I decided I got bored with a plain old bio and wanted to break free from any possibility of pretentiousness while I am without a band, so instead I developed the Peto-A-Go-Go timeline idea below. I realized I've been doing this for quite some time now and it's been a fun and interesting ride, so why not let you in on it if you're interested.
If you just want to know what the music is about here's the best description I can give you: It Pops. It Rocks. It can go down sweet or bitter. Whether the music is speeding through crunching electric guitar rhythms, thumping bass lines and rollicking drum beats or stripped down to acoustic simplicity, the music revolves around tasty melodies and sometimes humorous, yet always honest lyrics. (But really you should just hear it for yourself here).
The "band" has changed over the years in terms of contributing members and location (LA, Seattle, Portland), but I continue to work on music projects as an individual and collaborator with other musicians and bands.
1969: born June 14...Flag Day (whatever relevance that has)
1975: I remember wanting to learn how to play piano really bad when I was 5 years old. Mom said we couldn't afford to buy a piano. Bummer.
1978: I took up playing clarinet in the school band. Not quite rock 'n roll, but I learned how to read music.
1981: I heard the glorious chimes of the Go-Go's debut album "Beauty And The Beat" for the first time and knew that I was destined for a life in pop music.
1982: Deciding I would never quite get to be a popster by playing clarinet, I asked my folks for a guitar and, seeing my determination, this time they said yes. I started guitar lessons to learn music theory so that I could learn how to write songs.
1984: I bought my first electric guitar and got together with a guy from school (who basically wanted to be Bono from U2) and a drummer that was, like, 10. We played together once, but I couldn't play U2 songs and he couldn't sing my originals so that was basically it.
1986: In a new high school and a new band, "Colour" (we wanted to be so British), this time I decided to sing the songs myself and it was much easier going. We rocked the student talent show and people couldn't believe that we wrote and played such catchy pop songs.
1987: I wrote and sang a song at h.s. graduation called "Time To Move On". I did fine but realized I did better in a band than trying to be what would now be similar to singing like a contestant on American Idol. During the summer I took my first vocal lessons and my instructor made me sing "Memory" from Cats, thus starting my hatred for a musical I never saw. After that I brought in my own songs to sing.
1988: I moved to Los Angeles in search of musicians and the music world.
1992: Met Chuck Wild, a local musician/producer and former keyboardist for 80's new wave band Missing Persons, while playing guitar and singing back up on friend Scotch Ellis Loring's demo. This was my first real studio experience.
1993: Chuck agreed to fit me into his busy schedule and record my first PETO (a-solo) demo of two originals "Deep Deep Water" and "Lead Me To Your World". It was an amazing experience. Chuck added all sorts of stuff that I couldn't do and I brought in singer Jean McClain (who was singing with Vonda Shepard at the time and now records as dance diva Pepper Mashay) to sing some really fun back up vocals.
1994: In May I was offered an opening spot for Vonda Shepard (who later became known as the bar singer on "Ally McBeal") at a local club. I was a big Vonda fan and couldn't turn it down, even though just weeks before the gig I was scheduled to have my tonsils removed and had no idea if my throat would be healed for me to be able to sing by then. I made it and had a great time.
1995: Met a fabulous singer/actress named Patty Holley (you may remember her as the featured choir singer who lifted Madonna to new heights in her "Like A Prayer" video) and co-wrote a song called "Come To Me" which I always wished we took into the studio to record. We had fun singing it at a couple of my live shows but never made it into the studio.
1997: Met up with Scotch Ellis Loring again and, along with another singer/guitarist/songwriter friend of his, performed a few shows under the name "Three" taking turns singing each other's songs and harmonizing.
1998: Became a performing duo with my best friend's sister, Mary Alice "Malice" Corton who just moved into town from Pittsburg, PA. We were Peto & Malice, a sort of man/woman version of the Indigo Girls. We had great fun and she helped me write some of the music for "Scout's Honor" which made it's way on to my first solo CD (see next year).
1999: After 11 years, I said farewell to LA and moved my life to Seattle, WA. Within a couple months I met local musician and upstart studio engineer Maxi. By the end of the year he and I were starting recording sessions for the "In My Place" CD. We spent tons of hours stuffed into his tiny attic studio singing, playing and programming tracks.
2000: Released "In My Place" in the Spring and by summer "Scout's Honor" had earned a #3 playlist spot on a local internet radio station's Songs Of Summer countdown. I started looking for Seattle musicians to build a band. Without an available drummer, Bass player Sean Griffin and guitarist Brandon Leas joined me for some acoustic shows in Seattle and Southern California. We sold CDs and T-shirts.
2001: Sean and I reteamed in the summer and rethought the band's situation and musical direction. My fab drummer/brother-in-law Erik Stewart joined us and the three of us quickly saw that we rocked together and laughed a LOT. The Peto-A-Go-Go moniker covered us as a band name since I already had the website and we started playing gigs. While at a musician's get-together at Cornish School of the Arts, I met young genius keyboardist/pianist Daryl Rother. He played like the fantasy keyboard player I had in my head for years and agreed to join us in his spare time from school. By year's end, Sean and I came up with financing to capture this magical coming together of talents in the studio and we started sessions for "Sugarcoated".
2002: "Sugarcoated" was finished amongst quite a bit of my own personal turmoil, but it was the shining light at the end of the tunnel. We released the CD in late spring and did a number of supporting shows around town to support the disc. We lost Erik to his busy personal and work life and found Chris Clephane to fill in for our show at the Bite Of Seattle. We planned to have him stick around and then Sean became a father and Daryl got sucked back into school and his own projects. Needless to say, it was hiatus time for the band as a whole.
2004: After a songwriting dry spell of nearly two years and a move to Portland, OR at the beginning of the year, I began working on a music collaboration with Dustin Hunter in Olympia, WA. The long distance commute limits our working and recording time together, but so far it has produced some great results. We both come from somewhat different backgrounds, musically, but part of the fun is finding how to blend our talents to achieve results that are different than our past individual projects. Our completed songs are now posted on the Music page (under the "Unreleased 1990-2005" CD listing – see below).
2005: Installed a bit of home recording equipment to get me demoing again. Collaborated with SpoilSport out of Boston. I haven't been to Boston since 1998, but thanks to all things digital, their song came to me and went back to them via email... good times had by all. At the close of the year released the promotional CD "Peto-A-Go-Go Unreleased 1990-2005" covering 15 years of songs not released on any previous CDs including two new songs recorded this year. More info on the Music page with background stories about the songs posted at the Lyrics page."Unreleased 1990-2005" CD listing – see below).
2006: Started the year with a newly inspired burst of music energy! I did a few more collaborations with Dustin Hunter and his side project Screeching Felines, doing some of my most favorite guitar work on our punky fun-and-jaded song "Happy F*ckin' V-Day" in honor of the dreaded holiday that's not for single people in February. Check it out on the Music page. May brought me to NY and Boston for the first of two trips that would finally have me playing with SpoilSport as their second guitarist/vocalist (rockin' shows in both cities!) and would eventually lead me to my move to the east coast in August. More Boston and NY shows are already scheduled and an east coast tour is in the works! Look forward to more music in the latter half of the year!
2007: NY is great! However, the 5+ hour arduous bus commute either way to and from Boston has me reducing my SpoilSport contributions in the Fall to an occasional fill-in for their NY shows. It was a good year of playing some good ol' fun punky-pop songs and honing my guitar chops but I had to pull out in order to allow them to keep their gigging going in Bean Town. I'm looking forward to possible forthcoming collaborations in the Big Apple since there is a plethora of talent and bands here. I started a bit more songwriting in the latter part of the year, recording my first new demo since moving to the east coast, "Just One Night", during the holidays. A final mix should appear on the site in the first part of 2008.
Fan Reviews: CDbaby.com
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