Tony Peluso

Last updated
Tony Peluso
Born(1950-03-28)March 28, 1950
Los Angeles, California, United States
DiedJune 5, 2010(2010-06-05) (aged 60)
Los Angeles, California, United States
Occupation(s) Guitarist, record producer, vocalist
Associated acts Carpenters, The Abstracts

Anthony F. Peluso (March 28, 1950 – June 5, 2010) was an American guitarist and record producer. He was lead guitarist for pop duo the Carpenters from 1972 to 1983.


Peluso played the fuzz guitar solo on the Carpenters' song "Goodbye to Love". He also contributed a disc jockey impersonation that opens the duo's cover of "Calling Occupants of Interplanetary Craft" and was the deejay who links the medley of oldies tracks on Side 2 of the Carpenters album Now & Then .


Peluso came from a musical family, his mother being a successful opera singer and his father being the music director for NBC radio on the west coast. [1]

He began his own musical career in 1968, when he formed a band called The Abstracts with three college friends. The band recorded one album for the small Pompeii label, on which he sang, played guitar and wrote most of the songs. However, the album was not a commercial success, mainly due to poor distribution, and the group disbanded shortly after its release

Peluso later played alongside Bobby Sherman and Paul Revere & the Raiders [2] as well as leading the backing band Instant Joy for Mark Lindsay when Lindsay took a break from Paul Revere & the Raiders. [3]

The Carpenters

In 1972, Richard Carpenter and John Bettis had written a new song, "Goodbye to Love", for the Carpenters. While the Carpenters were working on the song, Richard decided that there should be a fuzz guitar solo on it. He recalled Tony Peluso from a time when Mark Lindsay and Instant Joy opened for the Carpenters. [3] Karen Carpenter called Tony Peluso and asked him to play a guitar solo. On the DVD Close to You: Remembering The Carpenters Peluso recalled: "At first I didn't believe that it was actually Karen Carpenter on the phone but she repeated her name again. ...It was at this point that I realized it was really her and that I was speaking to one of my idols." She told him that she and Richard were working on a song called "Goodbye to Love" and they were both familiar with his work with another band, and that he'd be perfect for the sound they were looking for. In the studio, Peluso first played something soft and sweet, but then Richard said "No, no, no! Play the melody for five bars and then burn it up! Soar off into the stratosphere! Go ahead! It'll be great!" [4] The solo was played from the electric guitar through a fuzz box straight into the mixing console onto the tape.

Peluso subsequently joined the Carpenters recording and touring band as lead guitarist. [3]

Later career

Following the death of Karen Carpenter on February 4, 1983, Peluso moved on to record producing. He worked for the next decade at Motown Records where he recorded artists such as Smokey Robinson, The Temptations, the Four Tops and Michael Jackson. [5]

Peluso went on to produce and/or engineer for artists such as Kenny Loggins, Seals and Crofts, Apollonia Kotero, Player, Animotion, Stephanie Mills, The Triplets, Bloc, The Fixx, Dave Koz and Boyz II Men. [5]

In 1992, Peluso began working with Gustavo Santaolalla. They pioneered the Rock en Español genre. Peluso worked with Latin pop musicians such as Ricky Martin, and Mexican rock bands such as Molotov and Cafe Tacuba. In 2005, Santaolalla and Peluso produced the soundtrack to the motion picture Brokeback Mountain . [6]

Peluso won four Grammy Awards during his career, and was awarded numerous gold and platinum records representing sales in excess of 150 million units during his diverse music career.

He died at age 60 in Los Angeles on June 5, 2010, from heart disease. He is survived by two sons. [1]

Related Research Articles

Paul Revere & the Raiders rock band

Paul Revere & the Raiders was an American rock band that saw considerable U.S. mainstream success in the second half of the 1960s and early 1970s. Signature songs include a quartet of major 1966 chart hits — "Just Like Me", "Kicks", "Hungry" and "Good Thing" — and "Him Or Me – What's It Gonna Be?" (1967). Plus the platinum-certified 1971 comeback no. 1 "Indian Reservation", credited to simply 'Raiders'.

Calling Occupants of Interplanetary Craft 1976 single by Klaatu

"Calling Occupants of Interplanetary Craft" is a song by Klaatu, originally released in 1976 on their first album 3:47 EST. The song would open night transmission of the pirate radio station Radio Caroline. The year following its release, the Carpenters covered the song, using a crew of 160 musicians. The Carpenters' version reached the top 10 in the UK and Canada, and charted at number 1 in Ireland.

Richard Carpenter (musician) American pop musician

Richard Lynn Carpenter is an American musician, record producer, songwriter, and music arranger, who formed half of the sibling duo The Carpenters alongside his sister Karen. He has had numerous roles including record producer, arranger, pianist, keyboardist, lyricist, and composer, as well as joining with Karen on harmony vocals.

<i>A Song for You</i> (The Carpenters album) 1972 studio album by the Carpenters

A Song for You is the fourth studio album by American music duo the Carpenters, released on June 22, 1972. According to Richard Carpenter, A Song for You was intended to be a concept album with the title tune opening and closing the set and the bookended selections comprising the 'song'. "A Song for You" was written by songwriter Leon Russell.

<i>Now & Then</i> (The Carpenters album) 1973 studio album by Carpenters

Now & Then is the fifth studio album by American music duo Carpenters, released on May 1, 1973. In the Cash Box Year-End Charts of 1973, Now & Then ranked at number 20. The title for the album was suggested by Karen and Richard's mother, Agnes Carpenter.

Solitaire (Neil Sedaka song) 1975 single by The Carpenters

"Solitaire" is a ballad written by Neil Sedaka and Phil Cody. Cody employs playing the card game of solitaire as a metaphor for a man "who lost his love through his indifference"—"while life goes on around him everywhere he's playing solitaire". The song is best known via its rendition by the Carpenters.

<i>Horizon</i> (The Carpenters album) 1975 studio album by Carpenters

Horizon is the sixth studio album by American musical duo Carpenters. It was recorded at A&M Studios. The Carpenters spent many hours experimenting with different sounds, techniques and effects.

<i>Passage</i> (The Carpenters album) 1977 studio album by Carpenters

Passage is the eighth studio album by American popular music duo the Carpenters. Released in 1977, it produced the hit singles "All You Get from Love Is a Love Song", "Calling Occupants of Interplanetary Craft" and "Sweet, Sweet Smile". The Carpenters' "Sweet, Sweet Smile" was picked up by Country radio and put the duo in the top ten of Billboard's Country chart in the spring of 1978.

Bless the Beasts and Children (song) 1971 single by The Carpenters

"Bless the Beasts and Children" is the theme song to the 1971 eponymous film and was performed by the Carpenters. It was featured on the B-side to their hit, "Superstar". The B-side charted on the Billboard Hot 100, eventually topping out at #67. In order to promote it, The Carpenters performed it on their television series, Make Your Own Kind of Music, as "F" for "Film Music". It was nominated for a 1972 Academy Award for Best Song, but it lost to Isaac Hayes's "Theme from Shaft".

<i>Time</i> (Richard Carpenter album) 1987 studio album by Richard Carpenter

Time is the first solo album by American musician Richard Carpenter. Dionne Warwick, Dusty Springfield and Scott Grimes sang on the album, on the songs "In Love Alone", "Something in Your Eyes", and "That's What I Believe", respectively. The song "When Time Was All We Had" is dedicated to Richard's sister, Karen. It was later included on the 3-CD compilation The Ultimate Collection.

<i>Pianist, Arranger, Composer, Conductor</i> 1998 studio album by Richard Carpenter

Pianist, Arranger, Composer, Conductor is the second solo album by American musician Richard Carpenter, released in 1998.

Goodbye to Love 1972 single by The Carpenters

"Goodbye to Love" is a song composed by Richard Carpenter and John Bettis. It was released by the Carpenters in 1972. On the Close to You: Remembering The Carpenters documentary, Tony Peluso stated that this was one of the first power ballads, if not the first, to have a fuzz guitar solo. "Goodbye to Love" was the first Carpenters hit written by Richard Carpenter and John Bettis.

I Need to Be in Love 1976 single by The Carpenters

"I Need to Be in Love" is a song written by Richard Carpenter, Albert Hammond and John Bettis. It was released as a single on May 21, 1976. It was featured on the A Kind of Hush album, which was released on June 11 of the same year. The single featured a version without the piano lead-in and starts immediately with a flute introduction by David Shostac. Richard recalled that it was Karen's favorite Carpenters song.

All You Get from Love Is a Love Song 1977 single by The Carpenters

"All You Get from Love Is a Love Song" is a song composed by Steve Eaton. Previously recorded by The Righteous Brothers in 1975, it was popularized by the Carpenters in 1977. It was released to the public on May 21, 1977. Its B-side was "I Have You", a song released on the A Kind of Hush album in 1976. The song was also included on their 1977 album, Passage.

"Touch Me When We're Dancing" is a song written by Terry Skinner, J. L. Wallace and Ken Bell. Skinner and Wallace headed the Muscle Shoals, Alabama session group Bama, who first recorded this song and released it as a single in 1979 reaching number 42 on the Billboard Easy Listening chart and number 86 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. The song was later recorded by The Carpenters in 1981 for their Made in America album. In 1984, it was recorded by country music artists Mickey Gilley and Charly McClain for their 1984 duet album It Takes Believers and in 1986 by the country music group Alabama.

"I Just Fall in Love Again" is a song written by Larry Herbstritt, with co-writers Steve Dorff, Harry Lloyd, and Gloria Sklerov. Herbstritt had composed the melody and chords for the chorus and a chord progression for the verse, which he took to his friend Steve Dorff. Harry Lloyd and Gloria Sklerov completed the lyrics. The song was originally recorded by the Carpenters and later covered by Dusty Springfield, whose version inspired Anne Murray to record her own cover.

The Carpenters American vocal duo

The Carpenters were an American vocal and instrumental duo consisting of siblings Karen (1950–1983) and Richard Carpenter (b. 1946). They produced a distinct soft musical style, combining Karen's contralto vocals with Richard's arranging and composition skills. During their 14-year career, the Carpenters recorded ten albums, along with numerous singles and several television specials.

"Make Believe It's Your First Time" is a song written by Bob Morrison and Johnny Wilson. Originally recorded by Bobby Vinton, the song was twice recorded by Karen Carpenter, both as a solo act and as a member of the Carpenters. It was also recorded by Dave & Sugar on their 1980 album New York Wine & Tennessee Shine.

Kicks (song) 1966 single by Paul Revere and the Raiders

"Kicks" is a song composed by Barry Mann and Cynthia Weil, best known as a 1966 hit for American rock band Paul Revere & the Raiders.

Phil "Fang" Volk is an American musician, singer, songwriter, band leader, record producer and arranger. As the bassist of Paul Revere & the Raiders from 1965–1967, Volk appeared in over 750 television shows, 520 of which were episodes of the Dick Clark production, Where the Action Is, which aired daily from 1965-67. The band themselves had 23 charted hits and 14 gold albums and Volk was a member of the band during the period of its greatest success. Volk's bass lines, as heard in songs such as "Hungry", "Just Like Me" and "Kicks", helped to revolutionize how the bass guitar was used in rock music. Volk was seen frequently in such fanzines as 16 Magazine, popular during the 1960s.


  1. 1 2 Perrone, Pierre (1 August 2010). "Obituaries: Tony Peluso: Guitarist whose solos on The Carpenters' 'Goodbye to Love' ushered in the power-ballad era". The Independent. Retrieved 20 March 2016.
  2. "The Carpenters' Lead Guitarist Tony Peluso Dead At 60". 11 June 2010. Retrieved 5 July 2010.
  3. 1 2 3 "A Song for You". 4 June 2008. Retrieved 5 July 2010.
  4. "Close to you: Remembering the Carpenters". 1998. Archived from the original on 17 July 2011. Retrieved 5 July 2010.
  5. 1 2 Dore, Shalini (14 June 2010). "Carpenters' lead guitarist dies". Retrieved 5 July 2010.
  6. "Carpenters' Lead Guitarist Tony Peluso Dies". 15 June 2010. Archived from the original on 7 July 2012. Retrieved 7 July 2010.