New Album 2010: “So Far”

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October 16, 2010 marks the release of the new Peter Anders album, “So Far”. The album is Peter’s first major release as an artist since his last solo album on Family Records in 1972!

The album is being released during a musical retrospective concert celebrating Peter’s 50th Anniversary in Show Business being held at the beautifully restored Park Theatre in Cranston, Rhode Island.

“So Far” is an autobiographical song cycle written mostly over the last five years with his current musical partner, Rhode Island songwriter Rick Bellaire. The album offers nine new original songs as well as re-workings of two of Peter’s classics and a very special cover version of a little-known Goffin & King song.

The songs chronicle the ups and downs of Peter’s life in and out of the music business and was recorded with the help of some very special friends.

Peter and Rick produced the album with one track being produced by Peter’s longest running musical partner, Vini Poncia, who co-wrote the song with Peter and Rick. This Anders & Poncia “reunion” marks their first collaboration in over thirty years.

There are two songs composed with Peter’s dear friend and collaborator, the late great Ritchie Cordell (Mony Mony, I Think We’re Alone Now), which are among the last tunes written by Ritchie before his untimely passing in 2004. Another is the newly completed version of a song begun in 1968 by Peter and Captain Beefheart which sat in the files for over 40 years.

Thanks to the wonders of modern technology, musicians contributing to the project represent friends and cohorts from throughout Peter’s career including Kenny Laguna (producer, composer and keyboard player for Joan Jett & The Blackhearts), legendary psychedelic pioneer Neil Merryweather (Mama Lion), classic girl group The Lovelites (for whom Peter and Vini produced their highly collectible single with Phil Spector back in 1964), and a contingent of Rhode Island musicians including members of Reminisce, FolksTogether and Brass Attack.

Below are the lyrics for all the songs on the album as well as notes from the producers and composers about their origins and subject matter. We hope you enjoy listening to the album as much as we enjoyed making it!

Peter Anders & Rick Bellaire

(Peter Andreoli, Ritchie Cordell, Mederick Bellaire)

Take this song whenever you feel lonely
Play it when you’re feeling lonely because I wrote it for you

This song was written for my lover
This one’s unlike any other because it comes from my heart

And every time you feel a breeze on your face
Know that I’m thinking of you
And anytime your eyes should fall upon these words
It’s just me telling you, how much I want you to

Take my heart and listen to it beating
Know that just for you it’s beating and know that this is your heart

Take this song and always keep it near you
I’ll be waiting just to hear you saying that this is your song

©2010 Peter Anders Music, Screaming Skull Production Mederick Music Ltd. (BMI)

PETER ANDERS: Lead vocal, backing vocals
RICK BELLAIRE: All guitars, mandolin, mandola, piano
JOHN DUNN: Bass guitar
DON “D.C.” CULP: Drums

The opening number was begun in the early 2000s by Peter and Ritchie and completed by Peter and Rick in 2006. It serves as an overture to the album by reminding us of Peter’s lifelong dedication to music and reflects on how music affects, contributes to and guides us through every aspect of life. To quote Elvis Presley, “I learned very early in life that without a song, the day would never end; without a song, a man ain’t got a friend; without a song, the road would never bend. And so I keep singing a song.”

(Peter Andreoli, Mederick Bellaire)

Zephyr jackets and pegged pants and featherweight shoes
Acting wise, shoestring ties and singin’ the blues
And we’d sing ‘til well after dark in Eagle Park

Suppertime in Eagle Park, get  home before it gets too dark
Streetlights flick on one by one, no more at-bats no more homeruns
Mamas singing from tenement steps names from operas and “The Lives of the Saints”
Some pictures cannot be erased by a wrecking ball or a new coat of paint

We were dancing on the corner, dancing with our knives
Dancing in the shadows, dancing for our lives
Dancing down the block, dancing in the dark
We danced around the clock in Eagle Park

Older guys with killer’s eyes knew every trick to stay alive
You could learn the way to earn more cash than you could ever burn
That’s the moment when you take the bait or wake up and just walk away
And say goodbye to all the guys who may not live to see another day

Those who wouldn’t walk the line mostly wound up doing time
Those who made it through the war were never really like they were before
There were some who stayed in school they live life living by the rules
Some got out by shooting hoops and some of us got out in singing groups

©2010 Peter Anders Music, Mederick Music Ltd. (BMI)

Section One
PETER ANDREOLI: Vocal, guitar
(Home acetate recording, 1949)
Section Two
PETER ANDREOLI: Vocal, guitar
(Home tape recording, 2008)
Section Three
PETER ANDERS: Lead vocal
RICK BELLAIRE: All guitars, mandolin, piano
JOHN DUNN: Bass guitar
JIM SEABRA: Drums, percussion
with Reminisce
RON IACOBUCCI: First tenor
FRANK GARGIULO: Second tenor
JACK MENTO: Baritone

This track is a sort of “West Side Story” approach to Peter’s early years growing up in the North End of Providence in the Eagle Park and Wanskuck neighborhoods. Peter and his contemporaries were up against the same hard choices which have faced every new generation of blue collar families in the northeast. How does one “break out”? Do you hang with the wiseguys? Do you try to get an athletic scholarship to college or enlist in one of the armed forces? Do you study hard or do you drop out and get a job to put some fast cash in your pocket ’til the Draft Board catches up with you? Peter’s generation had one additional choice not available to their parents or grandparents. In Pete’s case, to quote another singer-songwriter, the great Lou Reed, “My life was saved by Rock ‘n’ Roll.” Peter chose music as his way out of the neighborhood and found staunch allies in other neighborhood singers and musicians most notably his longest-running musical partner Vini Poncia. The song includes samples from a home recording Peter’s dad made of Peter and his sister Caroline back in the ’40s and from a tape recorded by Peter and his earliest musical compadre, accordionist Freddy Pesaturo.

(Peter Andreoli, Vincent Poncia, Jr.)

I don’t have a girl to call my own
And I don’t have a lover whose mine alone
Everything I do I always end up feeling blue
Mister Lonely is my name

I don’t have a love life that’s right or wrong
And I don’t hear a love bird sing me its song
Everything I say never turns out my way
Mister Lonely is my name

I want to be like other boys
Go to movies, drive-ins or a dance
But every time I meet a girl
I never get a second chance

If I had a girl I’d treat her right
I would make her happy and pray for her each night
But to me it seems all I ever do is dream
Mister Lonely is my name

© 1960, 1988 Peer Music (BMI)

PETER ANDERS: Lead vocal
KENNY LAGUNA: Keyboards, backing vocals
RICK BELLAIRE: All guitars
JOHN DUNN: Bass guitar

This Videls classic is probably the first one that comes to mind when thinking of Peter. Here’s an “adult” reworking of this great song to remind us of the timelessness of both teen angst and great songwriting. Here’s where the musical journey really begins. When this record hit the charts in 1960, Vini and some of the other guys were still in high school and had to wait until the day after graduation to hit the road! The day after the Saturday ceremony, a contingent of the band’s parents drove the boys down to New York City where they hooked up with Dick Clark’s “Caravan Of Stars” tour which included an appearance on “American Bandstand”.

(Peter Andreoli, Vincent Poncia Jr., Mederick Bellaire)

We lived inside The Forrest with go-go girls and artists
A singer and guitarist just laying it down
Two kids from nowhere trying to find a sound
Before New York became a lonely town

When we hit Broadway with our first band
We kissed the ground and thought we’d found the promised land
Up and down elevators beating on doors
Leaving little pieces of our hearts on every floor

And we’d sing sweet harmony
We’d sing sweet harmony
We flew so high I swore that I was never coming down
Before New York became a lonely town

Pretty girls twisting on a parquet floor
Lines around the building to get inside the door
Starlighters blasting out song after song
Making us believe that we could really belong

They flew us out to Hollywood in ‘64
We landed and were stranded at a Gold Star door
It opened and we ran into a wall of sound
And everytime we thought it might come tumbling down

©2010 Peter Anders Music, Mad Vincent Music, Mederick Music Ltd. (BMI)

ANDERS & PONCIA: Lead vocals, backing vocals
GUIDO ROSATI: Backing vocals
DON “D.C.” CULP: Drums, percussion
RICK BELLAIRE: All guitars, bass guitar

Peter, Vini and Rick composed this piece about the guys’ early days in “The Big Apple” before The Videls morphed into The Tradewinds. In between recording sessions and tours, Peter and Vini took up residence at the historic artists’ home-away-from-home The Forrest Hotel under the guidance of the legendary song writer, Doc Pomus. By day, they pounded the pavement seeking a publishing deal for their songs. By night, they hit the clubs where they were befriended – and shown the ropes by – some of their legendary contemporaries such as Dion & The Belmonts and Joey Dee & The Starlighters. Joey and the band even introduced them to their first wives, both go-go dancers at the hottest spot in town, The Peppermint Lounge. This era ended in 1964 when they were enlisted by a young, up-and-coming record producer named Phil Spector to head out to Hollywood to assist him in constructing his “wall of sound”.

(Peter Andreoli, Ritchie Cordell, Mederick Bellaire)

I will find a way to reach you if it takes for evermore
I will look in every nook and cranny ’til I reach your door

I have set a course to find you and I’ll dock at every shore
I’ve a need to do what leads me to the love I’m living for

I know you’re out there somewhere without me
I know you’re out there somewhere
I know you’re out there somewhere

Maybe somewhere I’ve looked, but I just couldn’t see
And I hope with all my heart you’re not hiding from me

I would give my life to please you, I would love you to the core
In my heart and soul I’ve got to hold the one that I adore

©2010 Peter Anders Music, Screaming Skill Production, Mederick Music Ltd. (BMI)

PETER ANDERS: Lead vocal
RICHARD SAGE: Piano, organ
with FolksTogether
RICK BELLAIRE: Lead guitar, percussion
JOHN DUNN: Bass guitar
and Reminisce
RON IACOBUCCI: First tenor
FRANK GARGIULO: Second tenor
JACK MENTO: Baritone

This was the first song completed for the album just before Ritchie passed away. It’s a reflection on the universal theme of searching for “true love” or a “soul mate” as one navigates the tumultuous waters of adulthood.

(Peter Andreoli, Don “Captain Beefheart” Van Vliet, Mederick Bellaire)

A beetle eyed a beef heart in our hotel room
Wading through the smoke to look for Doctor Bloom
The captain howled like a wolf the prince played upside down
Presented the madonna and let me wear his crown

White powdered wigs make me wonder
Wonder what’s wrong and what’s right
Whether I’ll get out from under
The weight I’ll be under tonight
Department store displays depicting a life
So full of promise shining so bright
I see  dark clouds I hear the thunder
White powdered wigs make me wonder

Mix 10cc of strawberries with one part bubblegum
A little shot to brace me for a hit that never comes
Motown stars in Rolls Royce cars here to get their due
Toasting everyone before it all goes down the tube

Singing sha-na, na-na-na
Sha-la-la-la, la-la

©2010 Peter Anders Music, Singing Ink Music, Mederick Music Ltd. (BMI)

PETER ANDERS: Lead vocal, backing vocals
NEIL MERRYWEATHER: B.C. Rich Warlock bass guitar
HENRY GAUVIN: Lead guitar, slide guitar
RICK BELLAIRE: All other guitars
JOHN DUNN: Hofner Violin Beatle bass guitar
with The Lovelites
LOUISE ROBBINS: Backing vocals
LINDA STERN: Backing vocals

The story here is a composite of Peter’s various European adventures during the late ’60s and early ’70s. In 1967 while competing in the MIDEM international music festival in France as part of the Buddah Records contingent, Peter and Vini, along with Bobby Bloom (“Montego Bay”) and Captain Beefheart, spent an entire day in the company of Paul McCartney who was as enamored of their work with Spector as they were with his Beatles output. He even asked them to critique an early version of “Lady Madonna” as the left-handed Beatle performed it upside down on Vini’s right-handed guitar! It was during the English leg of this trip that Peter and Beefheart began this song. They were standing in front of a window display at Harrod’s department store in London looking at a group of mannequins in Parliamentary garb when Beefheart exclaimed, “White powdered wigs make me wonder.” Recognizing a great title when they heard one (especially for the times!), the two songwriters repaired the hotel to begin writing. They never finished it and it sat on the shelf until Peter and Rick completed the work in 2006. The next section refers to a 1969 sojourn when Buddah Records sent Peter, Ritchie and Kenny Laguna over to Manchester, England to work with an early incarnation of 10cc who were operating their own Strawberry Studios financed by their first hit “Neanderthal Man”. No hits resulted, but many fine songs and even more great stories abound to this day. The Motown reference at the end refers to Peter’s disastrous 1972 tenure as an executive at Motown’s UK branch which ended with his departure from the company, a divorce and his exile back to the States.

(Peter Andreoli, Mederick Bellaire, John Dunn)

I’m hung up and run down from morning ‘til sundown
I can’t get over you
How can I forget you when my heart won’t let you
Do what you know in your heart you must do
But if you should decide you still want me beside you then

Just say the word and I’ll come running, baby
Forget what you’ve heard, I’ve been waiting, baby,
Until we’re together I’ll never say never
As long as this world still turns, just say the word

I’ll hang on forever, for worse or for better
Whatever I have to do
To get back that moment, that moment the glow went
Somewhere that left me alone without you
Give me one more last chance and take hold of my hand and

I wouldn’t blame you if you want to claim you
Just want to call it a night
But I know I can mend things, write a happier ending
If you let me back in your life

©2010 Peter Anders Music, Mederick Music Ltd. (BMI)

PETER ANDERS: Lead vocal, backing vocals
RICK BELLAIRE: All guitars, bass guitar, piano, percussion
with The Lovelites
LOUISE ROBBINS: Backing vocals
LINDA STERN: Backing vocals

A “morning after” reflection on some of the damages resulting from Peter’s tumultuous lifestyle in the early ’70s.

(Peter Andreoli, Mederick Bellaire, John Dunn)

Lock the door, throw away the key
You’d better watch out for me
I don’t know what I become
But if I were you I’d start to run

I’m the thief of hearts, I can’t help what I feel
When that feeling starts I need to steal
You won’t have a chance once it starts
‘Cause I am the thief of hearts

I’ve got a list and I’m checking it twice
I don’t care if you’re naughty or nice
If you’re a stranger or my best friend’s girl
Before I’m done I’m gonna change your world

I used to be just like everybody else ‘til someone cut my heart away
Now with nothing left inside of me except the Mr. Hyde in me
I look for what has died in me day after day

©2010 Peter Anders Music, Mederick Music Ltd. (BMI)

PETER ANDERS: Lead vocal
RICK BELLAIRE: All guitars, drums, percussion
JOHN DUNN: Bass guitar

Another reflection on the early ’70s – this time about the drug-fueled, self-destructive behaviors themselves.

(Peter Anders)

I started seein’ double, I got myself concerned
I’m headed right for trouble and I got nowhere to turn
I can always give it up tomorrow
I can lose my sorrow in the morning light
I’m gonna give it up tomorrow
But I gotta live it up tonight

And if I can just get through tonight
I will give it all up tomorrow
If I can just get through tonight
It’s gonna be alright, it’s gonna be alright

I’m getting myself together, I’m gonna be a natural man
I’m staying that way forever, my future’s in your hands
I can always give it up tomorrow
I can lose my sorrow in the morning light
I’m gonna give it up tomorrow
But I gotta live it up tonight

©1976, 1984 Homegrown Music Inc. (BMI)

PETER ANDERS: Lead vocal, backing vocals
RICK BELLAIRE: All guitars, harmony vocal
JOHN DUNN: Bass guitar, steel guitar

Peter wrote this one in 1976, but has never released his own version until now. This classic song was composed in a taxi by Peter on the night before he entered rehab for the first time. He was on the way to a demo session for which he had a contractual obligation, but for which he had nothing prepared. The simple demo cut that night resulted in many cover versions of the song including Phoebe Snow’s Adult Contemporary smash and great interpretations by Dion and Sissy Spacek.

(Gerry Goffin, Carole King)

When there’s a dark storm on your horizon
And you think you can’t get through it
Just put your hand in my hand and I’ll show you how to do it

When your future looks uncertain
You can count on me to be there
And when your heart and soul are hurtin’ just look and you’ll see me there

Follow where I lead
I’ll give you what you need
A love that’s always true
And someone who believes in you

It’s time to come alive, your moment has arrived
I’ll bring out the best in you
We can have it all, we will never fall
Looking down from our celestial view

So when you’re searching for that rainbow
I will help you find it
And when a mountain stands before you, I will help you climb it

Just follow where I lead
I’ll give you what you need
And I’ll tell you something else
You’ll start believing in yourself
It’s an easy thing to do
When you’ve got someone who believes in you
Someone who believes, someone who believes
I’m someone who believes
You’ve got someone who believes in you

©1987 Lauren Wesley Music, Screen Gems-EMI Music Inc. (BMI)

PETER ANDERS: Lead vocal
RICK BELLAIRE: All guitars, bass guitar, keyboards
DON “D.C.” CULP: Drums

This beautiful, little-known song was, we believe, one of the last, if not the last, composed by the great Brill Building team of Gerry Goffin and Carole King after their divorce, but before the end of their professional partnership. This recording kills two birds with one stone. Two of Peter’s goals for this album were to acknowledge his writing partnership with Gerry Goffin and to write or find a special song to dedicate to his wife, Linda Roy Andreoli. Goffin & King broke up at around the same time as Anders & Poncia split up and Peter and Gerry began writing together at that time when both men were seemingly at loose ends. Peter and Rick went through all the demos from this period, but it turned out that the best numbers had been used for Peter’s last solo album, 1972’s “peter anders”. As this song is from the same period, it was deemed appropriate to serve the dual purpose of being a nod to Gerry as well as a special message to Linda.

11. WHERE ARE YOU NOW (Ritchie’s Song)
(Peter Andreoli, Mederick Bellaire)

I hit your number on the speed dial today
I had something special I wanted to say
But there’s never an answer since you’ve gone away
And when I hang up I know you’re gone to stay

Where are  you now, where can you be
And wherever you are do you ever think of me
Are you trying to reach me, but you just don’t know how
Whenever you hear me say where are you now

How many times did you say we were through
And then with a phone call from out of the blue
You’d prove once again what I always knew
I’ll never have another friend quite like you

There were times we kept our distances
There were times we thought each other insane
Lord knows we always had our differences
I guess that’s what made us the same


©2010 Peter Anders Music, Mederick Music Ltd. (BMI)

PETER ANDERS: Lead vocal, backing vocals
RICK BELLAIRE: All guitars
JOHN DUNN: Bass guitar
DON “D.C.” CULP: Drums

Peter and Ritchie Cordell had been friends and writing partners since the early 1960s. Although the two had a stormy history, they put all that aside and began collaborating again in the early 2000s. Knowing that Rick had a deep admiration for Ritchie’s work, Peter brought Rick into the partnership and the trio composed many songs together. Ritchie’s passing was a great loss, both personally and professionally, for Peter and Rick and one day when they were working together, Peter hit Ritchie’s number on his speed dial to ask his opinion on a line. Of course there was no answer, but the two men immediately realized they must write a song about their friend.

(Peter Andreoli, Mederick Bellaire)

I know you may not see it from there
But I have tried to be an honest man

I have fantasized and told some lies
And heaven knows that there were times when I got too high
I lived fairy tales, had my share of dreams that failed
I had to struggle, but  I  hung on for the ride
I was born to be exactly what I am
I can make my stand with nothing left to hide
‘Cause I have tried to be an honest man

I have been a soldier
I have been there through the rise and the fall
Any blame I’ll shoulder
And I will be there at the end of it all

I have sold my heart and fell apart
And laughed as life flew by a million miles an hour
I forgave my foes, tried to stop and smell a rose
But it’s so hard to do when  you can’t find a flower
I was born to be exactly what I am
I can make my stand with nothing left to hide
‘Cause I have tried to be an honest man

©2010 Peter Anders Music, Mederick Music Ltd. (BMI)

PETER ANDERS: Lead vocal
JOHN DUNN: Bass guitar
DON “D.C.” CULP: Drums

And finally, a philosophical look back at Peter’s life…at least “so far”.