The story behind the man,
the music and his idols.
I’ve been listening to Push, Martie Peters Group and Shades & Peters albums for the last 20 years (since the Push album “Maximum Entertainment” from 1996). So I found it interesting when Martie Peters wrote his story on Facebook in six parts. I decided to share his story here. At the bottom of the page you can listen to some of the music Martie has recorded (it's probably already playing). (Calle - Sept. 15th 2016)
Early days (1987-1992)
The first band I was in was with five friends, we called ourselves Sateria. We started out as a cover band playing everything from Bryan Adams to Gary Moore. I soon realised that being in a band was big plus when it came to girls. I was always the shy guy and this really was a little overwhelming at first but I did learn to live with it. In fact I learned to appreciate it a lot, we had a lot of fun in those early days.
After a couple of years we made some personnel changes and turned into a glam band heavily inspired by what was hip on MTV. Bands like Poison and Mötley Crüe were our new heroes, in fact Bret Michaels and Vince Neil were gods to me. We also started being serious about playing on our instruments and singing and our with our new image people already started to take notice of what we had going. We changed our names when with the band so we (thought) would appear cooler and I went from Martin Petersen to Martie Peters and my band mates became Rikki Shades, Stevi Tee, & Pete Tomson, lol! We cut several demo tapes and got ourselves a manager, Ken Anthony, he had worked with Metallica and he had managed Pretty Maids. It goes without saying we were riding high and we played some pretty cool shows in that period.
Not many people know this but one night in 1991 we opened for UK act Little Angels in Copenhagen and we rocked the house (as usual, lol!) and after the show the A&R guy from Mercury, Denmark came backstage shook our hands and told us he wanted to sign us, it was only a matter of which sub-label would release our album. We went nuts and partied like crazy, we could not believe our luck… two weeks later that same guy was sacked from Mercury and they forgot about us, the deal never happened.
We were all devastated about the collapse of the deal but we did manage to write more songs and we decided to enter the studio to record our debut album anyway, so we did and paid for it ourselves. It was called “Cold Beer… And A Hat Full Of Fun”. Sadly, it was never released - it has surfaced on Ebay! as a bootleg so happy hunting, he, he. But you can exclusively isten to the song "Rock 'n' Roll Nite" from the album in the musicplayer at the bottom of this page.
Early 1992 we opened for Europe in Copenhagen but it was too late, Nirvana broke and everything changed in the 90’s. We had a lot of disagreements after that and I was fired from the band in late 1992. The band went on to record an album with a new singer.
I was always surrounded by music when I grew up, my mom and dad had a large collection of vinyl records in our living room, they listened to everything from Miles Davis to Bob Dylan and everything in between. It was a cold day in January of 1982 and I was out walking with my dad, I was 10 years old. He said, don’t you want the new album by that guy with the spikey hair? I said: “Dad, I have no idea who that is”. We went down to the record store and he bought me Rod Stewart’s new album “Tonight I’m Yours” on cassette for me. I played it on my brand new mini cassette player that I had just gotten for Christmas. I went absolutely crazy, I loved his voice, I loved his charisma and I loved the songs, they were all winners to me.
Later in 1982 Rod released the live album “Absolutely Live” which confirmed to me 100% how cool I thought he was. To me he was always the coolest singer and then the coolest guy too. A lot of people couldn’t see past his image, which really hurt his credibility among the music critics, I did (and do) not care. When I saw his live show on TV from the LA Forum in California, it was another mind blowing experience for me, what an amazing talent. I digged his band almost as much as him, I thought they were the coolest cats to walk planet Earth - the likes of Tony Brock, Kevin Savigar, Robin LeMesurier, Jim Cregan and Jimmy Z! If only I had had a crystal ball to look into the future and see that one day I would play with them all myself…!
I have played with my band and as a solo at numerous Rod Stewart parties in the UK and have lots of good friends over there, I love them all! The Rod Stewart FC have been very kind and sweet to me over the years. I even did the official Big Weekend song a few years back too, lots of fun too.
My love for Rod Stewart is as strong as it ever was. I collect bootlegs and souvenirs - my wife has given up on this on :-) I travel pretty much all over the Globe to see him live when I can find the time and I can afford it.
New band, new life (1994-2002)
It took me a couple of years to really find myself again, I had been among childhood friends in the old band, suddenly I was on my own and had to figure out what to do next.
I hooked up with guitarist Martin DaRic and we wrote and demoed songs for most of ‘94 and ‘95. We were so annoyed about what was happening on the music scene that we decided to declare war on the negativity that ruled the music business, we wanted our music to be positive and to celebrate life. We got a bass player and a drummer in and recorded our debut album “Maximum Entertainment” in Copenhagen in 1996. It was released through Danish label Nordic Metal in December 1996, containing 9 original songs and a Rod Stewart cover. Listen to the ballad "You Belong To Me" in the musicplayer at the bottom of this page. We did a tour of Belgium, Holland and Denmark in 1997 in support of the album. We received some pretty good reviews from all over the World for the album. It was a good first step...
We started writing and recording new material and I wanted to keep going and release a follow up album in 1998 so we could keep the momentum going. DaRic and I never worked (or lived) in the same tempo/Universe and it just did not work, we went our separate ways and we brought in a new guitarist, Martin Slott. When the album was almost done we accepted an offer to play the Karlshamn Festival in Sweden (the now famous Sweden Rock Festival). It was Slott’s first show with band, we kicked some ass that day!
We finished the album and got a deal with UK label Z Records. The album “Shaken, Not Stirred” was released in Japan through Dolphin Entertainment on December 18th 1998 and the rest of the World in January 1999. It had 12 tracks on it + two bonus tracks in Japan, 13 original tracks and one Rod Stewart cover. We toured Sweden, England and Denmark that year and had a great time. We opened for Pretty Maids in the major cities in Denmark too and felt we had stepped up the ladder slightly. We had an offer for a European tour (I think as support to another Danish act Royal Hunt) but I had to decline, my then girlfriend was pregnant with twins and I just had to be home when she gave birth.
In 2000 we released “On The Run” on Z Records and through Avalon in Japan. The cd included one of my best self penned songs “Waitin’ In Line” and was the most successful release to date and we played even more shows that year. Listen to the MPG version of "Waitin In Line" at the musicplayer at the bottom of the page. We changed personnel all the time, DaRic was back for a short spell but I never really felt that we nailed it live with PUSH, we came close but after another album “4 The Love Of The Game”, released in 2002, it was time for me to try something different.
Going Solo (2002-2007)
I basically started recording my first solo record the day PUSH folded. I thought I had some great tunes for that first album and I got a lot of interest from the big indie labels in Europe and in America. Most of them had a vision of me in a band and would only release it if I accepted to be part of a band. I said no to some really good offers in 2004 but I did manage to seal a deal with MTM in Germany - the label wanted me to add Group to the name - Martie Peters Group MPG was born.
Renè Shades and I hooked up while I was recording and I invited him to play on a track which he accepted - we had a great time and he ended up playing on two tracks on that album. We talked about the possibility of him maybe producing an album for me in the future, an idea I would sit on for another five years.
Martin Slott from PUSH and my old friend and musical genius Anthony Lledo, joined my band for the album and also for some shows in Belgium, Holland and Denmark. In Denmark we opened for my good old friend Mike Tramp.
“The Beast Inside” was another great tune that was used for a very popular compilation cd by Melodicrock.com, in fact the cd was named “The Beast Inside”, I was very honoured by that indeed. Listen to the song at the musicplayer at the bottom of the page.
I split up with my girlfriend in 2005, we had been together for 12 years, so my next album was my way of dealing with all that. It was called “The Road To Salvation” and that’s just what it was to me. I really matured during that time, I became a better father for my children and I learned to cherish the time I spent with them. I mixed the album with Tommy Hansen in his famous Jailhouse Studios in Horsens, Denmark. He gave the album a rough edge that I was looking for at the time, now I think it’s probably not my strongest album, but hey, a man’s gotta try, eh?
I was invited to the US to play the Melodicrock Fest in South Bend, In. I went there with my amazing band including Martin Slott on guitar, Jens Berglid on drums, Bent Jorgensen on bass. We were joined on stage by keyboard player Eric Ragno and together we rocked the beautiful old Theatre, just amazing. Also on the bill in South Bend were Eric Martin, Nelson Brothers, the guys from Night Ranger, Jim Peterik, Jimi Jamison and many others. We had a blast over there, so much fun, and me and that Swedish guy in my band had a few drinks too
Football/Lyngby BK (2006)
I was born just outside of Copenhagen in a small town called Lyngby. My dad took me to see the local team Lyngby Boldklub when I was 7 or 8 - I have been in love with football (soccer) ever since. As I grew older I would always go with my friends to see them play on Sunday afternoon, it was a must in those days. Lyngby won promotion to the best side in Denmark for the first time when I was 9 or 10 and turned into a great team, won league and cup titles in the 80’s and 90’s and played in European competitions too. The club has produced some amazing talent over the years, players who have moved on to play for the national team and to some of the biggest clubs in Europe.
In 2001 the club went bankrupt, my heart was broken when I learned that we had been relegated out of the leagues and had to start all over again. The true spirit of the club showed in the next years as it progressed back through the leagues and in 2006 won promotion to the best division again - it had to be celebrated.
One (drunken) night I had a vision, I wrote my first (and only) set of lyrics in Danish!! I used a song that I had already recorded with english lyrics with my own band. I recorded and played it to my good friend Søren Fischer, he loved it and suggested a few changes which I added and BOOM, we had a great football anthem!
Søren set up a meeting with the club the next day. They loved what they heard and when I suggested that we hit the studio with some of the players they even more happy. I booked the studio and we had a fantastic time, the players who gave their all to the project, something I am still grateful for now 10 years after. I managed to get Flemming Rasmussen at Sweet Silence Studio, famous for his work with Metallica, to mix the song. He supports our rivals in Denmark, FC Copenhagen, so it was a very painful session for him, lol
The song is still played inside the stadium for the home matches on Sundays, I still have to pinch myself every time, it’s a wonderful feeling, I am very proud of that. Listen to the song in the musicplayer at the bottom of the page.
Since then Lyngby have been relegated, won promotion and been relegated again… this year it looks like we’re going back up - hopefully for good this time.
My heroes and S&P (2009-2015)
I always write songs, that is pretty much what keeps me sane. In the Spring of 2009 I had a batch of songs that I felt was ready for release. I knew I wanted a different approach to everything and I wanted to step away from the hard rock sound I had been associated with my entire career. The Internet really opened doors for me, I had found Jim Cregan’s website, I emailed him and told him I wanted him to play on two of my new songs. To my surprise he wrote me back and we agreed terms for the sessions. Later that afternoon I spoke to Jim on the phone and we talked about the music, what I wanted and what he thought he could add. I gave him free hands and told him I had faith in him, lol! What a guy, a brilliant guitar player and such a gentle soul. The two tracks he played on was “The Balcony” and “Strength of You” and what he did on those songs are just amazing, a dream come true for me. I also got in touch with Tony Brock, the brilliant drummer from Rod Stewart’s classic band and before that The Babys with John Waite. It was the same story, he agreed to play on the songs. I got more great musicians from Rod’s classic band on board, Jimmy Z on Harmonica and Sax and Kevin Savigar on keyboards and Accordion.
Despite the positive vibes I still was not sure what to do with the material so I called René Shades and told him about the project and that maybe now was the time for him to produce my new record. I spent the summer in Mallorca where he lives, I played the songs for him and we agreed to work together again. After 5-6 months of working on ideas and recording we both felt that maybe we should form a band together again instead of it being my solo album. Early in 2010 we decided on the name Shades & Peters.
Shortly after in 2010 Shades got an offer from Danish metal band Pretty Maids to join them as temporary bass player. I was assured that it would not interfere with our plans… in April he played his first gig with them.
In 2010 I managed to persuade Mickey Curry from Bryan Adams’ band to play on several S&P tracks, I went to see Bryan Adams in Denmark and was invited backstage where I met the Mickey and a great friendship began.
We agreed a deal with a German management company, an old friend of Shades and finally, late in 2011, we released a limited edition five track ep and in the spring of 2012 we hit the road with a great bunch of Danish musicians + Jimmy Z and played a handful of shows in Germany. Especially an Ice Hockey arena near Bremen was a super cool place to play. An added bonus to me was the truly remarkable road tales Jimmy Z could tell from his crazy days with Rod Stewart’s band, that was worth the entire trip.
We still recorded for most of 2013 - but we played no shows that year. Shades was busy with Pretty Maids, his gig with them had been made permanent and I really started to feel like I was wasting my time when he was away with them on tour. S&P clearly wasn’t his first priority even though he told me on several occasions that his heart was still in our band. I didn’t feel comfortable with all the material we had recorded, I felt (and still feel today) that the gap between those early tunes and some of the more recent stuff we had recorded was too big, we tried to cash in on some trends in the US Country scene. It backfired when the album “Let The Record Spin” was finally released we were told that that Country inspired sound was passé…
We struggled to secure a deal for the album but got one with Danish label Target. A great bunch of people working at the label but they couldn’t do much for us and when the album was released in October 2014 it sold next to nothing. We did receive some great reviews from around the World but early in 2015 I told Shades that I was leaving the band, I would honor the live shows that we were committed to play and after that I would quit - we played the last show in beautiful Liechtenstein in April 2015 and that was it. Listen to the Shades & Peters song "Comin Around" in the musicplayer at the bottom of the page.
SO - WHAT'S NEXT FOR MARTIE PETERS ?
I am happy to announce that I have Eric Ragno playing on a couple of new tracks. In 2007 when I played in the US he was on stage with us in the Martie Peters Group. He is a fantastic keyboard player and the new stuff sounds bloody great!!
Eric Ragno has played with many artists over the years but is currently playing with legend Joe Lynn Turner and one of my all time favorite bands The Babys which feature former Rod Stewart drummer Tony Brock. Brock played on the Shades & Peters album in 2014 :-)
Here is a shot from South Bend, IN, USA back in 2007 with guitarist Martin Slott and Eric.
I will be releasing two digital singles through CD Baby and iTunes over the Summer. First one up is "Backdrop To Your Life" and then "Shelter From The Storm".
"The Backdrop To Your Life" available through CDBaby and iTunes on July 25th. Get it before your neighbors.
BUT on July 23rd you’ll be able to listen to the song right here on Calles Rock Corner. Just follow this link.
Martie Peters discography:
- 1991 Sateria - “Cold Beer… And A Hat Full Of Fun”
(unreleased) Available as a bootleg out there...
- 1996 PUSH - “Maximum Entertainment”
Nordic Metal in Europe
- 1998 PUSH - “Shaken’ Not Stirred”
Z Records in Europe/US and Dolphin Entertainment in Japan
- 2000 PUSH - “On The Run”
Z Records in Europe/US and AVALON in Japan
- 2002 PUSH - “4 The Love Of The Game”
Z Records in Europe/US
- 2004 Martie Peters Group “MPG”
MTM/SPV in Europe and AVALON in Japan.
- 2006 Martie Peters Group & De Nye Græsrødder
Lyngby Boldklub’s Viking Vender Hjem (remix available on iTunes 2016)
- 2007 Martie Peters Group “Road To Salvation”
Sheer Class Music/NL Distribution in Europe and Spiritual Beast in Japan
- 2010 Martie Peters featuring Christian “Magic Fingers” Thiesen - “All In The Name Of Rod” (remix available on iTunes 2016)
- 2014 Shades & Peters - “Let The Record Spin”
With Mike Tramp:
- 1999 “Remembering White Lion” - harmonies on four tracks
Dead Line Music, USA
- 2004 “Songs I Left Behind” - harmonies on six tracks
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