Almost everything about the life and career of Peter Dunton is a little bit hazy. Part of that is due to his chronic lack of success—by far the most notable release of his career was his group T2’s 1970 prog classic It’ll All Work Out in Boomland, but even that is a sizable crate-pull—and part of that is due to his sound. Across numerous projects, instruments, and even countries, the only real throughline of his career is the general classification of being “psychedelic”—and maybe also his ridiculous hairstyles.
Before Boomland became a surprise cult classic, though, and before a Dave Edmunds–produced standalone solo single (unfairly) failed to generate any larger interest, the main Peter Dunton story involved him dabbling in mildly notable late-’60s psych groups that sound like they’re from a Pynchon book—Neon Pearl, Gun, The Flies. By far his best work from this time came with the group Please, who languished, failing to release any recordings until Acme started doing so in the late ’90s.
Seeing Stars, the second salvaged Please album, is the real gem of the two—a surprise stunner of organ-driven, hyper-melodic psych-pop that would feel right at home on Jagjaguwar or Sacred Bones today, with the band picking up an opening spot on the UMO tour or something like that. Thing is, there aren’t many releases on Jagjag or Sacred Bones that have big-time choruses like this set has, that have as many riffs packed into each song. Seeing Stars in particular makes it clear just how much of a shame it is that Dunton wasn’t able to reach more listeners in his time—and even if he never would’ve filled stadiums in any era, Dunton and Please might’ve built a pleasant niche for themselves on the indie circuit in the twenty-first century, dreaming of seeing bigger stars that never would appear. words / n rogers