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|Birth name||Peter Roy Sears|
|Born||27 May 1948|
|Origin||Bromley, Kent, England|
Peter Roy Sears (born 27 May 1948) is an English rock musician. In a career spanning more than six decades, he has been a member of many bands and has moved through a variety of musical genres, from early R&B, psychedelic improvisational rock of the 1960s, folk, country music, arena rock in the 1970s, and blues. He usually plays bass, keyboards, or both in bands.
Pete Sears played on the Rod Stewart albums Gasoline Alley ,Every Picture Tells A Story (which was listed high in Rolling Stone 's top 500 best albums of all time), Never a Dull Moment , and Smiler . He also played on the hit singles "Maggie May", and "Reason to Believe". During this period, Sears toured the US with Long John Baldry blues band, and played with John Cipollina in Copperhead.
Sears joined the band Jefferson Starship in 1974 and remained with the group through the transition to Starship, before departing in 1987.After leaving Starship he worked with bluesman Nick Gravenites, and many other artists including Jerry Garcia, Mickey Hart, Bob Weir, Maria Muldaur, Rich Kirch, Taj Mahal, and Mimi Farina. (1992 to 2002) he played keyboards in the Jorma Kaukonen Trio with Kaukonen and Michael Falzarano, and with Kaukonen, Falzarano, and Jack Casady and Harvey Sorgen in Hot Tuna.
Sears has played with many other musicians through the years, including Dr. John, John Lee Hooker, Leigh Stephens and Micky Waller in Silver Metre; Long John Baldry, Copperhead with John Cipollina, Jerry Garcia, Chris Robinson Brotherhood, Levon Helm, Steve Kimock, Dave Hidalgo, Sons of Fred, Fleur de Lyse, Sam Gopal Dream, Jimi Hendrix, Pete Brown, Bob Weir, Los Cenzontles, Phil Lesh, Leftover Salmon, and Los Lobos.Currently, he divides his time between the David Nelson Band, Chris Robinson and Green Leaf Rustlers, Zero, California Kind, Harvey Mandel, and Moonalice.
Sears has also written and recorded the original score for many documentary films, including the award-winning "The Fight in the Fields" – Cesar Chávez and the Farmworkers Struggle directed by Ray Telles and Rick Tehada Flores. His most recent film, also directed by Ray Telles and co-produced by Ken Rabin, is called The Storm That Swept Mexico (2011) about the Mexican Revolution.
Sears was born in Bromley, Kent.[ citation needed ] His career as a professional musician began in 1964, touring the United Kingdom with the band Sons of Fred. As well as playing British television shows such as Ready Steady Go and Thank Your Lucky Stars, Sons of Fred also recorded at EMI's Abbey Road Studios in London.[ citation needed ]
Pete Sears went on to play and record with many musical artists, including The Fleur De Lys in 1966, and the psychedelic underground band Sam Gopal Dream which featured guitarist Mick Hutchinson, Sears on bass and Hammond organ, and the Indian tabla player Sam Gopal. Jimi Hendrix once sat in with the band at the Speakeasy Club in London. Jimi Hendrix drummer Mitch Mitchell later asked Sears to play bass in a band he was forming while still playing with Hendrix in 1969.[ citation needed ]
Sears was a session musician during the late 1960s, including recording piano with the blues band Steamhammer. Steamhammer would back up the legendary Freddie King when he toured the UK. In early 1969, Sears along with Terry Cox of Pentangle, Jeff Beck's drummer Micky Waller, Jimmy Litherland of Colosseum, John Wetton of King Crimson, and Pete York of the Spencer Davis Group, recorded a folk rock album with Marian Segal and Jade. The album, Fly on Strange Wings is considered one of the seminal British folk rock albums of the 1960s and is highly valued by collectors. Around this time Sears teamed up with original Fairport Convention singer, Judy Dyble, and Van Morrison's Them organist, Jackie McAuley, to form the band Trader Horne.[ citation needed ]
In the summer of 1969, Sears left Trader Horne just before they began recording. Blue Cheer guitarist Leigh Stephens invited him to California for the first time.Sears, Stephens, Micky Waller (drummer), and Jack Reynolds (singer) formed Silver Metre, recorded one album at Trident Studios in London, England, released on the National General label, produced by their manager, FM rock radio pioneer Tom Donahue. After Silver Metre broke up, Sears returned to England to play on the Rod Stewart album Gasoline Alley.
Stoneground manager Tom Donahue recruited Sears in London,during their Medicine Ball Caravan (1970) European tour later returning to the Marin County with them to record their first album, also produced by Tom Donahue.
From 1970 through 1974, Sears returned to session work, including playing on Stewart's early British solo albums: Gasoline Alley,Every Picture Tells a Story including the hit singles "Maggie May" and "Reason To Believe", Never a Dull Moment , and Smiler . In addition to playing for Stewart, he composed the brief instrumental "Lochinvar" on the Smiler album.
He also played bass with the Long John Baldry Blues Band on their first tour of the United States and played bass and keyboards with John Cipollina in the band Copperhead.
Sears left Copperhead just before recording their first album to work on Rod Stewart's Never a Dull Moment album in London, but mainly to join a new band Nicky Hopkins was putting together. Hopkins, who was on tour with the Rolling Stones had rented Sears a house in Mill Valley, California until he finished with the Stones tour. However, Hopkins was ultimately unable to form the band due to ill health and a dislike of the road. Sears went on to co-produce, arrange the music and play on, Kathi McDonald's Insane Asylum album, using guest artists like Sly Stone, The Pointer Sisters, Nils Lofgren, Neal Schon, Aynsley Dunbar, and the Tower of Power horns. He also co-founded a band called Sears, Schon, Errico with Neal Schon and Greg Errico, playing the Diamond Head Crater Festival in Hawaii, as well as several California shows.[ citation needed ]
Sears spent two weeks recording with Ike Turner at Ike's studio, Bolic Sound in Los Angeles. Tina Turner was there one night and recorded vocals on some of the tracks they had recorded, including a version of George Harrison's song "Something" on which Turner changed the "she" to "he".[ citation needed ]
In 1974, Sears joined Jefferson Starship,replacing Peter Kaukonen and switching back and forth between bass and keyboards with fellow multi-instrumentalist David Freiberg. He also wrote two or three songs per album with Grace Slick. Grace and Pete wrote the song Hyperdrive for the Dragon Fly album. Dragon Fly, made in 1974, was the first official "Jefferson Starship" release as a band. Pete's first brush with Grunt Records was when Airplane drummer Joey Covington brought him to the studio to play bass on Papa John Creach’s first solo album. Grace Slick sang vocals in the same track Pete played on, “The Janitor Drives a Cadillac”. During the 1970s and early 1980s he would perform a ten-minute bass solo regardless of the size of the venue, even when playing to a 100,000 people in New York City's Central Park in 1975. Singer Grace Slick left the band after her non-appearance caused a riot in Germany in 1978; within months drummer John Barbata was severely injured in a car crash and the band's other singer, Marty Balin, also left. The band hired vocalist Mickey Thomas and drummer Aynsley Dunbar. The band's musical direction changed, adopting a hard rock edge after Kantner hired rock producer Ron Nevison. Slick left the band for one album, Freedom at Point Zero and Sears' wife Jeannette Sears became one of the principal lyricists alongside Kantner, and Chaquico. Pete and Jeannette wrote some of the band's best-known songs, such as "Stranger", "Save Your Love", and "Winds of Change". Grace had rejoined by this time, and Sears remained with the band after the departure of leader Paul Kantner and the subsequent name change to "Starship", but he became increasingly at odds with the commercial direction the band was taking. Pete and Jeannette were working heavily on Central American human rights issues at this time, and wrote several songs on the subject that were considered by the band to be too political in nature for a mostly upbeat pop record. He played only bass on the double-platinum 1985 album Knee Deep in the Hoopla and finally left the group in 1987 shortly after appearing in the music video to "Nothing's Gonna Stop Us Now".
In the early 1990s, Sears played keyboards with San Francisco-based psychedelic, jazz, rock band ZERO. Pete has sat in with ZERO as recently as 2013.[ citation needed ]
From 1992 to 2001, Sears played keyboards with Jefferson Airplane's Jorma Kaukonen and Jack Casady in Hot Tuna. The band also included Michael Falzarano and Harvey Sorgen. They would sometimes tour as "The Jorma Kaukonen Trio" with Sears playing bass on the keyboards with his left hand. Sears sometimes teaches piano at Jorma Kaukonen's Fur Peace Ranch guitar Camp in south eastern Ohio. In 2011, Hot Tuna flew Sears out to New York City to perform at Jorma Kaukonen's 70th birthday bash at the Beacon Theater. As well as his Tuna bandmates, Sears played that night with Bob Weir, Steve Earle, and Oteil Burbridge.[ citation needed ]
Through the years, he has recorded or performed with many other people, including Jerry Garcia, David Nelson, Warren Haynes, Leigh Stephens, Nick Gravenites, Peter Rowan, Steve Cropper, Roy Harper, Nicky Hopkins, Steve Kimock, Zydeco Flames, Ron Wood, Leftover Salmon, Eric McFadden, Betty Davis, Bob Weir, Mickey Hart, and Phil Lesh.[ citation needed ]
He has also worked live and in the studio and performed with John Lee Hooker, who wrote and recorded a song with Sears, called "Elizabeth". He has shared the stage with artists like Jimi Hendrix, The Allman Brothers, Los Lobos, Alvin Youngblood Hart, Sam Bush, Elvis Costello, Paul Butterfield, Michael Bloomfield, Levon Helm, the Grateful Dead, David Crosby, and Carlos Santana among others.[ citation needed ]
Sears' solo CDs include Watchfirewith guests Jerry Garcia, Babatunde Olatunji, David Grisman, Mickey Hart, Mimi Farina, and Holly Near. Along with Jeannette, who wrote the majority of the album's lyrics, Sears became involved with human rights issues in Central America during the 1980s, and led a highly successful radio drive to raise food and clothing for refugees from the civil wars of Guatemala and El Salvador sheltering in the bay area. They formed a non-profit video production company called "Watchfire Productions", with Mark Adler, Mary McCue Obrian, and Emmy Award-winning documentary film director Ray Telles, producing a music video about human rights abuses on the Mayas of Guatemala. The project was funded by Jerry Garcia and the Rex Foundation, the Tides Foundation, and Earth Island Institute. Hundreds of free copies of the video were distributed free of charge to human rights organisations around the world working to help stop the genocide in Central America. It was also aired extensively on the Canadian Much Music TV channel. During the mid-to-late 1980s, Sears and singer-songwriter, activist Mimi Farina, played at many benefits and protests in the San Francisco Bay Area in support of various Central American human rights, and environmental related causes. He once joined bluesman Nick Gravenites on the back of a flatbed truck, to drive down Market Street in San Francisco, playing the blues in support of nuclear disarmament, and protesting the US-backed injustices in Central America. They were joined by a hundred thousand other peace marchers.
In 1988, a group of citizens from the Soviet Union marched across the US as a show of support for peace and the end of the Cold War between the two countries. On 16 July 1988, a concert was held in the Band Shell in San Francisco's Golden Gate Park, organised by Ron Frazier and Bill McCarthy, who had hosted a previous event for the marchers in Los Angeles. Sears was asked to provide and organise the music for the event, so he invited his current band, ZERO, along with other musician friends including Jerry Garcia, whose band the Grateful Dead were performing later that night at the Greek Theater in Berkeley. Several Soviet rock bands, folk singers, and poets from the march also performed as well as two Tibetan drummers. Speeches were also held.
Sears was one of a very small group of Bay-area musicians invited to audition for the Grateful Dead's keyboard position in the summer of 1990 following the death of Brent Mydland; the chair was eventually given to Vince Welnick from The Tubes.
Sears performed at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame tribute to John Lee Hooker at Stanford University as one of Hooker's guests. He also wrote a song with Hooker, "Elizabeth", which they performed live together in the studio on Sears' solo album The Long Haul.The track, "Elizabeth" was the last "live in the studio" band performance with no overdubs that John Lee Hooker was to record before his death in July 2001. "The Long Haul" includes guests Davey Pattison, Charlie Musselwhite, Levon Helm, Jorma Kaukonen, Jack Casady, Steve Kimock, Francis Clay, Nick Gravenites, Maria Muldaur, Wavy Gravy, Shana Morrison and Rich Kirch.
Pete Sears currently performs with David Nelson Band, Steve Kimock & Zero, Moonalice, Chris Robinson & Green Leaf Rustlers, Harvey Mandel, Louisiana Love Act, California Kind and Steamhammer.
Pete and his wife Jeannette met in 1971 and began their relationship as a songwriting team. They married in 1975 in Mill Valley, California.
They became active with numerous Central American relief organisations through the '80s, working on benefits and immediate relief to refugees. In the late 1980s they spearheaded a radio drive in the San Francisco Bay area to raise food and clothing for refugees fleeing the ravages of civil war in Guatemala and El Salvador. In 1988, the California Institute of Integral Studies gave them an award for humanitarian work in the Bay area. Her passion for social justice shows up in her first novel, A Light Rain of Grace.[ clarification needed ][ citation needed ]
Pete Sears appears on the following albums:
Jefferson Airplane was an American rock band based in San Francisco, California, that became one of the pioneering bands of psychedelic rock. Formed in 1965, the group defined the San Francisco Sound and was the first from the Bay Area to achieve international commercial success. They headlined the Monterey Pop Festival (1967), Woodstock (1969), Altamont Free Concert (1969), and the first Isle of Wight Festival (1968) in England. Their 1967 breakout album Surrealistic Pillow was one of the most significant recordings of the Summer of Love. Two songs from that album, "Somebody to Love" and "White Rabbit", are among Rolling Stone's "500 Greatest Songs of All Time".
Jefferson Starship is an American rock band from San Francisco, California, formed in 1974 by a group of musicians including former members of Jefferson Airplane. Between 1974 and 1984, they released eight gold or platinum-selling studio albums, and one gold-selling compilation. The album Red Octopus went double-platinum, reaching No. 1 on the Billboard 200 chart in 1975. The band went through several major changes in personnel and genres through the years while retaining the Jefferson Starship name. The band name was retired in 1984, but it was picked up again in 1992 by a revival of the group led by Paul Kantner, which has continued since his death in 2016.
Hot Tuna is an American blues rock band formed in 1969 by former Jefferson Airplane members Jorma Kaukonen (guitarist/vocals) and Jack Casady (bassist). Although it has always been a fluid aggregation, with musicians coming and going over the years, the band's center has always been Kaukonen and Casady's ongoing collaboration.
Steve Kimock is an American rock guitarist. He was a member of San Francisco Bay Area bands Zero and KVHW.
John William "Jack" Casady is an American bass guitarist, best known as a member of Jefferson Airplane and Hot Tuna. Jefferson Airplane became the first successful exponent of the San Francisco Sound. Singles including "Somebody to Love" and "White Rabbit" charted in 1967 and 1968. Casady, along with the other members of Jefferson Airplane, was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1996.
Starship is an American rock band from San Francisco, California. Initially a continuation of Jefferson Starship, it underwent a change in musical direction, the subsequent loss of personnel, and a lawsuit settlement that led to a name change. Starship's 1985 album, Knee Deep in the Hoopla, was certified platinum by the RIAA, and included two singles that went to number one on the US Billboard Hot 100 chart: "We Built This City" and "Sara". Their follow up album, No Protection, released in 1987, was certified gold and featured the band's third number one single, "Nothing's Gonna Stop Us Now". After a short hiatus in the early 1990s, the band reformed in 1992 as "Starship featuring Mickey Thomas" and resumed touring.
Michael Falzarano is an American guitarist, singer, and songwriter. He has been a professional musician since the 1970s, most notably in Hot Tuna, the New Riders of the Purple Sage, and the Memphis Pilgrims, a Memphis-style rock and roll/blues band that he founded in 1986.
Jefferson Airplane is the eighth and final studio album by San Francisco rock band Jefferson Airplane, released on Epic Records in 1989. Marty Balin, Paul Kantner, Grace Slick, Jorma Kaukonen and Jack Casady all returned for the album and supporting tour, though Spencer Dryden did not participate. The album and accompanying tour would mark the last time Jefferson Airplane would perform together until their 1996 induction to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
Flight Log (1966–1976) is a compilation album by the American rock band Jefferson Airplane. Released in January 1977 as a double-LP as Grunt CYL2-1255, it is a compilation of Jefferson Airplane and Airplane-related tracks, including tracks by Jefferson Starship and Hot Tuna, as well as solo tracks by Paul Kantner, Grace Slick, and Jorma Kaukonen. Although primarily a compilation album, the album includes one previously unreleased song: "Please Come Back" written by Ron Nagle and performed by Jefferson Starship. "Please Come Back" is not available on any other release.
Love Will See You Through is the first album by the rock group Phil Lesh and Friends. It is also known as Highlights Volume One. It was recorded live at June 4-5, 1999 at the Warfield Theatre and released later that year.
And Furthurmore... is a live album by the American rock band Hot Tuna. It was recorded on the 1998 Furthur Festival tour. It was released on October 12, 1999.
Pair a Dice Found is an album by the American blues rock band Hot Tuna. Released in 1990, it was their first studio album since Hoppkorv in 1976.
Live in Japan is a live album by Hot Tuna recorded in 1997 in Yokohama, Japan. Originally the band planned to play an electric set as part of their Japanese tour, but the venue in Yokohama was too small and there wasn't any room for an electric setup. The band played acoustic, and afterwards Jack Casady suggested to Jorma Kaukonen that the recording was good enough for a new live album. Michael Falzarano and Kaukonen listened to the tape and decided that Casady was right, and a new album was released. The album was Hot Tuna's last release on Relix Records. In 2004 Eagle Records remastered the album and re-released it with previously unreleased performances of "Parchman Farm", "Follow the Drinking Gourd", "Keep Your Lamps Trimmed & Burning" and "Folsom Prison." Three of the tracks from the initial release were dropped from the remaster: "Hesitation Blues", "Candy Man" and "Keep on Truckin'".
Live at Sweetwater is a live Hot Tuna album recorded in 1992 at Mill Valley, CA. It was their first new recording made for Relix Records, although they had previously released older performances with Relix. Appearing on the album with Hot Tuna was Bob Weir of the Grateful Dead, blues-singer Maria Muldaur, and keyboardist Pete Sears who ended up staying with the band until 2000. In 2004 Eagle Records re-mastered and re-released the album with several added tracks, and some previous tracks shortened in length.
Too Many Years is a Jorma Kaukonen studio album released in August, 1998. It was his last studio album on Relix Records. Michael Falzarano returned to play guitar and help produce. He also sang lead on several tracks. The keyboard work was now handled by former Jefferson Starship keyboardist Pete Sears, who had been playing with Hot Tuna since 1992. After this album, the three began to perform as the "Jorma Kaukonen Trio" and recorded a live album for Relix, Jorma Kaukonen Trio Live.
Jorma Kaukonen Trio Live is a live album taken from performances from Jorma Kaukonen's 1999 solo tour, and his last album for Relix Records. Performing with Kaukonen were Michael Falzarano and Pete Sears who had both played on his previous solo album, Too Many Years, and had performed with Hot Tuna on their last release, And Furthermore... After the release of this album, Kaukonen and Jack Casady began to perform as "Jack & Jorma, The Original Acoustic Hot Tuna" and Falzarano and Sears performed less frequently with Hot Tuna and Kaukonen's solo act, with Sears finally leaving in 2001 and Falzarano leaving in 2002.
We Are All One is an album by Michael Falzarano. It was released by Woodstock Records on October 28, 2008.
A Kaleidoscope Christmas is an album by Michael Falzarano, credited to "Michael Falzarano and Extended Family". It contains eleven original Christmas-themed songs, plus a jam band-style cover of "Jingle Bells". It features Jorma Kaukonen, Jack Casady, Pete Sears, Jeff Mattson, Jason Crosby, and Kerry Kearney. It was released on November 24, 2020.
"Silver Metre" was the third pro band I was a member of. In the summer of 1969 I showed up in Venice Beach, Los Angeles after flying from London to take Leigh (I had met him there) up on his offer to put me up if I ever made it to the USA. We then got a band together called "Silver Metre". We were managed by Tom Donahue of KSAN FM radio fame, and released an album on National General Records. The record was recorded at Trident Studios in London.