Becoming Peter Ivers

Becoming Peter Ivers tells the story of the late Peter Ivers, a virtuosic songwriter and musician whose antics bridged not just 60s counterculture and New Wave music but also film, theatre, and music television.

Written and recorded in Los Angeles in the mid-to-late-1970s, Becoming Peter Ivers raises the curtain on this mischievous master of ceremonies, who, harmonica in hand, rarely missed a chance to light up an audience. Since his untimely death in 1983, Ivers' short but storied life has been the subject of much research and remembrance. Becoming Peter Ivers is the most expansive effort yet to collect his archival recordings.

“Demos are often better than records,” Ivers wrote. “More energy, more soul, more guts.” The statement anticipates the appearance of Becoming Peter Ivers, which was assembled from a trove of demo cassettes and reel-to-reel tapes that Ivers recorded variously at his home in Laurel Canyon, Los Angeles, and Hollywood studios for a pair of major label albums in 1974 and 1976. While the two commercially released albums feature the resources of session musicians and state-of-the-art studio detail, Becoming Peter Ivers highlights the private moments of Ivers’ musical energy, frequently pared down to piano, drum machine, harmonica, and Peter’s ageless voice.

Though technically not Ivers’ debut album (in 1969 Epic Records released Knight Of The Blue Communion, Peter’s psychedelic jazz odyssey of sorts), Terminal Love was the A&R brainchild of music legend Van Dyke Parks. Already a masterful harmonica player (respectively mentored by blues legend Little Walter and jazz bassist Buell Neidlinger while he was a student at Harvard in the late 60s), Ivers wove his harp melodies through the sensuously coloured but unconventionally arranged pop compositions of Terminal Love and its self-titled follow up, which, like the New York Dolls at the same time, explored the libidinous, ironic, and artful possibilities of the rock template.


1.Take Your Chances With Me 
2. Eighteen and Dreaming 
3. Conference Call at Four 
4. Peter 
5. Even Stephen Foster 
6. I'm Sorry Alice 
7. Deborah
8. Miraculous Weekend 
9. Holding The Cobra 
10. Audience Of One 
11. Alpha Centauri 
12. I've Seen Your Face
13. In Heaven 
14. My Desire 
15. The Night You Didn't Come
16. Untitled
17. Love In Flight (Piano Overture) 
18. Ain't That A Kick 
19. Jamaica Moon 
20. Window Washer (w/ Van Dyke Parks) 
21. Nirvana Cuba Waltz