This mysterious British guitarist (real name Pete Miller) cut some oddball non-hits in the '60s that have amassed quite a reputation among psychedelic collectors. Starting out as a member of minor British group Peter Jay the Jaywalkers
, he went solo in late 1965 with "Baby I Got News for You," a Troggsish
number with wads of fuzzy guitar. Billed simply as "Miller," Pete was backed on the recording by Peter Frampton
and members of the Herd
. For the next few years he concentrated on writing for British music publishers, and recording demos for himself. A second single, "Cold Turkey," this time billed to Big Boy Pete, was issued in early 1968. With its eerie blasts of spaceship-elevator psychedelic guitars and biting mod-psych vocals, "Cold Turkey" fully deserves its classic status, though few heard it at the time. In a further twist to the already odd Big Boy Pete story, Miller refused to tour; a different singer was sent out in his place, leading to a good deal of "who really was Big Boy Pete" speculation among serious '60s historians before the confusion was cleared up.
Miller/Big Boy Pete eventually relocated to San Francisco to work as a producer and engineer, occasionally releasing albums on tiny labels. "Cold Turkey" and (to a lesser extent) "Baby I Got News for You" were reissued on compilations of '60s British psych/mod rarities, and the Damned (under the guise of Naz Nomad the Nightmares) covered "Cold Turkey." Several albums of unreleased late-'60s Big Boy Pete demos have been issued. ~ Richie Unterberger, Rovi