The Life and Times of Red Peters:
The Man, The Myth, The Legend

by Dick Small
(Reprinted from Spankers Quarterly, January 1996)

Red Peters was born on July 11, 1950 into a show business family that traveled around the country with a song-and-dance review featuring a dog act, Peters Family Flying Poodles. Thrust into the spotlight as a mere pup himself, young Red would entertain by mimicking Bing Crosby, Louis Armstrong, Ed Sullivan, Dwight Eisenhower, and Timmy from Lassie. Barely out of diapers -- a triumph he can no longer claim -- it was obvious that for Red, singing was a natural gift.

Born Peter Peters, "The kids used to call me Little P.P." Red recalls sadly. "It was a terrible thing my parents did, and I had to get tough real quick, even though I was very sensitive. Actually, I have the feeling that my parents liked the dogs more than me...because they wouldn't pay for braces on my teeth, but the poodles all got hip replacement surgery."

Eventually called Red, due to his hair color, Peters put together a solo production called "Show Tunes for Shut-Ins", a musical comedy revue for home-bound senior citizens. It became very popular with oldsters until one day Red was brutally beaten by an elderly couple who found his song stylings irritating. While recuperating from the attack, he sang the national anthem occasionally at cock-fights and charity benefits.

Hard pressed to find an artistic identity he could call his own, Red moved from band to band and city to city before teaming up with the world-reknowned bandleader Babe Marino and His Orchestra to record his hit, "Blow Me (You Hardly Even Know Me)", accompanied by the Alan Pinchloaf Singers. Shortly after that historic session, Red hooked up with Babe's younger brother Tex, and sang the swinging country sensation, "How's Your Whole...Family?" with the Poisonaires.

Many musicologists believe that if Red Peters had stuck with just one musical style, he'd have been a power player in the industry years ago. Instead, he jumped from art-rock/new-wave ("Give Youself A Handy, You've Earned It") to a brief stint as frontman for a Brit punk band, the Swollen Members ("Teachers In Space"). He also sang on a record for the a capella group 3 Dog Mouth, and performed an early arrangement of "You Promised the Moon (But I Preferred Uranus)". He recorded the poignant "Ballad of a Dog Named Stains" for country/folksters Smelly Water during his Nashville period.

Now, after delving into so many different kinds of music, Red has ripened into a premier pop parodist and one of America's most original and eclectic artists. Citing such diverse influences as Spike Jones, Bonzo Dog Band, Firesign Theater, Zappa and of course Spinal Tap, the Boston-based, blasphemous balladeer has amassed a broad spectrum of fans, "from pimple-faced teenagers, right up to senior citizens on their deathbeds".

Peters shows no signs of going soft. He is constantly on the "Who The Hell Is Red Peters?" tour to promote his latest full-length (so to speak) album, I Laughed, I Cried, I Fudged My Undies, which has sold more than 50,000 copies. "We just went aluminum!", Red proudly announced. Although his strongest penetration is among 18-38 year old males, he's now inching into the female market.

He had a holiday hit with the carnal carole, "Holy Shit, It Christmas!", and is attracting a whole new generation of licentious listeners with the 12-year-old cult classic, "Blow Me (You Hardly Even Know Me)". Hard on the heels of those hits, future singles include tunes from his early erotic oeuvre: "How's Your Whole. . .Family?", "Stains", "Uranus", and the space-age love song, "Rocket In My Pants" -- bound to become a V.D. (Valentines Day) classic.

Ever the crude dude in a lewd mood, the prolific Peters -- who is happily married to women's rights activist, Sophelia Long-Peters, (of the honorable Boston Long family) with whom he has three children, " of each" -- is bent on proving he's no bush-league lyricist. The eager beaver is jumping on the opportunity to expand the risqué repertoir on which he erected his career.

"I'm always working on new material," says raunchmeister Red, whose latest projects include, Music to Have Sex By, Around the World With Red Peters (a multi-lingual effort), the au courant acoustic Red Peters - Butt Unplugged, and Red Peters Goes Metric, "A collection of songs with measurements in 'em.", he explains, referring to new versions of digital ditties like "I'm Not .5 The Man I Used to Be", and "I Can See For Kilometers and Kilometers".

Red Peters -- He always leaves you wanton more ....

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