John Waite is coming to River Spirit Casino Resort Saturday October 28th, 2023. We recently caught up with John via Zoom to talk about the show and a lot more. John mentioned he hadn’t been in Tulsa in a while and that he was looking forward to it. He spoke about playing to bigger crowds since the DVD release of his documentary “The Hard Way.” “It’s just a joy. It’s great to be out playing.” That’s how John describes being out on the road.
John has been busy over the last year, not just with the release of “The Hard Way,” but also his EP “Anything” and his greatest hits collection “Singles.” He said he takes it in stride these days. But he says that the live performance is the most important thing. John said, “You don’t come to mess around, you bring it.” Which sounds like good news if you’re attending the River Spirit Casino Resort show. John spoke about putting together the set list. He mentioned his hit with The Babys “Isn’t It Time” has made it into the sets these days. He told me the shows are always different. He even spoke about having left the stage one night and realizing he had forgotten to perform what is probably his biggest hit, “Missing You.” Of course, they returned to the stage and played it. He did stress that the original omission of the song was not intentional.
We then delved into some covers that John has done. We discussed him covering Zeppelin live and absolutely killing it. We also talked about his cover of Bob Dylan’s “Masters Of War” on a special edition of his “Anything” EP. I enquired if with everything going on in the world today if that song may make the set list. John quickly responded no saying “It’s a very long song. To be honest with you, I’d have to read the verses off a piece of paper, and I don’t want to do that to Bob Dylan’s work.” John spoke in there about events around the world.
From there we pivoted to speak about John’s writing. Asked if he was comfortable writing on the road, John’s response was “Comfortable doesn’t come into it.” He then turned the camera to show where he had his notebook out and was writing just before jumping on the Zoom call. He said he buys notebooks about once a week. He even shared about writing a novel that he’s started. He spoke about how “To write is a wonderful thing, it brings everything into focus, and you stop being confused.” John said that he felt without writing he would have personality problems. He spoke about being on the road is valuable to the process in meeting so many people, changes in the weather, hotels, and different venues. “You’re about as alive as you can get on the road.”
John said that before writing, making albums, getting pictures taken, that it all starts with that live performance. He shared of being in his friends living room as a kid with his brother’s band and getting his turn at the mic singing songs like “Lucille” and “Maybellene. “I knew right away I was good, and I knew I could do it.” He said what was lacking was the personality for promoting himself. He said out of all his experiences, being in that living room was the ‚most exciting thing. John said you can achieve that feeling at great shows. He spoke about doing an acoustic number in the middle of every show. He insists upon doing it. “If you look the audience right in the eyes and you don’t blink, they look right back.”
We also discussed John being vulnerable both on stage and in his writing. That is where John broke down his song “Missing You.” He said it’s about “Male denial and pride.” But he also spoke of his songs “Masterpiece Of Loneliness” and “Bluebird Cafe.” He said, “You look at things and you write the bullshit stuff or you write the truth.” John was certainly thoughtful throughout our conversation. You can watch it above and catch John at River Spirit Casino Resort Saturday October 28th, 2023.
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