Home Celebrity “Fifth Beatle” Peter Asher Thrilled for Linda Ronstadt’s Medal of Freedom

Peter Asher– the man who discovered James Taylor, started Apple Records with the Beatles, was Paul McCartney’s housemate during Beatlemania– is thrilled for Linda Ronstadt. She’s getting the Presidential Medal of Freedom next week, and she’s flying in from Tucson, Arizona just to meet President Obama. Asher produced Linda’s biggest hit albums in the 70s and managed her during her incredible ride on the charts. He told me last night at the Cutting Room that he was impressed Linda– who doesn’t travel much since being diagnosed with Parkinson’s–was going to DC.

Boston music fans can see Peter perform his wonderful “one man show” (there’s a great band) tonight at Johnny D’s in Somerville, Mass. (That’s “summah-ville” to locals.) Last night Peter wowed the house at the Cutting Room, with audience members like Billy Crystal and Little Steven van Zandt, as well as The Rascals’ great Gene Cornish, plus Billy J. Kramer and Denny Laine — of Moody Blues and Wings fame. Denny even got up and performed the Moody Blues’s seminal pre-orchestral hit “Go Now.” He was sensational.

Peter’s show details his life in music as one half of Peter and Gordon, who had two of three hits that Paul McCartney wrote for them specially. It helped that Paul, who was dating Peter’s actress sister, Jane, was living in the Ashers’ London home. When Paul and the Beatles started Apple Records, they asked Peter to come in and run it. He obliged by discovering James Taylor and signing Badfinger, among others. His show includes rare video footage and photos of all the famous people he’s been involved with.

Mostly what’s nice, always, is hearing the Peter and Gordon material of sweet harmonies. Gordon died a few years ago, but not before the pair reunited at a fundraiser for the Dave Clark Five’s Mike Smith. If you’re old enough to remember “World Without Love” and “Lady Godiva,” don’t miss his show.

PS If you pick up or download Elton John’s 40th anniversary edition of “Goodbye Yellow Brick Road” take note– Peter produced the new versions of the songs by contemporary artists. That’s why they sound so good!


photo courtesy Susan Hathaway

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3 replies to this post
  1. One of the greatest singers ever for all she has done for music she is way under rated. Seen her live in concert many times and to this day have never heard a female vocalist sing like her.There was no auto tune or lipsynching for her and sounded better than her recorded music.Aah the good old days wish there were some young singers that would study and listen to her and maybe there would be some hope for good music and real singing again.Love you Ms. Linda Ronstadt.thanks Brian

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