Tuesday, August 13, 2019

Artist Profile - When Rik met Peter Calamera

After chatting with Jessica Lynn about how much her family mean to her and to her music, I obviously wanted to hear more, so I caught up with Dad Peter before they took to the stage.  

As with everyone, I wanted to know how Peter came to music. Interestingly it was at the same age as Jessica – Peter was just a teenager when he first heard the Beatles, specifically watching a Hard Day’s Night with his sister and he thought
That looks a lot of fun
In another similarity, Jessica’s teen band played exactly the same club as Peter’s teenage band 26 years to the day that Peter last played there

You can’t see Peter without seeing his wife Victoria, and they are such a wonderful couple, so how did they meet?  Well, unsurprisingly it was music that brought them together.  Peter was adamant that he didn’t write for the female voice when an agent suggested a singer for his band. Victoria walked in and was introduced and Peter right away said 
You know what, I think I can work with her
33 years later, 31 years of marriage I guess he was right!

Peter shares Jessica’s comments about the difference between performing in America to the UK and Europe. In his own words

We love the UK audiences – its completely different to US audiences.  As Tim has just said on stage  it is so nice to be in front of people listening to the music, whereas in America it is more of a social occasion

As a New York Italian, and an ex New York police officer, I was curious to hear about the family dynamic from Peter’s point of view – being the patriarch but being in his daughter’s band

It’s interesting, there’s two dynamics all the time. I’ve been working with her since she was 13, but I’m always the Dad. In the band you have to shelve the Dad hat, she talks to you like another musician. Jessica always has the final say, but she knows that I know music and she trusts me to this day. But we butt heads, because we are Italian! Five minutes later we’re hugging

Out of being on stage with your family, your US guitar showing your pride in being American, your NYPD background… what makes you proudest?

My family. I’d like to think it’s the  work that  I’ve done as a father I’ve loved my job as a cop, I loved helping people in the NYPD, but above all its looking at my family and I see things that we’ve done that a pretty great accomplishments.  If you told me twenty years ago when I retired from the NYPD that 20 years from now you are going to be travelling the world with your family playing music, going to all these great places and meeting wonderful people, I’d think you were smoking something
That’s what I’m most proud of, we’ve accomplished something nice and I’m really proud of Jessica. When we meet people around the world, our family is growing, we’re doing something right.
Talking to Peter, you can feel as well as hear how proud he is and how much he loves doing what he gets to do with his very extended family, not just the family on stage!

When you see the band playing you can certainly see how much they love performing for their crowds, their fans, their friends, their family!

Jessica Lynn – with her Dad on bass – perform tonight (Tuesday) at Dronfield Civic Hall, on Wednesday 14 August Square Tower, Old Portsmouth and they finish their UK tour on Thursday 15 August at Old School Hall, East Farleigh, Maidstone

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