Left: Arthur Brown, Right: Victor Peraino
Victor Peraino’s early music career is a study in wanderlust and risk-taking. It began when he basically ran away from home at age 16 to live with his first band,
The Up, amidst Detroit’s intoxicatingly vibrant late-1960s
Intoxicating both creatively and literally for the drummer turned pioneering keyboardist, who recalls dropping acid for the first time with schoolmate Steve Farmer—singer on
The Amboy Dukes’ trippy ’67 hit, “Journey to the Center
of the Mind.”
Back then musicians typically dove into things headfirst, taking stock later … if they could remember what went down: “Us, the MC5 and Iggy and the Stooges would take LSD and just jam all night. That’s what it was all about at the end of the ‘60s. We’d go into the rehearsal studio about 7 p.m. and leave around 8 the next morning after jamming and experimenting.
“Fortunately, I kept it together when some people didn’t,” Victor says of surviving his youthful impulses. “But you know, taking drugs—mescaline, mushrooms, acid—and jamming was one of those things that got you into a frame of mind for being different and experimental.”
A mindset that spirited him along an unlikely path to progressive rock renown in the company of flamboyant English singer Arthur Brown and his early-‘70s group, Kingdom Come. Peraino renewed that connection more than 40 years later with aptly titled 2014 work Journey in Time on Italy’s Black Widow label; another album from Victor Peraino’s Kingdom Come featuring Arthur Brown is slated next year.
Now a production guru to young musicians as owner-operator of Diversion Recording Studio in suburban Detroit, his own music simmers expectantly on the backburner. “I always knew that eventually I would release more music with Arthur. But when you get into producing other people you sort of lose sight of yourself,” Victor explains. “That’s what happened over all those years. Working for everyone else, you’re not thinking as much about your own thing.”
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