Peter Rivera – Lead Vocals, Drums
Original lead singer and drummer of Rare Earth 1969-75, who recorded over seventeen albums, had top ten hits with “Get Ready”, “I’m Losing You”, “Born to Wander”, “Hey Big Brother” and I Just Want to… “Celebrate”.
Albums “Get Ready” and the two-record set “Rare Earth in Concert” went double platinum. “One World” and “The Ecology Album” went single platinum, “Willie Remembers” and “Ma” gold.
Rivera has been called the premier rock drummer/vocalist of the ’70s.
Rivera Feels His Best Performing
by Jamie Wildman
Times-Mail Staff Writer
LOS ANGELES – When the Classic Rock All Stars come to town June 5 with their Jam Tour ’93 they will bring with them the experience of more than 20 years in the rock business including a resume that boasts selling more than 20 million records.
Peter Rivera – original lead singer, drummer of Rare Earth 1969-75, speaking from his Los Angeles home, said the group got together after discussing the band’s formation with the other members.
“We had all known each other many years ago from, you know, touring, and bumping into each other,” Rivera said.
“About a year and a half ago Mike Pinera and (I) were talking. And Jerry Corbetta was talking to Mike. So, we got together and had a little coffee and talked about the possibilities of putting a group together.
“So, we went out and did some charity shows. In the beginning we would just do four or five songs – one song from each guy. We had a couple of rehearsals and it went over real well,” Rivera said.
“Then we decided to keep rehearsing and eventually we got a couple more shows and a couple more. All of the sudden we got an agency to start bookin’ us and now we’ve got a manager and agents and everything.
“So we’re back at it again.”…… Rivera said the Classic Rock All Stars has no off season and he’s just out there having a good time with the music.
“In the past few years, I’ve tried a few other things and nothin’ really lives as much as playin’. You know, that’s all I’ve ever done and I’m good at it. I just love doin’ it. It’s when I feel the best is when I’m playin’ for an audience, you know, or recording or somethin’,” Rivera said.
“We’re talking about doing a live CD of the show (to be recorded in Los Angeles) and then we’re also talking to a couple of companies about doin’ a new album. So, we’re excited about that, you know.
“Our show is pretty well thought out with the song placements, you know. It’ll run a couple of hours. It’s just a lot of hits – one after another – from all the different guys in the group. People respond so well to the show that we almost NEED to put it on a CD as a live (show) with all of us together.”…… “Rare Earth music (which was popular from 1970-75) is more a dance/party kind of stuff… It’s all kind of dance/ rhythm and blues and things like that”…
… With a band roster that reads like a Who’s Who of ’70s rock-n-roll one might expect these guys to really be on the wild side. But Rivera said of the band members: “We’ve got some kids who are in school, you know, we’re kind of family people now. My kids are old enough now that they don’t mind if I go on the road for a while, in fact they like to come with me sometimes.”
“It’s a fun show, a good quality show. The musicianship is top notch. I think that once people hear what we do, they’ll really enjoy it.” Rivera said. He added that the band is not really after any one type of audience and it is used to settings where all ages are present.
“Young kids who have never heard those songs before like them a lot. It’s a good energetic show.” And to Rivera the show is what’s all important. “There’s been some Grammy Awards… mainly through it was the records and touring that was the big deal. You know the Grammy Awards, and all that, that wasn’t such a big deal back then. That’s only in the past 10 years that it’s become such a big thing,” Rivera said.
So, it’s hit the road with another town and one more show.
“We book dates constantly and we go out on the road. Sometimes it’s three days sometimes its 10 days. We come home after eight or ten days for a week or two weeks or so then we go back out again. We try to bunch dates together,” Rivera said.
“You know it’s expensive to travel these days you’ve got to put together a few days in a row in places that are relatively close. “So, you go into different regions and book a few days and you go in there and do that, you know.”
And the Bedford stop is no exception. It’s in the middle of Illinois, Indiana, Iowa circuit. “We’ve got a seven day tour through there,” Rivera said. “We’ve done everything from coliseums to clubs, to state fairs to music parks. We went to Okinawa and did the Air Force base there and they have a one-week long fair. Then we go to Vancouver, Canada, and do clubs and just anything. It’s all kinds of stuff.”
Rivera pointed out that the band members are all on stage at the same time. “We are a self-contained band,” he said. “It’s not (like) where somebody comes up on the stage and sings a song and then leaves. We’re all up on stage for the whole show.
“(This arrangement) is great because it’s fun to do the other (band’s) material. Those are songs I like as a listener, you know,” Rivera said. “And now I’m on stage with those people playin’. What we’ve done as a band is put a lot of work and effort into sounding like the various songs we’re doin’ from all the different groups.
“So, it immediately sounds just like the records,” Rivera said. “So, when we do a Rare Earth song, I mean, it sounds just like one of our hits.”
To attain that sound similarity, one would think the band members must be good musicians and Rivera agreed. “The musicianship is excellent. All these people have been around the block a few times and they’re real quality musicians. That makes it a lot of fun, too, ’cause there is some improvising. You know, you get your (creative) juices from spontaneity and things like that, you know.”