In parts 1 and 2 of this series of interviews with musician Peter Asher, we covered a lot of material, including Peter and Gordon’s big hits “A World Without Love” and “I Go To Pieces”, the Asher’s long-standing friendship with ex-Beatle Paul McCartney, the differences between being a musician and a producer in the recording studio (Asher is both), Asher’s royal title CBE, the screaming girls in the audience during the British invasion of the 1960s, and more. Below, the third and last part.
Jim Clash: Tell me about Kate Taylor’s new LP, “Why Wait!”, In which you performed. It was just released on Compass Records to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the first LP you and Kate made together.
Peter Asher: The good thing is that on this one we have to search for material from scratch. Kate wrote some great songs on the record, but I also checked out my favorite songwriters including, for example, Ed Sheeran. We used one of his old songs called “Elle”. We also covered a song by Kate’s brother James called “I Will Follow”. I thought Kate would sing it well, and she did. What’s good is that both of these versions have been heard, approved and even loved by the songwriters in question. Ed loved our version, as did James. We also covered Lowell George and his song called “Long Distance Love”. Then there were songs that Kate herself always wanted to record like “How Glad I Am”. So it’s a collection from different eras, different writers – some very new, some pretty old – that I thought would really suit Kate, and I think we got that right.
Shock: You have a whole roster of musicians promoting LP on tour.
Asher: Yes, Peter Asher & Company is a bit like a rock and roll magazine. In addition to Kate and myself, musicians include Albert Lee, one of my favorite guitarists, Leland Sklar, legendary bassist, drummer Steve Holley, who was in Wings, Bill Cinque of the Neil Diamond Band, singer Cara Lee [Bill Medley] and more. It’s a great range!
Shock: You produced James Taylor, you’ve known him for a long time. What does he like to work with?
Asher: He is calm, brilliant, cultured, very thoughtful. He’s one of those people who you know has more going on in his head than you think, but you don’t know what it is. He’s fascinating, just like Kate and the whole family. I have admired James playing and singing since I first heard him in 1967. I found him, signed him to Apple Records, and then became his manager. I remained his manager for 25 years.
Shock: In terms of newer music, who do you like today?
Asher: I have always been an Ed Sheeran fan. He’s not brand new, of course, but to me he is. I became friends with him. As soon as I heard Ed for the first time I thought this guy was the real one, a great singer / songwriter. Then there’s Holly Humberstone, who I think is great too. My God, I can’t think of any more head, but I have a long playlist of new records that I love.
Shock: You also produced Linda Ronstadt.
Asher: Yeah, and when we were working on “You’re No Good,” a big hit for Linda, we used several guitar solos in the recording that got pretty well known, all played by a guy called Andrew Gold, a great friend. and a wonderful guitarist. We cut the original trail in one day and Linda left. But Andrew and I stayed all night working on the guitar solos that we became immensely proud of, several layers in the middle of the song. When Linda arrived the next morning, fresh as a daisy, she said, “Eeewww, that sounds like the Beatles. I do not like it [laughs]. “It sounds a bit like the Beatles, but we loved it. Eventually she changed her mind, but it was a bit deflating moment.