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The Babys’ Original Members Battle as New Lineup Releases Single

The Babys
Chrysalis Records

They were together for just a little more than five years — and they’ve been inactive for more than three decades — but the Babys are fondly remembered as the band that helped launch the careers of singer John Waite, keyboard player Jonathan Cain and bassist Ricky Phillips. Now, following years of frustrated reunion attempts, a new Babys lineup is ready to make its debut.

The 2013 edition of the group includes a pair of founding members — drummer Tony Brock and guitarist Wally Stocker — joined by guitarist J.P. Cervoni and bassist-singer John Bisaha. While they don’t seem to have gotten around to developing much of an official web presence besides a page on Bisaha’s site, they have been busy in the studio. In fact, they recently debuted their new single, ‘Not Ready to Say Goodbye,’ on the ‘Chillin in AJ’s Garage’ podcast. (You can hear it here, around the 42-minute mark.)

But some former Babys aren’t terribly excited about the reunion. Keyboardist and guitarist Michael Corby, who was fired from the lineup prior to Cain and Phillips’ arrival, has taken to his Facebook page in an effort to tell his side of the story — which includes some interesting information regarding attempts to get the band back together between 2003 and 2007. There’s clearly no love lost between Corby and Waite; as Corby tells it, he wrote to Waite about the possibility of putting together a reunion but never heard back from the singer.

“John Waite refused to acknowledge that he had ever received the letter,” claims Corby. “A few months ago John finally admitted he had received it but refused to open it. This was after lying about it over and over again. He now formally claimed, in his delusional mind, that he thought it was a letter from me trying to get free tickets to attend a country-music concert with his ex-fiancée Alison Krauss in London, England.”

Undaunted, Corby reached out to a different — and very well-known — vocalist. “Now, there was a ‘Plan B’ to all this,” he explained in a separate note. “It was a guy on standby in case Waite was still as idiotic and impossible to deal with as he was back in ’78. So, enter one Glenn Hughes, an old acquaintance of mine. If Waite wasn’t going to do it, I fancied replacing him with a guy who can out-sing him a thousand times over and can play a bass like a god instead of like a complete fourth-rate amateur at best … and let’s not delude ourselves here, I’m being generous to Waite. Musically speaking, he can barely play a note and has no real right to refer to himself as a musician. This Plan B would give the Babys the finest rhythm section in the world. The heritage of an ex-Deep Purple player was also a great mix with the rest of us.”

Intriguing as a Hughes-fronted Babys would have been — and as disappointing as it surely is for longtime fans to contemplate a new version of the band without Waite — the current lineup seems eager to get back out and play. According to Bisaha, the new single is a sort of love letter to the band’s longtime fans. As he put it during the show, “The Babys left too early. The Babys were very relevant, and we’re trying to be part of the package to make them relevant again.”

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