Peter Demian L.O.V.E. (Legend Of Venice Eternal) by Gerry Fialka

Peter Demian L.O.V.E. (Legend Of Venice Eternal) by Gerry Fialka

Venice BeachHead Dec 2021

“I know nothing, I live in the Eternal” -George Santayna

I know one thing after living in Venice California for over 41 years. Walk on the Boardwalk at Sunset. Watch Peter Demian sing a song. You’ll see alot more that the green dot, you will see Eternity. Guaranteed. He’ll sing the everlastingness of love. You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, you’ll kiss life good-bye.

Suzy Williams has transcribed excerpts of my recent interview with Peter. Watch the entire 83 minute interview on YouTube, entitled “The Legend of Venice The Peter Demian Interview.”

Gerry Fialka: What first attracted you to pursue music?

Peter Demian: My parents were arguing with each other, falling out of love with one another. And so, when I found a guitar, that guitar became my companion. I’d go somewhere, quietly, in the house, and play to soothe my aching heart. I was eleven when I got into music.

G: How are you hearing music, by what means?

P: I am in a place, Port Ontario, Canada, now it’s called Thunder Bay. As I’m walking around the block, I hear from a distance, the sound of an electric guitar, and I wonder what is it? Where is this? I follow the sound three blocks away, and it’s a cat in front of his house with a guitar. His amplifier is up full, playing for anybody and everybody. It was beautiful. It overwhelmed me! The volume, and the power of the sound.

G: Did you read poetry? What were your influences?

P: I couldn’t read English! I spoke Ukranian. I said to my mother one day “I’m going downtown to buy a Ritchie Valle album.” I loved his song “La Bamba.” She said: “You can’t even speak English. Whaddaya tryin’ learn this Mexican song?” I didn’t know what the lyrics meant (of the songs I began covering.) I was playing in the kitchen, and my mother ran in and said “Why’re you playing that “Huddy Bolly” music?” (She meant “Buddy Holly”! She couldn’t speak English, either!)

G: Who were your local influences up in Canada?

P: I saw a big black hearse parked in front of my high school, and I went to the guy who was in it and I said:

“What’s this car doing here? Isn’t it for dead people?”

“It’s where I live,” answered the stranger.”

“Well, just asking, why are you parked here?”

“My girlfriend goes to school here. “

“Oh, I see”, I said. “Well, what’s your name?”

“Neil Young. I’m a musician.”

He played me some songs that I liked. I became a follower of him, and went to all his local gigs.

Then I got pretty good at rhythm guitar, and got hired by “Tommy and the Tiaras.” I didn’t know what a tiara was and I didn’t realize ’til much later, they were a gay group!

One day I went to audition for a group led by Paul Shaffer called “The Fugitives.” I played my rhythm guitar. Paul said “Listen, do you play bass?” “No,” I said. “Well, Peter, go out and buy a bass and I will show you how to play along.” I came over to his house later that week and he went “ping ping ping” on the piano, and said I was to go “boom boom boom” on my new bass. It worked, and The Fugitives ended up opening for famous acts like The Who, and Eric Burdon & The Animals in a big skating rink in (what was to become) Thunder Bay. (Paul Shaffer was David Letterman’s band leader from 1982 to 2015).

G: Wow! Paul Shaffer was David Letterman’s band leader from 1982 to 2015). So then you went on the road?

P: Yes, then I began going on the road with groups like “Lexington Ave” and “The Good Time Band,” who had a Hammond B3 that I shlepped for years. Others in the group weren’t able to move heavy stuff. (When I met Billy Preston I told him I know that his Hammond weighed 400 lbs. “How do you know,?” asked Billy. “Because I was the roadie!” ) I eventually settled for 7 years in Detroit with my girlfriend Bonnie, and did solo gigs that made pretty good money, 100 bucks a gig. I played in Mitch Ryder’s band when Mitch left.

But after 7 years, I got tired of 40 degrees below weather. I needed to go somewhere sunny. So I crossed the country in my Plymouth Valiant, and found myself parked on Mulholland above Hollywood. A motorcycle LAPD cop stopped and asked me what I was doing. We began a conversation, I learned his name, Robert. I told him I was a musician. “Where should I go to play?” I asked Robert. “Venice Beach.” he told me. Years later I saw Robert and thank him for turning me on to Venice.

G: What year did you start playing on the Venice Boardwalk?

P: Roughly, ‘79.

G: How many years did you play without amplification?

P: 30 years, at least. I was unplugged, I didn’t want to offend anybody. But eventually I realized that if you became amplified and had a band, you could stomp like Godzilla. You could be crazy. But if you play acoustically, you’re playing for yourself, which I also love to do.

G: Tell me about your wife, Margaret Malloy.

P: I married her twice, July 7 and July 20 (my birthday) almost 40 years ago. And about 31 years ago, we decided to have a child, Hailey Lincoln Demian.

G: How do you explain your longevity with Margaret?

P: There’s an old expression “Happy wife, happy life.” I’m washing the dishes and cleaning the floors. Love is a heavy cross to bear.

G: What have you learned playing on the Boardwalk?

P: The Beach has taught me to be kind to everybody no matter the circumstances.

G: You are a kind man.

P: I’m compassionate . . . compassionate and sneaky.

G: Sneaky could connote negative.

P: Music can elevate people. The Beach is a lesson.

Listen to this entire interview on YouTube:

It is entitled “The Legend of Venice The Peter Demian Interview” and will be part of a feature documentary on Peter by myself and the great filmmaker Tim Corvin

Peter’s new CD is called “Mother Earth.” Celebrate its release on Dec 11 at the Boardwalk & Dudley Ave in Venice California

We welcome your input. Thank you, Gerry Fialka


I have two podcasts on two different channels,

Tune in, Watch out and Drop In to Gerry Fialka’s two podcasts on two different channels,

Clinton Ignatov’s channel CONCERNED NETIZEN

ONE= McLuhanMashup — we discuss topics with Gerry and Clinton and guests

here’s one with Rodney Asher

TWO= Mess — which is Gerry interviewing guest for approx 85 minutes, then Clinton asks a question

here’s one with Amy Gerstler


Rob Grant’s channel — I’m Probably Wrong About Everything

ONE= Laughtears — we discuss topics with Gerry and Rob and guests

here’s one with Dr Bradley Bobbs

TWO= InnerViews — which is Gerry interviewing guest for approx 85 minutes, then Rob asks a question

here’s one with Jay Paulson


Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store