Peter & Gordon reunited together at the Imperial Ballroom in Secaucus, New Jersey, on Saturday, April 1, 2006. The British Invasion veterans, Peter Asher and Gordon Waller, were headlining their first extensive concert appearance in 39 years.
Once dubbed the "British Everly Brothers", the two were actually inspired by the American duo to form as a duet in London during 1963. Enjoying the first wave of the British Invasion between 1964 and 1967, the singing team scored several hits with a string of pop singles on American Top 40 charts.
The duo were the beneficiary of four Lennon & McCartney original compositions during the height of their recording career more than four decades ago. McCartney began dating Jane Asher in 1963, which gave the two access to the preeminent British composing team.
The two balladeers had recently performed together twice in 2005, which laid the foundation for a full scale reunion. On August 8th, they returned to the stage to appear at a benefit event for Mike Smith of the Dave Clark Five at the invitation of Paul Shaffer. Later in early December, the duo found themselves on stage for two dates in the Philippines.
Launching their set as a simple acoustic duet on the jaunty "I Go To Pieces", written by the late Del Shannon, was well worth the wait. Their late night spot began after incurring minor program delays. A telegram from Sir Paul McCartney was then read aloud to the audience, congratulating the pair and wishing them well during their performance together.
The addition of Liverpool provided musical depth to the humorous piece "Lady Godiva". Peter stated he was wrong about that song after it went on to become an unanticipated success on the pop charts, topping at #6 in 1966. Peter sang sans his guitar on "Nobody I Know", a #12 hit written in 1964, especially for them by their famous Fab friends.
Their spirited delivery of "I Don't Want To See You Again" was welcome indeed. The #16 tune on the singles chart, derived from the same Fab composers, was lifted by a synth solo during its performance. Reprising their Dave Clark Five benefit selection, "Because" was confirmed by resounding audience applause as a major highlight.
Finally, Peter & Gordon sang their signature song, "A World Without Love", a superior #1 success on both sides of the Atlantic from February 28, 1964. Their stylish harmonizing on this power-pop ballad rebuffed the passing of four decades for a brief moment. Added instrumentation of a lead guitar solo and organ interjected a musical spark in this classic Lennon-McCartney composition.
The duo closed their appearance with "Woman", which reached #14 in 1966. The pair's robust harmony duet was aided by the support of Liverpool for a climatic finish. The two received a standing ovation upon exiting the stage. Peter & Gordon returned later, contributing harmony vocals during the ensemble encore of "Hey Jude".
The superb musicianship of the Beatles-tribute band Liverpool backed the duo with Glen Burtnik on bass, Chris Camilleri on drums, Drew Hill on rhythm guitar & keyboards, and John Merjave on lead guitar. Joining for added support were Keith Hill on keyboards, Anthony Krizan on acoustic guitar, and Jeff Tomberg on miscellaneous instrumentation.
Although their performance partnership split in 1968, the two remained friends. These recent appearances have rekindled their appetites for performing together. Peter & Gordon have announced a few select gigs for dates during Summer 2006.
Secaucus setlist: I Got To Pieces * Crying In The Rain * Lady Godiva * Nobody I Know * True Love Ways * I Don't Want To See You Again * Because * To Know You Is To Love You * Five Hundred Miles * Let It Be Me * A World Without Love * Woman * Ensemble Encore: Hey Jude
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Together again on a weekend
Peter & Gordon reprise a lifelong friendship in harmony
by Timothy Tilghman