Big Boy Pete
2.Get Up and Dance
4.All Down the Road
6.Rudy's in Love
8.Who Stole my Garden?
12. Guitar Center on a Saturday Afternoon
Tenor Sax: Ray Moseley
Upright Bass: Sean Silverman, Bing Nathan
Fender Bass: Chuck Dagit, Chuck Foley
Drums: Rob Anderson, Mike Moore, Carl Tassi
Background Vocals: Terry Dowling
engineered and produced by Pete Miller at his Union Street studio in San Francisco
in the mid seventies.
All songs written
by Peter Miller
P. C. Sheena Music 2006 (BMI)
This album is dedicated to Pookie McDougal.
"Lost In The Grooves" review by
Gary "Pig" Gold
For Pete’s Sake!
While what’s left of those Brothers Gibb may, whenever asked, still
like to refer to themselves as the Enigma (Cucumber Castle) with
the Stigma (Saturday Night Fever) (for starters), may I posit the
REAL, TRUE, ORIGINAL Great Big Rockin’ Rolling Enigma is none other
than the one, the still and only, Big Boy Pete Miller.
Why, armed with little more than his twin-tone green ’61 Gretsch
guitar – name of Henry, btw – and a clutch of equally vintage recording
equipment (including a Goobly Box and genuine Humbert Humbert by
way of very special effects, I kid you not) Pete has, since 1959
and counting, been in dozens of bands (the so-aptly-named Offbeats,
Peter Jay and the Jaywalkers, The Fuzz, even Buzz), toured everywhere
with everyone (Beatles, Stones, Kinks et al all round Swinging Sixties
England, not to mention the wilds of the Orient – with his trademark
electric wah-wah sitar -- during no less than the Vietnam quagmire),
composed beyond-numerous neat numbers for Freddie and the Dreamers,
Damned, and the (original) Knack, and most notably of all as it
turns out churned out literally thousands of recordings in studios
worldwide these past four-plus decades with, for and/or alongside
the likes of Marty Wilde, Peter Frampton’s Herd, Ramblin’ Jack Elliot,
Murray the K, Arlo Guthrie, Elvin Bishop, The Avengers, Tuxedomoon,
Roy Loney, Marshall Crenshaw, Johnny and the Potato Chips, and even
our good buds The Squires Of The Subterrain, very roughly chronologically
speaking indeed. And now! The good folk over there at Angel Air
Records ("Where the Artist Has a Voice“) have gone and collected
a dozen of some of Pete’s prime early-Seventies San Francisco productions
neatly together right here upon one perfectly titled The Perennial
Thrill, as I repeatedly have already, to The Great Joe Meek / Marc
Bolan Tape that Got Away ("The Demo“), the absolute biggest hit
Dave Edmunds somehow never had ("All Down The Road“), and a mere
two-minutes-twenty- five called ‚Get Up And Dance“ which finally
fills that socio-musical gap between The Swinging Medallions and
your very first Elvis Costello long-player.
Elsewhere, Harry Belafonte makes an extremely wrong turn †straight
down into Lee "Scratch“ Perry’s sub-basement ("Havana Juana“), "Who
Stole My Garden?“ asks the kind of musical question even those Bonzo
Dogs seemed incapable of, and "Rudy’s In Love“ – not to mention
"The Prayer“ – makes one wonder why in holy heck that Plastic Ono
Lennon’s Rock ‘n’ Roll album didn’t, or should I say COULDN’T, sound
half this coooool ??
Not to fret though: For while the inimitable Johnny Rhythm may no
longer be with us, Big Boy Pete is still sitting tight there in
Frisco, safe and stereophonically sound within his esteemed Audio
Institute of America, demo-ing up his next several hundred severely-high-fidelity
musical marvels. So until they too begin trickling out upon us Lost
Groovers, I’d suggest you grab your own Perennial Enigma toot sweet,
"www.cdreviews.com" by Scott Homewood [1.31.07]
Forgotten Brit-psych legend coughs up some gorgeous "lost" studio
Just when you thought every scrap of great music had already been
reissued along comes grade-A material by an artist who should have
been famous but instead wound up helping many other artists and
producers achieve the long-term success he could never attain. Though
it's doubtful you have ever heard of Big Boy Pete, it is almost
a guarantee you have heard the work of some of the recording studio
operators he has trained at his engineering school in California,
the Audio Institute of America. While his own career has doubtlessly
ended up being very rewarding and influential in a roundabout way,
it is a far cry from what this one-time peer of the Beatles (he
toured with them in the mid-60's) and psychedelic rock pioneer (he
released what is commonly referred to as the first psychedelic rock
song Cold Turkey) should have been able to accomplish.
Big Boy Pete, nee Peter Miller, has seen all forms of success in
music from the front lines and from behind the scenes, and one can
only wonder what this talented artist thinks of his own career being
shrouded in mystery. After doing plenty of recording in the '60's
with his early band Peter Jay and the Jaywalkers and then solo,
Miller spent his time in his studio crafting these pop masterpieces
for himself, not only to keep his musical chops sharp but also to
help himself learn the ins and outs of the recording studio process
as he was soon to open his soon-to-be prestigious engineering school.
It is the lessons he learned watching legendary British producer
Joe Meek when Meek produced the Jaywalkers that Miller mixed with
his own pop sensibilites and crafted these songs (and others soon
to be released) that have helped a couple of generations of recording
engineers begin influential careers of their own and delighted music
fans just now enjoying these long-hidden works.
For his part, Miller's music is definitely influenced by the Brit-psych
he was in the midst of during his tenure as a rock heartthrob in
Britain. Not only a peer of the Beatles and Stones, he was also
in their circles of friends, and cut his teeth playing to the same
hipsters and tastemakers the so-called big boys were playing to.
Truth be told, Miller was as respected as anyone at that time and
was groomed to become a leading hitmaker. Possessor of a killer
guitar-playing style and capable of writing swirling, expansive
yet immediate rock songs, Miller was considered to be the future
of British rock. That he never did quite break through remains a
mystery to anyone lucky enough to hear some of Miller's work though
at the tail end of his career there he started to be reluctant to
tour, falling in love with the recording studio and even sending
other singers out to impersonate him and sing his songs. The resulting
confusion over who actually was "Big Boy Pete" no doubt detracted
from his career and befuddled his possible fanbase, just one of
the reasons this CD has such an apt title.
Nevertheless, this collection of "forgotten" tracks from back in
the day show Miller's instrumental and compositional talent in spades.
Most of Miller's legendary tracks come from a fertile period between
'66 and '69, but these tracks are totally unknown, originating from
his first few years in the US while he set up his Institute. Beginning
from the first track "Demo", which is quite possibly the best track
on the album, Pete brings the rock but also manages to infuse it
with a wonderful songcraft usually missing from other artists' psychedelic
efforts. His music is not just fuzz-tone sturm und drang but melodic,
expressive art combined with piercing guitar work with an eye for
the greater good - a song with the possibility of achieving immortality.
In this album's case, most of these are stripped-down rockers, with
little of the layering Miller used in the past. Even so, Miller's
genius is evident and these songs sparkle in the light of the new
day this album gives them.
As more of his work gets discovered (thanks to all the collectors
who have suddenly started digging under every thing not nailed down
for unreleased and rare psyche) and released Pete Miller may yet
claim his crown as the king of British psychedelic rock.
"Maelstrom Magazine" review by Avi
Big Boy Pete (real name: Pete Miller) is a British, underground,
psychedelic legend who has earned his degree by delivering some
adventurous songs in the ‘60s, but has been active ever since as
both a performer and a producer. However, little of the hallucinogenic,
layered characteristics that Big Boy Pete is renowned for are present
on this release, The Perennial Enigma. Served with lots of humor
and moderate jams, the mischievous songs that are found here appeal
in their underground nature, as they are basically four- and eight-track
selections culled from Miller’s first U.S. recordings in the early
‘70s; as such they manage to evoke engaging, vintage charm in spite
of being rather basic rock songs that mix power psychedelia with
reggae and early rock and roll ala Elvis. The people at Angel Air
did a wonderful job supplying us these recordings in authentic sound
and with an impressive booklet. (6.5/10)
"The Lance Monthly" review by Beverly
Big Boy Pete "The Perennial Enigma" (Angel Air Records) Big Boy
Pete (aka Pete Miller) is a living legend. In the early sixties,
he handled lead guitar duties for Peter Jay and the Jaywalkers,
a boss English band that shared turf with the likes of the Beatles,
the Rolling Stones and countless other movers and shakers. Pete
is also the voice and creator behind "Baby I Got News For You" and
"Cold Turkey," two singles from the late sixties that have rightfully
earned their keep in the psychedelic garage punk hall of fame. Over
the past few years, a smattering of Pete's unreleased goodies from
the swinging sixties have been issued on various labels, which naturally
grants him even more exposure. Sporting a resume longer than the
Mississippi River, he has additionally produced dozens upon dozens
of artists. Not one to rest on his past laurels, Pete continues
to write, record and twiddle knobs.
His recent accomplishments include collaborations with Bill Bonney
from the Fentones and Squires of the Subterrain that retain his
sixties roots, be it guitar instrumentals or flower pop. Comprised
of some of the first tracks Pete laid down when he migrated to America
in the seventies, "The Perennial Enigma" is a full on home run.
A herky-jerky new wave tenor invades "The Demo" and "Get Up And
Dance" is a quirky little pop number. As a matter of fact, the majority
of songs on this album can be classified as quirky little pop numbers.
Accented by choppy melodies, peculiar lyrics and nagging arrangements,
these tunes are fun and playful.
However, the closing cut on "The Perennial Enigma" swerves in
an entirely different direction. An instrumental, "Guitar Centre
On A Saturday Afternoon" cleverly blends oddball cocktail jazz doodlings
with mock acid-rock noodlings.
Brilliant stuff from a fellow who has always stuck to his principals
and believes in the music he makes. www.angelair.co.uk
"Ear Candy" Internet review
BIG BOY PETE: The Perennial Enigma (Angel Air Records) www.angelair.co.uk
Armed with little more than his twin-tone green 1961 Gretsch six-string
‚Henry,“ the enigma-and-a-half highly known to those in the know
as Big Boy Pete (Miller) has spent the last half century spreading
the rock AND the roll all the way from swinging mid-Sixties road
tours with the Kinks and Stones to the jungles of war-wracked Vietnam
to the Bay Area punkabilly scenes of The Avengers, Roy Loney, and
of course Johnny and the Potato Chips. Although only tipping the
Big Boy’s musical iceberg, Angel Air Records (‚Where the Artist
Has a Voice“) have at long last gone and gathered a dozen of the
best of the man’s Seventies-era productions and packaged them lovingly
alongside a bulging twenty-four page full-colour booklet. Together,
this all presents the undeniably most ear-bending, mind-warping,
yet perennially entertaining musical anti-history lesson you’ll
hear in 2006 or any year you care to inhabit. - Gary Pig Gold -
"Le Cri Du Coyote" Magazine.
Now here is a total UFO: Who has heard of Big Boy Pete? Veteran
and semi-obscure figure from the San Francisco scene, he is the
writer of ‚Cold Turkey“ and has toured with the Beatles and Stones.
The label Angel Air digs up a very obscure LP from 73 -- it is very
paradoxical music for its time -- dry rock'n'roll, reggae, spacy
organ. Not the slightest trace of patchouli oil or glam rock. Musically,
they are not miraculous tracks, but the album’s title makes me think
of sleepy beautiful days from a certain school of rock'n'roll 10
years earlier. A visionary --with glasses, like Elvis Costello and
Buddy Holly. And why not?
As a living musician, a "legend to be“ could mean that he was
never very successful. This title has been stamped on this veteran
rock ‘n roller from England, who was produced of Joe Meek. His music
has always been off-the-wall, and consequently he has never had any
big hits. This compilation of tracks, are taken from the 70’s and
were recorded in his own studio in San Francisco. They are not bad
songs, but they are somewhat normal and a little boring. Only the
rock n ' roll comes over well.
Big Boy Pete (Pete Miller) first came to fame as guitarist with
The Jaywalkers, and also releasing what is viewed by many as the
first UK psychedelic single, "Cold Turkey“. He later moved himself
to the States where he established both a studio and The Audio Institute
of America, an educational school for recording engineers. This
12 track (35 minutes long) album was recorded in the early Seventies
and is the first of what could be a great many albums if Pete decides
to release all that he has recorded but not released. Unfortunately,
by far the best part of this album is the extensive booklet which
is almost a book in itself with the amount of detail that it provides,
along with loads of photos. There is even a reproduction of a piece
where Pete Miller and Keith Richards interview each other and turn
out to be fans of each others playing. Musically this sounds like
an album that was recorded in the Seventies, but with many throwbacks
to the Sixties, and while it is pleasant enough there is little
here to grab the listener.
That is, apart from the opening number "The Demo“ which sounds
as if it should have come out during the power pop/punk era when
it could have done very well for itself. It tells the story of everything
that goes wrong during a recording, and is musically very catchy
as well as being great fun. The rest of the album just doesn’t quite
live up that promise. www.angelair.co.uk
POPDIGGERS Magazine (August 2013)
Armed with little more than his twin-tone green 1961 Gretsch six-string “Henry,” the enigma-and-a-half highly known to those in the know as Big Boy Pete (Miller) has spent the last half century spreading the rock AND the roll all the way from swinging mid-Sixties road tours with the Kinks and Stones to the jungles of war-wracked Vietnam to the Bay Area punkabilly scenes of The Avengers, Roy Loney, and of course Johnny and the Potato Chips.
Although only tipping the Big Boy’s musical iceberg, Angel Air Records (“Where the Artist Has a Voice”) have at long last gone and gathered a dozen of the best of the man’s Seventies-era productions and packaged them lovingly alongside a bulging twenty-four page full-colour booklet.
Together, this all presents the undeniably most ear-bending, mind-warping, yet perennially entertaining musical anti-history lesson you’ll hear in 2006 or any year you care to inhabit.
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