Beat International - Summer 2004
Pete Miller (aka Big Boy Pete) is most closely associated
with British Rock of the sixties, this album shows that he
has a knack for playing American rock 'n' roll from the fifties
and early sixties as well. This album features Miller tearing
through a bunch of vintage rock 'n' roll / rockabilly songs,
and the results are impressive as well as a lot of fun.
The tracks on
the album were recorded at Miller's Union Street studio in
San Francisco from 1982 to 1991. With the exception of some
wah-wah guitar on "Tornado," Miller sticks to authentic
sounding, period-style arrangements. The early recordings
of Elvis, Johnny Cash and Buddy Holly appear to have exerted
a particularly strong influence on the proceedings. Throughout
the album Miller demonstrates an encyclopedic command of rock
'n' roll guitar styles, from the twangy, country-inflected
picking of "That's the Way I Feel" to the swinging
lap steel stylings of "My Babe" to the rapid-fire
rockabilly licks of "Got a Lot 'o Livin' To Do."
There may not
be anything particularly original here, but there's lots of
unpretentious good-rocking fun. In his rockified version of
"Goodnight Irene" Miller declares that anywhere
I live, I'm gonna show you how to rock!" And indeed he
does. - Geoff Cabin.
DIG THIS Magazine - December 2002
Pete Miller ( Big Boy Pete)could tell a tale or two - and
perhaps one day we'll get him to do that. He was born in Norwich
where while still at school he started a rock and roll band.
The Offbeats as they were called made enough noise locally
to get themselves noticed and recorded a privately-produced
six-track EP, "Introducing The Offbeats", in 1958.
Three years later Pete joined the bigger local band Peter
Jay and the Jaywalkers. Together they hit the charts with
"Can Can '62". But earlier than this Pete played
lead guitar for Marty Wilde on "Ever Since You Said Goodbye."
Apart from a
brief trip to the UK in 1986 with the Cajun band LeRue, Pete
has been living in San Francisco since the 1970s where he
runs a successful recording studio. He has continued to make
records - among them the highly rated psychedelic number "Cold
Turkey." But we're more concerned here with Pete's rock
'n' roll roots.
American Boy", a compilation of late '80s/early 90s recordings,
is purely and simply a happy return to rock and roll. As with
other 'back-to-basics' recordings by those who've strayed
further afield, the sense of relief of getting back to what
they know and love best comes across loud and clear. This
is happy, twanging guitar-led rockabilly and rock and roill
backed by drums, bass and piano which opens and closes with
versions of The Jiants 1959 rockabilly number, "Tornado".
There is a rural American "lived-in" quality to
Pete's voice - which is particularly well suited tonumbers
like "Goodnight Irene" and "You Win Again".
He has drums and bass support with various piano players doing
their "Jerry-Lee" bit on around half the tracks.
The arrangements are fairly standard, nothing fancy - just
good time rock n rool. - Chris Woodford.
A brief historylesson,
then: Pete Miller was lead guitarist with Peter Jay & the
Jaywalkers, then issued "Baby I Got News For You"
as 'Miller' on Columbia in1965, and became a Big Boy in time
for his (pre-Lennon) "ColdTurkey" 45 on Camp in January
1965. Since then, he's been touring, recording, and generally
keeping out of tht public eye.