Sunday, 15 July 2012
Friend, brother, soulmate, kindred spirit... Pete was all these and much more. The song claims 'a good heart... is hard to find', yet the word 'good' serves insufficient justice to what an amazing person Pete was. Thoughtful, kind, generous, quick witted and humorous yet he was also one who knew his own mind, taking key decisions with confidence.
And PK (in After The Fire lingo) was, of course, a sublimely brilliant drummer. I can still recall a couple of shows where the rest of us turned round and watched in amazement as he completed a seemingly impossible fill that he'd already embarked upon!
Despite being such a strong and super fit individual it was to be cancer that was his undoing. Strangely, at an early ZipcodeS gig in 1983, when a close friend of ATF already in terminal decline from the same disease arrived in a wheelchair, PK confided in me that he foresaw himself landing up in the same state. Naturally, I dismissed it at the time, now that prophetic remark is a dark ghost in my memory bank.
He was the baby in After The Fire and we all looked out for PK as our younger brother. Yet with his stint depping in ELO and later as a full member of top flight German band BAP, he landed up becoming the most successful musician of us all.
Personally, I miss him dreadfully and I am well aware I am not alone. Conversations with close friends and family regularly land up remembering him. Furthermore BAP nobly braved the potential emotional black hole by recording their deeply personal tribute, as above.
When our post funeral posse stopped off for some sea air by Sheringham waterfront 25 years ago I felt this moment when Pete whizzed past nearby 'up there', just for a split second. And I had this overwhelming sensation that he longed for us to delight in his new incarnation rather than suffer the grief of our loss...