powered by  
The Gazette KCRG
Posted November 19, 2009
Satisfied: Richard Marx finds best of all worlds writing, recording and playing for fun

By Diana Nollen

(Nels Israelson photo) Richard Marx, Grammy-winning singer, songwriter and producer, has released his first new CD in five years, “Emotional Remains.” One of the tracks, “Through My Veins,” is an homage to his father, a jingle writer who was “a huge influence” on his songwriting career. “My dad was more discerning than the average person,” Marx says. “He understood the craft of songwriting. He was great at pointing out early on that I tended to write the same song over and over. ... He was right.”

(Nels Israelson photo) Richard Marx, Grammy-winning singer, songwriter and producer, has released his first new CD in five years, “Emotional Remains.” One of the tracks, “Through My Veins,” is an homage to his father, a jingle writer who was “a huge influence” on his songwriting career. “My dad was more discerning than the average person,” Marx says. “He understood the craft of songwriting. He was great at pointing out early on that I tended to write the same song over and over. ... He was right.”

One star reached out and another one was born.

A fortuitous phone call nearly 30 years ago helped point Richard Marx down his golden career path.

It wasn’t just any caller on the line. It was Lionel Richie in Los Angeles, offering the 17-year-old songwriter some advice.

“I remember how kind he was to me and how encouraging he was,” Marx, now 46, says by phone from a recent concert stop in Nashville. “He heard the first four or five songs I’d ever written and picked up the phone.

“What does it say about Lionel Richie that he’d take the time to call some kid in Chicago. He talked to me for 45 minutes, about how he got started and how songwriting is important,” Marx says. “It’s very odd. Still to this day, I can’t believe it.

“He said he lived in Chicago when he was younger, and that ‘You are not going to get your career started in Chicago, you have to come out here.’”

So after Marx graduated from high school, he moved to L.A. He also met legendary producer, performer and songwriter David Foster there, and forged a working relationship and a little star-struck admiration that continues today.

“A couple of weeks ago I sat in with David Foster,” says Marx, who moved back to Chicago in the mid-’90s to raise his sons with his wife, actress Cynthia Rhodes. “I’ve known him since I was 19; he’s a sort of hero of mine. He played a show in Chicago. I was singing ‘Right Here Waiting’ with David Foster playing the piano. It makes total sense — we’re like brothers — but part of me steps back and says, ‘That’s David (expletive) Foster!’”

Looking back to those early years, the young Marx had a lot to learn and Richie and Foster had a lot to give.

“They let me into their world as a sponge. I was welcome in that room any time they were in that room. What a gift that was,” he says. “I learned about making records, relationships between artists and musicians and artists and producers. It was like going to the greatest college of music you could imagine.”

They taught him well. The student has racked up his own impressive list of accomplishments. Singing backup on recordings for Gordon Lightfoot, Madonna, Whitney Houston, Luther Vandross and Kenny Rogers helped pay the rent in the early days.

Before long, he was recording his own string of hits in the ’80s and ’90s, including “Hold on to the Nights,” “Now and Forever,” “Endless Summer Nights,” “Should’ve Known Better” and “Satisfied.” He was the first male solo artist to have his first seven singles hit Billboard’s Top Five; has sold 30 million records; and has recorded 13 number one hits.

That doesn’t count the songs he’s written and produced for a who’s who in the industry, from Barbra Streisand, ‘N Sync, Josh Groban, Natalie Cole, Keith Urban, and Vince Gill to Sarah Brightman, Sister Hazel, The Tubes, SHeDAISY, Daughtry, LeAnn Rimes, Kenny Loggins, Michael Bolton and actor Hugh Jackman.

And even though Marx considers himself more of a writer and producer these days, he has released his first new CD in five years, “Emotional Remains.” He says the disc came together “really quick,” sort of.

“It adds up about three months of work stretched out over five years,” he says. “Being a writer and producer for other artists is my main role. Recording for myself is a fun hobby job. … I go out and play because I love to play.”

He’ll bring a few of those new tunes to the Riverside Casino Event Center on Nov. 28, but realizes his fans really want to hear his hits.

“I just get it,” he says. “I go to concerts, I love going to concerts, but I don’t ever get fully lost in them. I just know too much. I know what the man behind the curtain looks like. I love hearing someone whip out a couple of new songs, but I want to hear the hits. I totally get that.

“I love singing the old songs. I love my catalog of songs; I love reinventing them. That keeps it fresh.”

Just don’t call his time on the road a tour.

“I stopped touring years ago,” he says. “I can’t imagine ever really touring again like I did the first 10 years. It’s not conducive to the lifestyle I love. I have a gorgeous wife and three kids (16, 17 and 19). Two are at home in high school and I don’t want to miss stuff. It’s fine for me to leave on Friday and come back on Monday. I love playing live — touring is not something I’m interested in doing.”

FAST TAKE

What: Richard Marx in concert

When: 8 p.m. Nov. 28

Where: Riverside Casino Event Center, 3184 Highway 22, Riverside

Tickets: $39 and $50 in the Casino Gift Shop and www.riversidecasinoandresort.com; must be 21 or older to attend

Artist information: http://richardmarx.com

25 Responses to Satisfied: Richard Marx finds best of all worlds writing, recording and playing for fun

  1. wonderfull ! you’re the best Michael

  2. That female is just beauitful, I mean most seems to think she is dumb but that’s just an act, it does take some skills to become one of the most famous people in the world.

  3. Excellent site

  4. Madonna is one of my best singers in history. I definitely hope she keeps on singing.

  5. Blogs are a great way to further educate your self. This blog was no exception.

  6. Godines said: On May 9, 2010

    Great video ! Thank you. We are all one family!

  7. Babu said: On May 9, 2010

    Your video is great! So is the concept with song! Thank you Michael ! LOVE

  8. Valuable information and excellent design you got here! I would like to thank you for sharing your thoughts and time into the stuff you post!! Thumbs up

  9. wow, awesome post, I was wondering how to cure acne naturally. and found your site by bing, many userful stuff here, now i have got some idea. bookmarked and also signed up your rss. keep us updated.

  10. I just cant stop reading this.  Its so cool, so full of information that I just didnt know.  Im glad to see that people are actually writing about this issue in such a smart way, showing us all different sides to it.  Youre a great blogger.  Please keep it up.  I cant wait to read whats next.

  11. Recently, I didn’t give so much thought to writing comments on blog entries and have left comments even less. Checking out your insightful page, will probably encourage me to do so more regularly.

  12. Hrmm that was weird, my comment got eaten. Anyway I wanted to say that it’s nice to know that someone else also mentioned this as I had trouble finding the same info elsewhere. This was the first place that told me the answer. Thanks.

  13. What I wouldnt give to have a debate with you about this.  You just say so many things that come from nowhere that Im pretty sure Id have a fair shot.  Your blog is great visually, I mean people wont be bored.  But others who can see past the videos and the layout wont be so impressed with your generic understanding of this topic.

  14. Hi webmaster, commenters and everybody else !!! The blog was absolutely fantastic! Lots of great information and inspiration, both of which we all need!b Keep ‘em coming… you all do such a great job at such Concepts… can’t tell you how much I, for one appreciate all you do!

  15. By far the most concise and up to date information I found on this topic. Sure glad that I navigated to your page by accident. I’ll be subscribing to your feed so that I can get the latest updates. Appreciate all the information here

  16. This is actually my first time here, really good looking blog. I found a lot of fascinating stuff within your blog particularly it’s discussion. From all the remarks on your articles, it looks like this is really a very popular website. Keep up the great work.

  17. Thank you for another fantastic blog. Where else could I get this kind of information written in such an incite full way? I have a project that I am just now working on, and I have been looking for such information… Regards…

  18. I accept, I have on the agenda c trick not been on this webpage in a long time… however it was another prize to observe It is such an noteworthy text and ignored at near so tons, uninterrupted professionals. I gratefulness you to facilitate making people more hip of admissible issues.

  19. Hey – nice blog, just looking around some websites, seems a really nice platform you are using. I’m currently using WordPress for a few of my sites but looking to change one of them over to a platform similar to yours as a trial run.

  20. Easily, the article is actually the best topic on this registry related issue. I fit in with your conclusions and will eagerly look forward to your next updates. Just saying thanks will not just be sufficient, for the fantasti c lucidity in your writing. I will instantly grab your rss feed to stay informed of any updates.

  21. As a Newbie, I am usually searching on the net for articles in which can guide me. Thank you

  22. Appreciate the article. I just happened upon your page and wanted to let you know I’ve dug going over this site’s commentaries. In any event, I shall be signing up to your feed and I look forward to the next post.

  23. I truly love Madonna. She’s a talented singer. Her shows and costumes are all top notch. Hope i can see her live again soon

    Regards,
    Jennifer

  24. this is one of the most interesting websites i’ve had the pleasure to come across. You show yourself to really know what youre talking about. Im going to come back every day just to see what you write. Please keep up the excellent work.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Tags

, , ,

From the community

Local Life

The Gazette Breaking news and sports
KCRG News and weather source

Business The speed of business
Life Quality of life news
Government Eastern Iowa government issues
Crime and Courts Breaking crime and courts news
Higher Education Higher education in Eastern Iowa
Health Health news all the time
Outdoors Hunting, fishing, canoeing, etc
Weather Share your weather conditions with us
Prep Sports Complete high school sports coverage
Schools Covering K-12 education in Eastern Iowa
Sports & Rec Smorgasbord of Eastern Iowa sports

Follow Eastern Iowa Life



Follow Our Writers on Twitter

Cindy Hadish: HomegrownIA
Diana Nollen: diananollen