It was a common sight to those who attended Seahawks or Huskies games; trumpeter Richard Peterson playing his horn on the street in the hopes of filling up his tip bucket with contributions from the folks passing by on their way to the stadium.
Peterson doesn’t play on the streets any more — the 2008 murder of fellow street musician Edward McMichael, aka the “Tuba Man,” still upsets him — but he continues to seek out new opportunities to make music. So a group of his friends and supporters, including John Maynard (of the “Robin and Maynard Show”) and Peter Barnes, co-founder of Clatter and Din Studios, arranged a “benefit show” for Peterson last night at the Feedback Lounge in West Seattle, a “general get together” in the words of Pat Cashman (“Almost Live,” “The 206”).
Peterson played a short set of songs on the piano, mostly drawn from a new self-released EP available for sale at the show (the Feedback’s owner, Jeff Gilbert, picked up two copies). He was joined by guests for some numbers; Barnes and Maynard’s wife Susan provided vocals for the operatic “How Do You Do, Mr. Tie,” and George Gleason (who played alongside Barnes in Seattle punk outfit the Enemy), led a sing along on “Poor Don’t Walk Lights (Why Do Ya Gotta Blink),” from Peterson’s “Second Album.”
Peterson also played a poignant instrumental dedicated to KOMO anchor Eric Slocum, who died in 2012.
Cashman, who’s known Peterson since 1994, told several amusing anecdotes about Peterson, who he described as “definitely the most interesting man in the world.” Among the stories he shared was that the title song of Peterson’s “Second Album” also appeared as a hidden track on the Stone Temple Pilots’ 1994 album “Purple,” which topped the record charts and sold over six million copies, giving Peterson a bit of a financial windfall at the time.
Barnes hopes to get “Second Album,” now out of print, reissued on CD, and would also like to see the documentary on Peterson, “Big City Dick: Richard Peterson’s First Movie,” get wider distribution. For his part, Peterson would like to make a new full-length album, possibly a collection of ’80s songs entitled “More Modern Music.” In addition to writing more original material, Peterson said there are “a lot of songs” out there he’d like to get the chance to record.