Pink Floyd tribute band reveals dark side of the Valley of the Moon
A very recent arrival to the red-hot North Bay music scene is Pete Floyd. This band, based in Petaluma and comprised of a passel of veteran rock and rollers, presents a special show billed as a “Pink Floyd Tribute Experience” at the Sebastiani Theater on Friday, Oct. 7 at 8 p.m.
The story goes that the co-founders, both named Pete and both accomplished musicians, were playing around with possible band names after discussing the rising popularity of “tribute” bands. “Maybe we could do “Petewood Mac” or “PeteZeppelin,” said Pete Hale. The two Pete’s settled on “Pete Floyd,” a clever take on the name of a band they both knew well and loved dearly.
The musicians in Pete are all very experienced and have been in other bands in the area. Pete Hale (the Grain) is a guitar playing singer in the band, Pete Delaney (the Hots, the Dictator Tots) doubles him. Teal Collins (Mother Truckers) and Paige Clem (Terrapin Crossroads alumni) provide backup vocals. The well-traveled Bob McBain plays keys, Toby Tyler (the Hots) plays the bass, and Sean England (the Hots, “he’s a local drummer star”) is the drummer. The band highlights Sonoman Alex Garcia playing his saxophone.
Hale explained, “I asked all these guys if they’d want to do a Pink Floyd thing, and they all said yes. We got together at my house the first time. I said, ‘Let’s play “Animals”’…and it sounded just like the album!”
Added Hale: “From note one, there was a magic between everybody. It’s pretty special.”
Pete Floyd is an informal tribute band. They make every effort to reproduce the songs of Pink Floyd sincerely and with allegiance to the original versions, but they eschew the costumes and hairdos that provide too fine a point on the event.
They have played only a few public shows so far but have wowed those audiences. Their show at the Sebastiani is their first show in Sonoma. “We have a tour coming up. There’s the Mystic, we have Rancho Nicasio, but the biggest is the show at the Sebastiani,” Hale said.
Pete will be bringing in a big-time laser show for their Sebastiani gig, just like Pink used to employ when they were the hottest ticket in town.
Some interesting background intel: Pink Floyd, according to their website, played its first gig at a “happening” in January 1967 in West London. Both Eric Clapton and Pete Townshend claim to have been there. A scant four months later, Pink Floyd supported Cream and The Jimi Hendrix Experience at the Tulip Bulb Auction Hall, in Spalding, Lincolnshire.
What followed for Pink Floyd, 18 hugely successful albums and hundreds of wildly received live shows, has secured them a place in rock and roll history. A place Pete Floyd does not take lightly.
Hale stressed that they have a different business plan than most bands. “We want to make every show special, and we will not play all too often to ensure that,” Hale explained. “Pink Floyd is a very personal band for people. We want to create the concert that you didn’t get to see,” Hale said.
Teal Collins and Paige Clem fill a role that is absolutely critical for an appropriate Pink Floyd tribute. Collins said, “These gigs are really fun, with the lasers and everything. It feels like some old school stuff is happening.”
The pair lend their voices to the band, and “it’s like a lightning strike,” said Collins. She explained that “Pink Floyd usually had kind of a wall of chicks singing background. That’s what we do.”
Tickets for the show are available at sebastianitheatre.com. Buy them now, or your friends who did will text you from the show, writing, “Wish you were here.”