Outer Shell
July 2000
"Other" Music News & Views, Vol.2 No.17

Red Peters - "Ol' Blue Balls" Interview by Roy Harper

With songs like 'I Don't Just Love You Down There', 'Use Your Hand', and 'Pullin It All Night Long', Red Peters has taken "dirty" lyrics (masterfully crafted, I must say.) and put a sound to them with the end result being fun and great music to listen to. With each listen (and there continues to be MANY), I find myself singing along- real catchy tunes !

RH - Your musical style is Sinatra-esque at times, and other times on the 'country-side'. Why these styles?

RP - Growing up, my father used to call me the poor man's Frank Sinatra. But beyond that, I'm not really known for any one musical style. I've been experimenting in all genres for most of my career. Some musicologists have commented that if I had just stayed with one style, maybe I'd be more of a musical force today. I love the music of Sinatra and big band music, but I also like old country swing stuff, like Bob Wills and Red Stegall. I also record polka, disco, Irish, R&B, and even Rock.

RH - You're kind of the 'Fug(s)-for-the-21st-Century'.

RP - You're the first person to compare me to the Fugs. It's funny because I was a hippie back then too, and I really liked The Fugs, but I think I was more influenced by Frank Zappa and the Mothers of Invention, and The Bonzo Dog Band. I liked Spike Jones, Cheech & Chong, and Firesign Theatre too. The Fugs were more folk/rock, even though they too sang about getting laid, smoking pot, and acting obnoxious. I don't think they sang about getting blown back then. That's where I came in.

RH - You're probably getting most exposed through Howard Stern, who plays your music.

RP - I like Howard a lot. I've been on his show twice and premiered my 'Ballad of a Dog Named Stains' video on his CBS-tv show. He plays a lot of my older songs, and he's playing a lot of my new songs too, I'm thankful he likes me, because it would suck if he didn't. His show reaches millions of people and I think they're the perfect audience for my songs. Another guy who's been great to Red Peters is Dr. Demento.

RH - Why do you do the music you do?

RP - I originally started doing it as a goof. As somebody who owns a studio and who is recording all the time, I always fucked around with the words, sort of like Weird Al, except my friends and I would substitute real dirt, filthy lyrics instead. We'd laugh our asses off. Then came my first original song, "Blow Me (You Hardly Even Know Me". My music director, Babe Marino, and I were messing around with a big band arrangement one day and the words just flowed out. We brought the scratch recording to a party that night and people went 'shithouse' for it. We went on to formally record it with his orchestra along with the Alan Pinchloaf Singers. and the rest is history.

RH - What kind of reactions to do get at your live appearances from those that have never heard you?

RP - For the most part, people get a kick out of it and have a good laff and frequently sing-a-long. When I do the comedy clubs, sometimes people show up who aren't familiar with my material or don't expect a singer. After they hear the 4th or 5th song about getting blown or laid or jerking off, I notice sour looks on some of the women's faces in the audience. Some can't take it and leave. Too uptight, I guess.

RH - You're married, with 3 kids. How do you explain what you do?

RP - All my kids know daddy sings songs with swear words in them. I don't even have to tell them not to say anything about it. When their teachers ask them to bring in daddy's CD, they just change the subject and talk about something else. In my everyday life, I of course go under my surname, Pete Peters, and seldom do people make the connection.

RH - How does your wife feel about the music?

RP - My wife is very supportive. She loves my songs. As a matter of fact, she came up with the title of my first album -"I Laughed, I Cried, I Fudged My Undies".

RH - Women ever get horny upon hearing you live at your gigs?

RP - Oh yes. When I walk through the crowd on the way to and from the stage, they reach out and try to grab me. They say they love my voice and try to kiss me. I love the attention, but I have to be careful. Sometimes they bend the fabric.

RH - What have been some of their comments?

RP - They're all very innocent. A lot have stories about how they and their boyfriends, brothers, or fathers love my music and listen to the records all the time and sing along. They memorize all the words. They name specific songs that have special meaning to them. Many comment how they play 'Holy Shit, It's Christmas' and 'You Aint Gettin Shit For Christmas' every year as a family holiday tradition. More than half the email I get is from women.

RH - Do you think Dr. Laura's sponsors should be 'backing-out' because of her anti-gay stance?

RP - Personally, I don't give a shit, but - I think anyone who has bigoted or prejudiced points of view, and who choose to make them public, should be accountable for what they say.

RH - Should there be a point of censorship on radio and tv?

RP - People should be free to choose their own entertainment. If you don't like it, don't look or listen. As long as there are safeguards for parents' right to control programming for their children, such as the v-chip and similiar devices, the airwaves should be free.

RH - Have we all gotten too serious about having fun?

RP - I hope not.

RH - What is the purpose of Red Peters?

RP - To give people a good laugh and have some stupid fun.

RH - What lies ahead in the future?

RP - I'd like to write some songs for TV and movies and do some more acting - maybe put a big show together for Las Vegas.

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