Monday, June 9, 2014

Story time with Peter Asher

If you're a person of a certain age, you just might know the name, Peter Asher.  He played a part in what was called the "British Invasion" of the 60's when the Beatles, Rolling Stones, Dave Clark 5, Herman's Hermits and many other singing groups found rock and roll success in the States.  Peter and Gordon had a number of top 10 hits like "World Without Love," "I Go To Pieces," and "Woman."

My friend, Dan, and I went to the Music Instrument Museum on Friday to spend the evening with Peter Asher.  It was more than a concert - it was like sitting in Asher's living room listening to him tell one story after another about his charmed life in the entertainment business.  He explained how Paul McCartney came to live with his family as Beatlemania exploded; how Paul gave to Peter and Gordon some of the rejected songs McCartney wrote because the Beatles didn't want to record them; how he discovered and produced James Taylor; and how he came to work with some of the biggest names in rock and roll.

Toward the end of the concert Asher told of how he was in his 5th floor bedroom when he heard McCartney call to him to come down to the basement.  Asher was invited to listen to the new song Lennon and McCartney had just written.  It was called "I Want To Hold Your Hand."

Three years ago my dear, sweet wife and I took a walking tour of some famous Beatles sites in London.  We managed to end up in front of the house where Asher and his family used to live. In the first picture you see the window to the basement room where Asher's mother, Margaret, taught music.  It was there that Lennon and McCartney collaborated  on one of their biggest hits.  The second picture shows the Asher home on Wimpole Street.  The very top floor is where Peter's bedroom was (facing the street).  On the back side was McCartney's bedroom.