SUMMERBABY, creator Will, Toby “Artie” Huss, Mamma Wrigley, Ryan “Ginger” Stively, Creator Rob, Danny “Lil Pete”. YER BOYY, Mike “Big Pete”
As most of you know I had the amazing honor of giving my most revered television program from my youth, THE ADVENTURES OF PETE AND PETE, my highest honor by performing in THE PETE and PETE reunion here in Portland, OR. My oldest buddy and recent partner in crime, RYAN STIVELY, was commissioned at the behest of Banana Stand Media to construct a POLARIS cover band for the event, and thank god he granted me the keys to “mainly bass, and you know whatever.” The whatever morphed into a prominent accompaniment role consisting of bass duties juggled with Danny “Little Pete” Tamberielli and last minute addition of guitar, and harmonica proposed by show creators and facilitators of my youthful taste, Will McRobb and Chris Viscardi, whilst Danny handled that bass like a learned doctor. Danny was in fact introduced to The Stooges by Iggy himself during one of Iggy’s many guest appearances on the show. I sat and taught myself the parts quickly, a feat that I had never before breached in a professional setting but accomplished solely because of my reverence to these fantastic characters…
I had spent years preaching the PETE Gospel to uninterested peers most of my life, and now to finally find myself at the reunion to toast that unmistakably original piece of television history was the very least I could do. Said originality in programming, let alone “children’s programming,” has unsuccessfully been sorely copied ever since. Personally, the show and the reunion ushered a plethora of bittersweet emotions that managed to frenzy in sheer celebration of grown children and cast alike, rejoicing in reuniting that sacred kinship shared so many years ago.
What once was an under-sung piece of inspired television reminded me of my undeniably american reliance of the limitless possibilities that the show introduced me to when formulating a story. This is no revelation to admirers of the show, millions of other american rugrats (relevant pun) took to PETE and PETE for everything from a beginners guide to important artists (guest stars) , a guidance through the brutal honesty we couldn’t help but share as children, and the reckless abandon that can only cause revolutionary inspiration that seems to subside with age. Timeless.
Performing songs from the show’s fictional (yet fully realized) score/raw band, Polaris, was the first time I have ever performed as a cover artist. Needless to say, it was an honor. Polaris’ PETE and PETE record not only transcended the show as a great piece of music itself, but found a perfect conceptual partner to the struggles and intense subtext of the show. A perfect marriage of serious pathos, nonsensical fun, and ultimate union that riddled throughout the program’s themes. I was in no way a stranger to the music; the songs resonated and ricocheted inside my stretching/growing structure as I also, and still do, struggle to find my honesty as a musician and storyteller since the show aired. And for whatever reason, my proclamations and annual episodic flag-waving of the program allowed me to participate, in such a beautiful resolve, with the cast on stage at my favorite theater in Portland, The Hollywood. Magick? Maybe not this one, I’d like to trust that all parties involved were deserving to participate without any cosmic construction…
Celebrating the impact of that show on stage along side Mike, Danny, Toby, Will, Chris, and Judy might have ushered in the summer but reminded of me of the continuous Autumn of the show’s perturbed suburb, Wellsville. A parallel between the two places were mentioned by the cast and creators. Funny, now as a 27 year old man, Its obvious to me how Portland truly resembles that influence in spades.
I understand this beautiful return is pretty generationally specific at first glance, too bad, because the show managed to introduce my generation to a massive roster of figureheads: (Kate Pierson, Michael Stipe, Steve Buscemi, Iggy Pop, etc.) If the gorgeous film, THE ASSASINATION OF JESSE JAMES… beautifully intertwined my interests as an artist in multiple mediums today, I have PETE AND PETE to thank for the introduction of multiple influences they beautifully tied together in my youth.
Those that spent their youth reveling the uncanny barrage of brilliantly nuanced Nickelodeon Programming of the 90s seem to look no further than PETE’s trust, loyalty, and the autumnal summer of youth perfectly projected. I told Will and Chris that I vehemently appreciated their acceptance of young minds through treating the young audience as adults.
The reunion acted as closure to a wayward year previously spent in an embarrassingly ridiculous drug habit in the limbo of Phoenix, Arizona. After I got clean, I manifested moving back to Portland. And my life has been focused ever since. And the reunion acted as a rebirth into honoring that childhood whimsy and fervor to do something lasting in this world. It was important that they knew that the show not only gave me solace for inhabiting an outsider personality as a child, but a reminder of the importance and duty we as artists all must abide in order to show the appreciation of life in all its messy fuss. THE ADVENTURES of PETE and PETE solidified a brevity I would often look for when dealing with the dirty and lovelorn webs we all weave.
The highlight of the affair was that it afforded a distinct moment, a time stamping the changing of the guard within myself, when the ghost of my childhood jammed and sang SUMMERBABY with the cast. NOBODY KNOWS, NOBODY KNOWS…
I am honored to be amongst the lucky few to give creedence and shake the hands that deserve recognition. What better way to get this adult thing on the road than to consider childhood heroes as peers who stumble so beautifully as I do.
I left Mike “Big Pete” Marronna in between rustling the caravan of attendees and devotees aiming for a new bar. For some reason, I had drank enough and wanted nothing more to leave on a high note. My favorite part is the personal heart to heart Mike and I had before we jumped into our respective vehicles. Some is just for me, but I’ll never forget eachother’s refusal to say a definite goodbye to each other that night. He thought I was going to meet them at the next bar, instead, I decided to Seinfield it and leave without letting the cast and creators in on my need to call it a night. The young me would have never left them alone, instead, we drove home and listened to Polaris as I felt my childhood finally put to rest.
>>>>>>>>>>>>>>THE ADVENTURES OF DANNY AND MIKE PODCAST, EPISODE 1 – PETEFEST 2013<<<<<<<<<<<
The awesome thing is they’re the stars again on their ADVENTURES OF DANNY AND MIKE Podcast now. Above is a link to the first episode which has THE PETE’s take on this whole Portland thing.
My DJ name will forever by DJ MAGICKEATS as evidenced in the podcast above!
Wow, I hadn’t realize how much I wanted to say about that wonderful weekend. Now enough tips of the hats and dustin off the ol’ shoulders, lets get back to the new record…