A Few Minutes With...John Waite.
The Musician Behind 'Missing You'
We caught up with British-born rocker John Waite as he and his fellow musicians were crossing the Cuyahoga River in northern Ohio on their way to gigs Thursday and Friday in the easy part of the state. On Saturday they will be performing at the Dogwood Center Main Stage Saturday at 7:30pm.
N3- Playing tonight?
“We have a day off so we’re going to hit Ann Arbor and get some Indian food and a beer and kick it a bit.”
N3- Got time for a few questions?
“Just don’t ask about the incident ok?”
N3- What incident?
“There isn’t any” (laughs).
N3- You’ve collaborated with a lot of musicians over the years. Who among them was the most memorable.
“Alison Kraus. I was at the Opry with her and we did a coupe duets, Lay Down Beside Me and Missing You. She was great to work with. You know, bluegrass has this deep bloodline, it’s that West Virginia storytelling kind of thing. It’s beautiful.”
N3- Well, you’ve talked about being influenced by Celtic music and bluegrass is a close relative.
“Yeah they have that whole Scottish/Irish tremendous pull to the music. It's the music of the people and the community. Of faith and true life.”
N3- Speaking of ‘Missing You’, the single reached #1 on the charts relieving Tina Turner of that position. Later she recorded the song. How did that feel?
“When I was 12 I remember hearing River Deep, Mountain High and thinking. ‘Man, how does it sound like that?’ It was incredible...Tina and Ike... I mean, the way they brought it was something.
“To have someone you admire your whole life sing your song all those years later ... I went to Central Park all alone to listen to it for the first time. I had to be by myself. It was that much.”
N3- Musical Influences?
“I came from a musical family. My brother Joe had the first Telecaster in the country I think. My Mom played piano and sang. I had a cousin who played banjo.When I was young I was enamored with Elvis, Marty Robbins, Bill Haley, Brenda Lee.Then came the Liverpool sound and American sound and blues and more.
“I can’t say one influenced me most it would be like picking out one bird in the sky. You sort through it all and get at what works and develop a style.”
N3- How has your music evolved?
“I don’t think it has. I’ve learned a lot and I hope I have more wisdom now but the basic palette is the same as when I was a kid. I knew what moved me.
You need to leave a mark like they did in the late 60’s and 70’s. When you think about those musicians you realize we’re standing on the shoulders of greatness.”
N3- What are you listening to these days?
“Everything. From Bill Evans to Howling Wolf to Food. Listening to opera... Pavorotti mostly. Some classical. Bob Dylan Radio covers a lot of bases so I listen to that a bit.”
N3- You’ve written numerous songs over the years. Do you write toward an audience or..
“I don’t write to an audience. I didn’t write Missing You to be a single, it just happened. You know, I’m not in the music business. It’s not a logo. I’m a musician. We’re musicians not tied up with all the other crap. I don’t have a publicist or any of that. I’m a musician. I play music.
N3- Why should people come to the concert?
“I mean, why shouldn’t they? The band is on fire right now, we’re playing to packed houses and everyone is having fun.
We start out with some of the hard stuff then shift in the middle to some Wooden Heart acoustical sound before cranking it up again. It makes for an interesting evening with some twists and turns. It will be a good night.”
Tickets are $25.00 and are available through the Dogwood Center Box Office, NCCA-Artsplace in downtown Fremont, or on-line at www.dogwoodcenter.com. For information, phone 231.924.8885. The Dogwood Center is located one mile east of downtown Fremont.
There is also a $90 VIP Meet & Greet. Fans will get the chance to meet John Waite in the Black Box before the show. Each person will receive one signed lyric sheet to "Missing You," fans can bring merchandise to be signed and have a photo taken with John. Meet and greet will take place from 7:00 p.m. to 7:25 p.m.
This does NOT include a ticket for the concert. Concert tickets must be purchased separately.
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