Interviewing Peter Asher is like talking to music history. He was there, he was actually part of the British Invasion with his hit making duo, Peter (Asher) and Gordon (Waller), banging out forever classics like, A World Without Love and Lady Godiva! Lately, he has been doing a Sirius XM radio show on the Beatles channel, Beatles From Me to You, along with Beatles A to Zed (also the title of his upcoming book).
Asher also produced all the early James Taylor and Linda Ronstadt albums. Needless to say, there was so much to talk about, starting his collaboration with Jeremy Clyde to play a special tour combining the hits of both Peter & Gordon and Chad & Jeremy.
When asked what were the challenges to perform these days, Asher explained, “The challenge is just trying to get it right, we can never recreate the excitement that existed that we felt… but we try to recreate that magical vibe and I think we do a great job.”
Asher explained that Peter and Gordon actually had only performed with Chad and Jeremy once back in the day, and that really was just to as Asher said, “To prove to everyone we were really two different groups. Many people thought we were the same group.”
Peter and Gordon actually reunited to play a benefit after a 37-year hiatus and it went so well they reunited (2005) for a while and were wonderfully received.
Gordon Waller tragically passed away of a heart attack in 2009 at age 64.Then Chad Stuart retired from playing. Then in a twist of fate, Peter and Jeremy hooked up and now tour together. Asher noted, “We had to learn each other’s songs, we knew them from listening to them on the radio but we actually never sang them. He had to learn to sing my songs as I his. I think we do them quite well.”
Asher said he has been out to the East End before joking, “The drive took a little longer then we thought it would.” He looks forward to the intimate setting of Westhampton Beach Performing Arts Center (on Saturday, June 15) and said he, “Looks forward to meeting as many folks as I can after the show.”
He lives in Malibu, California so I asked him what kind of car he drives. He said, “I just actually got a new car. I used to have a Bentley and a mini… I now have an electric Jaguar (I PACE). I was thinking about getting a Tesla then I saw this (the electric Jag) and said this is the one for obvious reasons.”
I also thanked Asher for his contribution in producing James Taylor’s mega album, Sweet Baby James along with Linda Ronstadt’s hit solo albums. Concerning Linda Ronstadt, he said, “I got to work with a lot of brilliant woman singers, Diana Ross, Cher, Natalie Merchant, whomever, but I can say that Linda was the finest singer I ever worked with in my life.”
Asher also mentioned his book, The Beatles from A to Zed is available for pre-order on Amazon! “It’s listed at number 105 on Amazon Rock Books so someone must have bought some. Otherwise it would be like number one million,” he joked.
Their show is a unique opportunity to hear and witness the magic of two wonderful hit making duos sharing their songs with the audience. They will tell great stories about both their songs and the times. Songs many of us listened to them while we were falling love, growing into our late teens, or going to college.
The duos were responsible for 30 Billboard chart hits. From the Chad & Jeremy catalog, they will play A Summer Song, Yesterday’s Gone, Willow Weep For Me, and more. From the Peter & Gordon songbook comes Woman, Lady Godiva, and A World Without Love.
That’s Saturday, June 15, at 8 p.m. at the WHBPAC.
Westhampton Beach Performing Arts Center is located at 76 Main Street in Westhampton Beach. For more information, visit whbpac.org.