Saturday, July 18, 2009

Gordon Waller of Peter And Gordon Has Died

Gordon Waller (pictured right), one half of the British pop duo Peter And Gordon has died.

Here is the full story.

Gordon Waller, one-half of the duo of Peter and Gordon, suffered a massive fatal heart attack Thursday night (July 16) at his Connecticut home and died early the next morning at the age of 64. Born Gordon Trueman Riviere Waller in Braemar, Scotland, Gordon met Peter at London's Westminister boarding school as a teen and the two would climb over the school's spiked wall to play at local clubs surreptitiously. After graduation, the two continued their musical careers, helped enormously by Peter's sister's boyfriend-- Paul McCartney-- who wrote three of their hits-- 1964's #1 "A World Without Love", "I Don't Want To See You Again" (#16-1964) and "Woman" (#14-1966). In fact, six of their first eight American hits were top 20 records, including "Nobody I Know" (12-1964), the Del Shannon-penned "I Go To Pieces" (#9-1965) and the Buddy Holly composition "True Love Ways" (#14-1965). All told, the duo scored 14 American chart records, even after Jane Asher broke off her engagement to Paul. The duo broke up in 1968 as touring (and hits) became difficult. Peter became a talent scout for Apple Records and later produced Linda Ronstadt and James Taylor. Gordon's attempt at a solo career fizzled, but he did appear as Pharaoh in "Joseph And The Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat" in London's West End and scored the James Dean biographical film, "Race With Destiny." The two reunited in 2005 and played, among other dates, the Buddy Holly memorial at the Surf Ballroom in Clear Lake, Iowa this past February. Said Peter: "Gordon played such a significant role in my life that losing him is hard to comprehend-- let alone to tolerate. He was my best friend at school almost half a century ago. He was not only my musical partner but played a key role in my conversion from only a snooty jazz fan to a true rock and roll believer as well. Without Gordon I would never have begun my career in the music business in the first place. 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."