Peter Straker, the legendary (some may say, notorious!) West End star, recording artist and raconteur par excellence, is making his on-stage comeback, with a long-awaited reissue of his 1970s and 1980s albums due next year. Straker made his name as one of the lead characters in the original stage production of Hair, before also featuring in Tommy and Rocky Horror Show. Under his own steam, he has become known as one of the master performers of the works of Jacques Brel and released a body of work in the 1970s which saw him as both a cabaret star and flamboyant participant in the glam scene…a rarity for a black performer.
Perhaps best known for his 1977 album, This One’s On Me, produced by Roy Thomas Baker, it was the album’s co-producer and musical collaborator with whom Straker has become synonymous. Straker’s friendship with Freddie Mercury spanned the years (you can spot him in the video to Mercury’s cover of The Platter’s Great Pretender, alongside Roger Taylor), only losing contact as the Queen frontman battled the latter stages of the illness which would kill him. Freddie’s involvement did not stop at producing and helping to fund Peter’s musical projects – Freddie’s vocals and piano skills can be heard on several tracks, the forthcoming remasters promising to uncover more depth to these than ever before.
As a prelude to Peter’s reissues, he will be appearing on stage in Milton Keynes at The Stables on 13th October, as both MC and performer at the live premiere of Sheer Piano Attack, a project by celebrated classical pianist Gabriele Baldocci which revisits Queen tracks in completely unique interpretations. With live performances of tracks he performed with Freddie on his albums, previously unheard stories of his escapades with the great man and Peter singing some Queen tracks, it promises to be a unique night featuring a unique personality.