Tag Archives: Johnnie Dee

Other Side Of Midnight…..

Honeymoon Suite/Haywire/July 26 1988/Thunder Bay/Fort William Gardens

Summer of 1988 rolls around and the Suite Express shows up again to play the Gardens and whats evidently clear is the place is almost half empty as when they rolled into town 2 years earlier the Barn was almost sold out say 4000 or so and well now (1988) maybe just over 2000 people and from where i was sitting(straight at the back of the Gardens ) there were patches of people around me and my lady friend.

Like i said last week in the Racing After Midnight album review this album I thought was there best but  for many it slid by kinda bizarro but hey what do I know! Finicky album buyers back in 1988!

So Haywire is plugging there current release Don’t Just Stand There and what’s clear is that they have ditched the baggy pants/bright clothes that they wore 2 years earlier when they played Tbay supporting Kim Mitchell ! Now they were into the street rock look with the leathers and whatnots and a heavier punchier sound live! That night even Haywire impressed me with a little snipet of Aerosmiths Mother Popcorn thrown into one of there tunes! Shit Ya! Good call !

Honeymoon Suite hits the stage with a one two punch of Other Side Of Midnight and Tears On The Page and we’re off an running! Pretty slick  lighting show and Johnnie Dee lead singer played a lot of rythm guitar that night as his leg was in a full sized leg cast! Story went to the effect that he was crossing the road at the airport in LA and boom some car hit him and snap a roo …but hey here he is in Tbay the show must go on and it did! This I thought was a better show than 2 years earlier oh yeah that’s cuz I liked Racing After Midnight that much better than the Big Prize!

Lookin Out For Number 1,Long Way,It’s Over Now and the two opening songs were played off of Racing After Midnight so about half the record was played live! Of course a healthy dose of the debut and Big Prize were represented that night as well. This was another good performance from them so in 3 years,one as a opener and two as headliner Honeymoon Suite was moving on up in the live ranks but Racing After Midnight was the end of I guess there Arena run. There next release Monsters Under The Bed in 1991 was buried by a Seattle musical mudslide that wiped any chance of them sustaining any momentum! Case in point they were in Tbay early in 1992 playing the Inntowner(bar)….

SONIC WAVES….Honeymoon Suite/Racing After Midnight


Yep so Honeymoon Suite were I band I dug especially from the Big Prize on. The debut had some good moments (Funny Business) and some goofy moments(Wave Babies) but all in all they had a good vocalist in Johnnie Dee and a good guitar player in Derry Grehan! There second album (Big Prize)was produced by Bruce Fairbairn(RIP) who went on later to produce Bon Jovi/Aerosmith/VH/Kiss/ Yes/Dan Reed and many others and oh yeah Krokus ha! But by the third album The boys went down to LA and hooked up with Ted Templemen who worked with the Doobie Brothers and well also Templemen produced the first 6 VH albums with David Lee and of course my other fav,Eat Em And Smile and  many others as well.

So when I read this in Music Express Magazine I knew the guitar would not be drowned by the keys! Yippity Ki yeah!

LOOKIN OUT FOR NUMBER 1- drums and boom here comes Derry and his guitar. The album is off to a racing start. Good for them Honeymoon is on a roll with the previous two albums being good in there own right. So off to LA LA Land and hey I likey what I hear so far!” This time there’s no turning” back sez Johnnie Dee he continues with ‘ you tell the boss he’s at a loss I’m Lookin Out For Number 1″ ha if I said that I would be lookin’ not out for number 1 but for a job! Great lead off track!

LONG WAY BACK- Derry leads off with a power riff and holy crap Michael McDonald from the Doobie Brothers co wrote this with them and it’s a great track. Michael McDonald also cowrote the great Van Halen track I’ll Wait from VH’s 1984 album but it wasn’t Til many years later he was actually credited.

COLD LOOK- coulda been a single make that a rock single. Good song and it’s got there sound plastered all over it ! That’s the thing I really like about this record as it’s more guitar rock and it’s not lost on the mix! But hey you get Ted Templemen producing Van Halen Ya think Teds gonna tell Eddie”I think we should crank the keyboards here?” Nope, but Templmen keeps the keys chill on this release.

LOVE FEVER- pretty good song as well! I even know that Honeymoon has to chill out in the Suite every so often and I’m good with that!

OTHER SIDE OF MIDNIGHT- the tour opener for the Racing After Midnight tour! Boom,drums and than Derry plays some fancy dancey Eddie like riffs and we’re off and it’s easily one of my fav tracks of there’s!  Johnnie Dee nails down a superb lead vocal on this track as well and Derry goes off on the solo! “ladies in waiting, listennnning to the radio” wham and this song it just kicks man!

LOVE CHANGES EVERYTHING- Yup this was the single and for the fans of the band everyone knows it but for the general casually lazy Honeymoon fan maybe not the single well the video never really caught fire! Kinda surprising ….

ITS OVER NOW- The big power rockish ballad thats supposed to push the album over the top but it didn’t! I mean Europe drips Carrie everywhere and sells huge and this track is buried …ah well that’s the way it goes sometimes!

FAST COMPANY- love this song,it’s got some real good percussion and the song just rocks along and a decent clip but without overdoing it to the point that it makes me nauseous! Dig the middle part where you hear the screeching of tires,bottles smashing….Wowzers I’m Rumbling with the Suite Boys!…

TEARS ON THE PAGE- So blind to see,with the Tears On The Page sez Mr Dee and this is my other fav track! Great guitaring during the verses and the Chorus drives the point home! Great tune….

LETHAL WEAPON- yeah the tune from the first Lethal Weapon movie. This song to me always seemed out of place on this album. That’s ok I’m sure this sold a few more copies with it on it.

IN CONCLUSION- Honeymoon Suite goes to L.A and sets up shop and puts out a more guitar oriented Rock record which I really dug but for some reason it never really took off! When I do listen to these guys it’s this one and Monsters Under The Bed(very underrated ). Johnnie,Derry,Rob,Dave and Gary rocked it up. Good job fellas!