Five Firsts: Christopher Peifer of Blockhouses
NAME: Christopher “The Lifer” Peifer
BAND AFFILIATION: Blockhouses
INSTRUMENT: Bass and vocals (but also play guitar and organ)
1. THE FIRST ALBUM I EVER BOUGHT WAS … KISS Alive! was the first album I bought with allowance money. But before that, I appropriated my parents’ double vinyl All Things Must Pass. KISS has long since jumped the shark, but I still love that George Harrison record. My brother and I also wore out countless 45s my parents had in their collection, everything from Chuck Berry to doo-wop to the great girl groups. Played on a little suitcase record player, this was my intro to music, and I was hooked.
2. THE FIRST CONCERT THAT I EVER SAW WAS … My dad took me to see KISS – the original, still-in-makeup KISS – on their “Dynasty” tour, which, even including the disco hit, was a revelation, an epiphany! The opening act, who I didn’t yet know, was Judas Priest. They were all in leather, and Halford came roaring onto stage atop a Harley. In contrast to KISS, they had no pyrotechnics, fog machines or confetti, just bare bones, bare knuckle rock. And it was LOUD. Changed my life.
3. THE FIRST MUSICAL INSTRUMENT I EVER OWNED OR PLAYED WAS … Acoustic guitar was my first instrument. I took enough lessons just to learn the chords, and have relied on my ears since. Bought my first electric bass with paper route money, only because my friends already had electric guitars. In a way I kinda got stuck with bass, but there were so many good rock, funk and soul bassists during that time, it quickly became my passion. Sometime after I discovered the Jam, my parents bought me the Rickenbaker (like Bruce Foxton’s) that I still play. Funny, I’m mentioning my parents here a lot. They’ve always been very supportive… and patient.
4. THE FIRST SONG THAT I EVER PERFORMED IN PUBLIC WAS … ?!
5. THE FIRST BAND I WAS EVER IN WAS … I really started playing rock music to get girls, but when I list all the bands I’ve been in, in column “A,” and all the girls I’ve been with in column “B,” well, column “A” is about twice as long. Obviously, music, all too quickly, became priority.
My first ever band was Deuce (at 13 years old). Everyone thought this was a funny name, since there were three of us. Of course, we knew it meant “devil!” First touring band was Tempest, in the Midwest, right outta high school. I wasn’t even old enough to be in bars, clubs and most of the places we played. We were self-contained, self-sufficient, had a 30′ box truck and a van, had to be our own road crew, driving, loading in and out, setting up our complete sound and lighting systems. We slept on floors, in fleabag motels, occasionally at a home of some dedicated fan. This was a great education.
First gig in NYC was with Frances Farmer My Hero, on the bill with Soundgarden at CBGB in ’89.
Got the most mileage out of the Kowalskis (late ’90s – early 2000s); signed to Blackout, we toured all over North America and Europe, and had many (mis)adventures. One day I’m going to sit down, sort out my tour diaries, journal entries, notes, outlines, and souvenirs, and write a book …
Christopher Peifer straps on his bass on Friday night (February 28) to fuel the rockin’ new band Blockhouses in their Albany debut at the Low Beat. Not only will the show celebrate the homecoming of Guy Lyons (formerly of the Figgs), but it also marks the first anniversary of Saratoga Springs’ JetPack Promotions. Festivities will get underway at 8pm with Party Boat, NYC’s the Piggies (ex Little Killers) and special guests. Admission is $10.