John Miles - Night of the Proms - Saarbrüchen - 25th July 1999
I was lucky enough to not only hear John Miles sing live but also to meet him backstage, thanks to a number of Alan Parsons fans and a series of lucky breaks. I will not talk of these here but will concentrate on what we talked about.
I decided when I met him not to tell him how big a fan I was or how far I had come or ask the 101 questions about him and his music that I want to know the answers to. I decided to ask, in the main, about what he was currently up to and so what follows is what I can currently remember that I asked.
New Album?

John confirmed that he was recording an album of ballads. He is recording it in his recording studio at his house. He does not have deal with a record label so who knows if we will hear what he has written?
John Miles Jr

John is producing his son's band "Jay's" first album. It was currently in pre-production (whatever that means). I asked if production had changed much since he produced "Miles High". He told me that it was completely different since the advent of computers. He told me that he has started to use a program on the Mac over the last couple of years to help record / produce his music.
Las Vegas

John is playing two "Millennium" concerts in December with Tina Turner. He told me that he hoped to go over with the family and have a holiday there following the concerts.
Tom and Catherine

John is working on music for a musical called Tom and Catherine. In fact he told me that he was returning home to finish off a few pieces. It will premiere later this month in Newcastle. John told me that if it became successful they hoped to tour with it. I asked how he had become involved and he told me he had done prior work with its writer. I asked if that was "The Machine Gunners". I told him I was annoyed with myself when I knew I had missed it at the Edinburgh Festival (my home town!!!).
Night of the Proms

Mark King came over to say hello to John and I said that I thought they would have sung "America" from West Side Story (as they had done in 98) Mark indicated that as a couple of queens (he was joking) they would only have done it with female costumes. I didn't specifically talk about the Proms but I was aware from Tony Nufrio and the Proms website that John is appearing at over 30 dates the majority of which are in Antwerp and Rotterdam.
Alan Parsons / Rupert Holmes

John said it was fun in the old days to make music with Alan and that he had enjoyed signing "La Sagrada Familia". One of the AP fans told him that they thought it was better than on the album (Gaudi) I told him that I thought his voice had got better over the years and that it was superb on Upfront. He signed both my SITC and Master Series covers. He noted regarding the latter that the photo was 23years old!! I asked whether he kept in touch with Rupert Holmes who produced SITC and Zaragon. He told me that when in New York he had tried to look him up but had not managed to.
Current Music

John indicated that he does not listen to the radio anymore as it's all samples and "thump, thump thump" type music. I said that it seems that "older" stars records were not played by stations and that VH1 was a good video channel for "our" age. A young lady indicated she liked to relax to Wagner, but John indicated that nothing beat Beethoven. I could not comment.
50th Birthday

I could not let the moment pass without asking how his 50th party had gone as I knew Tony Nufrio had attended. He had sung a few songs with the help of Mark King, his son John Jnr, Lisa Stansfeld and her husband. Unfortunately, John could not remember what he had sung.
I am sure that there were some other things discussed. However, the above is the bulk of it. I found John a very approachable guy. An absolute gentleman who signed autographs for everyone, including one on my T-Shirt, posed for photographs and answered any questions. A marvellous experience I will never forget.
Stephen Carson