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Mr. Mister: Broken Wings

By William Shaw

Mr. Mister can hardly be called fresh-faced ‘newcomers’ to the music ‘biz’. In fact, founder members Richard Page (the singer) and Steve George (the one who plays keyboards) began playing in groups together in their late teens and now…well, both of them are married, both or them have two children and Richard’s got a third on the way (or rather, his wife has). Not exactly spring chickens?

 

“There’s nothing wrong with that,” insists Richard. “To me, someone like Phil Collins is a very good performer because he can appeal to all ages. I mean, I never wanted to be a cult performer. There are people of 72 who like ‘Broken Wings’!”

 

It’s been a long haul for Steve and Richard getting where they are today. They’ve both been in loads of groups and played as ‘session’ musicians on countless records. They once almost made it with a group called Pages, but that fizzled out too.

 

“I have been disappointed,” agrees Richard, “but I’ve never really said ‘That’s it—I quit!’ because I don’t really have anything else to do. My mother once told me to quit after we had a record that ‘stiffed’ [American for ‘it-only-sold-about-four-copies-and-I-bought-three-myself’].” But, instead of quitting, Richard and Steve persevered with their ‘session’ playing until they finally met up with Steve Farris and Pat Mastelotto and formed Mr. Mister. They all describe themselves as ‘musicians’ musicians’. Does that mean that all they do is go on about ‘guitar licks’ and ‘snare sound’?

 

“Somewhat, yes,” answers a shatteringly honest Steve George.

 

“Oh yeah,” nods Richard. “We’ve been blasted back home in America for that. We feel that what we’re going has got emotion behind it, but you can’t please everybody.”

 

Richard’s a bit of a homely sort really. He doesn’t go to all the swish music biz parties. Instead he plays tennis, goes skiing when he gets the chance but generally stays at home whenever he gets any time off.

 

“I’m much more content playing with my daughter or watching TV. I really enjoy my family. I use them to straighten me out when I get too big for my britches. My wife brings me straight down to earth. She tells me when I’m being an asshole.”