It was the last thing I wrote for the record, and it always gets that same response, where people just stop breathing for a second; it’s that big. I just continued on my way, and once in a while you go number one on the radio or you sell a huge amount. I don’t have to come up with it seven days a week and never turn it off. It’s the best mix I’ve ever heard of anything I ever did, and he did it all by himself. We had a lot of hits, so it wasn’t my first shot at being in the Top 20, but it was certainly my first number one, and I don’t think anybody can prepare you for that. I just stepped backwards, out of the limelight for a little bit, and made a record I wanted to make. My favorite version, I guess, is me and Alison Krauss. Mike Shipley, who passed away last week, unfortunately, mixed that.
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By the time we were doing Bad English, it was a very visual band, and I think I was really trying to probably push people’s buttons. The work I’ve done I’m proud of, it’s part of the set, and it’s all kind of musical, but I don’t want to be in Las Vegas somewhere just singing something that I wrote in another lifetime. It was like one of those gigs where you think, how good can your life get? I thought I’d try it this one time and see if it worked, just to have it on i Tunes.
There’s still an awful lot to write about, and the voice is doing pretty good. You can get it if you send off for it, but it’s just there’s so few CD stores now. He said that they were closing the music department in Barnes & Noble, and in my hometown they just shut HMV.
It was the biggest chain of CD stores, but they didn’t carry my records, so I’d like to think it’s why they closed down. I got out of bed last week, and I saw The Rolling Stones, that . I just hit “download,” and then five minutes later, I’m listening to the Stones.
We covered topics ranging from the writing of Missing You and his new album, Live: All Access, to his new favorite TV show. But it meant that much to that many people, and I made it up on the spot. LT80s: For all of the junior high girls in 1984, thank you. It  was number one, and all the people in New York City that I used to know in the street, little old ladies walking their dogs, or the guy that used to run the coffee shop, the spaghetti shop, and the Indian restaurant; they were all super proud of me. I’ve always adored New York City, and it felt like that was the most exciting thing, really, just having succeeded from coming from nothing, because it was black and white. I think there’s a time and a place for bands to exist, and then it’s done. In something like “If You Ever Get Lonely,” it is kind of delicate, but it’s got a big chorus. Hopefully, another live record around November, and then back in the studio to see what we got for a studio record. I generally license my records out to big companies like Universal, and then after a certain time they come back to me.
LT80s: Have you had a chance to read the new book by the original MTV VJs? “Every time I think of you, I always catch my breath./And I’m still standing here, and you’re miles away, and I’m wondering why you left/ And there’s a storm that’s raging through my frozen heart tonight. LT80s: I was recently watching the video for another number one hit of yours from the late ‘80s, When I See You Smile, with Bad English. The night before we did the Missing You video, I had really long hair, and I went out and shaved it all off and bought a black suit. As somebody once said to me, “Give them something to look at,” and I thought, We went to number one, but I think the Journey fans wanted something a bit more Journey, and I think the John Waite fans wanted a bit more of the black suit. LT80s: When you think back on the ‘80s, what are some of your favorite memories? I was living in New York before , and I hadn’t got a penny. LT80s: Our readers wanted to know if there was any chance of either a Bad English or a Babys reunion? We [Bad English] ran out of ideas during our second record, and we just couldn’t take it. They’ve got a new lineup, and they’re going out and playing. What I’m trying to say is there’s no keyboards, or synthesizers, or any of the stuff that gets in the way of music. LT80s: Listeners can hear in the new album the fact that you enjoy doing it. We played Dayton about three weeks ago, we headlined. This time around, I didn’t want to go through a record label. There’s a PR person; that’s how me and you have got to talk to each other.
She just recorded it 50 times and stuck it in the car radio. Then he said, “You put denial in there, and it’s what every man goes through; denial.” So it made it extra twisted and kind of clever. ” And I thought it was like the neighborhood kid did well. Yeah, it really is like that; there’s no overdubs and there’s no bullshit. Where it’s been stripped down before that, maybe a little bit more acoustic-driven, this is sort of full-throttle guitar. There’s a song called, “If You Ever Get Lonely” that was on , and we put it on the new live album. But there’s a band in Nashville called Love and Theft who’ve just covered it, and they had a number one single last year, so there’s a small chance here that we’re going to have a country hit at the same time we have a rock hit. LT80s: It’s hard to believe when you listen to it, that it is live. You take the keyboards out, and you hear how accurate the guitar is. We did the club thing to get Rough and Tumble to number one, but like I said, it almost bankrupted me. You have to play in bigger places, so we’ll probably be playing lesser places, but they’ll be bigger.
John: Annie Leibovitz once told me that she had it on a cassette. When I hit the chorus, I didn’t know I was going to sing, “I ain’t missing you.” Somebody said the other day, if I had just sang, “I’m missing you,” it would have been just crap. My last album, , was basically a return to a very stripped-down sound. We went back in about a month later in New Hampshire, Manchester, and we had one of those shows where we couldn’t put a foot wrong. So the roughest part about making the record was just mixing it, really.
She called you, “a walking Byronic archetype.” I can certainly hear that in both your lyrics as well as the way you sing. John: It’s a very nice to say about somebody, but I don’t know. Some artists get sick of the song that made them famous and will even refuse to play it live. It came out of nowhere, and was made up on the spot. That’s the strength of that song and those lyrics, and that’s Byron at work right there. I was living in LA trying to finish the record, then I’d be living in New York, and my life was just a mess.
LT80s: In it, Nina Blackwood describes you as a romantic figure, and I’m quoting her here. But we really had a great relationship, and I still bump into her here and there, and we’ll e-mail each other. LT80s: I think a lot of people obviously associate you with your 1984 number one hit, . It took ten minutes to write it, and maybe that’s why. I thought you had written it about my own heartache.