Posts Tagged ‘John Waite’

I never knew I had a favorite country singer. “Now I Know.”

I learned this Jan. 23.

Was doing one of the 40 or 50 online searches I do during a work shift and I saw a familiar face but the headline was out of my view.

I scrolled downward and the headline was crushing: ‘Now I Know’ Singer Lari White Dead at 52.

Whatever sports stuff I was searching for quickly took a backseat. I had to read that story immediately. Totally saddened me to learn how a rare abdominal lining cancer that she was diagnosed with four months earlier took her life and left three teenage kids without a mom.

They are holding a “Celebration of Life” for Lari White in Nashville on Monday evening and I decided I am going to do my part to keep her memory alive.

I once wrote an item on this website about rock singer John Waite’s top 10 songs and it remains one of the most searched things that causes people to land on my website. So five years from now, 10 years from now, people can still reminisce or learn about Lari White by seeing this post.

That works for me.

In case you didn’t know, Lari White would help people pronounce her name correctly by saying “it rhymes with starry night.” That is fitting because that certainly will be her star shining in the sky when you look upward at night.

Funny that I learned about her due to her three gigantic Top 10 hits off the “Wishes” album in the mid-1990s. But upon her death, I learned that she is famous to millions of other people due to her acting.

That is Lari White playing alongside Tom Hanks in the dramatic final scene of the movie “Cast Away.” … Yeah, I never knew … but here it is for you … http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=afiuJ2tsoVA&t=17s

The other thing that has stuck out to me since White’s death is reading hundreds of comments from people who either knew her well, knew her slightly or had a chance meeting with her.

Every single person raves about her. I’m talking gushing remarks with details of her unparalleled kindness and caring nature.

Most people reaching a high level of fame who sing their hits on the Letterman and Leno shows develop a bit of an ego. Remember, I cover sports for a living and have lots of firsthand experience of seeing arrogance at its highest level. Or lowest level (Hey, Ryan Leaf!)

So it is rare for someone this accomplished to remain so grounded and be so beloved by everyone. Usually, a person’s success alone is going to create jealousy from someone at a minimum, and typically the increased demands and attention pull out some hidden warts.

I can’t find a single person who didn’t like Lari White. All I find are people who adore her. Pretty touching.

Oh yeah, so you are wondering how the heck I even know of this woman since I grew up listening to The Cars and The Doors and whatever band John Waite was in (Babys, Bad English) when he wasn’t a solo act … OK, here are the details.

I only know country music from 1994-98 because my sister and one of my brothers used to hang out at the big country bar in the Mission Valley area of San Diego.

So pretty much, if I wanted to hang out with my sister, I had to go to that place. (Um, please refrain from jokes about hanging out with my sister. Someone might read this to her).

It was different music than I was used to on some levels, but there were plenty of songs that weren’t too far off my comfort level.

The first time I heard “That’s My Baby” at that country bar, I had no idea who was signing it but I instantly knew it was someone with a stellar voice. Then I saw the video for the song and it was amazing just how much fun the woman was having. Such magnetic personality with a total goofy side. Impossible not to like her.

This video was my first time seeing Lari White sing that Top 10 hit … http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vjPp01DQgsA

Then a few months later, I heard the stellar “Now I Know” and I somehow recognized the voice. I ended up buying the cassette tape (wow, might need a picture of that for the younger folks) as one of my few country music album purchases.

That song was not only a Top 5 hit, but it proved therapeutic for me following the end of the 1994 college football season. For whatever reason, when the work slowed down, I was hit with a lot of depression over a three-month span that I couldn’t seem to shake. So I would lay there at night (picture 3 a.m.) and play “Now I Know” five or six times in a row just looking for inspiration.

Eventually, I would get some sleep.

Here is Lari White’s biggest hit here … http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tLn5pdWeBLE

Also on the same album was “That’s How You Know (When You’re In Love).” During the past few weeks, I have seen dozens of accounts of people saying that Top 10 hit was their wedding song and how people would write White to tell her that.

That is kind of cool. Almost as cool as having David Letterman inviting you to come sing it to the studio audience … http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VNEz8y5eYc4

And like all albums with three major hits, there is another song on “Wishes” that would be the best song on most people’s albums. Got to say “Go On” is a pretty good fourth-best song for one cassette tape (Yeah, I have the CD now) … http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nm8GTVRRiP4

My country music window closed a few years later and I never heard any other songs from White at the time of their release. I know now that she eventually put the music career aside and was concentrating on acting and starring in a Broadway musical and with being a mom.

But I did find a very lively hit song called “Take Me” from her “Stepping Stone” album. And I think we get a good glimpse of her personality at the beginning.

She is trying to teach a kid how to pronounce her name and he is saying “Larry” or “Lori” and she just can’t get him to say it right. Her reaction when the kid calls her “Lori” is pretty funny … http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y9ML95rnLY0

The title track song was new to me as well and here’s the link for that … http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PowEaoFdr0U

So I was thinking … I really knew nothing about what was going on in Lari White’s life for about 23 years. Nothing about her music, nothing about her acting. Flat-out nothing.

But this whole situation hit me kind of hard — she was just 52! — and I have been reading a lot of things about how fast Lari’s health went downward.

As 2017 reached its midway point, White probably figured she would live another two or three decades. She even released her first album in 13 years earlier in the year.

Heck, I saw an interview of her that is from February 2017 where she is so full of life and encouraging her fans to get on her email list or contact her on social media.

More Heck, I saw a video of her singing at a concert from early September. Less than two weeks after that, she was diagnosed with cancer.

She had been teaching online songwriting and voice lessons to people and in mid-November, she penned a letter saying she needed to step away due to the cancer. Two months later, she was gone.

We all know life isn’t always fair. We never understand why a creep like Charles Manson gets to live to age 83 while some 8-year-old kid gets a rare disease and dies without getting a chance to live.

So yeah, somebody who is a fabulous person by all accounts dying at age 52 is bothersome. And I’m not even factoring in the talent part of the equation.

I think that is why it hit me so hard and continues to have an effect. This was one person the current world needed … badly.

But perhaps heaven needed some reinforcements too. As in another angel.

RIP to Lari White, the best country music singing voice I have ever heard.

There are undoubtedly a lot of people who knew her personally singing one of her spectacularly sung lines:

“I always wondered how I’d live without you. Now I know.”

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It was the eighth night of my trip called #VacationWithNoCharge(rs) and everything was superb.

I made an impulse decision to stop at the Walmart in Murphy Canyon and things disintegrated quickly.

I was in the men’s department checking out sports’ hats when a cute young lady was suddenly standing next to me. Before I looked at her, she spoke and asked “Who is your team?”

I looked at her and said “probably Padres” and she nodded. I returned serve and she offered a horrible answer.

“CHARGERS,” she said proudly.

She certainly saw my face turn to a look of disgust and I’m sure my tone of voice wasn’t so friendly as I interrogated her.

She blabbered something about how Chargers are like family and you have to stick with family.

The woman knew it was time to depart and said “Have a good night.”

Really? How am I possibly going to have a good night when I just encountered someone in San Diego being perfectly fine with the team no longer being in SAN DIEGO?

Vacation ruined.

For most of my 11 days in my hometown, there were very few signs the Chargers even exist. Nobody was talking about them and it was like out of sight, out of mind.

Which is exactly what the Chargers deserve.

So now that you know the lowlight of my vacation, check out all the highlights. The best thing for you is you don’t even have to talk to me to learn how awesome my latest vacation went.

Welcome to the latest version of Vacation by Tweets:

 

JULY 20

I don’t have a name for my vacation and I will be at the airport in less than 11 hours. … this is officially a problem.

 

JULY 21

At Boise Airport… #VacationWithNoCharge(rs) is official name of vacation

#BoiseState gear already on clearance — before the first loss that empties the bandwagon. #VacationWithNoCharge(rs) picture link –https://twitter.com/MrSportsBlog/status/888422128328081408

Outside the awesome San Diego airport … vacation is real … #VacationWithNoCharge(rs) picture link — https://twitter.com/MrSportsBlog/status/888469959730384896

Really? The Today Show didn’t know if it was Idaho or Iowa? No problem – I didn’t even know the show still exists. #NonFactorThisCentury … The Great American Eclipse is coming: How to catch the best views http://on.today.com/2vkKjs4

Walking through the old neighborhood … and this appears … #VacationWithNoCharge(rs) picture link — https://twitter.com/MrSportsBlog/status/888616543701024768

 

JULY 22

Hey, the recently unveiled Tony Gwynn statue at Lake Poway. … #VacationWithNoCharge(rs) picture link — https://twitter.com/MrSportsBlog/status/888882965312290817

Great collection of Tony Gwynn memorabilia at AleSmith Brewing … would show you but no photos/video allowed … #VacationWithNoCharge(rs)

Sources say this legend has a gig at the #BellyUp on Wed while I am in #SanDiego … talk about good fortune … #VacationWithNoCharge(rs) … https://twitter.com/JohnWaitesinger/status/888432605716111361

 

JULY 23

That highlight point of any vacation home has arrived … #VacationWithNoCharge(rs) … picture link — https://twitter.com/MrSportsBlog/status/889237257730875392

 

JULY 24

Sure looks like I am sitting front row for free for Mets vs Padres … #VacationWithNoCharge(rs) … picture link — https://twitter.com/MrSportsBlog/status/889674263325573120

Some 30-year-old guy named Dusty Coleman with ZERO MLB hits is playing shortstop for #Padres#MiserableFailures #VacationWithNoCharge(rs)

Cleaned my dad’s brick as people trampled to the exits at Petco Park … #VacationWithNoCharge(rs) … picture link — https://twitter.com/MrSportsBlog/status/889716630825050112

Watching news & the weather person goes by Dagmar Midcap – @DagmarNBCSD – & she is all kinds of amazing & fabulous #VacationWithNoCharge(rs) … copy of Dagmar’s reply: Thanks but turtles make the best forecasters

 

JULY 25

Hey, Mona Lisa pizza. The absolute best in San Diego … #VacationWithNoCharge(rs) … picture link — https://twitter.com/MrSportsBlog/status/889947516002684928

Traditional visit to my dad’s gravesite … #VacationWithNoCharge(rs) … picture link — https://twitter.com/MrSportsBlog/status/889974632412987393

Thanks iPhone & Twitter for conspiring to post this picture upside down … no doctoring photos scandal here … #VacationWithNoCharge(rs) … picture link — https://twitter.com/MrSportsBlog/status/889974632412987393

Odds are high that I’m getting exercise at Lake Murray. #VacationWithNoCharge(rs) … picture link — https://twitter.com/MrSportsBlog/status/890043342708391937

 

JULY 26

What great fortune that legendary John Waite plays the BellyUp tonight. You know where to find me later tonight. #VacationWithNoCharge(rs)

The great John Waite signing the former No. 1 hit When I See You Smile at the Belly Up. #VacationWithNoCharge(rs) … picture link — https://twitter.com/MrSportsBlog/status/890429038774190081

 

JULY 27

Qualcomm stadium looking lonely and rundown. Will be lonely all football season. #VacationWithNoCharge(rs) … picture link — https://twitter.com/MrSportsBlog/status/890697884651331584

Apparently, CA beginning push to secede from Union. Hmm, would I need passport for future travel? Swear I didn’t vote for Trump? Or just LOL

High atop famous Cowles Mountain. If it weren’t overcast, we would see downtown San Diego. #VacationWithNoCharge(rs) … picture link — https://twitter.com/MrSportsBlog/status/890770533507186689

Concluding my seventh night in San Diego & haven’t seen one “Chargers” cap or shirt. Good riddance Spanos clowns. #VacationWithNoCharge(rs)

 

JULY 28

Who allowed this inside the Mission Valley Target? Rest of the row (14 more) San Diego State. #VacationWithNoCharge … picture link — https://twitter.com/MrSportsBlog/status/891059213077585920

Sources say a tire shop & Albertsons among first commits for prime corner at Eagle & Fairview. What a waste. Should build ballpark for Hawks

More In-N-Out!! #VacationWithNoCharge(rs) … picture link — https://twitter.com/MrSportsBlog/status/891148629729132544

Cute girl at store asks me “Who is your team?” When I return serve, she says CHARGERS. Terrible. Vacation ruined. #VacationWithNoCharge(rs) … OH SORRY, didn’t take a picture of said cute girl

Guess some people didn’t get the message the first time: Quit writing about Lonzo’s dad. Don’t answer his calls. Don’t think about him.

 

JULY 29

Barely hanging on Qualcomm through trolley window. #VacationWithNoChargers … picture link — https://twitter.com/MrSportsBlog/status/891439608952532993

Beyond RCF at Petco Park. #VacationWithNoCharge(rs) … picture link — https://twitter.com/MrSportsBlog/status/891477652686594048

Starling Marte, PED user, up at the plate. #VacationWithNoCharge(rs) … picture link — https://twitter.com/MrSportsBlog/status/891483589887406080

Padres win. Putting heat on the Dodgers. #VacationWithNoCharge(rs) … picture link — https://twitter.com/MrSportsBlog/status/891501562605879296

Ugh. Just saw old dude wearing a CHARGERS hat. In downtown San Diego. Must have CTE. This on Night Nine of #VacationWithNoCharge(rs)

Dang, someone just came on trolley wearing a Ryan Mathews Chargers jersey. Ouch. #VacationWithNoCharge(rs)

 

JULY 31

A second Mona Lisa pizza on one vacation! Being me rules! #VacationWithNoCharge(rs) … picture link — https://twitter.com/MrSportsBlog/status/892119534999527424

Remember, #Dodgers haven’t been to #WorldSeries since 1988 despite tons of big trades & billions spent. #Padres were in WS in 1998. #Facts

Gone from 70-degree paradise to 100-degree sauna. #VacationWithNoCharge(rs) is over.

You break down the songs performed by John Waite and analyze the length of his career and you start to wonder if a Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction speech lies somewhere in his future.

Waite first became a star as lead singer of The Babys, who had a string of rock anthems in the late 1970s. He became a household name in 1984 as a solo artist with the No. 1 hit song “Missing You.” He later joined up with Journey’s Neal Schon and Jonathan Cain (a former Babys member) as the lead singer for Bad English and had another No. 1 hit in “When I See You Smile” and a top five follow-up in “Price of Love.”

Notching multiple hits with two different groups and as a solo artist rates as a pretty darn good career. And Waite is still going strong with an album entitled “Rough & Tumble” due to be released in February.

He’s also one of the good guys in Rock n’ Roll. He does meet and greets with his fans after every concert, posing for pictures and chatting with people. He is a down-to-earth star who lacks an ego.

I last caught up with Waite in Sandy, Utah last June when he put on his typical great live show at a cozy amphitheatre. I asked him why he hadn’t played the 80s hit song “Tears” in concert in a long time and his answer made perfect sense.

To paraphrase, he has a number of hit songs fans expect to hear at every concert and then he has to make choices to fill out the show. There’s just not enough time to play every one of his popular songs in each show.

That is a pleasant problem to have.

MrSportsBlog’s personal Top 10 John Waite songs

1. Best of What I Got, Bad English (1989)

2. Head First, The Babys (1979)

3. Midnight Rendezvous, The Babys (1980)

4. Change, John Waite solo (1982)

5. Tears, John Waite solo (1984)

6. Back on My Feet Again, The Babys (1979)

7. Every Time I Think of You, The Babys (1978)

8. Desperate Love, John Waite solo (1982)

9. Don’t Lose Any Sleep, John Waite solo (1987)

10. Lust for Life, John Waite solo (1985)

John Waite hit songs not in my personal Top 10: Isn’t It Time (The Babys, 1977), Turn and Walk Away (The Babys, 1980), Missing You (John Waite solo, 1984), Every Step of the Way (John Waite solo, 1985), If Anybody Had a Heart (About Last Night movie soundtrack, 1986), Forget Me Not (Bad English, 1988), When I See You Smile (Bad English, 1989), Price of Love, Bad English (1990), Possession (Bad English, 1990), Straight to Your Heart (Bad English, 1991), How Did I Get By Without You? (John Waite solo, 1995).

Most underrated John Waite song: Rebel Say a Prayer (Bad English, 1991).