Welcome to HatRadio!, Episode 44 with my special guest, the inimitable spirit, an entertainer, performer, founder of Michael White and the White, original lead singer of Motley Crew, a singer/songwriter, a Dad/family man and a fellow who went through a lot of awful shit when he was a kid – ladies and gentleman, a big hand for Mr. Michael White.
So, on the morning of the show, I stuck my head out my door to see Michael walking down the hall. I like doing that. Sure enough he got off the elevator and headed toward me, his long rock-n-roll hair hanging down and his 6’4″ frame sauntering, slowly, as if to be taking in the moment. We greeted and hugged. Old friends. We hadn’t seen each other in a while. Michael was my voice teacher and we used to schmooze for hours in his low lit and warm home studio. But it had been a couple of years. You know how it goes.
I always liked Michael because he speaks slowly, methodically and regularly wears a warm, gracious, and childlike smile on his face. He is decent and inspirational. He made me feel good about myself. And I knew I was with a real, authentic rock-star. And I love rock-stars. I’ve interviewed a few of them. They just have this way about them…a sort of ‘life is whole lot of fun. It can be meaningful. I love what I do. And fuck you. I’ll show you.’ What else could you ask in a friend.
So, My friend, this larger than life man, comes into my home. I direct him to his seat. We did a sound check. He knows what he was doing. We tape the show. We cover a lot of ground like we used to do in his studio. The big topic of conversation in the first half of HatRadio! episode 44, was about his Mom. They were living in Los Angeles. Michael was 13. One day, he comes home, goes to the next room, hears a shot and finds his Mom, with a bullet in her head. Dead. Oy! Damn. My heart always breaks when I think about Michael, when he was my son’s age, going through that. Damn. And he goes to school the next day….no tools to help him. No therapy. Nobody to hold him and comfort him. ‘Are you okay?’. Big hug young Michael.
But, later in life, he was okay. More than that. After Michael figured things out – what does he do to remember his Mom, to let go of those tough feelings (and this is reflective of his driven spirit)? Well, he wrote a song about her end of days called, ‘Baby, Who’s Gonna Stop You Now?’. And it’s not what you think. Have a listen. Let me know what you think. I think it’s hauntingly upbeat. 1:01:28
Michael is the founder of Michael White and the White, the greatest Led Zeppelin Tribute Band ever. Jimmy Page and Robert Plant adore his work. They told Michael so. People lined up around the block to hear Michael and his band. During our interview he tells great stories of those days, as he beamed with pride. Yes, he tells us what we want to know: insight into the life and mind of a rock star. Listen to the crazy-ass story about how he went into Prince’s studio (with his production guy), to hear a recording of the Purple Rain stars’ rendition of Voodoo Child, with Miles Davis. But the kicker of the story, is the bed in the studio. Yup. The bed. 1:36:41
Today, Michael, at 64, has developed a Beetles show…. you know, When I’m 64. He’s a family man, teaches voice, composes, creates huge rock performances with school bands, invents and then reinvents. Oh yes, Michael’s played with Jeff Healey, Alice Cooper, Nikki Sixx (Motley Crue), Keith Emerson, Pat Rush, Steve Morse (Deep Purple), Rick Wakeman (Yes), Albert Lee (Jackson Browne/Joe Cocker) and Dweezil Zappa.
My dear friend is truly a fascinating guy, and he is because he has heaps of life experience, with bag full of instruments and musical notes and he’s wise. And there ain’t nothin’ like a wise rock-star.
Have a listen. Ladies and Gentlemen, Michael White!!!! An exciting and inspiring show. HatRadio! The show that schmoozes.
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