“Finally, a record that I could do all by myself. I didn’t have to rely on anybody – no singer, no nobody. [Laughs] It was so nice to have an instrumental hit where it was all me. I don’t mean that in an egotistical way, just that it was great not having to answer to anybody.
“I had written this song for the movie. The director, Joel Schumacher, said that he wanted it to sound ‘East Coast, autumn, college, falling leaves,’ that whole thing. So I wrote a piece of music in Vancouver, totally excited – I thought it was great – and I sent it off to Joel. He called me up and said, ‘I really don’t like it.’ I was so dejected.
“Later that day, I was working with Bryan Adams. Quincy Jones had asked us to do a Canadian version of We Are The World. The group we put together was called Northern Lights. I got Neil Young, Joni Mitchell, Anne Murray, Loverboy, Oscar Peterson – all the great Canadians came together. And guess what? The melody that I wrote for St. Elmo’s Fire? Bryan loved it. We used it and wrote a song called Tears Are Not Enough.
“The next day, Joel Schumacher called me and said, ‘Oh, my God… I was so wrong. This melody you wrote? I love it, I love it, I love it! Listen, I know you didn’t sleep well because I told you I didn’t like it… ‘ And I had to say, ‘Joel, I didn’t sleep well because I was working all night. That song is gone.’ He was upset, but I said that I’d write something else for him.
“I was driving across the bridge in Vancouver, and the love theme, St. Elmo’s Fire, came to me. So we got two songs out of it. It was nice to have that happen, because usually things don’t just pop into your head like that; usually you have to sit at the piano and bang it out and work on it. That was one of the few times – the only time – that I was ever inspired in my car.”