As a young kid growing up with siblings that were 15/16 years my senior it became very apparent that I was in the midst of  musical fulfillment. So as a 5 year old I would frequent their bedrooms for musical bliss. I had such a rare option and opportunity. My brothers genres were usually rock related. If I wanted my fix of Queen, Led Zeppelin, Rush, Iron Maiden, Judas Priest, Black Sabbath, The Who, and many more then his quarters were the right place to be.

My sister embraced disco and really anything dance related was her preference. Enter Donna Summer, KC and the Sunshine band, Tavares, The Bee-Gees, Andy Gibb, Diana Ross, and  again the list goes on and on. Keep in mind that my earliest memories are that of the shift in decades. A great potpourri I had as a kid. Do I hang out and play the imaginary drums in my brothers room downstairs or do I dance and feel great rhythm in my sisters quarters which were upstairs? Tough call usually, but a decision that was made in connection with my general mood. I might add that they enjoyed my presence in their room so I never was given the orders to vacate. In turn that was my introduction to being eclectic and broad based with music.

Celebrate the B-52s

Now enter the early 80’s. It’s the arrival of New Wave. A new dawn of music takes the center stage. Now for my musical embrace it seems for a moment that my brother and sister shared a common interest in terms of music. I have fond memories of the Talking Heads, Blondie, Devo, Soft Cell, and many others. However the one band that I remember the most and continue to celebrate are the B-52s. These fun loving kids from Jersey and Georgia made me dance, gyrate, act silly, and sing along as best as I could. To this day when I hear Rock Lobster I feel compelled to sing along and do a solo dance number to it. Ah the joys of being young and free.

Now let’s move ahead to the members of the B-52s. Enter Fred Schneider who has the quirky, fun loving and occasionally sarcastic voice. Keith Strickland on drums and a variety of other instruments. And then there was Kate Pierson and  Cindy Wilson singing with such passion coupled with an array of uniqueness . I would also like to mention Ricky Wilson who had passed prematurely.  They were and have always been the original clan of the B-52s. Enter Wild Planet which was released after their self titled album. Private Idaho was certainly the premiere single off of it. Another fun track that people would enjoy much like its predecessor.

B52s

Kate Pierson, take a bow!

The absolute beauty is that the B-52s are quirky, fun, retro, and current. Not many acts can hold the standard of having a song from 1978 and in current day able to be played on mainstream radio. Well the B-52s fit that mold. Especially Kate Pierson. Kate brought a great vocal savoir faire to the band. She also brought style and substance. So from their self titled to Wild Planet to Mesopotamia to Whammy to Bouncing off of the Satellites to Cosmic Thing to Good Stuff and the list goes on. Then the release of their 2007  Funplex proved that they were still all about being funky, jovial, zany, and completely relevant to their fan base.

Now let me shift to the talented Kate Pierson. Kate is a native of New Jersey. I actually have had the pleasure of meeting Kate a few years back in my hometown of The Hudson Valley (Woodstock NY). She was such a cool individual and exhibited a very cheerful feel. She was easily recognizable with her signature fiery red hair. Kate runs a sort of motel/cottage in the Woodstock area. They have a 50’s and early 60’s vintage feel to them. The decor is quite fabulous. It is a popular upstate destination for certain and appeals to many. She also has another one located in California which is similar. The retro concept holds up with that as well.

Onto Kate as a musician… Aside from her notoriety in the B-52s she has  collaborated with Iggy Pop in 1990 for the song Candy. A beautiful gem that she offered so much to. She also collaborated with REM for Shiny Happy People. Likely the most mainstream of all of her collaborations paired with Michael Stipe. A forgotten by many is the  track of her teaming up with David Byrne and Fat Boy Slim to produce The Whole Man.  The most fascinating aspect of Kate is the fact that at the age of 66 she now has decided it is the right time for her to finally release her own project titled Guitars and Microphones. It is nothing short of a gem. It has been a long time coming for her to receive kudos solely for her. I have listened to her debut and I enjoyed it from start to finish. She never falls short and she encompasses fun, maturity, nostalgia, and Kate just continuing to be Kate. Ms. Pierson! Take a bow… You absolutely deserve this after all of these years.


KATE PIERSON
Guitars and Microphones
(Sony, 2015)

-Genre: pop

Check out Kate’s Facebook fanpage
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About The Author

Richie J. Kretschmer
Collaborator - RREVERB
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Richie (Richard) has resided in Canarsie situated in the borough of Brooklyn followed by the trendy rural area of The beautiful Catskill mountains for close to 40 years. His undying love and dedication of NYC and Montréal Quebec is unparalleled. His passion for music are eclectic genres from rock to hip-hop to reggae to dance to funk to new-wave to pop to ska and onto Motown to name just a few. He is an avid traveler and absorbs the cultural sense of people and their heritage. He absolutely values his family and friends. Richie is a father to an incredible 16 year old daughter Bailey Rose and a has wonderful girlfriend Christina (Christi) who also shares his passion of music, culture, and travel.