The Story of White Lion’s “Wait” (1987)

The Album

white-lion-prideOne word (well, actually two) – Mike Tramp! He is one of the best and most memorable voices of hard rock, at least to me he is. Danish-born singer fronts White Lion – a charismatic and immensely talented rock band that made quite the splash in the late ‘80s. Take Mike Tramp and put him alongside guitarist Vito Bratta and you will get the heart and soul of White Lion! Their coming-out party took place in 1987 with a heart-stirring sophomore album, titled “Pride”. 1987 is such a special year in my book and this album is one of the reasons why. That simplistic white design of the cover artwork is unforgettable. What’s inside is even better, though.

Full of exciting hard rock staples, like “When the Children Cry”, “Tell Me”, “Hungry” and of course the song I will be talking about, “Wait”, along with other notable achievements like keeping a position on the Billboard Top 200 chart for a full year, “Pride” may as well be referred to as one of the crown jewels of the genre.  Mike Tramp and Vito Bratta were at their songwriting heydays and they should definitely take “Pride” in what they did…

mike-tramp-and-vito-bratta


The Song

  • Written by vocalist Mike Tramp and guitarist Vito Bratta, “Wait” became the first single of “Pride”. The initial impact wasn’t as big as expected – the song didn’t even chart. It wasn’t until 1988 when MTV secured a regular rotation for the music video that the track finally got what it deserved – a top 10 chart position in the States, along with international recognition as a bonus. Moreover, “Pride” settled at the way cozier #11 chart position. It took “Wait” about 7 months to get noticed from the general public but when it did, all hell broke loose!
  • The mid-tempo rocker conquered the hearts of millions of people all over the world with its sincere lyrics and gentle yet soul-grabbing riffs. Let’s give a round of applause for Mike who turned “Wait” into one monumental sonic experience.

The MV

  • The iconic music video features Christie Muhaw of the dance/electronic pop trio The Flirts. Unfortunately, less than a year after the music video turned this song into a sensation, Christie died at the age of 24.
    In addition to the scenes, featuring Christie and Mike, holding hands, walking around different places and her, running near a beach and posing for close-up shots, the MV follows a well-established formula, according to which a band performance in an empty room is absolutely mandatory.

The Lyrics

“Wait, wait
I never had a chance to love you…”

  • Sometimes in life, people leave out of the blue. All of a sudden, you are left alone, in a white room, with nothing but your love and adoration for that person, burning inside of you. You feel unfulfilled and desperate to get him/her back so that they can truly feel the strength of your love. This is what Mike Tramp is singing about. “So if you go away, I know that I will follow” …because when love is that big you can’t just “let that feelin’ walk out through the door”; you can’t just say goodbye! You have to fight at all costs! The lyrics are quite simple, yet meaningful. I wish more people would protect that pure feeling with all they have, instead of watching it slip away…
  • The death of Christie Muhaw made the lyrics of the song quite poignant.

 

“Wait” Lyrics

Wait just a moment before our love will die
Cause I must know the reason why we say goodbye
Wait just a moment and tell me why
’cause I can show you loving that you won’t deny

Wait and show your loving like it was before
Cause I won’t let that feeling walk out through the door
Yeah wait just a moment and try once more
Cause babe I need to hold you like I did before

So if you go away I know that I will follow
Cause there’s a place inside my heart that tells me
Hold out, hold out, hold out

Wait – wait
I never had a chance to love you
Wait – wait
If only our love could show you
Wait – wait
I never wanna be without you
Wait – wait
No I never had a chance to love you
Now I only wanna say I love you
One more time

[solo]

Wait – wait
I never had a chance to love you
Wait – wait
If only our love could show you
Wait – wait
I never wanna be without you
Wait – wait
No I never had a chance to love you
Now I only wanna say I love you
Wait…


References:
“Wait” Lyrics, retrieved from http://www.azlyrics.com/lyrics/whitelion/wait.html
“Wait Official Wikipedia Page” https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wait_(White_Lion_song)
P.S. I don’t own any audio or visual material used in this publication. All the rights and credits go to the owners and/publishers.
The publication expresses my personal opinion and in no way is trying to make a generalized statement. Please be kind and considerate when you read and/or comment.
Cheers~

The Story of Bonham’s 1989 Debut,”The Disregard of Timekeeping “

When you are the son of one of the members of probably the biggest rock act out there and carry that colossal family name “Bonham” you don’t really have much of a choice, except to fully embrace that musical spirituality you were born with. As a person who grew up in a family of musicians, I can’t but relate to that – that passion for music and the burning desire to be part of that world are running through your veins and absolutely nothing or no one can change that.

jason-bonham-32Jason Bonham, being born into the big Led Zeppelin family, has been drumming ever since he was a little kid, naturally. At the age of four, he appeared alongside his father on that “little” film, “The Song Remains The Same” and the rest is …one hell of a rock&roll ride! By the age of 17, he was already opening up for AC/DC and Queen with his band Air Force. That should tell you something! Throughout his long and productive career, he has collaborated with major names, such as Jimmy Page, Paul Rodgers, Foreigner, Sammy Hagar, UFO and many more. He has done a great job and his father would’ve been so proud of him! Excellent drummer, a brilliant songwriter and a dedicated artist who always gave and keeps on giving his all – Jason Bonham is the perfect example of how nothing in life should be taken for granted, even a royal family name. You gotta work twice as hard and make your own path of success!

One of the many outstanding things he did was forming the hard rock band Bonham in 1989. Together with the one-of-a-kind singer Daniel MacMaster, bassist/keyboardist John Smithson and guitarist Ian Hatton, they truly had all the right characteristics to be the next big name in the late ‘80s/early ‘90s rock music scene. For one reason or another, however, the band lasted for about two albums only. Nevertheless, Bonham still enjoyed a certain amount of commercial and chart success, as well as one lengthy tour and of course, tons of radio airplay. Arguably, “The Disregard of Timekeeping” has to be the better album out of the two they released. I thought it’s high time I featured this glorious hard rock typhoon on my blog!

jason-bonham-band1


 

bonham-disregard

Released: 1989
Genre:
Hard Rock / Hair Metal
Duration:
57:00
Label:
Sony Music Entertainment (CBS Records)
Producer(s):
Bob Ezrin

buy-from-amazon


The Album:

  • “The Disregard of Timekeeping”, the first actual attempt of Jason Bonham to hit it big commercially, became a reality in 1989. The project caused quite the stir among the rock fan communities but it was only natural – the son of legendary Led Zeppelin drummer was about to unleash a new force to the competitive hair metal musical market and fans just had to see through it all!

    The powerful, instantly recognizable drumming techniques of Jason weren’t going to be enough to carry the weight of the band. Daniel MacMaster – a Canadian-born vocalist (ex-Scorcher) was recruited to complete the picture, along with influential bassist John Smithson and lead guitarist Ian Hatton. The final touches were added by producer Bob Erzin who significantly helped in shaping the band’s distinguishable contemporary sound.

    The Led Zeppelin comparisons were inevitable and immediate. No one expected it to be otherwise. Was it more because of people’s already fixed perceptions of what to expect from the band or because it was actually true, Bonham’s debut album “The Disregard of Timekeeping” does have a part of that Led Zeppelin vibe. Also, is it just me, or Daniel MscMaster does sound a little bit like Robert Plant?

    Daniel’s tenor, in combination with Jason’s drum domination perfected a superb AOR sound, which unfortunately wasn’t good enough for the English audiences. Then again, let’s not forget that that’s exactly what happened with Led Zeppelin back in the day! Bonham’s debut album didn’t even find a spot on the English charts. Canadian and American fans, however, were as always more welcoming and gave the band the chance they deserved. A top 40 position on the Billboard 200 Chart and a top 70 position on the Canadian charts, in addition to hitting the gold RIAA status were just a couple of the outcomes. Successful, never-ending tours with major bands, like Bad Company and The Cult granted them an even more favorable position in the hearts of American audiences.

The Songs:

  • “The Disregard of Timekeeping” spawned two singles, both becoming absolute classics of the genre. The Top-10 song, “Wait for You”, credited to all four members of Bonham, turned into an absolute sensation and probably the biggest hit of their career. To fully experience the magic of “Wait for You”, you have to listen it right after the opening instrumental, which bears the same name as the album. The tune itself was of course, a perfected product of the era, but why would we be mad about it? It’s a catchy, sensual, haunting even rock composition, which despite often forgotten, could easily match any other big title from the era. I am a sucker for rock songs that feature a string section. “Wait for You” does hint a little bit of that epic string feeling but it’s their second single – “Guilty” that truly made me fall in love with that album. It just has it all – a mesmerizing intro, unparalleled vocal delivery by Daniel MacMaster and that soul-demolishing violin solo by bassist John Smithson that is sending me to another dimension.

    “Bringing Me Down” is another highly memorable moment on “The Disregard of Timekeeping”. Perhaps that Led Zeppelin influence is way too obvious on that one, but I can totally forgive and forget about it. “Holding On Forever” and “Don’t Walk Away” are the songs I love to crank up because that’s the only way you can do justice to their captivating, thrilling sound. “Playing to Win” is winning me with its lyrics. “Cross Me and See” is another mid-tempo doze of instant satisfaction. “Just Another Day” is a personal favorite, yet again thanks to that exciting string section which just dances with my soul in a beautiful, shattering rhythm. Symbolically, the album wraps things up with a song, titled “Room for Us All”. We live in a forever-changing world but yes, there’s always a room for talented and spirited artists who do things for the right reasons.

What followed next?

  • The perks of that newfound glory, included a busy rockstar lifestyle, lengthy tours and tons of pressure, coming from all directions and people. New management, along with drug and alcohol problems were just a couple of the obstacles, Bonham had to deal with. Vocalist Daniel MacMaster even said that he never wanted to sing again – he was that mortified by the music industry.

    mad-hatter-bDespite all, in 1992, however, Bonham did come back with a sophomore album, titled “Mad Hatter”. Unfortunately, the album wasn’t even half as successful as the debut one was. On top of it all, it was 1992 –people were shifting their preferences towards the big grunge movement which eventually wiped out hard rock acts, including Bonham. Nevertheless, I still consider the sophomore album as a solid effort; definitely not as good as the first one and obviously the band was trying hard to distance themselves from that Led Zeppelin-influenced sound, but still, I give it full points.
    Jason Bonham is still as active as ever, mostly occupied with his Jason Bonham’s Led Zeppelin Experience project, touring all over North America.

 

RIP Daniel MacMaster (July 11, 1968 – March 16, 2008)

daniel


Guilty

Wait for You

Bringing Me Down

Don’t Walk Away


References:
“Bonham” Official Wikipedia Page: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bonham_(band)
“The Disregard of Timekeeping” Official Wikipedia Page: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Disregard_of_Timekeeping
+ Information about the album, referenced from the CD Booklet I own

P.S. I don’t own any audio or visual material used in this publication. All the rights and credits go to the owners and/publishers.
The publication expresses my personal opinion and in no way is trying to make a generalized statement. Please be kind and considerate when you read and/or comment.

Cheers~