When I was in high school in 1964, I went to a British invasion show that featured Peter and Gordon and the David Clark Five. It was heaven.
Then, in 2005, I went to a tribute show at B.B. Kings Club in New York City for Mike Smith, the paralyzed former lead singer and keyboard player for the David Clark Five. On the bill was the first reunion of Peter and Gordon together in 37 years. Also there were The Zombies, Denny Laine and Billy J. Kramer.
Peter Asher and Gordon Waller had gone their separate ways, but reunited this night for Smith. That first night they were back together, I sat and talked with them until 5 am in the morning in the bar at B.B. Kings. What luck to see them again, talk with them and share great memories. They had so much fun they performed a few more times together, until Waller’s death in 2009.
Peter Asher did a recent tribute show at the Cutting Room in New York City to Peter and Gordon and his long career in the music business. For me, it was a wonderful walk down memory lane.
While attending the independent Westminster School as a boy, Asher first met fellow pupil Gordon Waller, and they began playing and singing together as a duo in coffee bars. In 1962, they began working formally as Peter and Gordon. Their biggest hit was the 1964 Paul McCartney song "A World Without Love."
Asher was the older brother of actress and businesswoman, Jane Asher, and radio actress, Clare Asher. Jane Asher was, in the mid-1960s, the girlfriend of Paul McCartney. Through this connection, Asher and Waller were often given unrecorded Lennon-McCartney songs to perform. For a while they lived under the same roof.
Asher called on old friend Denny Laine, an original member of The Moody Blues, to sing the group’s first hit "Go Now" from 1964. Laine later became a member of Wings with Paul McCartney from 1971 to 1981. There are many dots to connect in Asher’s story.
Peter Asher went on to become a well known A&R man and record producer (first to the Beatle’s Apple Records) working with many of the top names in the business. His one-man show looking back at the 1960’s is a delight. He even sings duets with Waller, from video tapes made of their reunion performances.
It was pure magic to have a musical group extend almost 60 years—from my high school days until now. But Peter and Gordon were no ordinary group and their legacy lives on. It is really remarkable.