Isn’t it Time?

music musings, beaverdamusa.com“Isn’t It Time?”

The blogmaster Barry is probably thinking that as I start this week’s Musing which was due this morning.  Actually, I am referring to a hit song by the Babys from the late 70’s.  As I was trying to come up with a topic this morning, I mentally ran through the list of my favorite groups and singers to see if there was one I muse about – John Waite came to the front of my mind.  I see John Waite as one who has re-invented himself over the years, much like Jack Blades (whom I mused about a few weeks ago at http://beaverdamusa.com/jack-blades/).

If you don’t know, John started out with the Babys as the lead singer back in the mid- to late-1970’s.  I became a fan of the Babys due to their hits Every Time I Think of You and Isn’t It Time.  Those songs were known by folks, but most couldn’t name who sang them.  They followed up those hits with Midnight Rendezvous (turn that one up loud & listen to the fade out words) and Turn and Walk Away.

As is normally the case, the Babys broke up and Waite released a couple of solo albums and broke out big time with his hit Missing You.  When that song became popular, I must admit I felt a little smug because I was like “I’ve been telling you this band and singer is great.”

John’s next chapter came with one of the first “supergroups” named Bad English who was comprised of Waite, Neal Schon, Deen Castronovo, and Ricky Phillips.  Neal Schon was (and still is) with Journey while Ricky Phillips was in the Babys with Waite and is currently playing bass with Styx.  Castronovo would wind up playing drums with Journey after Steve Smith’s departure and singing lead vocals with Revolution Saints with Jack Blades.  Evidently, Deen has slipped off the edge and is currently unemployed.  Bad English had a couple of great albums which produced the hits When I See You Smile, Straight to Your Heart, & Price of Love.

After Bad English dissolved, Waite continued (and still does) to put out solo albums in the subsequent years.  My personal favorites are Figure in A Landscape and the obscure Temple Bar.  Waite continues to put out albums despite the lack of radio airplay – but I guess that is one advantage of the Internet age.  While he can sing rock and roll songs, I personally think he is best on the “power ballads”.

For years, Waite was on the list of “artists I’ll never see”. He has always been very Internet savvy, allowing fans to e-mail him and letting them know of surprise shows, events, and other opportunities.  I finally got to see him live about ten years ago when he performed in Nashville and his manager e-mailed folks and told us to show up early to watch the filming of the video to Hard Way.  Shortly after that, I got to see an acoustic show at the local Borders bookstore and finally at the Wildhorse Saloon.

Through it all, he has kept his voice in great shape and in my opinion, is one of the under-appreciated singers of our time.  Get on iTunes and check out the Babys, Bad English, or his solo stuff.  You won’t be disappointed.

Musing in Nashville

Zach

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