|Don Peck - Drums|
Neil Peron - Bass Guitar
Frank Twist - Guitar and Vocals
Some empty Quaker Oats containers and the wood from those old wire coat hangers, That was my first drum kit. Each container taped just right so they each had their own sound. I was 13 years old and hooked, playing for hours on end and loving every minute of it. Dad bought me my first set of „real" drums just in time for me to join my first „real" band a few years later, the local Dallas based, „Hungry Freaks" in 1967. The band consisted of me on drums, Howard Charles on bass, Donnie Stice on rhythm guitar and Austinite Johnny Love on guitar and vocals. We did covers of the Animals, Stones, Them and fellow Texas freaks The 13th Floor Elevators!!
And boy did we look the part. Long hair, badass attitudes and Johnny´s everpresent „biker" chains. We played together for about 18 months doing gigs at the Egyptian Room and other local hotspots. It was an exciting local scene with bands like the Chaparrals, Johnny Gee & The G Men, and a pre-ZZ Top, Warlocks. When the band finally dissolved Johnny returned to Austin and as rumor has it, did a short stint with the Elevators while Roky was at Rusk State Hospital.
I just wanted to play and took advantage of every opportunity that came my way, including being the only „white boy" in the legendary Dallas Rhythm & Blues band Les Watson & The Panthers. It was with this band that I recorded my first piece of vinyl on Ike Turner´s „Vesuvius" label which I still have in the Peck archives.
During these years I had traveled back and forth from the West Coast and in my heart knew that is where I would eventually wind up. My sister lived in San Francisco and my summer visits with her exposed me to what was going on in that fertile music scene.
In 1969 I made California my permanent address and would travel up and down the coast from the Bay Area to L.A. in my Volkswagon with a big „Jefferson Airplane Loves You" bumper sticker on the back. And I´d play for everybody and anybody, sometimes going to 3-4 auditions a day just so I could work on my chops and maybe make some cash when possible. It was here that I met my mentor, and to this day good friend, Ed Cassidy. I had worshipped Ed before our meeting ever since I saw Spirit play at the Texas Music Hall in 1968. His playing made me realize what creative drumming was all about and meeting him during some studio session work confirmed that we were kindred spirits. Ed appreciated my enthusiasm for the drums and later presented me with a cherished gift, „The Devil´s Claw" that allowed me to mount my tom-toms as a pyramid on the bass drum. For many years Ed and I were the only ones I know of that used this set-up.
In late ´69 I traveled north with the intent of forming a band. It wasn´t long before SAN FRANCISCO´S SHIVER began to wreak havoc. In a city known for peace, love and flower power, Shiver was an over the top, in your face, balls to the wall „gang" of musicians that felt at home with Hell´s Angels and Hippies alike. I met bass player Neal Peron at a „communal" house known as Big Top where he was living at the time. Everyone shared women, worked a shift at the Big Top restaurant „The Island" & took turns dealing reefer to pay the rent. There were no doors on any of the rooms and no one „owned" a pair of shoes. You left your shoes at the door when you entered and found a pair that fit reasonably as you left. Free Love, Free Dope, Free Shoes!!!
I met lead singer Terry „Hook" Saluga and guitarist Frank Twist out on Market St. playing folk and blues tunes for spare change. „Hook" could use his iron appendage as a slide on the neck of his guitar or as a weapon depending on the mood and situation. Things clicked and we began jamming early mornings which often turned into marathon practice sessions in which we would work on original material and get as tight as possible. Maybe it was karma or the „heights of our head", but the group became a single unit with each member being able to tell what the otherwas about to do simply by intuition, I knew we had something special going on.
We would get gigs at some of the local biker hangouts like Venturi´s in Santa Cruz. Having a 6:3 1/2 Samoan 1/2 Irish lead singer who was trained in the martial arts and had an iron hook for a hand allowed us to fit right into this sometimes seedy scene. And every once in a while it got us in trouble too.
On one particular night Terry had just broken up with his girlfriend and decided to mate up with the first bottle of tequila he could find. Halfway through the show he came over to me, gave me a look from beyond Hell and proceeded to knock a pie shaped piece out of my cymbals with his deadly iron hand. As we loaded up the equipment that night after the gig a frantic bar keep pleaded with us to „stop the Hook before he killed someone" as he was dropping bikers left and right with his lethal limb. This temper and his love of whatever would get him high made life with Hook difficult sometimes and he quit or was kicked out of the band more times than I can remember.
Frank would often take on the vocalist role when needed and did a damn good job too. Neal and Frank were two of the finest musicians around and we really enjoyed playing together. Whether we played as a trio or 4 piece the intensity was always there. Our reputation of being a little „rough" preceded us wherever we went and garnered us the nickname „weaselbait" to those who had seen us in action.
We also played quite a few private „biker parties" which usually provided a somewhat demanding audience. At one such gig we were greeted by a mountain of a man who stood over 6:5 and weighed in the neighborhood Of 350 lbs. He wore his colors proudly and a belt on which hung enough tools to Supply 3 full time mechanics. As we loaded our equipment into the club he extended his catchers mitt size hand to us and introduced himself. „My name´s Clutch, and if you play any nigger music I´m gonna kill you". Needless to say we stuck to our very Aryan playlist that particular night.
SHIVER played a lot of Street Fairs on Haight, Market and Castro streets, and got to jam with guys from Big Brother (Gurley & Albin) and other local heroes. We played the Golden Gate Theater with Moby Grape and other local venues that included the Fillmore West, The Space, The Cat´s Cradle, Dover Hall, The Garden Of Earthly Delights, and a post-Fillmore „Temple Beautiful". We shared the stage with the likes of American Standard, Kathy McDonald, and fellow local heavies Killerwatt.
When the band eventually ended it´s reign of terror I continued pursuing my musical calling. Various studio work, a short gig with a „comeback" version of the Mama´s & Papa´s and a string of successful New Wave/Punk bands followed. My closest brush with commercial fame was missing a phone call to be a member of The Knack to whom I had been recommended by friend Ronnie Montrose.
The songs you hear on this CD were developed over a 3 year period during which we played under various monickers. Pacific Thrust, Kid Courage, and even Terry Saluga‚s Riff Raff. Many bands were literally afraid to play with us, partly because of our reputation and mostly because we were a tough act to follow. Our closing song was always a long version of „Alpha Man" which always left the audience in a wasted puddle of sweat.
These recordings were done on a twotrack machine at 2909 Mariposa in the Summer Of ´72 and feature no overdubs or studio „wizardry". What you hear on these tracks is SHIVER in it´s raw, powerful glory. Hope you enjoy the trip, we did!!!!
Don Peck 7/4/2000
» Normal Records
» Return to Sender
» QDK Media
» Shadoks Music