Starr helps Stevens' album shine
SITTING at a dinner table with Grammy Award-winning producer Dave Stewart, former Noiseworks and INXS frontman Jon Stevens is asked to answer a ringing doorbell.
While securing the services of one half of the Eurythmics in Stewart for his latest album Starlight was a major coup, what came next was perhaps the biggest surprise for Stevens.
Opening the door, Stevens finds none other than Beatles' great Ringo Starr standing before him; a good friend of Stewart's and an unexpected dinner guest.
"G'day, mate, how you going,” was all a shocked Stevens could muster.
Getting over his initial surprise, Stevens said the three bonded, which played a big part in Starlight's success after being released in March this year.
"We were telling stories, asking questions, and as time went by we got the instruments out,” Stevens said.
"Dave and I had written a song called One Way Street, and he (Starr) said he'd love to play on it. The fact he loved it was validation enough but having him play on it, I'm over the moon.”
"It's a lesson in humbleness. He's such a beautiful humble man and I was honoured to spend some time with him.”
Bringing his career full circle, Starlight showcases an impressive musician whose songwriting talents place Stevens among the best in the business today.
Launching his career in his home country of New Zealand as a teenager, Stevens already had two #1 singles by age 16.
Moving to Australia, Stevens dominated the airwaves in the 1980's with Noiseworks, before gaining world-wide acclaim through stage production Jesus Christ Superstar, and his stint with INXS.
In a sign of his longevity, Starlight has become Stevens' highest ever charting album in Australia, which the singer said was invigorating and confirmation he was still "on the right path” during a testing time in the industry.
"It's the same for anybody in any walk of life, you get to a point where you question your ability and prior to doing Starlight, I was doing that,” Stevens said.
"It's like going in a race where you don't know if you're any good any more. You play the same gigs to the same people and think 'Is this it?'.
"But going overseas and working with those guys (Stewart and Starr) was validation for me to keep making music and hanging in there. I'm grateful to be able to do it.”
Enlisting his great friend and another Australian favourite in Kate Ceberano, Stevens will next week begin an eight-leg national tour, which lands at Twin Towns on Saturday, August 12.
"I'm so stoked, we've done a lot of one-off things together, but haven't toured together since Jesus Christ Superstar in 1992,” Stevens said.
Stevens said the pair would re-visit the 1992 production in the gig, which includes a 12-piece brass section.
"We've known each other for so long, it's going to have a great family feel,” he said.
"We love Twin Towns; it's always great to play.”
- Tickets start from $59. Visit twintowns.com.au