'Deep As The Ocean' is about unrequited love; my vocal as always is passionately heartfelt and very powerful so much so that after receiving airplay in England, Island Records contacted the radio station expressing an interest in meeting with me at Ronnie Scott’s in London’s Leicester Square. The DJ came to London and waited with me, but after 2 hours passed the supposed meeting time we gave up and left. However, when walking down one of its 12" steps the DJ said, "This is him... the man from Island Records we are here to meet". The man from Island had just walked up the step I walked down and so turning I saw this giant of a man about 7ft 7" accounting for the step as well. He turned around smiling and simultaneously offering a handshake until he saw me... his smile quickly disappeared and his hand was retracted in a manner appropriate to some deadly contagion and said "Oh you're white"; then without another word he turned his back o me and carried on walking into the club. The DJ and I were stunned at what we'd just heard and this man's disgusting disregard for the fact the DJ had travelled several hundred miles and we'd been left waiting for over 2 hours. He couldn't have been more rude and clearly looks dow on people in more ways than one. I went from the excited anticipation of signing with Island Records to a stunned silence, as I processed what just happened in what it meant to me, what he said, his prejudice and his audacity. The DJ was clearly embarrassed and tried to apologise for this man; I told him it was this guy who should be apologising and the DJ didn't need to.
I watched a programme on the history of Island Records recently as I was interested in seeing if this man would feature at all, he did and had apparently been one of their top A&R men for many years. Shame on him for his racist prejudice (it's not right in any guise) that assumes the feeling I put into my singing means I'm not white. It is regrettable that this occurred because as you know, soon after I was rendered severely incapacitated and remained so for many years... if not for his prejudice and had they carried through their interest I could have been saved many years of suffering as described in my biog. However, I am not one to cry over spilt milk and this is not sour grapes, rather, it is merely the anecdote and truth concerning this song in that my heartfelt expression was appreciated to the extent Island Records had wanted to sign me on the strength of it. Also of course implicit is that this man's prejudice was proven mistaken... emotion does not have a colour it is all about the level of suffering and hardship experienced, to say the least and with singing, the ability and honesty in its expression.
[There may be an attempt at a counter to this by saying U2 are signed to Island Records and so they could just argue they weren't interested, but I know the DJ present at the time will back me up on everything I've said.]