Oct 7, 2011
Honeymoon Suite were rock adonises of their time, working with the legendary Bob Rock and Bruce Fairburn on their Billboard charting album The Big Prize in the mid-eighties. They toured in the states with ZZ Top and Journey among others, and had their music featured on Miami Vice. We spoke to singer John DeGiuli (Johnnie Dee) about their biggest track from the album, "Feel It Again."
Can you tell us about the making of "Feel It Again"?
We recorded it in Vancouver with Bruce Fairburn and Bob Rock - they were working together at that time. Unfortunately Bruce is dead now, but that's just the way it goes. After Bob Rock was done with us, he went on to produce Bon Jovi's Slippery When Wet. That worked out great for those guys! But back to "Feel It Again" - that was an idea from Ray (Coburn). Ray kinda put the lyric and melody in my ear, so to speak. I knew Ray well, and I knew what he was trying to say. The song came out easy - pretty simple. Sometimes it's very hard to interpret what somebody's trying to say, but with that song specifically, it just rolled off my tongue.
What are some memorable studio moments?
Quite honestly it was a lot of work. We were doing 12-14 hours in the studio. We did some recording in New York, and a lot in Vancouver, so we're in hotels for months at a time. And then we went to England to mix it down. There's really not much fun happening! When you're recording, by the end of the day, look - you were beat. As the singer I gotta be there for every minute of it - you gotta stay on the ball. Dinners were great and all that sort of stuff, but back in those days studios were so expensive that you had to use up every minute.
After the song came out, what was most rewarding thing about it?
Just getting up on stage and having a big crowd there singing the song along with you. You know you've got something when that happens. It was a big Canadian hit, and I know it got on Billboard too, which was great for the band cause we were touring the states at that time. Everything just fell into place. The record was called The Big Prize, that was the album - so it all worked out really well.
It really was a Big Prize! The music video was said to be ahead of its time. What can you tell us about the making of it?
Yeah, I can tell you that I hated it! Doing videos and all that stuff - I just don't like. It was one of those videos where the producers, directors, whomever are telling me what to do but there's no background. They're saying, "we'll put the background in later." There's this one scene where they put me on a treadmill and said, "pretend that you're walking a dog". So when they had the footage down, suddenly there's a dog in front of me that wasn't there before. So it's so unnatural and it was really tough to do. I remember another thing where they asked me to pretend that I'm falling. That came up and I'm looking at it - just so unnatural! As a singer I was there for four days, and they're there for four hours. But if I could have understood what they were trying to do technically - it was so brand new. If I had understood, maybe it would have been better for me.
Right, cause otherwise you're just fighting with a green screen.
Yeah, you know what I'm talking about!
Whosarmy is covering the song on Sunday, what do you hope to see from them?
I'm thrilled about it! I'm hoping that they take the song and do it their own way. They gotta sing the lyric and the melody, but make it your own. People have been telling me that there's been bands on the show who are doing some covers that are better than the originals! Back to my original point though - let them do what they want with it.