John Parr was born in England and played with a series of different bands in his career. His first big break came when he came to the US to work with Meatloaf on his Bad Attitude album in 1984. After recording his first album in 1984 he formed a backing band named The Business and toured as the warm-up act for Toto. The first single from the album was Naughty, Naughty.
The record stalled at #23 on the Hot 100 in March 1985. The video for the record probably helped it reach #1 on the mainstream rock chart.
Later that year John avoided turning into a one-hit-wonder.
Terry Fox was a Canadian athlete who lost a leg to cancer. He began a trip to walk across Canada in 1980 to promote supporting cancer research and prove the resilience of the handicapped. His walk was cut short when his cancer flared up again.
A second Canadian athlete was inspired by Terry’s walk. Rick Hansen was paralyzed at age 15 by a spinal injury as a result of a truck accident. He became a wheelchair athlete and was on national championship teams for both volleyball and basketball. He set out to travel completely around the world in the Man In Motion World Tour in March 1985. The trip took almost two years.
John Parr and David Foster co-wrote St. Elmo’s Fire (Man In Motion) for the soundtrack to the movie St. Elmo’s Fire as a tribute to Rick’s challenging trip. The follow-up to his first single easily topped the charts in the US in September. The record also reached #1 in several other countries. But now you know why the song doesn’t appear to connect to the film directly – it was a tribute to something completely different. While the song obviously called out for an Academy Award nomination, John’s admission that the song was written to honor Rick’s tour made it ineligible for that award.
John had two more records that barely got into the Hot 100 but never reached the top forty again. He still creates music and released his most recent album in 2018.