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Group Members: Gordon Waller
All Music Guide:
In June 1964, Peter & Gordon became the very first British Invasion act after the Beatles to take the number one spot on the American charts with "A World Without Love." That hit, and their subsequent successes, were due as much or more to their important connections as to their talent. Peter Asher was the older brother of Jane Asher, Paul McCartney's girlfriend for much of the 1960s. This no doubt gave Asher and Gordon Waller access to Lennon-McCartney compositions that were unrecorded by the Beatles, such as "A World Without Love" and three of their other biggest hits, "Nobody I Know," "I Don't Want to See You Again," and "Woman" (the last of which was written by McCartney under a pseudonym). But Peter & Gordon were significant talents in their own right, a sort of Everly Brothers-styled duo for the British Invasion that faintly prefigured the folk-rock of the mid-'60s. In fact, when Gene Clark first approached Jim McGuinn in 1964 about working together in a group that would eventually evolve into the Byrds, he suggested that they could form a Peter & Gordon-styled act.
Asher and Waller had been singing together since their days at Westminster School for Boys, a private school in London. "A World Without Love" was their biggest and best hit, one that sounded very much like the Beatles' more pop-oriented originals. Their other two 1964 hits, "Nobody I Know" and "I Don't Want to See You Again," were pleasant but less distinguished. Sounding like McCartney-dominated Beatle rejects (which, in fact, they were), the production employed a softer, more acoustic feel than the hits by the Beatles and other early British Invasion guitar bands. "I Don't Want to See You Again" used strings, as would several of the duo's subsequent hits, which became increasingly middle-of-the-road in their pop orientation.
Some scattered folky B-sides showed that Asher and Waller may have been capable of developing into decent songwriters, but like many of the less talented British Invaders, their lack of songwriting acumen and ability to move with the times would eventually work against them. They did continue to hit the charts for a couple of years, with updates of the oldies "True Love Ways" (Buddy Holly) and "To Know You Is to Love You" (a variation of the Teddy Bears' "To Know Her Is to Love Her"). There was also a Top Ten cover of Del Shannon's "I Go to Pieces," and the brassy, McCartney-penned "Woman." The overtly cute and British novelty "Lady Godiva," though, became their last big hit in late 1966.
After Peter & Gordon broke up in 1968, Asher became an enormously successful producer, first as the director of A&R at the Beatles' Apple Records (where he worked on James Taylor's first album). Relocating to Los Angeles, in the 1970s he was one of the principal architects of mellow Californian rock, producing Taylor and Linda Ronstadt.
Peter and Gordon were a British pop duo, comprising Peter Asher (b.1944) and Gordon Waller (1945-2009), who achieved international fame in 1964 with their first single, the million-selling transatlantic No.1 smash "A World Without Love". The duo had several subsequent hits in the so-called British Invasion-era.
Peter Asher and his sister, actress Jane Asher, were child actors in the 1950s. They played brother and sister in a 1955 episode of the television series The Adventures of Robin Hood. Jane Asher dated The Beatles' Paul McCartney between 1963 and 1968, and Peter and Gordon recorded several songs written by McCartney but credited to Lennon–McCartney. Those hits included "A World Without Love" (US & UK No.1), "Nobody I Know" (US No.12; UK No.10), "I Don't Want To See You Again" (US No.16, but not a hit in the UK), and "Woman". With "Woman", McCartney used the pseudonym Bernard Webb to see if he could have a hit song without his name attached. The song reached No.14 in the US and No.28 on the British charts in 1966. Peter and Gordon also recorded the John Lennon-penned Lennon–McCartney song, "If I Fell", which was also recorded by The Beatles and released on their 1964 album, A Hard Day's Night.
Other hits for the duo included "I Go to Pieces" (US No.7, but not a hit in the UK), written by Del Shannon and given to Peter and Gordon after the two acts toured together, and remakes of Buddy Holly's "True Love Ways" (US No.14 and UK No.2 in 1965), and The Teddy Bears' "To Know Him Is To Love Him", retitled "To Know You Is To Love You" (US No.24 and UK No.5 in 1965). Peter and Gordon had their last hit in Britain in late-1966 with "Lady Godiva", which reached No.16 there (and No.6 in the US), whilst their success lasted into 1967 in the US, with "Knight In Rusty Armour" and "Sunday for Tea" both registering in the upper reaches of the Billboard Hot 100 that year.
Peter Asher subsequently became head of A&R for Apple Records. He continued his career as a recording executive in California, where he managed and produced Linda Ronstadt and James Taylor throughout the 1970s and 1980s. Asher also produced recordings for Cher, 10,000 Maniacs, and Diana Ross. His daughter, Victoria Asher, is a member of the alternative group Cobra Starship.
In August, 2005, Peter and Gordon reunited onstage for the first time in more than 30 years, as part of two tribute concerts for Mike Smith of The Dave Clark Five in New York City. This was followed by more complete concerts at The Festival for Beatles Fans (formerly Beatlefest) conventions that began the following year. Paul McCartney heard about the reunion shows and sent a message to congratulate them for reuniting. In the spring of 2007 and 2008, Peter and Gordon were featured performers in the Flower Power concert series at Disney's EPCOT in Florida. Also in 2007, they performed as part of Love-In: A Musical Celebration (www.loveinthemusical.com), a tribute to the music of the 1960s, which was filmed at the Birch North Park Theatre in San Diego, California, and released on DVD in March, 2009. On August 21, 2008, they performed a free concert on the pier in Santa Monica, California.
The pair played numerous times at the 50 Winters Later celebration, in February, 2009, to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the death of Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens and the Big Bopper. This was held in Clear Lake, Iowa, at the Surf Ballroom.
They subsequently performed in Chicago, New Jersey and at the Festival for Beatles Fans convention in Las Vegas, July 1 and 2, 2009, where, according to a report by journalist Peter Palmiere for Beatlefan magazine, the pair were the performing highlight of the convention. Peter and Gordon told Palmiere at the Las Vegas Festival for Beatles Fans that they were to perform at the 2006 Adopt-A-Minefield show with Paul McCartney but the show was subsequently cancelled by McCartney, due to his impending divorce from Heather Mills.
Gordon Waller died of a heart attack on 17 July 2009 at the age of 64.
Million sellers 
"World Without Love", "Nobody I Know", "True Love Ways", and "Lady Godiva" each sold over one million copies, and were awarded gold discs.