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Dec. 2—It's easy to understand why Peter Rivera has earned so much respect from his peers. The vocalist-drummer-songwriter of Rare Earth fame is always going full tilt. Even though Rivera is 77, he continues to write songs, hit high notes from his salad days and bash away with abandon behind his drum kit.
"Peter is a force to be reckoned with," Grass Roots vocalist-bassist Mark Dawson said while calling from his Orlando home. "I've been friends with him for about three years, and when I watch him play, he goes at it like a 24-year-old. I love his enthusiasm as a performer."
So many elderstatesman of rock coast, but not Rivera. "A lot of guys at a certain point in their life just come in to play and deliver the minimum, and then pick up a paycheck. Peter is totally different. He still goes for it." Pablo Cruise vocalist-bassist David Jenkins echoes Dawson. "The guy is just a monster behind the drums," Jenkins said while calling from his Nashville home. "Peter is so frickin' intense all of the time, and he's so cool the way he directs things from behind the drums. I've done a lot of shows during my career, and I'm not always compelled to check out other bands, but I just have to watch Peter do his thing whenever I have the chance. You look at people who are on the charts today, and they just don't move me. J.Lo (Jennifer Lopez)? Who cares? She's no Peter Rivera."