By Mark Ambrogi
John Waite has managed to maintain a rock n’ roll career that stretches from to his time as lead singer for The Babys in the 1970s to continuing to tour as a solo performer today.
“I seem to be lucky, I haven’t fallen off the high wire yet,” the British-born star said.
Waite, 63, will appear at The Warehouse in Carmel as part of his Wooden Heart Acoustic Tour at 8 p.m. April 14. Waite will sing many of his hits and answer questions from the audience.
The Babys had two top 40 hits with “Isn’t it Time” and “Every Time I Think of You.” Both songs peaked at No. 13. The band broke up in 1980. Waite’s huge solo hit “Missing You” reached No. 1 in Billboard’s Top 100 in September 1984. The song (which Waite co-wrote) has been covered by Rod Stewart and Tina Turner, among others.
“I played with Rod several months ago and he stopped the show and said what a great singer I was,” said Waite, who opened for Stewart at a concert in Michigan last year. “It took my breath away. That’s Rod Stewart in front of 20,000 people saying John Waite is a great singer. I couldn’t believe he actually said it. Either I’m incredibly modest or I’m under-rated. That meant a lot to me for someone of Rod’s caliber.”
The fact Stewart covered his song was a compliment as well.
“‘Missing You’ has been indescribable,” said Waite, who lives in California. “I don’t know where I be without it. The Babys did very well. We were much-loved. It was a hard fight and we lost. We went down in a hail of bullets. My first solo record almost got completely forgotten. I had trouble with the music business but I survived it because of ‘Missing You’ Every so often there is a royalty check in the mail, which makes things seem OK. Without that, I would probably be do something to make a living. I probably wouldn’t be in America. I’d be in the countryside in England. I think my life would have been entirely different. But nothing has been easy. Nothing that is worth having comes easy. Every singe step of the way for me has been uphill.”
Waite left his solo career to form Bad English with two former band-mates from The Babys in the late 1980s, but the band broke up after two albums. He returned to being a solo artist, often taking time off to recharge.
“It’s my personality to step back after being in the ring,” Waite said. “It’s like being a boxer. You get in the ring, go at it. Then you go to your corner. It my case I read a book or spend time in New York City or I just regroup. The person who can work 365 days a year is more for a machine. I don’t think the work gets any better or improves by being in the limelight all the time.”
For tickets, visit liveforthemusic.com