PETER - Original Lead Singer/Drummer of Rare Earth

Original lead singer/drummer of Rare Earth

Peter was featured in Spokane Coeur d'Alene Living Magazine.  Read the article below.

The band Rare Earth sold over 25 million records with original lead singer and drummer Peter Rivera behind all the band's top ten hits: Get Ready, I'm Losing You, Born to Wan-der, Hey Big Brother, and I Just Want to Celebrate. Still played on classic rock radio stations today and even in recent TV commercials, any baby boomer-rock aficiona-do remembers those hits from this 1970s American rhythm and blues rock band. Rare Earth produced 17 albums, ofwhich, two are double platinum – Get Ready and Rare Earth in Concert – two are single platinum and two are gold albums. Rivera, former lead singer and songwriter for Rare Earth says he had some of the best times of his life back then. The good times didn't stop back then; today, there are plenty of concerts and a new CD, which will be released on February 7, 2015, all of which are making today a pretty great time as well. Back in early July 2014, just prior to kick-ing off the third annual Rockin' Blues Fest tour, Rivera was interviewed by Mark Voger, from the New Jersey Star Led-ger, who asked what it was like growing up in Detroit in the 1960s during the golden era of rock and roll. "It was unique," recalled Rivera. "That's where Motown was. I mean, Stevie Wonder and the Four Tops and the Miracles —come on! That was all happening in Detroit." At the same time, there was this FM rock thing going on, by people who were not with Motown, but they were still definitely Detroit. "It was just a big music scene – it was great to be in the center of that era." The bonus came when his band Rare Earth was signed to Motown Records. Rivera sang on two Temptations covers, I'm Losing You and Get Ready, which became Top 10 hits for a Motown imprint named after his band. Just after that interview last year, on July 16, just days before the third annual Rock-in' Blues Fest tour was to kick off, legendary blues guitarist Johnny Winter, Rivera's Rockin' Blues Fest tourmate, passed away at age 70. The tour became a tribute to Johnny Winter overnight. The show went on to honor the music and his friend. When I met with Rivera, he shared some of the experiences and inspiration behind writing the songs on his new CD, It Is What It Is. Not surprisingly, what happened in July 2014, along with another sig-nificant milestone in his life—the passing of his wife of 30-plus years, Dabar, in January 2013—reminds Rivera, "There might not be a tomorrow so enjoy every bit of every day." That quote found its way into one of his songs, Ride the Wind. Rivera believes his music, "speaks to people who have lived and haven't lived yet." Days go by, life happens, another day of living. Then, it is years that have gone by. Think of it as a play on the lyrics of Rare Earth's most widely recognized song, I Just Want to Celebrate ..another year of living! Rivera was introspective about the past, present and future. "Let it hurt and it moves on – get to the now," he says of how he deals with emotions. He's poetic about life, penning reflective lyrics and working on melodies with his engineer, producer and good friend Dave Cebert. One song was written in half a day, while another one he's been working on just a few lines for weeks. Regardless of how long it takes, he enjoys the creative process. Certainly, life has provided Rivera with plenty of wisdom from which to draw upon for creating a new album. Growing up in a red-brick row house in a grimy blue-collar neighborhood in working class Detroit, Rivera remembers his hard-working dad amongst factory workers, dock hands and tough-guys. On the leading edge of the Baby Boomer generation, Rivera says having lived this long, he identifies with those around him, regardless of age. Listen to the lyrics of Look What We've Done: "One by one the factories are closing down, And people look for work, but there ain't none around, What happened to the dream of the American way, If we don't change our thinking, that's how it's gonna stay..." His lyrics speak to the challenges faced by all. 

    Rivera says his beliefs have evolved, although, "it wasn't a conscious effort." Self doubts? Sure, who doesn't have them? Even a man who has been received approval and praise as a musician and with whom listeners connect, has doubts. From the outside, though, it doesn't look like he should have doubts. A friend once told Rivera, "Everyone who's bought one of your records or sees you in concert approves of you." With life's joy and sadness, especially when we lose someone we love, there is the fear of losing love itself. Rivera believes you don't lose love; rather, he believes you can be, as the title of another song on his new CD sates, Still in Love with Love. Rivera believes when you lose someone, you will always love that person and honor them, while at some point re-discovering another love. It doesn't happen overnight, he says, as everyone is different. 

    Rivera and his bandmates, at the very foundation, just love playing music. That they can make money doing it is a bonus. With Joe Brasch on guitar, Danny McCollim on keyboards, Eddie Ramirez, bass and Tera Brasch, backup vocals, Peter Rivera Unplugged plays nearly 90 shows a year. Rivera has played at several of Bozzi Media's Hot Summer Nights parties at Arbor Crest, and on February 7, 2015, Peter Rivera Unplugged plays at Chateau Rive. 

    As frequently as he is seen in the area, the Northwest hasn't always been Rivera's home. Living in Los Angeles for many years, one day in 1993, Rivera was looking at a relocation guide for Coeur d'Alene, Idaho, and it just spoke to his family. They lived in Coeur d'Alene for ten years, before returning to L.A. for seven years. Then, with the "kids on their own" and a desire to return to the Inland Northwest, in 2010, Rivera made the move, this time for good, to Spokane's north side. He thought it was a good idea to come back here where he had made many friends and met musicians who became friends. 

    "My three children all love music but they chose to go with sports," says Rivera, of the different path his children have chosen. "They all achieved professional status and I've had lots of fun following them as they've chosen their individual paths to success?' 

    Rivera gets the sense that a new generation of listeners respects the way bands like Rare Earth made music in the old days, before technology turned recording into a push-button enterprise. "There are young people who really appreciate classic rock," he says. "They appreciate the fact that we were all in the same band playing separate instruments." Technology being what it is, Rivera is accepting of new ways to record music and how fans listen, with some help from his producer/engineer-buddy Dave Cebert. Whether finding him on iTunes and Amazon, or downloading tunes from his website, Rivera appreciates all his fans, regardless of age. 

    Rivera still loves to rock! Check out Do You Wanna Rock, the first song on his new album. "I still give the best I've got," he says of every show he plays. While Rivera has been performing concerts for over 40 years, he still thrives on the energy of every life performance. Always polished, his soulful, powerful voice still allows him to bring crowds to standing ovations today. "I used to think I'm a drummer who sings," he says. "Now I think I'm a singer who plays drums. Someday, maybe I won't be able to do both anymore. But that's not today."