Stories from my time in the music and entertainment business. Also some book talk.
Friday, July 22, 2011
Every time I think of you
Around the heyday of John Waite's "Missing You," I worked with him at Magic Mountain. Like David Lee Roth (see earlier entry), Waite had a completely overinflated ego. Before his big hit, he was in an English glam pop group called The Babys. They were fairly successful. One of their big hits was "Isn't it Time."
Anyway, first Mr. Waite refused to ride in our covered golf cart, he wanted the actual limo to drive through the narrow streets of Magic Mountain's backstage area. Don't get me wrong: He chatted me up quite nicely, asking if I would go on some roller coasters with him. We never got to the rides, though. He went from meh to douche in twenty minutes.
When we got to the his dressing room, he told me the drinks and food were "unacceptable." Oddly I had a highlighted copy of his rider (contract) in my briefcase. Everything he'd requested was iced and artfully displayed. I pointed all this out, only to hear him say, "Oh, I know, I just don't like it! I would like a steak instead." Hmm … Silently I talked myself out of giving him a major bitch slap and called the Mountain's Steakhouse, requesting they send over a nice steak dinner. (Which, incidentally, he never touched.)
The theater was full to capacity with some overflow in front of the backstage door, Every so often John would peek out the door just to get the girls to scream. He was getting on my last nerve. Just as he was about to go on stage, he turned to me and said, "Make sure those girls stay quiet."
Now I know what I did next was uncool on so many levels, but honestly I just couldn't think of anything else fast enough …
I leaned out the backstage door and shouted, "Hey, ladies—can I get your attention?" They all looked up at me. "Well, you see, it's like this … um, actually, Mr Waite is GAY…so you all are wasting your time. Might as well go home." Most of them boo'd me, but a few actually started to cry. I just didn't realize they would take it so hard. I felt bad for about ten seconds, til I saw his manager cracking up. Even he enjoyed it.
The rest of the evening went on with only minor douchebaggery.
However, when I was driving him out of the park, he looked at me and said, "I'm not gay, you know. I would be happy to prove it to you." I smiled sweetly, letting him out of the car. I looked up at his face and said, "John, I ain't missing you, no matter what I might say." "Touché," he replied and walked off to his car and into the night.…