Exclusive Interview by Karen Beishuizen
Everybody knows the 1988 smash hit “Waiting For A Star To Fall” by Boy Meets Girl. It is my favorite Happy song. Not many people know that the band wrote “How Will I Know” and “I Wanna Dance With Somebody” for Whitney Houston who had worldwide success with it. Last year they released a digital collection of five songs and this year a vinyl version will be out. GO Check It Out!
KB: What is the story behind the name Boy Meets Girl? Who came up with it?
We sat around the kitchen table one day at our little rental house in Venice, CA, decades ago now, trying to think up band names and finally agreed on Boy Meets Girl simply because we tended to write love songs, and writing a script for a movie you might start with ‘boy meets girl, boy falls in love with girl’, etc. It was a good fit!
KB: Waiting For A Star To Fall was a huge hit in 1988: Were you expecting this success and what inspired you to write this great song?
We never really expect a song to be successful when we’re writing it because there are so many variables that play into the trajectory of a song from the writing of it to the recording, marketing, timing, and any number of other unpredictable elements. The idea for the title came at a Whitney Houston concert in Los Angeles. It was her first concert tour as a young performer, and she had just finished singing our song How Will I Know. When the crowd rose to their feet, applauding and cheering I (Shannon) happened to look up and saw a star streaking across the sky at the open-air venue, so I sat down, grabbed my little notebook from my purse and wrote the lyric, which became the title of the song. Sheer serendipity! It continues to be a reminder to me to get the idea down when it occurs, because it’s easy to forget something that was “such a good idea” unless you write it down or record it on your mobile then and there!
KB: You wrote “How Will I Know” and “I Wanna Dance With Somebody” for Whitney Houston which became 2 of her biggest hits: Did Whitney thank you for it and how did her untimely death affect you?
We met Whitney once backstage at the Greek Theater in Los Angeles. She was only 19 and was accompanied by her parents. When we were introduced Whitney and we kind of spontaneously jumped up and down and hugged. That was thanks enough! Her death was a shock for us and the music community, an incredibly sad event. She was so massively talented, a one-of-a-kind singer and star, and it was difficult to watch her downward spiral knowing her many gifts were being thrown to the wind. More than that though, we felt for her family and daughter who would clearly be facing the challenges of loss and grief.
KB: Are there any current artists you would love to collaborate with and why?
Adele has a stunning, powerful, nuanced voice and seems to put all of herself into her singing. It would be fantastic to write with or for her, wow.
KB: If you were to make an album with 7 of your favorite songs (not your own): what songs would you pick and why?
Hmmm, that’s a tough one and the answer would change daily, or even hourly. This minute though Shannon says, if we can indulge in some magical thinking and have other voices: Shannon says: We Can Work It Out by the Beatles – it’s optimistic; In Pace (meaning In Peace, a classical song but I’d have to have an operatic voice which I don’t have) – simply stunning and soaring; I always wished I could sing like Aretha Franklin so my wishful thinking self would sing Respect – such an emphatic declaration. George adds: Stevie Wonder Superwoman, because it’s so perfect in its own way; Sweet Surrender, a song on Deniece Williams My Melody album written with Thom Bell – stunning rangey melodies, I’d love to figure those out; Beach Boys God Only Knows, stunning melodies. Oh, and Work It by Missy Elliott – maybe the best song ever written!
KB: What is a song you wished you had written and performed yourself and why?
Today we’ll say Foster The People’s Come Sit Next To Me, a shimmery gorgeous sounding pop confection.
KB: I heard that you just completed a new project? Tell me what it is.
Last year we released a digital collection of five songs, called Five. This year we released a vinyl version of the five songs, including a couple of alternate mixes and our own playful recording of “How Will I Know”, that’s fun and bubbly with a kind of breezy sixties vocal vibe. We’ve wanted for some time to put out vinyl and have back cover notes on who played and sang on what. The artwork is gorgeous too, very satisfying to have made this available to our fans. Thank you for your interest in our music, we appreciate it!!
Check out their website: HERE
Find them on Instagram: HERE