I hope there is always room in this world for deep, silly, serious goofballs like Peter Stampfel. There’s no telling how he got to be this way, but it seems he began with an unshakeable and unique take on things.
Throughout a lifetime of music, he has given the world many strange songs of sweetness and light and performed infinite interpretations of tunes that for many people altered their perceptions permanently. He’s fronted many groups that shine like lighthouses across the enormous sea of conformity, business as usual, and complacent consumers. The Fugs, The Holy Modal Rounders, Stampfel and Weber, The Du-Tells, The Bottlecaps, The Unholy Modal Rounders, The Dysfunctionells, and others too numerous and obscure to remember or mention.
When The Iceworms Nest Again
He plays fiddle, banjo, sings, writes songs, tells stories, and, I’m sure, has many other talents. He has seen it all, from the great Midwest (in his case, Wisconsin) to folk-infested Bleeker Street, to dreamy California. He’s made music in his own way, on his own terms.
Midnight In Paris
At 77, he’s getting to be kind of an old guy, though through recordings and in spirit, he’ll remain ageless. For most of my life, he’s always been on one of my shoulders (devil or angel?) singing something that made me feel better. I’m grateful for that and glad he’s still doing it.
Happy Rolling Cowboy