength of a video demo they constructed with producer Mike Mansfield. Chrysalis pushed the band heavily, resulting in “Isn’t It Time” becoming a hit in the U.S. and U.K. in 1977.
As their career progressed, the Baby’s began to experiment with synthesized, new wave-inspired power pop, which resulted in a handful of minor hits.
Jonathan Cain became the band’s keyboardist in 1978, and he and Waite developed a close relationship. When Cain left the Baby’s to join Journey in 1981, the group disbanded.
Waite began his solo career the following year, releasing Ignition on Chrysalis. While the album generated the hit “Change,” his second album 1984’s No Brakes, became a genuine Top Ten hit on the strength of the number one single “Missing You.”
While “Missing you” was an international smash, eventually becoming one of the best-remembered songs of the early MTV era, No Brakes produced only one other hit, the Top 40 “Tears.”
In February of 2011 the title track from his tenth solo album “Rough and Tumble” went number one on Classic Rock radio.
“It’s just where I’m at in this moment, explains Waite. I think the older you get the more you go back to your roots and I think this record has a lot of my roots in it.” It’s more simple in the production and I reverted to what I like the most which is 70’s country and 70’s rock, continues Waite. “It’s just more clear I think ; the older you get the more things become clear. I think hopefully some of the vocals transcend to what you are singing about and the inspiration is behind that, explains Waite.”
His longevity in an industry that’s as fleeting as reality shows today proves Waite has the staying power which an abundant number of artists never achieve.
When asked about his longevity in the business Waite replied, “I never really thought about it; for me it was never a business. I’ve been dealt a great hand and I enjoy making music and going the way I want to go, explains Waite. I never thought of myself as a business man; I play live gigs and make records and if they are successful great, I don't play the game it’s the music that I'm concerned about. I rise above the whole game and I really never acknowledged it, continues Waite." If I’m walking down a road somewhere and a line goes through my head for a song I sort of start kicking it around in the back of my head or if I’m reading a book and there is a line in the book that really cuts to the chase I remember it.
"It’s just something that is a part of what I am and who I am, Waite explains.” There is really no difference from doing that and boiling an egg.
Waite continues to tour all over the world including the United States this summer. He will be appearing at Humphreys Concerts by the Bay in San Diego on Friday, August 24, 2012 with the “love gods” better known as Air Supply.
For more information regarding this performance visit www.humphreysconcerts.com.
For more information on John Waite visit www.JohnWaitethesinger.com