Videos by American Songwriter
Gordon Waller, who made one half of the duo Peter & Gordon, has died at the age of 64. Waller died Friday morning at William W. Backus Hospital in Norwich, Connecticut. According to the band’s website, the singer went into cardiac arrest Thursday evening before being taken to the hospital. Waller was living in Ledyard, Connecticut.
Part of the 1960’s British Invasion, Peter & Gordon hit American charts in 1964 with “A World Without Love,” their transatlantic debut, which reached number 1.
Longtime friend Paul McCartney, who at the time was dating Peter Asher’s sister, wrote the single, along with the duo’s songs “Nobody I Know,” “I Don’t Want to See You Again,” and “Woman.”
Peter & Gordon had nine Top 20 records, three of which went gold, from 1964 until their split in 1968. The two were best friends from school, and remained friends after the split. Asher writes, “Gordon played such a significant role in my life that losing him is hard to comprehend – let alone to tolerate.”
After the split, each pursued solo careers. Waller released three solo albums and played Pharoah in the 1971 production of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat at the Edinburgh Festival. Asher became the head of the Beatles’ record company, Apple Records, in 1968, and founded Asher Management in 1971. In 1995, Sony Music Entertainment named Asher vice president.
In 2005, the duo reunited for a benefit and tribute concert for their friend, Mike Smith, keyboard player of the Dave Clark Five.
Asher wrote on their site, “Gordon was the heart and soul of our duo…I shall miss him in so many different ways.”
On his own Web page, Waller wrote that his time with Asher contained “some of the happiest moments of my life.” “I was able to tour with the Beatles in (1966) and see the world with Peter Asher and most of all play the music that I love. I still follow the same simple philosophy today and that is if it sounds good and the words mean something then you have a good song.”