There have been few rock heroes quite as damaged and destroyed by drugs as badly as Johnny Thunders. And so this is crazy: at one point in the 1980s, Thunders, a legendary junkie himself, pleaded with Only Ones frontman/guitarist Peter Perrett to please get himself cleaned up. Thunders simply couldn’t believe that Perrett was so completely throwing away his considerable talent.
I mean…you know you’re a total, absolute mess when Johnny Thunders tells you “Get it together, dude.”
The sad thing about the continued discovery of the Only Ones, and in particular “Another Girl/Another Planet” is that royalties from that song essentially kept Peter Perrett in heroin and crack cocaine through the early part of the 2000s. A MOJO profile from shortly after a pretty good solo album in 2005 described Perrett as barely able to get through a song without needing an oxygen hit from a tank, so ravaged were his lungs from smoking crack.
Apparently Peter’s been clean and sober for 5 or 6 years now. And all that thrown-away talent didn’t go anywhere…or at least enough stayed around. He shopped some demos of some new songs around, and prestigious indie/major label Domino snapped him up. And his new record is kind of amazing. It’s a straight up great rock and roll record, that could’ve come from any point in time during the last 40 years.
What’s really cool is that what he sings about here mostly is a pretty dark journey and somehow getting through it all. There’s redemption all over this…but also regret, and not a little “what-if” longing. Also cool: both of Peter’s adult sons play on the record. In fact, Jamie Perrett’s guitar work here is absolutely brilliant.
Improbably, somehow Peter remains married to his companion of 47 years Zena, who’s been there to pick up the pieces for all that time. And so dig this song: