Tim Miner: A Conversation with Tim Miner on his Career and Working with
By Louise Long, fortheloveofsteveperry.com
March 16, 2013
Time Miner grew up in his grandfather's church in Del City Oklahoma. Tim
traveled with him mother and sisters signing. At the age of 16 Tim signed with
Sparrow Records and recorded 2 albums. One was a self-titled release in 1982
and I Know You Think You Know in 1985. At the time Tim also served as a worship
leader for Victory Outreach in Santa Ana, CA.
In 1985 Tim was asked to be an artist at the Residence for Church on the
Rock in Rockwall, TX. Where he was under the direction of bestselling author
Dr. Larry Lea. A co-venture deal with Frontline Records was signed by Tim in
1987 and started developing his own artists. In 1988 Tim signed with World
Records where he worked with artists Kim Boyce and BeBe and CeCe Winans, among
Tim was discovered by Stevie Wonder at a Hollywood Showcase and signed a
global artist, publishing and production deal with Motown Records, becoming one
of the first Caucasians to sign with them. In 2008 Tim signed a DVD
distribution and worldwide music deal with Universal Music Group.
Time continues to score television and movies and has written and produced
for the biggest recording artists on the planet. Now a days you can find Tim
behind the director’s chair directing feature films and music videos along with
TV plots. Recently Tim worked with Justin Bieber as he wrote and produce the
song "Only Thing I Ever Get for Christmas: for Justin's Christmas Album
under the Mistletoe which was released November 2011.
Tim's has a long list of clients that include Justin Bieber, Al Green,
Backstreet Boys, Baby Face, Boys to Men, Brandy, Gladys Knight and so many
more. Currently Tim is an avid Golfer and spends time with his family in
California and continues to work.
(I always know it’s going to find a home even if it’s 14 or
15 years later or even 6 months later, it’ll find a home)
LOUISE: Tim, thank you for granting me this interview and taking
the time out of you’re busy schedule to talk with me.
TIM: You’re welcome.
LOUISE: How many songs and albums have you put out as a solo
TIM: As a solo artist I think I have put out eleven albums
and song wise I have put out almost thirty-five hundred songs I have written or
produced with other artists, but for myself I believe it’s ten or eleven
LOUISE: What is your favorite solo song, if you have one?
TIM: It was a song that I wrote in 1985 called Forgive Me.
LOUISE: I am planning on putting up Missing You and Anyway with
Steve Perry video at the end of the Interview and I have picked out Forgive Me
to put up as well.
TIM: Oh awesome!
TIM: As a side note, I have never put uploaded one thing on
myself on YouTube, ever. I’m not really that good at the self-promotion thing. You
know there are a lot of artists who upload a lot of stuff on themselves on YouTube
every day and I’ve thought about but I have just started my own YouTube Channel
two weeks ago so I could upload my eight year old first time at bat for his
little league team, and he hits a home run his first time, so the first thing I
have ever uploaded happened two weeks ago.
LOUISE: What are some of your upcoming projects?
TIM: I am currently working on a few things. My wife and I
have a film and television company and a script that she wrote called Steal Broken,
it is a prison film and we’re presently in talks with John Travolta and Nicklaus
Cage to star in that and this is basically the first time they have done a
movie together since Face Off, and my wife wrote the script and is on more that
side of things. And my biggest interest in the project is obviously the music piece
and because it is a prison film, it’s going to be something I can pull from the
rock world also the rap world, the music and the soundtrack is going to be very,
very aggressive, so it’s going to be fun to pull from the extreme side of the
rock stuff and the extreme side of the rap stuff. I’m very much looking forward
to that and that’s something that’s very much in play right now.
Also, I’m working on a Broadway show, a buddy of mine, director
and writer, Stan Foster is working on a Broadway adaptation of Joyful Noise. Which
was a film that starred Dolly Parton, well the film company and my friend is basically
remaking it to put up on Broadway, and right now people who are in talks with
to star in that are Faith Hill or Kristin Chenoweth to play the Dolly Parton
role on stage and Jill Scott who is an incredible R & B singer who is
slated to play the Queen Latifa role. So my friend Stan, is rewriting the
storyline and they have asked me to come in and write basically brand new music
for the stage play, so that’s another project I’m very, very excited about.
LOUISE: So do you do the Music Score for the films?
TIM: Yes, I do the underscore for them. Just as a reach out,
the way I met Stan Foster was we did a movie four years ago called “The
Preacher’s Kid” and he wrote and directed that film and I was the composer on
it. All of the underscore and music is mine and all of the original songs are
mine and I actually sing for one of the lead actors in the film, because he was
one of the only actors that did not sing, so when you see him sitting at the piano
singing and playing from the Apollo Theatre that is my voice. It was a fun
project and that is kind of how we connected, through that film and it was a
Warner Bros film. That’s what brought Stan and I together and we enjoyed
working together now we’re getting to work on this Broadway musical together
and I’m excited.
LOUISE; Well, it sounds like you’ve got a lot on your plate
and your keeping very busy, and that’s a good thing.
TIM: Yes, that is a good thing.
LOUISE: Now, shall we talk about working with Steve Perry
and my first question is how did you meet Steve Perry?
TIM: First of all I
like you, am a huge fan of Journey and Steve Perry. My first experience or ever
heard of Journey was, I was on tour as a kid, fifteen or sixteen and was in a
hotel room in Bakersfield CA and I was watching The Midnight Special. Which, (Laughs),
only certain people remember what that is, so I was watching The Midnight
Special, all of a sudden I hear this bluesy groove come on and I’m like, wow,
and so I turn it up and I see this dude come out and open his mouth and just literally
blew me away. And it was Steve Perry and Journey doing Lovin’, Touchin,
Squeezin’. And I was like, wow, who is this? So from that moment on, anything I
could get my hands on that had to do with Journey I was buying it and spreading
the word to all of my friends and telling them they needed to check it out and
so I’m a huge fan of his. Now, skip up to 93 or 94 and my manager Michael
Williams calls me and says some guy named Steve Perry called you today and
wants you to call him. I said, wait a second, some guy named Steve Perry called
me? You mean like from Journey Steve Perry. And my manager said yes I think so.
Just so the readers understand, My manager was a big R & B guy and I was
signed at Motown at the time and my manager really only knew R & B at that
time, and if you asked him anything about any R & B singer at the time he
knew everything about them but he really knew nothing about Rock and Roll, if
it wasn’t R & B it didn’t exist as far as he was concerned. So I said Steve
Perry from Journey and he said yes I think so. So in my mind one of my friends
was playing a joke on my from TX or OK, they called my manager and was acting
like Steve, so I got the phone number and I immediately called it and this guy
answers the phone and I said, “Steve?” And he said, “Yeah.” And I said “Steve Perry” and he said “Yes.” He
said who’s this? And I said Tim Miner and he said Hey Tim, and then I said wait
a minute and I started asking him questions so I said, if your Steve Perry, and
I started asking him questions, and I was like, if your Steve Perry then you were in a group, what’s the name of
the group and he said “Journey”, then I said you put out a solo album and what
was the first hit off that record was and he said “Oh Sherrie”, and then he
said, “Tim, it’s me.” And I’m like, why, how are you calling me? And he said I
heard a song. My guitar player gave me your Motown record for Christmas and he
said there is a song at the very end of the album called Forgive Me, and he
said I’d like to either recut that or maybe we could rewrite some stuff on it
or we can write something brand new in that genre and I said I’d love to. So
immediately we set up a meeting time to get together and kind of meet in person
and that’s how I met Steve, getting this random phone call out of nowhere
through my manager.
LOUISE: So that’s how you met Steve, now how did the song
Messing You come about?
TIM: Well the first day we got together, we actually met
here in California, at one of his residences, and we met up there and one of
his bedrooms had a full blown studio set up in it with recording equipment and
guitars and all that stuff and so we got in there and we talked about Forgive
Me and we talked about changes and he basically said I don’t want to mess with
that song, I love it the way it is so let’s just write something new. I said
that sounds great so we turned the equipment on and I put my hands on the
keyboards and started playing these chords and he said he liked that, so we literally
started there and what I was playing, and we would write was he would have a
microphone and I was at the piano and he would sing these beautiful melodies
over what I was playing, so we kind of hammered out what was the first section and
what would be the chorus section of what would become Missing You. We literally
wrote that song in about fifteen or twenty minutes. You continue to tweak it as
you go along but Missing You happened very quickly and the whole time I’m
sitting there thinking here’s this guy I have idolized all my life and have
loved everything he’s ever done, you know. And I kept pinching myself that I
was in the room working with him. The Missing You writing sessions was only
when we were tweaking it, the actual birth place of that song was in his home.
LOUISE: You knew I have the Missing You writing session on
TIM: What you’re listening to was a writing session in North
Hollywood in a studio, and I was in one booth with a vocal mic set up at the
grand piano and he was in another booth with a mic set up, and we were tweaking
that song. And I would love to know who put that up on it on YouTube, because
it wasn’t me and it wasn’t Steve, I believe it was one of the second engineers
who made a copy of it and uploaded it on YouTube, he actually stole it.
LOUISE: Well I have a copy of the CD of the writing session.
I have a large catalog of Steve and journey DVD’s and CD’s and I know many of
them are bootlegs.
TIM: Yes, that was s
definitely bootlegged. And you know Steve and I talked about it too and it had
to be one of the engineers or second engineer. You know you go in to these
places and there’s a level of trust and ever since that was stolen there’s no
trust anymore, so you know since that happened I don’t do writing sessions
anymore. You know that kind of stuff is personal. There is no trust anymore and
that kind of stuff is very personal. I
will tell you this, there are more tweaking sessions between Steve and I from
here to San Francisco to Hawaii to Dallas TX , all over the place and we
recording some of those sessions, and there are some of those sessions that are so
funny and some of that stuff we would joke around and laugh. But you know that
stuff would hurt some feelings if that stuff ever came out. And so quit doing
that because of the trust issues. But Steve likes to do them and you know we sort
of went down a bunny trail away from Missing You and that’s how we wrote Anyway.
LOUISE: Yeah, I was going to ask you about that. I knew you
worked on Anyway with him, so how did that come into play?
TIM: All of that was
done at the same time, we wrote Anyway at the same time we wrote Missing You.
That was also started the first day we got together at his home, both Missing
You and Anyway were created that day. We basically wrote two songs the first
time we got into the room together. That’s how it came out and as I said we
would go to these different places and record that’s how you tweak it a little
bit more. After this I want you to know I will call him and tell him that did an interview with you and how cool
you are and that I did an Interview with you and this is actually my first
Interview ever. I have never done this. I’ve been asked to do it a thousand
times, but this is my first Interview ever.
LOUISE: Oh wow, that is so cool, thank you so much for doing
this Interview and I appreciate you’re kind words and choosing me to do you’re
first Interview, ever.
LOUISE: What made you decided to do it this time?
TIM: You know I try to get a feeling for someone and how
they communicate, and the other past people who have asked me to do it, And you
know it’s just a feeling I fell internally and I’d I feel someone is out to
bash Steve or Journey and if I get any if I get reservation in the message I
don’t even return the call or the mail.
LOUISE: But you returned mine, and in that email it said “sure”,
so I was like WOW.
TIM: You know like I said I get this internal feeling and
through our communication online and through email and I could tell you were a
real fan of his.
LOUISE: It is, and I’m fifty years old and his music has
gotten me through a lot of hard times and good times. I got to see Journey in
concert in 79 and for me it is about the music. Music moves me and music helps me through the times when it’s
good send when it’s bad, I’m always listening to the music and work and I’m singing and snapping my fingers
and when there are no customers around I’m dancing around especially when Journey
comes on. I’m just a genuine person, I’m just me. (Laughs)
TIM: I can tell, and it comes from a place of honor and when
I meet someone who wants to honor Steve, I will talk to them and I can tell all
you want to do is honor him, so I decided to do this one,
LOUISE: Tim, I so appreciate that, you have just brought
tears to my eyes. Thank you so very much. I am truly honored and you know on Facebook
I have a lot of haters on there, and you know I don’t do a lot of the personal
stuff on Steve, for me it is about the music. It’s the music for me, it moves
me and it has for thirty years now.
TIM: You know, I’m a
fan too and he is a great man, he really is. He’s a good man, he really is and
you know I don’t work with crazy people and you know I get phone calls who try
to hate on it. And I got similar phone calls about Steve. That he’s this and
that and when we got together that wasn’t my experience, he knows what he wants
and he works very hard at what he does and that’s why he’s the best at what he
does. You know people have put labels on Steve, he’s a perfectionist and you
know I guess I am that way too.
TIM: Absolutely! We had one phone call a few years ago about
writing again and I always say yes. You know it hasn’t happened yet and if it’s
supposed too it will. You know my wife’s best friend got married in Nashville
two years ago and you know the dance between her and her dad, the father
daughter dance, at the recession they were playing Faithfully. So this was a
huge wedding, there were about a thousand people there and it was a beautiful
summer night. And there were lighters in the air like at concerts back in the
day and it wasn’t Steve’s version it was a wedding band playing it and I got Goosebumps
and I videotaped it then I emailed it to Steve and told him man, look how much
love that is continuing to shine right here in Nashville right now. And he hit
me back and said, “That was beautiful and thanks for sending me that.” We
continue to go back there often and there is a project I’m working on up there,
we’re in and out of there all the time.
LOUISE: I go to Nashville a lot because my son and
grandchildren are there.
TIM: You’re in GA?
LOUISE: No I’m in TN.
TIM: Well there’s a guitar company not far from you in
Rossville, GA called Warner Guitars and that is the guitars I play.
LOUISE: What was the best part about working with Steve?
TIM: I believe the stuff that had nothing to do
with music. When we were in TX I remember taking him to a Chili’s and we’re
sitting at a table and about fifteen college kids come running up to the table while
we were sitting there, and their like we don’t want to bother you but are you
Steve Perry? He’s like yes and they were like we have Journey’s Greatest Hits out
in the car, would you mind signing it and he would so they went and got get it.
My favorite part about working with him is just seeing how he is and how he is
with his fans, and how they love him. And I remember another time, we was just
finished cutting a song and we used the Dallas symphony on Missing You and we
had just finished cutting the orchestra that day and I was taking him back to
the hotel. And we had maybe nine or ten engineers that was working together, so
taking him back to this hotel, and in this huge lobby area was this huge white
grand piano, and it has marble floors. That’s where all of my clients stayed when
we were in TX. So I sat down at the piano and I start playing Missing You and
he looked at me like, no I’m not going to do it
but all of a sudden he starts, “The
hurt in your heart…..” So it went from eight or nine of us to every guest in
the hotel and they heard that song and you could never do that today. Because
someone would upload that or start recording it online. And this song had not
even been released yet, we had not even finished producing it, so he sang one
verse and the chorus in the lobby for about four or five hundred people who had
never heard it. So my favorite times of working with him was not working in the
studio, my favorite times were the dinners and the hanging out. We only wrote
two songs together and we recorded in San Francisco and you know I am a fan,
Yeah, I’m his producer and co-writer and I played the piano and bass and did
the backup vocals then we brought in Michael Landau on the guitar. His keyboard
player came in and then he asked me who I wanted to use so I brought in all of
my guys, for Anyway and Steve was blown away for what he wrote, Michael Landau
was one of my guys I’ve used for twenty years, whom he’s played on the biggest
albums on the planet so I said I wanted to use Michael and he said what about
the bass and I said I’d like to play the bass. And the keyboard we used was
actually rented and I wanted to do it over and he said no, he loved it the way
it was. So I said let me try to replay it so we went to a place where there was
a grand piano and he said no, there was something magical about that first time
we made that piece. But he was right, there was something that was captured
that day, you know the first time we wrote it, I couldn’t recapture it again.
No, but he was that way you used
the guys you want to use and all that so it was very cool, And you have to
remember that I was s a fan and he was in the position to say you know you’re a
snotty nose little kid and I’ve sold five hundred billion albums but he was the
most humble artist. You know artists like him and Al Green have albums done it
all at the highest level, and even to this day their songs are continuing to be
rerecorded and rereleased, and all that stuff and to have them ask what do you
think Tim? That meant so much to me and here is this guy who have released all
these things and still have a childlike innocence inside of there that gets
excited, So that was the times I loved working with him when we weren’t
LOUISE: You know I’m coming to CA
next month if work permits and my ultimate goal is to get an Interview with
Steve and if by chance I run ino him when I am in CA I would love to get a
picture and an autographed, (laughs).
TIM: Well, once this gets posted and he sees how
he was talked about my me and how you conducted the Interview, I think he’s
really going to be blessed and beside himself, and I believe that will happen
with this Interview, it’s going to open
the doors for you guys to do that. And you know he will tell you, he’ll read it
and I expect to get a call from him and he’ll ask the same questions, why did
you do this one? You’ve never done one before. He’s very intelligent and smart
and he knows I’ve never done this before, so I expect to hear from him asking
why did you do you finally do this now and I’m going to tell him because I
think you’re a true fan and your cool and for you it’s about the music.
LOUISE; You don’t know how much you’ve
have made my day and my heart is beating so fast right now and I am so excited.
LOUISE: I’m going to ask you one
last question, describe Steve Perry in one word,
LOUISE: Thank you so much for your
time and for tis interview. It means a lot to me and you have made me very
happy by honoring me with doing you’re first Interview with me. Thank you so
TIM: One last thing; I love seeing
him get honored and he deserves it. And you know I am one of those who believes
that love conquers all and the light is what shuts out the darkness, That’s what
he is, he’s a very light person and his personality, and I’ve never seen him without
the biggest smile on his face, and he loves people.
LOUISE: He seems like he’s a very
TIM: He is.
LOUISE: Again I thank you so much for this Interview.
TIM: It was my pleasure and God Bless.