Peter Asher Denies Responsibility for Beatles' Breakup at L.A. Show
Rock 'n' roll could have looked very different if not for Peter Asher.
To be sure, there are the obvious roles the Grammy winner played in musical history: as part of British invasion duo Peter and Gordon, as the Apple A&R executive who signed and nurtured James Taylor and as producer of such acts as Linda Ronstadt (who he also managed), 10,000 Maniacs, Diana Ross, Cher, Neil Diamond and countless others.
But as he revealed in his multimedia show, 'Peter Asher: A Musical Memoir of the '60s and Beyond,' at Los Angeles' Grammy Museum on Tuesday night, some of his behind-the-scenes activities had just as great an impact.
Asher, who grew up a privileged child in London, met Paul McCartney through his younger sister Jane, who was dating the Beatle. McCartney would lodge at the Asher home in London when not on tour and even wrote Peter and Gordon's first hit, 'World Without Love.'
Peter and Gordon had success on both sides of the Atlantic, coming to America to appear on both 'The Ed Sullivan Show' and 'The Jackie Gleason Show.' "We'd never seen 'The Honeymooners' in London," said Asher, recalling that Gleason struck him as "this drunken a-----e being obnoxious to everyone. I later saw 'The Honeymooners' and realized he was a genius."
Asher expanded into other ventures as Peter and Gordon's light started to dim, including partnering with Barry Miles and John Dunbar in a London art gallery and a book shop. The Indica Gallery decided to support a young artist named Yoko Ono by putting on an exhibit, attended by none other than John Lennon, who met Ono and was smitten.