‘60s era nostalgic bliss can currently be attained at Feinstein’s at Loews Regency, where Peter Asher is holding court for the rest of the week. This surviving member of the chart-topping British Invasion duo Peter & Gordon is delivering a wildly entertaining evening of music and stories aptly entitled A Musical Memoir of the 60s and Beyond.
Along with his late partner Gordon Waller, Asher enjoyed a string of hits between 1963 and 1967 that included “World Without Love,” “I Go to Pieces,” “True Love Ways,” “Woman,” “I Don’t Want to See You Again” and “Nobody I Know.”
All of these, as well as a few other classics from the era, are performed here. And while Asher was clearly not the chief vocal talent of the duo—Waller’s voice was far more rich and resonant—the 67-year-old delivers wonderfully fun renditions with the support of a four-piece band.
But more than the music, it’s the storytelling that makes the evening so memorable. Asher, who went on to become a hugely successful music producer and manager, seems to have been everywhere during the heady days of the ‘60s and ‘70s. He regales the audience with anecdotes involving the Beatles—Paul McCartney dated his sister Jane, and provided the group with several Lennon/McCartney compositions that became some of their biggest hits—as well as the Rolling Stones, James Taylor and many others.
The show ingeniously weaves video clips and photos into the presentation, including a riotously funny introduction by Eric Idle and a couple of beautifully synchronized virtual duets between Asher and his former partner, the latter filmed during a 2005 reunion concert.
Among the highlights are clips from the variety show Hullabaloo featuring Peter & Gordon singing “Eight Days a Week” with the Supremes and Frankie Avalon and an unintentionally hilarious appearance on The Red Skelton Show.
Asher, whose credits also include a stint as head of A&R for Apple, the Beatles’ record company, was there when John met Yoko and when Mick Jagger met Marianne Faithful. He also describes Lennon and McCartney sitting in his attic and performing a song they had just written—a little ditty called “I Wanna Hold Your Hand.”
Although the evening features perhaps a little too much self-promotion--including footage of his winning a Grammy for Producer of the Year and endless plugs about current and upcoming projects—Asher’s winningly self-deprecating sense of humor more than compensates. And when he dons his original Buddy Holly-style glasses and leads the audience on a sing-along of “A World Without Love,” complete with lyrics projected on video screens, the baby boomer audience’s joy was palpable.
Feinstein’s at Loews Regency, 540 Park Ave. 212-339-4095. www.feinsteinsatloewsregency.com.
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