Songwriting has always been a very personal thing for Rey and though John Oates was the one who reached out to her about working together, she worried about revealing her personal secrets to a man she barely knew.
“I feel as a songwriter you talk about life and everything, but songwriting,” Rey told CBS Local. “You get into each other’s heads and get into a song and bring out these sketches and say, ‘Here, judge.’ But he doesn’t judge, he really leaves an open creative space.”
Though it was a little daunting for her be in a room with her idol— “I Can’t Go For That (No Can Do)” is one of her favorites–Rey says Oates is as laidback in real life as he is onstage.
“He was in motorcycle boots, jeans and a tee shirt,” she said about meeting the guitarist for the first time. “I think he was driving a Subaru.”
Margo explained that the hardest part of working with him was actually finding his home in Aspen, Colorado.
“He picked me up and it was like going to the bat cave,” she joked. “There’s no way I would have found that house.”
When the two finally sat down, together they wrote her song “Let The Rain,” which was about getting engaged to comedian Ron White on a turbulent flight to Paris. When the plane hit a terrible thunderstorm the aircraft plummeted thousands of feet. Margo says the title is a metaphor for adversity.
Luckily, writing the song wasn’t nearly as scary. Rey and Oates finished the first single off of her latest album, Habit, over a little pie and coffee.
“He already knew what the melody would be, the chord changes,” she said. “Our singing together made it perfect.”
While writing two songs with Oates was definitely a career highlight, it was performing alongside the guitarist at one of her shows in Las Vegas that really put the icing on the cake.
“I got to sing ‘One on One’ with John Oates singing the backups just as I heard them on the radio,” she said. “It was amazing.”
–Shannon Carlin, CBS Local