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114 EVERGREEN Autumn The

114 EVERGREEN Autumn The duo were frequent guests on pop-music shows. Released on the Columbia label, not only did Peter and Gordon’s recording of the song go to number one, but it sold over a million copies. Complete with acoustic guitars, Beatle-style haircuts (and Peter wearing a pair of spectacles similar to those that John Lennon would adopt), the duo toured with The Beatles and The Rolling Stones, and became part of the socalled “British invasion” of the USA, with appearances on the Ed Sullivan Show (with the inevitable screaming girls in the audience!) and at numerous other venues across the country. Although Peter and Gordon didn’t top the charts again, further hits followed on both sides of the Atlantic: three more McCartney songs — “Nobody I Know” (1964: UK number 10; USA number 12), “I Don’t Want To See You Again” (1964: USA number 16), “Woman” (1966: UK number 28; USA number 14) — as well as “True Love Ways” (1965: UK number 2; USA number 14), “I Go To Pieces” (1965: USA number 9), “To Know You Is To Love You” (1965: UK number 5; USA number 24), “Baby I’m Yours” (1965: UK number 19). The duo’s last hit in Britain was “Lady Godiva” which reached number 16 in the charts in September 1966 (number 6 in the USA), although they entered the Billboard Hot 100 in the United States on two more occasions, in 1967 with “Knight in Rusty Armour” and “Sunday for Tea”. The pair parted amicably in 1968. Gordon went on to pursue a solo career (including an album Gordon), and in the 1970s played the part of Pharaoh in Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat before running his own music publishing business. He also, for a time, had a market gardening business in Northamptonshire, and, as a lifelong railway enthusiast, whenever he could he enjoyed regular trips on board The Flying Scotsman!

2017 EVERGREEN 115 Peter Asher embarked on a highly successful career as a recording executive, manager and producer, first with The Beatles’ Apple label, where he signed American singersongwriter, James Taylor, before becoming Taylor’s manager in the United States and producing records for, among others, Linda Ronstadt, Andrew Gold, Neil Diamond, Diana Ross, Bonnie Raitt and Cher. In August 2005 Peter and Gordon reunited for the first time as part of a tribute concert in New York to a member of the Dave Clark Five. Over the next couple of years several other performances followed (when they received a message of congratulations from Paul McCartney) in Florida, San Diego, Santa Monica, Chicago and Las Vegas. Sadly, it was only a couple of weeks after one such concert, on 17th July 2009, that Gordon Waller suffered a heart attack and died. He was just 64. Peter was shocked by his long-time partner’s sudden death, and paid a lavish tribute: “Gordon remains one of my very favourite singers of all time, and I am still so proud of the work that we did together. I am just a harmony guy, and Gordon was the heart and soul of our duo.” He was survived by his second wife, Jen, two daughters from his previous marriage, and a granddaughter. Peter, who in 1983 married his second wife Wendy Worth (their daughter Victoria is a musician with Peter in recent years, an award-winning producer who continues to perform. punk band Cobra Starship) has won numerous Grammy awards and in the 2015 New Year’s Honours List was awarded a CBE. He continues to produce and perform, and recent projects have included a successful one-man show, “A Musical Memoir of the 60s and Beyond”, two albums with Steve Martin and Edie Brickell which led to a stage musical, Bright Star, for which Peter was music supervisor, and an extensive acoustic tour of the United States with fellow music legend Albert Lee. “Please lock me away…” Half a century after the duo made their heartfelt plea at the beginning of their chart-topping hit, there seems to be little chance of Peter Asher allowing anyone to do that! Further Information peterashermusic.com BILL BAXTER

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