Peter Malick Listens To The Universe

Peter Malick is a guitarist and record producer from Boston who early in his career played with legendary piano bluesman Otis Spann and lived at his home in Chicago.

My entry into the bigtime happened not long after my 14th birthday. The place was a bar on Huntington Ave, and it was my first gig outside of either school, or in a church basement. I was the youngest band member, and I innocently walked up to the big Irish police officer who was stationed inside the bar and asked “Do you have to be 21 to play in here?”

The cop didn’t miss a beat as he replied “Shut up kid, you’re 21”. I was now a professional musician.

As it happened, someone in the Boston scene took note of my playing. Almost 2 years later I got a call to audition for a band that had a future gig at the Boston Tea Party. That band was comprised of Walter Powers, Willie Loco Alexander, Peter Ivers, and Michael Tschudin.

The audition was in a huge rehearsal space on River Street in Cambridge. It was the headquarters of Riffs, a management company, and I was shy and nervous. We played for an hour or so, and then took a break in the apartment that was upstairs from Riffs. Now, I was pretty much the last of my friends to smoke pot, and I figured it would be uncool for me to say no, and so this became my inaugural toke.

It really didn’t make me feel more secure, but I became fascinated with how nuanced and complex the episode of Gilligan’s Island was that we were watching.

I got the gig and the band played the one Tea Party gig before there was a personnel change.

That band became known as Listening.

Listening played some great shows, including opening for Jefferson Airplane, and Sly and the Family Stone. In fact, MMONE co-founder Harry Sandler recently mentioned how great it was that both our bands opened for Cream. I said, “We opened for Cream?”

And that is the story of my introduction to this crazy business that I’ve now been involved in for 47 years. I’m lobbying for 47 more.

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