Peter Asher Says Linda Ronstadt ‘Could Sense’ When She Lost Control Of Her Voice
Peter Asher, legendary producer and half of the popular British ’60s duo Peter and Gordon, joined our L.A. based friends at K-EARTH 101 Morning Show in studio Wednesday morning to talk about an upcoming performance at the GRAMMY Museum. Peter Asher: A Musical Memoir of the ’60s and Beyond follows Peter’s extensive music career as part of Peter and Gordon and takes audiences back to the golden era of ’60s pop culture.
One of the songs featured in his musical memoir is the duo’s No. 1 hit “World Without Love,” which he acquired from none other than Beatle legend Paul McCartney. The two became friends in the ’60s after Paul started dating Peter’s sister Jane and stayed in the Asher’s guest house while off the road. He explained how Paul was responsible for Peter and Gordon’s big break.
“The big break for us what the fact [Paul] played me this unknown often unfinished song, which was ‘World Without Love’ that nobody wanted,” said Peter. “Once we had a record deal in hand, I went to Paul and said, ‘If no one’s going to do that song, can we please do it?’ So that was certainly a huge stroke of good luck.”
The song became a huge hit for Peter and Gordon in 1964 and the rest is history. Peter says that he has an extra special memento from the song that will be featured in his upcoming show. “I’d remembered when Paul gave us the song, he’d written out the lyrics for me and I still have the handwritten lyrics safely locked [away],” he said, noting that he’ll show off the piece as part of musical memoir. Not only does he have the original, handwritten lyrics to the song, Peter will also play a one verse demo of “World Without Love” McCartney recorded just to give them the melody, which is the “only record of him singing it.”
Another legendary artist he discusses is Linda Ronstadt, whom he produced and managed. He produced her first solo album 1973’s Don’t Cry Now, and later became her manager. He says that “Linda is still a great friend” and gave he discussed her battle with Parkinson’s disease. “A couple of years ago was going, ‘You know, I don’t think I should sing, because I don’t feel like I have the control like I used to.’ She was the most laser-accurate singer,” he explained. “Actually what she was experiencing was the very early symptoms of what they now know as Parkinson’s, because you don’t have the muscular control,” he added. “She didn’t know why, but she could sense that she didn’t quite have the laser-like muscle control of her voice that she used to.”He says that since revealing her condition to the public and retiring from singing this past August, she has been doing fine. “She’s totally okay,” he said. “Sometimes it seems like the rest of us are more upset that she’s not singing than she is.”
Listen to K-EARTH’s complete interview with Peter Asher in the clip below.
— Britt Bickel, K-EARTH