PHOENIX (KSAZ) - If you were around in 1985 to 1986, you couldn't escape the band, Mr. Mister. Few acts burned hotter, but what you may not know is the lead singer Richard Page grew up in Phoenix.
Page was 32-years-old when he reached the pinnacle of pop music.
"Oh I was having a blast," said Richard Page.
Page's wild musical ride began at Central High School where he starred in several musicals.
"It was a great experience, I was a horrible student, I had to beg the vice-principal to graduate me. He did because he knew my interests were in music, I had sort of excelled in that area," said Page.
His classmates at CHS voted him most likely to succeed and upon graduating in 1971 he was free to chase his dream.
"The day I graduated high school is the week I went to Hollywood," said Page.
Watch the full interview with Richard Page
My story on the lead singer of Mr. Mister - Richard Page. The Phoenix native reveals insightful stories behind the hits "Kyrie" and "Broken Wings" and his career encore in Ringo Starr's All-Starr Band. #80sMusic #MrMister #RichardPagePosted by John Hook Fox 10 on Wednesday, November 25, 2015
Page along with Sunnyslope HS graduate Steve George knocked around the LA music scene, eventually working with topflight acts like REO Speedwagon, Andy Gibb, Al Jarreau, and Kenny Loggins.
"It really kinda opened up the doors for us, but we never felt like the itch was fully scratched because Steve and I wanted to have our own band," said he said.
The bands Chicago and Toto even recruited Page to be their lead singer, but he declined.
"I struggled a bit and wrote Broken Wings, and the thing just exploded," said Page.
Page and his cousin John Lang also from Phoenix had penned their first number one song. He worried that Mr. Mister would be pegged as a Christian band.
Page was on top of the music world, and he never saw it coming.
When he wrote Kyrie and Broken Wings, did he have any kind of sneaking suspicion? "None at all, no."
"I think I naively thought that it would last, that it would just keep going, that we had everyone's attention, now we had #1 hits, and the album was #1," said Page.
But the follow-up record two years later never reached those dizzying heights, and it gave a lesson that fame can be a curse.
Watch the full interview with Richard Page:
"I've seen it in other people, and I've tasted it just enough to appreciate it, and been able to go back and have a great relationship with my wife, and a great family, and a kind of normal healthy life," said Page.
"I've only met a few people who've really been able to navigate that and still have some equanimity and understanding, and some humanity. Ringo Starr being one of them," he said.
Ringo Starr, the drummer of the most famous rock and roll band of all time, The Beatles. They fueled Pages' musical passion; it's fitting that he's now part of Ringo's All Starr Band.
"But if you told me while I was trying to learn Day Tripper on guitar, that I would be playing with the drummer of this band, I would have thought you were crazy," said Page.
And in concert, Page's songs get some of the best reactions, even after 30-years.
"When you start the intro to either song, the recognition is undeniable. And people just go crazy, it just is part of your existence," he said.
After the success of Mr. Mister, Page played or wrote many huge acts for Madonna, Michael Jackson, Andre Bocelli, Celine Dion, Donna Summer, Hall & Oates. So where did he get his musical talent? Page's mom Joyce was the Assistant Director of the Phoenix Boys Choir for years. His father a musical director at a local church, so music is in his blood.