By Christina Fuoco-Karasinski
Peter Asher has a simple formula for his show, “Peter Asher: A Musical Memoir of the ’60s and Beyond.”
“We just pick songs people will enjoy,” says Asher, who hosts “From Me to You” on the SiriusXM Beatles Channel.
“We throw in Peter & Gordon songs. We have stories and songs, bits of videos, cool musicians. I’ve done different shows at different times.”
“A Musical Memoir” comes to the Musical Instrument Museum in North Phoenix for two shows on Saturday, February 12. Memoir brings photos and film footage from Asher’s personal archive to life, transporting audiences back to the heart of ’60s popular culture.
Icons such as Mick Jagger, John Lennon, Paul McCartney, Marianne Faithful, Yoko Ono and Carole King are among the cast of characters, along with his partner, Gordon Waller, who died in July 2009.
The show covers the music of Peter & Gordon, including “I Go to Pieces,” “True Love Ways” and “Lady Godiva.” The songs given to Peter & Gordon by McCartney —“Woman,” “I Don’t Want to See You Again,” “Nobody I Know” and “A World Without Love” — are also front and center.
“There are a couple new bits of video we haven’t used before,” he says.
“We’ve been running over the whole thing several times. It’s always fun to incorporate a new story or two into each show. I have a lot of ideas.”
A two-time producer of the year Grammy winner, Asher took a break from a recording session with The Bangles’ Susanna Hoffs for an interview.
“I’ve always loved her singing. I was a Bangles fan,” he says.
“We actually worked on a couple of songs for CNN’s Fourth of July special. We rearranged a couple of Bangles songs. We loved doing it, so we decided to make a record together.
“The new album is going to be a mixture of songs, all rethought using some of my favorite musicians who I worked with before.”
He’s also a longtime fan and friend of Tucson native Linda Ronstadt. Asher calls her “one of my very favorite singers in the whole world.”
“We remain very close,” he adds. “I visit her in San Francisco whenever I’m there.
“I was very lucky in the early part of my career to have worked with truly extraordinary artists. A lot of the songs Linda did back in the day were songs that people had heard before, ‘You’re No Good.’ We were doing a song people knew, in many cases. It was an interesting, new way to do it. I love doing that.”
Asher is still on the hunt for musicians to produce or write with. He discovers them similarly to others. He was excited to see Damon Albarn of Blur and Gorillaz at the Walt Disney Concert Hall later that day.
“When I’m driving in the car, like everybody, I listen to SiriusXM jazz or Hits One. I love hit records. Occasionally, I listen to the ’60s channel and I hear myself,” he says with a laugh.
“There are some great new singers — Holly Humberstone is one. She has some great songs. Ed Sheeran is brilliant. He is a great friend. We share being redheads. We’re a little tribe.”
What: Peter Asher
When: 3 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. Saturday, February 12
Where: Musical Instrument Museum, 4725 E. Mayo Boulevard, Phoenix
Cost: Tickets start at $44.50
Info: 480-478-6000, mim.org, peterandgordonthesingles.com