Thursday, July 30, 2009

Go To Pieces: Deceased Artiste Gordon Waller

And since there was a Beatle-ish slant to the past two D.A. tribs, why not end up with an actual FOTF (Friend of the Fabs), Gordon Waller, the latter half of Peter and Gordon. Gordon died of cardiovascular disease last Friday here in the States at 64.

A Scotsman, Waller was the “dreamier”-looking member of P&G (he’s on the right in the picture), and was the one with the deeper voice. Peter and Gordon were a fine Everly Brothers-influenced duo that had, according to the obits, nine Top 20 hits during their four years together. I have a major fondness for their best tunes, as I heard ’em back at my uncle’s many years back, before I could even begin to contemplate how depressing the lyrics are, and how lovely the melodies and pure-pop production.

Their biggest hit was of course “World Without Love,” given to them by a certain P. McCartney, a friend and boyfriend at the time of Peter’s sister Jane:

The wonderfully direct “I Don’t Want to See You Again” (Paul could write ‘em back then, hasn’t since the late ’70s) performed live on Ed Sullivan (Gordon’s vocals are much better on the record):

A hook and nothing more, but hard to forget. “Nobody I Know,” also by McCartney for his friends:

My all-time fave by the duo, the wonderfully melodramatic and well-produced “Woman.” Again written by McCartney, this time under a pseudonym to see if it would still hit. It did. (I have the LP this came from, and “Right From the Start,” its B-side, is a great farfisa-organ ditty).

But P&G didn’t only have hits penned by McCartney. Here’s another bouncy ode to being fucking dumped, “I Go to Pieces,” by the ever-awesome Del Shannon:

And my other fave besides “Woman,” P&G’s novelty-style pop ditty “Lady Godiva.” Here they are performing it on one of those many failure shows that Uncle Miltie hosted in the mid-‘60s.

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