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Album Release Party

March 27, 2011 by  
Filed under peter


19 Broadway in Fairfax, CA was the site of Saturday night’s
celebration of the release of Peter’s first solo album, STRANGER
THINGS HAVE HAPPENED. It was called a party, and that’s just
what it was. Most of the people there were Peter’s friends from
the area–musicians and non-musicians—with a small contingent
of loyal fans and some of the locals. But it didn’t matter,
because Peter made everyone feel like a very welcome guest That
night, everyone was his friend. And what a night it was!!

Peter was in excellent voice, all his hard work having given
his already fine voice a fuller, richer aspect that emphasized
all of its best qualities. Musically, it was fantastic. There
were 4 sets in all—the first and third, with his band,
consisted of all 11 songs from the album done in their playing
order, while the other two were rock ‘n’ roll jams done with
various of his musician friends, including Sam Andrew, and Chuck
Day, and ranged from “Sesame Street” to Elvis with stops almost
everywhere in between. They brought the house DOWN several times
and made it impossible to sit still!! Anyone who didn’t have a
great time has only him/herself to blame….

The album sets were wonderful. The title track was the only
completely new song, and it’s a knock-out. STRANGER THINGS is
very different—a bit ballad, a little reggae, a touch of New
Age—but very suited to Peter’s voice and style. The version of
“Take A Giant Step” they did live came closest to the album
rendition, which is rather folkish—soft but upbeat, with a
’60’s flavor that doesn’t overpower. Great stuff.

We had been given to understand that the album itself would
not be played, but after the first set, Peter pulled out a
cassette and said, “Here it is. We’re going to play it for you
guys during the break…” And they did. STRANGER THINGS
transcends that “Monkees music” label by light years. By
ANYstandard, it’s an outstanding piece of work that can stand up
against anything out there.

One of the nicest things about the evening was Peter’s
including both his kids in the band for the occasion.—Hallie
doing back-up, and Ivan playing congas. You could see how
important this night was to him, and how important it was that
they be there and be part of it.

He spent the breaks mingling with the crowd, greeting
friends, signing autographs, enjoying it all. It was his night
all the way. He was so “up”, so happy and excited that he
RADIATED And everyone there was just that happy for him.

Peter himself played for the better part of 4 hours, though
during the last set, he turned his guitar over to one of his
musical friends and sat down to watch. That state lasted for
exactly one number. He couldn’t stay still, but just HAD to get
back up there, so he commandeered the bass, and RIPPED it.
Everyone was having such a good time that if it hadn’t been for
the fact that the legal closing time is 2:00 am, it might have
gone on all night.

Afterwards, Peter was prsented with a cake by the
Petermaniacs, and a balloon bouquet sent by a fan from
Louisiana. And while he was starting to look a bit tired, it
seemed that at least some small part of him was glad that it
wasn’t quite over. It was that kind of night—the kind you want
to just go on and on….

It was an extraordinary evening. There was so much affection
and good feeling, so much pride and excitement flowing in both
directions; an audience that wanted to BE pleased and a performer
who wanted TO please…..In short, a perfect match-up. It was an
amazing thing to be part of.

There will undoubtedly be official events to mark the
album’s release, bigger and more “star-studded”, but not one of
them will touch what happened in that little bar that Saturday
night. Because 19 Broadway wasn’t about sales, or promotion, or
business. It was a gathering of friends to give a pat on the back
to one of their own, to celebrate his effort, to share his
success and to wish him well. It was personal. And that’s
something that can’t be “officially” created.

Eva Frizzi

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