Monday, July 20, 2009

Rest in Peace Gordon Waller

People who follow this blog know that I am a fan of broadcasting espically the early days. So it may come as a surprise that this posting isn't about Walter Cronkite. I want to express my sorrow to another icon. One of those from the music world of the 1960's Gordon Waller. He is more popular as Gordon from the duo of Peter and Gordon.
I can't believe that it was 3 years ago that I mentioned their reunion here. At that time they had renewed their battle against "A World Without Love." This past weekend the world lost one of it's musical soliders in that battle. On July 17th Mr. Waller died of cardiac arrest.
In the music world Mr. Waller's career seemed to be overshadowed by his friend and partner Peter Asher. Gordon looked like the high school Quarterback teaming up with the school nerd. It looked like Joe Montana joining with Bill Gates.
Gordon had the deep baritone voice that gave their songs the solid rock foundation that every group needs. Yet it was Peter who overshadowed Gordon with his connection to the Beatles. Peter's sister Jane was Paul McCartney's girlfirend. Thanks to that connection they had the songwriting talent of Lennon-McCartney behind them. With Paul's help they got a recording contract. Still no matter how big your connection is in the business you have to have talent to stay there and keep cranking out the hits. They had that talent and someone somewhere releases the Greatest Hits of Peter and Gordon for record buyers.
I am surprised that when they split up that Gordon didn't have a big career in country music. Yes I said country. Everytime I heard about any new releases that he had, it always seemed country flavored. His first solo album was a country album. For some reason he never became the big solo musical star. Yet Peter went behind the scenes and became famous as a producer and manager of stars like James Taylor, Linda Ronstadt and others. Even after their split Peter still seemed to overshadow Gordon.
Now Gordon had the bad luck to die the same weekend as Walter Cronkite. Overshadowed even in his death. I was recently over at Gordon's official site and heard part of his latest song "Rebel Rider." The last line I heard him sing was "You're gonna miss me when I'm gone." I never knew you Gordon but I do miss you.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I learned of Gordon's passing last Sunday during a "Breakfast with the Beatles" radio show & I haven't been the same since. I'd listened to P&G way back when I was pre-school (my oldest sister had a few of their LPs). I'd just recently gotten back into their music & began hunting down their rarer stuff, but I dug deeper to find Gordon's solo material. I then web searched to find out what the duo were up to these days & learned that they were doing a few shows a year. Began to wonder if I'd have a chance to see them live in the not too distant future. That hope is now diminished. It's so true that his career has always been overshadowed. One LP that P&G issued back in '66 was a collection of C&W hits. I found a copy on eBay about two months ago & I've really taken a liking to it. However I tend to believe that trying to push a British singing duo performing Country hits on to true die-hard C&W fans was simply just not acceptible, and so in a big way the LP flopped. . .but it IS really quite good!!

I feel badly that Gordon's passing isn't having a greater impact on the general public. He was a true performer that didn't carry any ruthless, ugly celebrity-style baggage, he was just a simple ordinary guy that made it big for a while. It's sad that only the 'stars' that get plastered all over the tabloids get any great recognition. I feel Gordon deserves more respect both in life as well as death. Peace be with you, Gordon. You have many many true fans & friends that genuinely appriciate you and your musical work. How very sad they'll all be when they finally learn that you've left this world onto a finer place. Your music & memories will live on in every fan's heart.