Peter and Gordon reunite at Fest for Beatle Fans


Photo courtesy of Patrick Callaghan
Update (4/12/06)
  • A small correction on the Akron date: It's Lock 3 Live. The website hasn't been updated with the summer schedule as of yet.

    Update (4/11/06)

  • Here are the only show dates of Peter and Gordon scheduled at the moment: April 22, Cache Creek Casino, Brooks, CA. ; July 22, the Loch Three Live series in Akron, Ohio. Also on the bill is the Yardbirds and a Beatle tribute band.; July 23 at Humphrey's in San Diego with the Turtles and co-headliner Peter Noone's Herman's Hermits.
  • We've been told by a reliable source -- and confirmed with Martin Lewis himself -- that the note from Paul McCartney that Martin read right after the opening song was a complete surprise to Peter and Gordon. They weren't even expecting Martin on the stage at that point of the show! Here's text of the account of the event:

    SIR PAUL McCARTNEY SALUTES PETER & GORDON REUNION

    Sir Paul McCartney – who custom-composed four of the nine Top-40 hits recorded by legendary 60s duo Peter & Gordon – issued a special message on Saturday on the occasion of their first full-scale reunion in 39 years.

    Peter Asher and Gordon Waller gave their reunion concert in front of over 3,000 fans crammed into the Grand Ballroom of the Crowne Plaza hotel at Giant Stadium just outside New York City. The concert was the headline attraction of the 32nd Beatles fan convention - held annually in NY since 1974. (Originally known as “Beatlefest” – latterly known as “The Fest For Beatles Fans.”)

    The duo was introduced on stage by one of their friends – humorist and Sirius radio host Martin Lewis – who has emceed the conventions since 1992 – and who helped organize the reunion.

    When the duo arrived on stage to sing their 12-song set (backed by a 9-piece band comprising top session men) Lewis surprised them and the audience by reading out a special message he had just received from Sir Paul in London. (Lewis had casually mentioned the upcoming reunion to McCartney while they were chatting backstage at the Grammys in February – and McCartney had expressed delight at the news.)

    In his message - McCartney drew reference to “A World Without Love” - the breakthrough song he wrote for them in 1964 – that became a worldwide Number One hit. He expressed the hope that their reunion would “help to make a world without love into a love-filled planet.” The surprise message delighted both the singers – and the audience – who responded with a prolonged roar of approval.

    Peter & Gordon received a rapturous reception during their 50-minute show and left the stage to a thunderous standing ovation. Among the hits they performed were all four songs McCartney specially wrote for them – “A World Without Love,” “Nobody I Know,” “I Don’t Want To See You Again” and “Woman” – and other hits such as “I Go To Pieces,” “True Love Ways” and “Lady Godiva.”

    The duo is now contemplating undertaking additional select live appearances and have agreed to star in a PBS pledge-week concert special featuring legendary 60s performers.

    The full text of Sir Paul McCartney’s message is:

    What the world needs now is Peter & Gordon to sing their songs and remind us all of the fab years they are from. I’m very glad to hear that they have got together after these many moons and are going to help to make a world without love into a love-filled planet Paul McCartney

    Update (4/10/06)

  • From Patti Murawski:

    Forgot to tell you that Peter Asher said during the interview segment that actor Mike Meyers admitted he modeled the appearance of his Austin Powers character on Peter's 1960s look, crooked teeth and heavy frame glasses and all. Check this page out: http://hometown.aol.com/peterandgordon/AustinPowers.html P.S. Gordon has a website for P&G at www.peterandgordon.us If you check out the concert section there are photos of a concert they gave in Dec 2005 in the Philippines.


  • John Davies has put up a few videos from the Fest, including two Peter and Gordon songs, here.

    Update (4/5/06)

  • From Patti Murawski:

    Everyone is correct, it was a bit rough in spots, but no one seemed to mind...now that's music!

    The duo signed whatever and how many items fans brought to the table during the autograph sessions. Gordon was mostly silent while signing autographs. Peter was very friendly and gracious; he seemed to be getting a big kick out of the whole thing.

    During the interview by Martin Lewis Peter said the impetus to get together was Mike Smith's situation. Paul Shafer approached Asher (they are friends) about it, and he said, "How can you say no" to the request, it was for a good cause for an old friend. He also said that Gordon has had a singing career all along, but he had to start relearning the songs, had to start singing again, and employed a vocal coach to get his voice back into shape. Didn't sound bad on my end!


  • And does one of the gents in this picture from last weekend's Fest For Beatle Fans look like someone? "Beatletoons" author Mitch Axelrod says he attracted quite a crowd. That's Bruce Spizer on the far right, by the way. (Thanks for the pic. Mitch.)
  • Frank C. Branchini added a song we left off the set list: "To Know Him Is To Love Him."

    Update (4/4/06)

  • From Patrick Callaghan:

    Hi Steve--

    The Peter and Gordon reunion at the Fest for Beatles Fans was indeed a gas! The band Liverpool backed them up beautifully, along with a horn section for a few numbers, such as "Lady Godiva." Peter Asher wore rimless glasses all day and for most of the show, but, as you may see in the photo, pulled out his trademark black horn-rimmed specs for the big finale of "A World Without Love" and the encore of 'Woman." The pair were troupers all day Saturday, signing hundreds and hundreds of autographs, telling great stories in a Q & A session with emcee Martin Lewis, and then doing their show. I thought their voices were in remarkable shape, and they seemed to enjoy performing together again. A highlight was their version of the Dave Clark Five's "Because," which they performed for last summer's Mike Smith Benefit-- it really suits the classic P & G sound.

    Cheers!
    Patrick Callaghan
    South Portland, Maine


  • From Kris Tash:

    Our little gang (Patti, Jennie, our Barb from Brooklyn, and Marie, Mary Ann and myself from NJ) were all there to witness the P&G reunion and got to hear the note from Paul read aloud by Martin Lewis. All I can say is, it was truly fantastic to hear them together again... that alone was worth the price of admission to the 'fest. I saw them back in 1965, and it was like being transported back in time. Yes, it was a little rough, but the magic was really truly still there... they were wonderful! I'm so glad to have been there!


  • And in a second note, Kris wrote:

    The whole thing was just so touching... they were just so funny and sweet and entertaining. Gordon is like this perfect straight man to Peter, and keeps up this stream of hysterical comments that he'd just interject from time to time. Lewis also interviewed them for almost an hour straight, and they were very gracious and patient with all the questions. The one that moved me most was when Peter said his daughter attended the performance they did at the Mike Smith benefit and she was crying watching her dad and Gordon perform. It almost made me cry to hear! Also they signed autographs for hours, too, and were very very nice and patient during all that time as well. It's just super to have them back!

    (4/3/06) It sounded a little rough in spots, but the very much anticipated reunion of Peter Asher and Gordon Waller Saturday had enough incredibly enjoyable moments to make it sound like they hadn't been away for 39 years, as Martin Lewis noted in his introduction.

    The duo certainly chose the cream of their repertoire for their reunion performance. They launched the set with "I Go To Pieces," which was composed by the late Del Shannon, and which Peter Asher noted still sounded good after all these years.

    After this song, emcee Martin Lewis interjected a little surprise.

    "There's somebody that wanted to be here tonight," he said," "... couldn't be here tonight. A guy in England, but he sent a message for you guys (Peter and Gordon) and for everybody here," then read this to the crowd: "What the world needs now is Peter and Gordon to sing their songs. to remind us of all the fab years they are from. I'm very glad to hear they've got together after these many moons and are going to help make a world without love into a love-filled planet. Love to you all. Paul." The crowd roared. It was a historic moment, one of the rare instances where a Beatle has been involved, however slight, in a Beatles convention.

    Then followed the Everly Brothers' "Crying in the Rain," which Asher said was one of their favorite Everly songs. They continued with a string of their own Top 40 pop hits "Lady Godiva," "Nobody I Know," "True Love Ways," a cover of a Buddy Holly song, and "I Don't Want To See You Again."

    Then followed a touching tribute to Dave Clark Five singer Mike Smith, who has been recovering from a spinal injury that has left him paralysed. It was at a benefit for Smith that Peter and Gordon first performed together again.

    Then followed "500 Miles" and another Everlys song, "Let It Be Me," then crowning off the set with "Woman" (written by Bernard Webb, aka Paul McCartney), and "A World Without Love," which launched their fame in America.

    (We're told the concert is available on the Internet in mp3 format in the alt.binaries.beatles and alt.binaries.sounds.mp3.beatles newsgroups on Usenet. If anyone has any pictures or eyewitness accounts on the reunion, we'd be glad to print them.)

  • Here are a couple of eyewitness accounts:
  • From Frank C. Branchini:

    I just arrived back in Maryland from the Fest for Beatlefans. This was perhaps the best Fest ever. Laurance Juber was amazing. Mark Hudson and Gary Burr were entertaining as always. Geoff Emerick was a great guest. The biggest surprise was the Pete Best Band. This band is awesome. The lead singer is great. They put on an amazing performance on Saturday afternoon. The Peter and Gordon reunion was outstanding. They sound wonderful. In fact, I thought Gordon's vocal on True Love Ways completely blew away the single version. The ballroom was packed and the audience was ecstatic. The high points were World Without Love and Because (the old Dave Clark Five song). Congratulations to the Lapidos Family for pulling this together.


  • Hudson Reporter: Legendary British invasion duo Peter & Gordon to play in Secaucus


    This news item copyright Abbeyrd's Beatles Page
    Return to Beatle News Briefs
    Check out our DVD Review Page , Virtual Shopping Mall and Beatle Books-CDs: Some Recommendations for our choices of great audio and video and great Beatle gift items.