Lefsetz Letter » Blog Archive » Revisiting the John Waite Documentary

You are right Bob. Dreams die miserably. I offer The Call and Tommy Ferrier. My sister-in-law is Tommy’s sibling. Every penny Tommy (and the band) makes always goes toward making the next album. He would make 200k on an album and put it all into his music. Tommy, now in his seventies (longer than he is), still wants to rock the stage. That’s a really big height. Anyway, other than that, Tommy is now a maintenance worker in an apartment complex and is happy. He just got married last month in Hawaii. Interestingly, both Tommy and his sister were adopted, and Tommy’s biological mother was a concert pianist. Maybe there is something in the genes.

Matthew Grandy


Leaving the industry took me out of a lot of circles, so it was a pleasant surprise to receive a newsletter about Dr. John Waite. I met The Baby’s at their first show in New York City (Manhattan Theater Club). I was involved with (aka dating) Bob Kulick at the time, working for Aucoin Management and living my 20s… The baby was amazing, (we saw A lot of other guys broke out at that venue, cars, cheap tricks, etc) but when women started throwing diapers and pacifiers on stage, I knew it wasn’t just music…but the music was awesome…awesome…

Decades later, I was involved in the sale of the Chas Sandford catalog with the iconic “Miss You”,

When Chas signed the papers and received his check, I personally felt the sting of pain I know…I remember tears…in all directions, like selling his “child”. I still remember an ex-lover leaving that tune on my answering machine after an ugly breakup.

Anyone who’s addicted to music knows the beauty of an orgasm, but few have experienced the ugliness, depravity, collapse on the other end. The last time I saw John was when he was playing at a club in Redondo Beach, and I haven’t seen him since that show at the Manhattan Theater Club. You’re right, I didn’t know who he was until he started singing.

Can’t wait to see this!

the best,



At the height of “Missing You”, I arranged an in-store autograph session with John at Tower 4th & Bwy, which was unusual at the time. Hundreds of people seeking autographs, mostly women, passed out. His guitarist Earl Slick sat with him at the table. John was a good man that day. Gentle, shy, relaxed.Paul Lanning


Really looking forward to this, Bob.

When I first came to New York City in the mid-1990s and took up my day job in the restaurant business, I met John at a well-known downtown restaurant. He sat alone at the bar table.

I recognized him immediately and told him I was a keyboard player.

“It must be fate,” he said. “I’m looking for a keyboard player.”

He gave me his address. I put my latest album down for him to listen to.

I didn’t get the gig…probably because my album is jazz! But it’s really fun to try. After so many years of release, “Missing You” is still stuck in my mind like an ice pick.

That’s the power of hits.

Jon Regan


I’ve read this book twice – because it’s so good. I’m probably the only person I know who has actually watched The Babys live…my first job was at the Dr Pepper Festival in Central Park. 1979. I was underage, peddling soda in the audience… 15. It was July in New York and the band wore black leather from head to toe. All we can think of is “Holy smoke…these Brits *will die”*. I went looking for pictures of that show and I couldn’t find it…but I found this one. This is amazing:

Broadcast Business – Ph.D. Pepper (baby): https://bit.ly/3gEWPyU

with gratitude,

Matt Payton


Bob, always liked Head First, Change and Midnight Rendezvous. Solid and reliable pop rock song. No need to overthink or overanalyze Babys or John Waite. Just like Eddie Money and The Tubes, John’s songs are getting rave reviews from friends who listen to my Spotify playlists.

Andrew’s Bar: https://spoti.fi/3zbgnkV

Andrew Pachoco


Hey Bob – thanks for letting us know about this. I will have to watch it.

I can get in touch.

In the late eighties, I was the drummer for a band called Hearts & Minds, and we signed to A&M. To understand the company we’re in, around the time we signed up, Soundgarden and Blues Traveler had just signed up to A&M.

That’s it, I thought. I’m going to be a rock star. I have long hair, snakeskin boots, skinny jeans. Lots of rock star jewelry.

We visited. Autograph! ! People actually asked for our signature! Wow! ! ! ! We are open to some well-known artists. We had some big names at A&M telling us we were successful. I got the approval! We made a video. We recorded a record in John Mellencamp’s studio.

Next thing you know, in the middle of the trip, we got a call. We are eliminated. Polygram has acquired A&M, and the roster has been tweaked. We are casualties. boom! that’s it.

But let me tell you…I still don’t trade experience for anything. At that time, you were still at a fairly high level and you could get a record made and released by a big label. No regrets. A precious experience. However, being eliminated from another label with another band is not such a precious memory! Pooh! ! !

I’m still playing, but now I’m using the online space to play. Yes, things are very different now. But I’ve gotten used to it. Accepting the reality of what is right now – it allows me to move on and still live in the house, have a family, and all these wonderful things.

Anyway, I’ll prompt Waite’s movie. Looking forward to it.

the best,

Mark Feldman


About 5 or 6 years ago, I saw John staying at a local “summer concert series” in my home park.

They built a stage and now we have 8 to 10 free concerts every summer.

Note that this town is located in the Midwest and has about 45,000 people. Nobody wants to play our town. So we got an original member of these “already existing” and traditional bands. Those that fit our budget. Oh we have some “big” names…the name Brett Michael is very popular! They brought him back for two or three years! Night Ranger for a year, Dennis DeYoung, Wang Chung, etc…you get the idea.

So when I saw John Waite on the announcement list, I was pissed! Finally a legend! OK, I’m a huge baby fan! Apparently there aren’t more people here…the attendance is not high…maybe 150-200. Brett Michael drew thousands, for reference.

John and his stripped-down band (drums, bass and another guitarist besides John) killed it! When I first saw the band, there were no keys, no horn parts, and I was like, “Man, he’s not going to play The Babies hits! Boy was I wrong! He did it all! He also did his Solo and Bad English hits! Like playing all their old school rock! He has a great voice and seems to be really happy to play for the audience! This is the highlight of my summer!

I can’t wait to see this documentary! Thank you for your reminder!

Long live rock!

Mark McMahon

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