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Wherever he goes Richard Marx
Wherever he goes Richard Marx

Singer Richard Marx on the story behind his iconic love song

Wherever you go

Whatever you do

I will be right here waiting for you

Whatever it takes

Or how my heart breaks

I will be right here waiting for you

Two decades after it released, this song from Richard Marx's second album, “Repeat Offender”, is what people best identify the singer with. The song also, invariably, figures in the list of all-time greatest romantic solos.

When the singer came to India, to perform at the Rock'n India concert the other day, he revealed the story behind it. “In 1988, my wife (actor Cynthia Rhodes of “Dirty Dancing”, then his girlfriend) was in South Africa shooting for a film. I wanted to visit her but the South African government refused to grant me a visa because they thought I was going there to protest Apartheid. I didn't see Cynthia for three months. This was before Skype and Internet chatting,” Marx recalls.

Song across the sea

“I got really depressed. I wrote the song in 20 minutes. It was the easiest song I wrote. I made a tape of it and shipped it to South Africa. She got it 10 days later,” he says. A couple of the singer's friends heard it and suggested he make a record of it. “People were reacting to it so strongly. I have so many letters with people telling me how the song affected their lives. Had so many soldiers dedicate the song to their loved ones. Cynthia and I used to say how it was our song and now it's everybody's song. It's an honour.”

Richard Marx's first visit to India was three years ago, for a promotional event in Mumbai. He says of Indian artistes: “I know what many of us in America know. People here know about American artistes because of the amount of press and publicity an artiste gets. It's the same case there.” .

Marx's career graph has been pretty steep. While his eponymous debut album sold three million copies in 1987, “Repeat Offender” went on to reach seven million. In 2004, he won the Song of the Year Grammy for “Dance with my father”, which he had co-written with the late Luther Vandross.

“My only regret is that during the first five to six years, I didn't take a deep breath. I knew it was a grand thing but didn't feel it as I was too busy,” says the singer-producer.

Besides singing, Richard Marx has also been busy as a producer and writer, working with many of the industry's biggest artistes, like Barbara Streisand, Keith Urban, Kenny Rogers, Natalie Cole and actor Hugh Jackman. “As a co-writer I'm working with a rock-based band called Red. I'm also doing some writing work for a brand new unsigned band in Chicago. Let's see if we can come up with some very good material,” says Marx.

“You never know how these things work out. One day I get a phone call out of the blue and next day I'm working with them.”

SHALINI SHAH

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