Snapshots: Farewell to Gordon Waller of Peter And Gordon

By  Ian & Lauren Wright

As different as night and day, Peter and Gordon were British hitmakers in the mid- to late-1960s, hitting #1 with the Paul McCartney-written song “A World Without Love.” (Ian Wright)

As different as night and day, Peter and Gordon were British hitmakers in the mid- to late-1960s, hitting #1 with the Paul McCartney-written song “A World Without Love.” (Ian Wright)
Born within a year and a day of each other, Peter Asher, June 2, 1944, and Gordon Waller, June 4, 1945, were to become the most successful of the ’60s fashionable duos.

What set them apart from contemporaries such as The Brook Brothers, The Allisons, Chad and Jeremy and David & Jonathan was the exclusive patronage of Paul McCartney, who at the time was courting Peter’s sister Jane. Paul was gracious enough to gift them their best-selling song “World With Out Love.”

At school I had studied the theory that opposites attract but never really understood its relevance — that was until I met these two:

Gordon Waller: He was the era’s equivalent of Errol Flynn: the swashbuckling  musketeer and the handsome gigolo with long flowing locks of hair, the frilly shirts, the flared pants, the Cuban-heeled boots, a packet of Marlboros in his shirt pocket, a betting slip wrapped around a “Monkey” (Five hundred pounds sterling) all in “Lady Godivas” (Five-pound notes) in his back pocket, along with the obligatory deck of cards always ready for a piece of the action — poker, black-jack even snap. He was up for it before you could say, “Deal.”

A “Dolly Bird” on each arm and a line of others waiting to take over, the dutiful roadie guarding his flavors of the week and a Ferrari or a Roller, or perhaps his favorite, a Mini Cooper Scorpion. During one of his late card sessions, usually in the hotel lounge, his capacity for libations, obligitory at any card school, became apparent even the night porter’s jaw dropped when he ordered a quadruple Gordon’s and bitters  with just a splash of tonic. He was truly a “Bobby Dazzler”; this guy was addictive.

Peter Asher:
He wore spectacles, woolly sweaters, cords and sandals, and he drank white wine, ate cheese and crackers, travelled with a library of books and went to bed early.

Guess which one became the multi-millionaire?

Gordon Waller of the ’60s pop group Peter And Gordon died July 16 of cardiovascular disease. Waller was 64.

The duo had nine Top 20 hits, including their best-known effort, the McCartney-penned “A World Without Love,” which topped out at #1 on the charts.

Among other Peter and Gordon hits were 1965 versions of Del Shannon’s “I Go to Pieces” and the Buddy Holly number “True Love Ways.”  Also, there was “Lady Godiva” in 1966, and “Knight in Rusty Armour” in 1967.

Discoverd in 1964 by an EMI record producer, Peter And Gordon were part of the so-called British Invasion. For four years, they danced atop the charts. Then, they broke up in 1968.

Later, Waller released the solo album, And Gordon, in 1972. In 2008, Waller released the solo album Rebel Rider. In recent years, Waller and Asher played some reunion gigs. They were scheduled to perform more shows in the next few months.

Rest in peace, Gordon.

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