Peter Beckett’s Player ready to hit the Egyptian Theatre stage
Peter Beckett’s Player 8 p.m. on Friday, March 8, and Saturday, March 9; 6 p.m. on Sunday, March 10 Egyptian Theatre, 328 Main St. Friday tickets are $35-$55; Saturday and Sunday tickets are $39-$60 435-649-9371 parkcityshows.com
Peter Beckett was 15 when he saw The Beatles play a 1962 homecoming gig at the famed Cavern Club in his hometown of Liverpool.
The Fab Four , who hadn’t hit America, yet, had just returned from their successful residency in Hamburg, Germany, one of the first places The Beatles played outside the U.K. before Americans knew their name.
“I was too young to get in, but I knew a bouncer who told me I could just whip in and out,” Beckett said. “They place was made of bricks. It was very dirty and smelly, but packed with people.”
But the future singer-songwriter didn’t mind the crowds, because the band enchanted him.
“I stood there and watched them, and said to myself ‘This is what I’m going to do with my life,’” he said.
The next day, Beckett bought a cheap guitar, and two years later, he was playing in a professional band and touring Europe. Now, he’s the guitarist and namesake of Peter Beckett’s Player.
“This is all I know how to do,” Beckett said. “I’d be screwed if I was asked to do anything else.”
Beckett’s band will do what he does best by playing three nights, March 8 through March 10, at the Egyptian Theatre.
The concerts will feature the music of Player, including the hits “Baby Come Back, “Prisoner of Your Love” and “If Looks Could Kill,” to name a few, according to Beckett.
The band will also play songs from its 2013 album, “Too Many Reasons,” and selections from Beckett’s self-titled 1991 album.
“We also throw some covers in there that people like to dance to,” he said. “So it’s a good-time show.”
Beckett’s history with Player started in 1976 when he, keyboardist John Charles “J.C.” Crowley, bassist Ronn Moss and drummer John Friesen, formed the band.
After a series of lineup changes and lawsuits regarding the band’s name. Beckett and Moss now tour separately as Peter Becketts’ Player and Ron Moss’ Player.
In the middle of all of that, Beckett began writing songs for film and television.
Some of those tunes include Survivor’s “Moment of Truth” from the soundtrack of John G. Avildsen’s 1984 hit film, “The Karate Kid,” and “If the Lady Wants to Play,” which was sung by Nia Peebles in the 1980s TV series, “Fame.”
Beckett’s biggest movie hit , though, was Olivia Newton-John’s “Twist of Fate” for John Herzfeld’s 1983 romantic fantasy, “Two of a Kind.” The song peaked at No. 5 on Billboard’s Hot 100 in 1984.
“Around the end of that period, I had the same manager as Little River Band who asked if I wanted to fill in for Graeham Goble, who was leaving the band,” Beckett said. “I was told the tour would be for only a month.”
Beckett stayed with the Little River Band for seven years.
“By the time I got home, everybody I knew in the film and TV business had moved on, so I had to start all over again,” he said with a laugh. “I don’t do a lot of that anymore, because I’ve gone back to playing live.”
About 10 years ago, Beckett was introduced to the term “Yacht Rock,” a name for the soft rock exemplified by ‘70s bands like including Player, Little River Band, Ambrosia and Pablo Cruise.
At that time, Beckett was invited to play a show in Atlanta with Little River Band and Ambrosia.
“The first show was at a car park and the second was at Piedmont Park in Atlanta,” he said.
The bands played to 3,000 people, who were all dressed in captain’s hats and shirts.
“They were drunk off their butts and all singing along to the chorus of these songs,” Beckett said. “I was blown away, and I have been doing that show every year since.”
The Yacht Rock movement lit a fire under Beckett and Player.
“While we’ve always toured and recorded in the past 30 years, there are a bunch of yacht rock radio stations and we’re getting more airplay than in the recent past,” he said. “The great thing is there are three generations of people – grandparents, parents and kids – who come to these shows.”
Beckett enjoys playing to that multigenerational audience.
“The funny thing is, we weren’t a big hit in England,” he said. “There was this show called Top of the Pops, which was like American Bandstand, in England. I wanted to be on that show, but I never got to be. But here in America, our music has stood the test of time.”
Grant is currently working to reach a larger audience by expanding his representation and distribution on a global demographic, while solidifying the local ones.
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