It’s entirely appropriate that in our “Hardest Working Players on Earth” series I would speak to Pete Anderson. In preparing for the interview, I found myself exhausted just reading about everything Pete has done in his career so far. I was worried about taking too much of his time and promised him I would wrap it up in 15-20 minutes. He gave me and hour and a half. This was quite a treat for someone like me who loves both guitars and interesting people.
Pete’s love for music is the evident driver of his hard work. He grew up in Detroit watching both of his parents work hard for every dollar they earned and every promotion they were given. “Hard work” was just part of how they lived, but when Pete decided to make music his occupation, and not the factory, everything changed.
Pete and I talked about a lot of things in that hour and a half. We talked about what he enjoys about playing, what he enjoys about other players and how his connections in the industry became so diverse. He loves great songwriters and doesn’t much care what kind of music they use to tell their stories. It was enlightening and educational, to say the least.
During the conversation, I was surprised to hear that Pete actually sought out a formal music education after he had been playing for a while. Surprised, only because I just assumed he was one of those guys who just “got it” from the start and never looked back. Nope. He admits he had to work at it.
“If there had been any kind of aptitude test for playing guitar when I started, I would have failed,” he told me, “there were lots of guitar players better than me, but I just had a ton of desire.”
And although he was already quite accomplished and regularly working with other great musicians, Pete still decided he needed to learn more. So at age 29 he spent a year at Musicians Institute, (formerly GIT.) “If you are going to work with other great musicians, you have to know music in order to earn your respect.” Like many other aspects of Pete’s work ethic, this exemplifies his refusal to coast or just get by…even though his talent at the time would have easily carried him through.
And even today, he refuses to coast. In fact, every Monday he and a group of players show up at the local Moose Lodge to play for the good folks who come to listen and also, to create one more “opportunity to be great”- a phrase I sense has become sort of a mantra for Pete.
I’ll take the liberty at this point, in Pete’s humble interest, to say that he is now the “Guitar Player’s” player. Every serious musician I know is a big fan and admires his work. I know I do, and I truly appreciate the time he took to talk with me.
Pete plays a Reverend signature PA-1 Hollowbody that he and Joe Naylor designed after a former guitar he had, which he refers to as a “truck.” He later worked with Reverend to create the Pete Anderson signature Eastside-T and Eastsider-S solid body guitars.
We want to thank Pete once again, for his gracious time to do the interview.