Garry Peterson, a drummer who has been in the band The Guess Who since 1975, will be performing with his band mates this Sunday afternoon at the PARTY IN THE PARK in North Miami at Greynolds Park. In advance of his performance, Garry agreed to do an exclusive interview with myself, Bill Hernandez, the editor at www.rockbandreviews.com. Here is the interview in it's entirety...
Bill: As a kid, did you know that you wanted to be a musician or entertainer?
Garry: I had no choice. My father started me playing drums when I was two years old. I had no memory at that point (laughs). You can't ask me the question "Do you know when or decided that you first started to play drums"? I have been playing drums since I began walking. It's like saying, "Do you remember the day that you walked?" For me, drumming is like walking. I have always done it.
Bill: Before you started playing in an a band, did you have any odd jobs? What did you do to earn a paycheck?
Garry: Oddly enough, I did not. After 1975, I have never had what most people would call a 9-5 job. I went into my father-in-laws hotel business and I worked learning that business for a couple of years. Then I worked with my closest friend and he had a general insurance practice and I worked in that for awhile.
Bill: How is your body holding up after all of these years of touring and playing?
Garry: This last year, I have had three operations. This last December, I have had one of my hips replaced and one of my knees replaced. I still need another hip, knee, and a shoulder replaced next.
Bill: Has that hampered your playing at all?
Garry: No, not really. It slightly modified it. I plan my surgeries for the end of the year, beginning of the next year, when it is fairly quiet for our schedule. I might miss maybe about eight shows or something like that.
Bill: Who were some of the artists that you admired early in your career?
Garry: Well, I started playing in 1947. If you are talking about drummers... Buddy Rich may be the all-time favorite. Although Steve Gatt, in todays world, is one of my favorite-ever drummers.
Bill: How did the band get it's name?
Garry: It was from a record promotion. We were going to release our first record in the United States on Septor (Records) in New York, and that was Shakin' All Over. It was 1965 at the time, the British Invasion, and Americans were playing nothing but British music. The President of our Canadian record company came up with the idea "Instead of putting the real name of the band on the label, lets put Guess Who ?" So that went out and went to number 19 on Billboard and Cash Box and sold a half-a-million copies in the U.S. and I believe the jockeys would say "Here's Shakin' All Over by the Guess Who". Once thats branded, what are you gonna do? They just put a "The" in front of it and it stuck.
Bill: What is a typical day in your life like when you are touring?
Garry:Wel... there is no typical day I guess. On the road, you are on a schedule from the time you leave your house. You head out to the airport, arrive at your destination, check into your hotel and make sure that everything is arranged. We usually come in a day ahead of time to Fort Lauderdale , where you are, so we will have the night to settle in. The next day, you get up and, if it is possible, you do a sound check, which is usually in afternoon, then back for a light meal, and then back for show time. After the show, we sign autographs. The next day, if we are going to another place, we head back out to the airport and start the process all over again.
The Guess Who will be performing this Sunday at the" Party in the Park" ay Greynolds Park in North Miami. For more information about The Guess Who and up-coming tour dates, log on to their website at: www.theguesswhocafe.com
For information about the Party In The Park and where to purchase tickets, log on to www.miamipartyinthepark.com
Many thanks go out to Jason Engstrom for making this interview possible.