I had the honor of interviewing the keyboardist for Higgs Boson and Streetbeat, and retired entrepreneur, Pete Zimmer-
Me: So my first question is, for those that aren’t familiar with you, how would you describe your music?
PZ: Well, I have been playing covers for over 50 years. I am 62 years old and started taking music lessons when I was 7. I got into a band playing wedding receptions when I was 12 playing drums for the Classics. Over the years, I switched to playing keyboards. First an old Wurlitzer Electric Piano (about 1968) then I started adding synths and other keyboards. I have had 3 Fender Rhodes Pianos, 3 Mini Moog Synthesizers and LOTS of pianos organs and other synths.
Getting back to my music, I have been recently playing keys in an R&B, Soul, Funk band called Streetbeat for the last 6 years. I provided the horn and string sections along with piano and organ on these songs. We play covers at music venues around the St. Louis Mo Area.
Most recently I have been tapped to do Keyboards for The Higgs Boson Band which is doing only original music under the leadership and song writing capabilities of Phil Valencia.
I was trained in classical music and leaned toward theatrical Show Organs in my study. Unfortunately I found that the only real paying gigs around the area were for wedding receptions and private parties over the years. As it has been said many times before; the main cause of death in music is starvation.
Me: So you’ve made a living playing at weddings and parties for 50 years?
PZ: Not at all. I founded and built a medical laser service company, a computer company and a Real Estate Company over 30 years. That, allowed me to play music without starvation.
Me: So you’re also an entrepreneur?
PZ: First and foremost.
Me: So why those companies instead of something involving music?
PZ: I played music for my creative outlet and directed the business for the financial side. All things considered equal, I worked them all and derived pleasure from them all. But, honestly, I would have to say these were the cards I was dealt and I played them to the end.
Me: Awesome!, so what are your current/upcoming projects?
PZ: Well, I am currently retired from the laser/computer business although I still moderate a couple of newsgroups on Linkedin.
Here is my professional page on LinkedIn.
With Higgs Boson, we are working toward doing some recording in Nashville next month and touring in the Fall.
Me: So you’ll be playing with Streetbeat and touring with Higgs Boson?, still in real estate?
PZ: That’s the plan. Real estate is off the table as well. I got my 100 Ton Masters Certificate in the Merchant Marine about 10 years ago, so the plan was that I would deliver boats(yachts) up and down the inland waterways. But life had other plans for me and that made a left turn as well. So Music is what I have started with and now it is what I have left.
Me: So what else can we expect from you in the future?, you mentioned an upcoming Hoggs Boson tour
PZ: Higgs Boson Tour in the future, other than that I take one day at a time. As a hobby I take in electronic musical instruments and equipment for repair since my background was in electronics. And I spend Tuesdays at the track (horse racing). The place is crawling with politicians, cops, lawyers, musicians and strippers.
Me: Politicians and musicians?, ever run into famous people?, lol
PZ: Depends who you consider famous…….I don’t think politicians are worth a shit in Madison County, but I see Costello over there all the time. Bill Stiritz who is CEO of Energizer holdings (Ralston Purina) owns horses and the track as well. He’s there everyday. Jim Edgar (past Illinois Gov who is NOT in Jail) is the Racing Commissioner.
You would recognize many STL Business owners who plaster their faces on highway billboards.
Jim Manley, St. Louis’s great jazz trumpet player, blues players.
Me: Thank you so much for this interview!
PZ: I hope it turns out well for you.