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Doncaster News and Features: Famous Doncastrian: John Parr

John Parr of Donny

John Parr


Eighties big-hair rock icon was born and still lives in Doncaster. Best known for rock anthem St Elmo's Fire.

"The Silence", formed at age 12 with two school-friends, enjoyed considerable success in clubs & dance halls of Northern England. The band later turned professional and became "Three for All". They worked the pro-circuit in Europe culminating in a six month season at Caesar's Palace. For the next 2 years, they were the toast of the circuit. John then formed "Ponders End" and, along with a group from Newcastle called "Dire Straits", they were hailed as the best live act around. The rest is history...they got the deal and John's band didn't. "Ponders End" came to an end.

John had secured a publishing deal with Carlin Music in 1983, the same year "MEATLOAF" asked him to write some songs for his new album. That led to the fateful meeting with John Wolfe (manager of THE WHO). Foreseeing the demise of THE WHO, Wolfe was looking for a new venture and John Parr seemed to be the one. 1984 was John's first trip to America. He worked with MEATLOAF on "Bad Attitude" while Wolfe was putting finishing touches on John's Atlantic Recording Deal in New York.
John Parr of Donny
NAUGHTY, NAUGHTY was John's first U.S. top 5 hit record. The song built his career very quickly by achieving top 3 positions on every rock station in America for up to 6 weeks. 1985 saw John on the road with his band "The Business" supporting TOT and playing 10,000-seater venues across America. By the end of the tour, John had a call from one of the world's most successful producers, DAVID FOSTER. Foster requested John to write for the movie "St. Elmo's Fire." The song became a #1 hit for John around the world and provided many awards and a Grammy nomination.

His success continued, touring with TINA TURNER, HEART, THE BEACH BOYS, BLUE OYSTER CULT, and the biggest gig of his life as special guest with BRYAN ADAMS at the Canadian Exhibition Center performing to over 55,000 fans.

John later wrote "Under a Raging Moon" for Roger Daltry, a song that paid tribute to Keith moon and told the story of THE WHO. The album became Roger Daltry's biggest success in America. John was soon singing with MARYLIN MARTIN on the Kevin Bacon movie "Quicksilver." John wrote and produced further tracks for Marylin's debut album, including the hit "Night Moves." After the success of MEATLOAF's album, John contributed to the next album with the smash duet hit "Rock & Roll Mercenaries." From there he began work with Albert Magnili (director of PURPLE RAIN) on the movie AMERICAN ANTHEM for which he wrote and performed the main theme "TWO HEARTS."

The Pepsi Company and Jack Calmes Satellite TV Corporation wanted to try something new - a gig from London beamed live across America, Japan & Australia on the college Satellite Network. John was the featured act, having done 2 similar shows (one from the Olympic Stadium in Los Angeles where the flame was lit for a special performance of St. Elmo's Fire, and was beamed live for Japan, and the New Year Christmas Show from London). The show was a great success, reaching almost 50-million people and making broadcast history for the network.

John was to rewrite with DAVID FOSTER again in 1987 working on the TOM SELLECK move "Three Men and a Baby." Along with MARVIN HAMLISH and CAROLE BEYER SAGER, they wrote "The Minute I Saw You," the title track, which John also sang. The movie became Disney's most successful motion picture to date.

John traveled back to Germany to work with HAROLD FALTERMEYER (Beverly Hills Cop, Top Gun) on the ARNOLD SCHWARZENEGGER movie "The Running Man." "Restless Heart," again written and performed by John, became his 7th movie theme.

John's realization of a dream came when he had the chance to work with the legendary producer JOHN 'MUTT' LANGE (Foreigner, Def Leppard, The Cars, etc.). They co-produced an album for the new band "Romeo's Daughter." A collaboration with RICK WAKEMAN followed, where he performed 2 songs on the TIME MACHINE album.

In between this, he completed his new album MAN WITH A VISION, and traveled to Australia to perform as PARIS in the rock opera of the same name. On the Paris album, John Parr performs the role of PARIS, Prince of Troy, youngest son of Priam and King of Troy. MAN WITH A VISION is John's 3rd album, and his first release on the European label BLUE MARTIN RECORDS (a division of K-tel Switzerland AG) in 1992.

Lyrics from St Elmo's Fire:

Growin' up, you don't see the writing on the wall
Passin' by, movin' straight ahead, you knew it all
But maybe sometime if you feel the pain
You'll find you're all alone, everything has changed
Play the game, you know you can't quit until it's won
Soldier on, only you can do what must be done
You know in some way you're a lot like me
You're just a prisoner and you're tryin' to break free
Chorus:
I can see a new horizon underneath the blazin' sky
I'll be where the eagle's flying higher and higher
Gonna be your man in motion, all I need is a pair of wheels
Take me where my future's lyin', St. Elmo's Fire
Burning up, don't know just how far that I can go (just how far I go)
Soon be home, only just a few miles down the road
I can make it, I know I can
You broke the boy in me, but you won't break the man
(chorus)
I can climb the highest mountain, cross the wildest sea
I can feel St. Elmo's Fire burnin' in me, burnin' in me
Just once in his life a man has his time, and my time is now, I'm coming alive
I can hear the music playin', I can see the banners fly
Feel like you're back again, and hope ridin' high
Gonna be your man in motion, all I need is a pair of wheels
Take me where my future's lyin', St. Elmo's Fire
(chorus)
I can climb the highest mountain, cross the wildest sea
I can feel St. Elmo's Fire burnin' in me
Burnin', burnin' in me, I can feel it burnin'
Oooh, burnin' inside of me... (to fade)


Thanks to IDS for the biography.




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