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Sometimes things happen in real time that force us to re-think our best-laid plans. Hence, the new beginning of my “Almost Famous” column – already turned in days ago and pronounced well done with a cherry on top. It is with the heaviest of hearts that I’ve been handed it back at the 11th hour to try and memorialize yet another iconic, powerhouse vocal legend who couldn’t be more famous – and couldn’t be nearer and dearer to my own “Almost Famous” heart.

In the mid-‘80s, I was in my mid-20s, living in LA and pursuing my music and acting career. With the advent of MTV came a much closer, immediate connection to and appreciation of the artists who would either become one-hit wonders or the legends who defined an era, the stuff dreams were made of, the ones we strove to emulate. Whitney Houston was most assuredly the latter. She had THAT VOICE. Back then, we didn’t want to sing 50 notes where one would do. We took voice lessons and practiced our asses off to be able to hold out one great note, or hit all the right ones where they belonged, the way the songwriters wrote them. Nobody did it looking or sounding better than Whitney Houston. Whether it was an infectious, up-tempo pop gem like “How Will I Know” or a gorgeous power ballad like “The Greatest Love Of All”, you couldn’t get out of bed without her tugging at your heart on your TV screen, your car radio, in every department store or market or nightclub. And for up ‘n coming singers like us, Whitney was the gold standard.  I learned every one of her songs and tried to capture each glorious nuance of that perfect voice, from “Saving All My Love For You” to “I Wanna Dance With Somebody”.  If you played a wedding or sang in a Top 40 band, you had better know some Whitney and you better be able to actually hit those notes and not suck. Whitney made it all look and sound effortless. She didn’t need autotune, she didn’t need 1000 half-naked male dancers, she didn’t need to bring in a rapper to give her cred. She just had to open her mouth and do her thang. Ask Mariah. Ask Beyonce. Ask Jennifer Hudson. Ask ANYbody who’s come down since. Whitney got it from the church and the greats before her like her Aunt Dionne and mom Cissy.

Where do broken hearts go now?

It’s not fair to blame addiction on another person, we all have free will and choices, I know. But man, if this isn’t at least in part a giant flashing neon sign screaming “MR. WRONG”, I don’t know what is. Yeah,  most of us have hooked up with a bad boy or girl in our life time and many of us have married one – just ask Tina Turner or watch Dateline NBC (not me, folks, haven’t made that trip down any aisle besides the grocery store yet). Once you’ve gone down that hard for that long, it ain’t easy fighting your way back up into the light. And most of us don’t know what it’s like to share the destruction of our life and the demise of our glory in real time with the rest of the world, who judge so harshly our every misstep and downward spiral. It just reminds me how precious the gifts we have been given are. Especially when the gift is your voice. As one who makes their living with it, I know too well how scary it is when it's not there due to stress, illness, overuse, etc. Imagine the world watching and listening as you realize you've just done too much damage and it's never going to be what it once was and everyone knows and is judging and making fun of you, waiting for you to fall farther down every time. Imagine becoming a joke on every late-night talk show and in every tabloid as you struggle to fight your demons, trying to make public comeback after public comeback, and falling short in front of the whole world. Letting your friends, family and fans down after repeated attempts to intervene and get clean. On the heels of a new movie coming out and the eve of The Grammys where you once were Queen The pain she must have been in was just too much to bear. Oh Whitney – you are such a part of me. Of so many of us. My heart goes out to her family, her beloved daughter Bobbi Christina, always by her side, fans, and all of us fighting the good fight every day to stay vital.

I just learned “The Greatest Love Of All” on guitar last night to sing at my Valentine’s Day gigs on Tuesday. Learning to love yourself – and stay there no matter what the world looks like – IS the greatest love of all. RIP Whitney. I will always love you too. – “The Greatest Love At All” – Live at the Grammys 1986 – “I Wanna Dance With Somebody”- official video - Whitney’s isolated vocal track of “How Will I Know” - JUST that voice. No tricks. Case closed.


Whitney Houston

And now back to our regularly scheduled program…

Happiest of New Year greetings, Heraldonians – and welcome to the first installment of “Almost Famous 2012”! Alas, I will not be offering up my extensive coverage of the NAMM Show in Anaheim, CA this year, due to the big health scare my 87 yr. old mother Doris “Bergie” Goldberg gave us a few weeks back that kept me from attending.

After 2 plus years of keeping her away from that dreaded ER, The Bergster suffered a fall mid-December and chipped her knee bone, and then succumbed to another nasty bout of pneumonia a few weeks ago that had her dancing dangerously close to the Grim Reaper again. But those who know Bergie are well aware of her death-defying indomitable spirit and strong will to live – and true to form, she kicked its’ ass one mo’ time and beat it back with her rhythm of life stick! Of course, she had a lot of help from her kids – yours truly and baby bro/film editor Kirk Goldberg - and I’ve spent the majority of my time by her side while whipping all the health care professionals into shape over and over again to do their respective jobs. She did some hard time in the ICU – but the real fun was had in the skilled nursing facility where I had to spend hours daily making sure she recovered before they could kill her with their standard of “care”! Who hires these people and how do they keep their jobs and not get slapped with lawsuits right and left – or murder charges?? She’s back home at the assisted living facility fielding visits from multiple home health care visiting therapists and such that I’ve been supervising – and Bergie is quickly returning to her feisty, impossible, “Marge Simpson/Energizer Bunny on a walker” self. Just hope I can keep her reined in long enough to make another full recovery!

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Doris “Bergie” Goldberg and her daughter Kim (my birth name!) on Election Night 2010 at San Mateo County Democratic Headquarters. She’s already talking about workin’ da phones on Nov. 3, 2012!

Speaking of Election Night 2012, that brings me to my recent soapbox I’ve been on concerning our illustrious President and the death of a beloved music icon near and dear to my heart. Now generally speaking, I’ve got mostly respect and admiration for the tough job Obama’s been doing for almost four years. I worked on his campaign when I lived in Nashville and had the honor of being asked to train the volunteers to work the phones on Election Day 2008 (he lost Tennessee but won in Nashville!). However, one thing has stuck in my craw since that historic time that came back up for me again in all its’ glory a couple weeks ago – upon the death of the incomparable Etta James. I’m gonna take this opportunity to pick that bone clean right now…

I had the incredible experience of getting to hear and see the great Etta James at The Sweetwater in Mill Valley in the early '80s. My friend Brian Ray was playing guitar with her for many years (he now plays with Paul McCartney!).  I will never forget it - what a gift she had and what a gift she was to us.

At Barrack Obama’s 2008 inauguration, the song he chose to dance with First Lady Michelle Obama was “At Last”- made forever iconic because of the artist who defined it: R&B legend Etta James. I finally learned how to play this song on guitar recently to sing at my retirement home gigs - so it is with a much deeper and profound appreciation that I bid this iconic lady of R&B a fond farewell on January 20. And I will NEVER understand or forgive President Obama for asking baby Beyonce  (who played Etta James in a 2008 movie no one saw called Cadillac Records) to sing this at his inauguration!! The song “At Last” belongs to Ms. James and only the iconic Etta James should have been invited to grace his stage to sing it. Period. For shame, Barrack, for shame! Based on the humble beginnings you came from and how hard you worked to get where you got to, this should have been a no-brainer. This is not about politics or personalities, it is about RESPECT.  Every artist surely hopes to be recognized in their lifetime for a song that is forever linked to them, whether it be in their little circle of fans (like “Sycamore Street” for lil’ ole’ moi’) - or in music history. Few ever achieve that level of greatness. But some do - Etta James did - and as hard or easy as their time on this planet has been - I believe that it should be honored as such. To choose THAT song – and just leave her out and bring a popular young singer in to do basically a karaoke version of HER - I just don't get how Obama could have allowed that. It’s like asking Justin Beiber to sing "My Way" instead of Frank Sinatra. Katy Perry to sing "Evergreen" instead of Barbra Streisand. Are you catching my drift, people??

Etta caught it. How did SHE feel about it? Etta was PISSED – and rightfully so!! She wailed on both Obama and Beyonce at her own concert shortly thereafter in classic Etta James “take-no-prisoners” style:

And it’s not like our Pres. doesn’t get it. At a recent fundraiser he gave a shout out to the Rev. Al Green, who was in attendance – whipping out a surprisingly soulful impromptu acapella line of the Rev.Al’s signature song“Let’s Stay Together”. Barrack has some chops. Who knew? Let’s just hope he doesn’t book himself to perform it at his own or somebody else’s 2012 Presidential inauguration instead of Al Green! I’m just sayin’…

And finally, yesterday, January 28, was the funeral of Etta James. Who to sing “At Last” to lay this true legend to rest and deliver her a proper final tribute and farewell? Well, obviously, Etta wasn’t available to the job herself. At least they didn’t ask Beyonce again. I think Etta would have risen from the dead and knocked her upside her head! BUT – instead they asked Christina Aguilera. And I’m surprised Etta didn’t just jump up out of her coffin and say, “Girl, stop singin’ 45 notes where one will do, for the love of Jesus! And stop doing vocal gymnastics pretending to be paying ME tribute on MY song! I didn’t sing it that way. It’s called a melody, try it some time! This is MY funeral, not your own damn concert! And put some damn clothes on, cover up those titties, you’re in a church, you little white tramp!!” – Christina Aguilera (and her boobies) singing “At Last” at Etta James funeral – Beyonce singing “At Last” at President Obama’s 2008 inauguration – Etta James singing “At Last” – showing us how it’s done, son!

I rest my case. Goodbye, Etta James. I will ask for your blessing every time I have the honor of singing your song for my peeps and try to do it justice …


The one and only Etta James…RIP

John Waite – Yoshi’s SF – 12/8/11 and Avalon Santa Clara 12/11/11

And now for something completely different… hey, who knows where that phrase originated from? According to Wikipedia, it is credited to Christopher Trace, founding presenter of the British children’s TV programme Blue Peter, who used it as a link between segments. But it is most famous for the ridiculous introductions and transitions made by British comedian John Cleese for the wildly popular cult classic series Monty Python’s Flying Circus, where he would announce “And now for something completely different..” while cutting to a naked organist or a man with a tape recorder up his nose. And why in the world am I using this as the world’s most obscure segue/set-up?? Because a) it’s about British entertainers and b) I’m about to do something I’ve never done before: juxtapose two shows by the same great artist at different venues and compare notes – literally!

Now this was not my initial intention. When I found out one of my all-time favorite Brit pop/rockers John Waite (of The Babys and Bad English fame) was playing at one of my all-time fave venues Yoshi's SF, I got myself a review slot immediately! The last time I had the pleasure of seeing JW, it was way back in 2001 when he was the first artist on a triple bill with Peter Frampton and Journey at Shoreline Amphitheatre (see “Almost Famous Part V” SF Herald Archives 1995-2005”). So it was with huge anticipation that I ventured out to witness what this arena rocker with the ultra-definitive and unique vocal style I’ve loved for decades could do up close ‘n personal in such an intimate setting. And true to previous form, neither the club nor Mr. Waite did much to disappoint, given my front row/center seats the club is always so gracious to provide me. However, there were compelling reasons why once was not enough for your faithful almost famous fan/scribe and I’m about to take you through the looking glass to share some of the highs ‘n lows of a couple of nights to remember…

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Gearing up for the JW hits in the bar of Yoshi’s SF before showtime.

Yoshi’s SF is generally a great place to see any band or artist because of the intimate “jazz room” way the main showroom is set up. But it can be tricky for a band who wants to alternately really rock it out and bring it way down as well. I’ve seen a lot of killer shows in this room from Peter Wolf to Lisa Loeb to The Tubes and as in any venue, it really is up to the soundman to make sure it all goes up and down like sweet rock candy and not lose anything in the transitions. There were varying degrees of this in the Yoshi's set I caught.

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Front ‘n center waiting for Waite

Opening the night was a lovely artist named Raquel Aurilia (baseball fans may recognize her surname as that of famous baseball playing husband Rich Aurilia of the SF Giants), who delivered a sweet acoustic set of catchy, soft-pop ditties, some co-penned by producer Gardner Cole (Madonna, Amy Grant). I found her enjoyable and pleasant, but wondered what she might sound like with a fire lit under her belly. I think there’s more than what met my ears with this pretty one… Surprisingly, the room was only half-full of middle-aged white folk like us, although it did fill up considerably by the time John Waite hit the stage.


Raquel Aurilia

The now full house grew hushed with anticipation as John Waite and his three-piece band took the stage. Fans of Bad English might have been dismayed there was no keyboard player to replicate all the Jonathan Cain signature parts, but the trio of Shaun Hague on guitar, Timothy Hogan on bass (who looks like Slash if he donned a three-piece suit and flat-ironed his hair), and drummer Rhondo did an excellent job of dressing up JW, who donned a guitar himself from time to time. And speaking of dressing up, the almost 60 year-old Waite has aged in true rock star form,  like a fine wine, looking trim and dashing in an English blue blazer, white shirt, jeans and his trademark spiky hair grown out into a Dutch Boy (or is it Page Boy?) hairstyle.

They dove right in with an early JW solo hit “Change” and immediately ripped into The Babys “Back On My Feet Again”. Although thrilling to be re-united with his trademark sound and  familiar delights at such close range, right away I found myself wishing for JW’s vocals to cut through a bit more when the band came up to rock out at full throttle. This is often a pet peeve of mine, especially with a singer whose biggest gifts are the stellar nuances he creates with that singular sing/speak style that deserve to be delivered at top-notch dynamic power. Clearly, JW was singing his ass off, bigger and better than ever, but the vocals just weren’t quite hot enough for my discerning ears to get the full course JW gourmet meal.

Still, it was destined to delight and excite us. JW and Co. played a couple newer songs, “Better Off Gone” and “In Dreams”, the 2nd of which he strapped on an electric guitar after telling us with his gentlemanly Brit accent it was very nice to be back in the Bay Area. The single off his new album Rough & Tumble “If You Ever Get Lonely” got a fine treatment and showed us why

it deserves to be a hit. And just to keep us on our toes, JW kept making a joke about doing a Bob Dylan song and then made good on his promise by slamming into the Dylan-penned Jimi Hendrix classic “All Along The Watchtower”. He did both proud, as did the increasingly loud band.


Rockin’ John

With surprisingly zero fanfare, JW played “Missing You”, the hit song from 1984 he’s probably most recognized for (co-written by Mark Leonard and my Nashville pal Chas Sanford) while the entire audience faithfully sang along. This song has been covered by everyone from Tina Turner to Brooks and Dunn and even became a surprise country hit in 2007 by JW himself as a duet with Nashville bluegrass/country star Alison Krauss. Cha-ching! More about that later. Another new song with a lot of ‘tude , “Evil” proved to be my new favorite, especially when the band came down nice ‘n low.

And  nice ‘n low proved to be one of the high points of the set when JW brought it way down and got chatty with us, telling us a charming story about his time in Nashville and a waitress who inspired his homage to the most famous songwriters’ venue in Music City, “Bluebird Café”: “She’s got the will and she’ll find the way/To the stage of the Bluebird Café”. Having lived in Nashville myself for years and doing both jobs in equal measure, hearing this acoustically in an intimate setting such as Yoshi's, delivered so much like it would be at the Bluebird, was particularly poignant and memorable. He also spoke with great reverence and humility about getting to perform at the Grand Ole’ Opry “with a couple of famous people” (who turned out to be Alison Krauss and Vince Gill) and gave a proper treatment to Vince’s signature song “Whenever You Come Around”.  These were the moments that could not be captured the same way in a larger venue and I was grateful for it. JW has the unique and valuable ability to croon like a timeless, true romantic as well as rock it to 11  - and front ‘n center  at Yoshi’s made swooning like a schoolgirl inevitable.

The title track off   “Rough And Tumble” was another crowd pleaser with the lyric “It’s gonna take the national guard to keep us apart/When things get hard” – classic John Waite! But the band got too loud again and with it the obligatory drum solo where the band leaves the stage - I’m just not a fan of this practice no matter how hard said kickass drummer rocks it. Well done, dude., but…thank goodness they came back soon with one of my favorite Babys songs “Head First”! JW and the band were just killin’ it and I was bouncing to the beat so hard (and that crunchy guitar lick that Shaun Hague replicated perfectly) I gave myself a neck spasm!

For the encore, JW came out alone and asked us to sing a song for Christmas with him. Caroling with Mr.Waite? He strapped on a guitar and led us like the pied piper into the only Bad English song of the night and possibly his biggest, most recognizable hit (besides “Missing You”), the Diane Warren-penned  “When I See You Smile”. He gave it up to the audience to take the lead - as every artist dreams of doing to huge crowds in their career – and this small group of die-hard fans willingly obliged. However, JW left it up to us a tad too long and by the end of the chorus, suddenly I was the only one singing “Baby, when I see you smile at me”…somebody called out, “That was pretty good!” and another yelled “Get her up there!” JW looked at me and smiled -  but… the moment passed. Ah, well…the band came back out and they closed with a rousing “Midnight Rendezvous” to take us out in rock style.

After the show, I went up to opener Raquel Aurilia and congratulated her on a job well done. She was as lovely off-stage as on. Also the luckiest girl in the world to have nailed that slot!

Then I approached JW’s bass player Tim Hogan, who was chattin’ it up with some friends in the audience, to ask for a set list and told him I was writing a review. He peered up at me underneath all that dark, shaggy hair that completely covered his eyes and said, “Is it gonna be a good one?” “Of course!” I assured him and he said “Wait here,” and ran off.  A few minutes later he came back out, handed me a set list, said, “Follow me,” and took me back stage and placed me directly before John Waite and introduced us, told him I was writing a review and vanished.

Oh my.

I’ve had many of these unplanned moments in my illustrious “Almost Famous” journalism/artist/fan career, some spectacular (see Paul Rodgers), some annoying (see John Corbett) and all points in between. I am happy to report that this was definitely the former. JW could not have been more gracious or accommodating, even after I began our chat with a frank discussion about the sound issues and his vocals not cutting enough. JW was genuinely surprised to hear this and said, “I didn’t want to sound too loungy, that’s why the band played loud, was it too much?” I assured him that I didn’t want the band lower, I wanted more vocals and that I almost went up to the soundman myself but thought better of it. After all, I was there to write an authentic review and report what I actually saw and heard. We chatted about Nashville and I was stunned to learn he actually lived there part of the time I did (still not quite sure about that). We chatted about our mutual friend Chas Sanford’s  (co-writer of “Missing You”) trials and tribulations, Jeffrey Steele, a brilliant hit songwriter we both admire, and the sad break-up of JW’s engagement (which I later found out was to Alison Krauss, obviously I had been out of the Nashville loop quite a spell, living back in the Bay Area and missed that entirely). It was like a lovely visit with an old friend. Charming.

Of course, I mentioned that I was a singer/songwriter myself, and although Raquel Aurilia did a fine job, I would love to open for him sometime and I should! He said he’d love to hear me and asked if I could send him a CD. I reached into my bag for the one I always carry with me 24/7 and IT –WASN’T– IN –THERE!!! Oh my God. Why?? Guess I had given the last one out and forgot to replace it. Timing is everything and this time mine was off.  I agreed I would send him one (that I knew he wouldn’t get) and would send him some YouTube clips on Facebook (that I knew he wouldn’t get) and asked him if we could take a picture (which I did get).  JW gave me a warm hug and bid me farewell, saying how nice it was to meet me and how he looked forward to hearing my music. What a mensch (Yiddish for “cool guy”)! Love when these things happen without any prep and even though I came unknowingly unprepared, this show wasn’t over quite yet. Never say die…

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JW & KG backstage after the Yoshi’s SF show

John Waite – Avalon, Santa Clara – 12/11/11

So – I came, I saw, I conquered – but when patience and persistence and met opportunity I didn’t have the goods on me. Damn. What’s a still “almost famous” contender to do to achieve the end goal – a well-deserved shot in the spotlight?! Welllll… turned out that my new friend John Waite was playing three nights later at Avalon in Santa Clara, a great sounding, mid-sized rock club an hour or so south of San Francisco, where I had seen my pals The Tubes and Rubber Side Down several years back. Great club, not far, open night – could I score another review ticket through the club? Yes I could! So I stuck a couple of my Sycamore Street CDs in my bag and headed south…

When I got there, I found out that apparently, they already had a press meet ‘n greet for interviews a couple hours before so that ship had sailed. Who knew?? Grrrr… Not to be deterred, I asked around until I found the right production manager/photographer dude, Bungee Brent – yep, it’s the name on his card:”Bungee Brent”- to explain who I was and how I had something John had requested from me. He agreed to try and track John down and asked me to wait by the sound board. I knew there was a chance this wasn’t going to happen and I just had to be patient and have faith. At the very least, I was going to see another great show by one of my all-time favorite artists and I was pretty certain it was going to rock a LOT better and harder here. The Bungee-Man came back and said the band wasn’t back yet and I would just have to wait till after the show. Okay. Got it. Patience and persistence…

So I settled into my spot at the sound board and took a look around. This was a younger crowd of rockers much more excited to see JW, the venue was more suited for a kickass rock concert, and the energy was contagious. I was surprised to learn there were two opening acts, our pal Raquel was still in tow, but first was an acoustic trio called Luv Planet. Man, were they GOOD – a female and male duo on guitar/vocals with a bass player. Excellent vocals, musicianship, and songs! Apparently, they are a full band as well: - worth checking out!

Raquel Aurilia took the stage for her middle slot and sounded much more dynamic in this larger room, although she still played it like it was an intimate setting like Yoshi’s SF. I just know this gorgeous gal has it in her to take that stage and really own it. Maybe I’ll get the opportunity to see her headline down the line – or share a bill with her! Let’s rock, Raquel!

And then it was time for John Waite to take the stage – with flashing lights and a pulsing drum track and all the bells and whistles that signal something big is gonna happen. And boy, did it ever…As soon as the lights came up and the band took the stage and slammed into “Change”, I knew why everything had enfolded exactly the way it was meant to. While the Yoshi’s show delivered a delectable appetizer that satisfied the subtle and sensitive parts of my taste buds, THIS show was the entrée portion I was still hungry for. Suddenly I knew how I wanted to write the review – as a comparison of both experiences!

Even though it was pretty much the same set – JW even wore the same outfit – it was like watching and hearing a completely different production. The band was on fire and had room to move around, as did JW and man, did HE own that stage and had every one of us by the you-know-what! The soundman had it down perfectly right and kept dialing it in to even more perfection as the set unfolded. JW’s vocals were right where they needed to be – cutting through in all their stellar glory above the band – nuanced AND killin’ it. Every song felt like the first time again – exciting and new. The crowd on the floor was jumping up and down and going wild by the second song – fists pumping, even a girl on some guy’s shoulders. I was so impressed by the sound I went up to the soundman and complimented him, and got his name, Perry Thorwaldson,  which surprised and delighted him. He deserves an honorable mention!

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Avalon John (as seen by Bungee Brent)

There were a few special moments and differences this night. JW told this crowd that they were the best yet when singing along to “When I See You Smile “and pretended he was going to walk off and leave it to us. Sweet.  He shared most of the same stories but didn’t chat as much – he’s such a seasoned pro, he knew exactly where he was and what this crowd wanted – to ROCK! I felt privileged to have had both experiences in such close proximity – the full monty as it were. And he threw in my other favorite Babys song “Everytime I Think Of You” toward the end – left out of the Yoshi’s show. Who was going to sing the female vocal part, “Every time I think of you/it always turns out good”..?? I saw on YouTube he had brought up a special guest singer to join him a few nights before, but not on this night – he covered all the parts himself. Yeah, it did cross my mind to jump up there, but nah, I need to be invited and I should be! – “Everytime I Think of You” with guest singer Debby Holiday on 12/9/11.

After the show, I waited by the stage door as instructed and got to have another chat with the lovely Raquel. I told her how one of her songs “Walk Away” (co-written with Gardner Cole) had been running through my head like a train. I encouraged her to pick up a guitar or tinkle some ivories sometime just to add some more dimension to her set and she seemed inspired to do it! We’ve since discussed sharing a bill at Genghis Cohen or some other LA club sometime (she lives in Arizona now).

Finally, the few of us left were herded backstage and there was JW sitting in a chair by himself waiting to hold court with well-wishers. Somebody asked me to snap a picture of them with him and I had my opportunity to say hello. He was very cordial again and I made sure to remind him he had asked for my CD and slipped it in his hand. Told him it was recorded in Nashville and he perked up at the mention and promised to listen and  immediately put in his blazer pocket. I got Bungee Brent to snap another pic of us and he promised to send it (see below).  I told John how happy I was to have gotten to see such different shows and to have met him and he gave me another warm, genuine hug and we wished each other a happy Christmas. That’s what those Brits call it. Happy. Like the girl I certainly was. Mission accomplished!

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Yours truly and JW backstage at Avalon – “If You Ever Get Lonely” – official video of the new single. Should be a #1 hit and then some!

At press time, I have become Facebook friends with two of the band members and have shared a couple nice exchanges with Raquel, who is doing several more dates opening for John Waite. I have not heard anything from JW himself. Hmmm…

Never say never…patience and persistence…yeah, yeah, yeah…

And now - Another “Almost Famous” classic anecdote (from October 2001)…

Back in 1989 when I was living in LA, I had a friend named Brian White who was a lighting designer on the Bad English tour, (John Waite, Neal Schon, Dean Castronovo, Jonathan Cain and Ricky Phillips) during their short-lived heyday. He was fan of my music (actually, I think he just wanted to get into my, uh, good graces) and gave my tape to Jonathan Cain and called me from the road and said, "Kim, ya gotta come out to one of our shows and meet Jonathan. He totally digs your songs, big time! I’ll introduce you!" So I schlepped out to NY during Xmas time, hopped on a train to New Haven, CT, and just "happened to be in town and thought I’d come to the show!!" True to his word, Brian brought me backstage and introduced me to Jonathan Cain, who dragged me over to a corner and started raving about my tape. "I absolutely love "The Hardest Part", it is such a great song, the whole tape is awesome! Listen, I’m going to be starting a production company when we finish this tour and I am looking for promising singer/songwriters and I want to sign you! Actually, I’d like to write with you and Neal (Schon). Hey, let’s go out for a beer — I want to introduce you ." So we went out and talked shop, and I made fun of Neal hitting on all the girls and we had a blast! The whole vibe was respectful and funny and "above-board", they both said they would contact me as soon as the tour was over. It was so totally COOL — until later that night my "friend" Brian confessed that he was "in love with me" and totally tried to hit on me! It was awful! He acted crushed! I didn’t lead him on! I felt so bad!! But not as bad as I felt when it was months later and…I NEVER HEARD FROM ANY OF THEM EVER AGAIN!!! I even tried to contact Jonathan Cain at Left Bank Management and left several messages, but no response!! What the hell?? And I found out my "friend" Brian had been living with his girlfriend the whole time!!!


Well, that’s my magical mystery tour for now. Stay safe ‘n sane, Heraldonians. Till next time! ###

All contents © 2011 by Gene Mahoney