Peter Read - Southern Rock Journalist of the Century
By Tom Roeck
Well where did it all start? A deep love for music or mankind or both? I believe it was all things musical that drove this wizard of linguistic manipulation and lover of song and dance to start the very first Arkansas entertainment guide known as ”Nightflying Magazine”. In all the years until 1980 there was literally no one telling the tale of the struggling/ working musician until Peter Read stepped up to the journalistic plate. As a pianist /vocalist himself he used to travel hither and yonder making people happy playing and singing his own music and requests, with the soothing sounds of his baby grand. Originally from Seattle, Mr. Read grew up with values set forth by his late parents, and have led him to this point in his life, a complete and utter success, envied by many, and definitely a fantastic role model for up and coming musicians/ journalists like myself, and everyone else.
There 3 people in this life I strive to be most like, and are my biggest heroes. Two of them are Jimmy Page and Robert Plant, the third is Peter Read. When he first started Nightflying he was still performing all over the region at various restaurants, and venues of all kinds wielding his musical magic. His stories are some of the most entertaining topics of our usual lengthy phone conversations, and his life experiences are truly breathtaking. Peter’s sense of fair play and humor are top notch and he will go the extra mile for those he loves including musicians or their families in need. He is a true humanitarian who cares about people he doesn’t even know, and especially cares for the working musicians in the state of Arkansas and surrounding areas.
The magazine is now circulated in not only Arkansas, but Louisiana, Missouri, Texas, Oklahoma, Mississippi and Tennessee, and is still growing stronger every day. Read was networking before it was a buzz word, and as he says on a daily basis that he has the best job ever and really loves what he does. Traveling from venue to venue on a non stop, never ending bar hopping spree making new friends, taking pictures, enjoying live music, writing witty, engaging articles and telling the stories of the music he holds so dearly. He only stops to get the required sleep needed until the next day when he gets up and drinks his coffee. Speaking of which he has an affinity for fine roasted blends and will never turn down a good cup of java, which he has a severe passion for.
Now for over 30 years Peter has cranked out this monster he created on a monthly basis. With dedication, and frugal tact he has worked very hard to portray a positive viewpoint on all things Nightflying, and is deeply loved by too many to name or count. His strong belief in God and living his right just goes to show that we are all put on this earth to do a certain kind of work and fulfill a special destiny. All you have to do is realize that and follow your own stars until the right ones lead you to your pot of gold.
He has several businesses ventures, including tree and worm farming, and is currently working on setting up an online music store offering all Arkansas homegrown music and worm manure. Seriously he sells worm poop, it’s the best fertilizer known to man or beast and if you use it on your plants, flowers, vegetables, trees etc., you will receive unbelievable results of myth and legend and grow beanstalks of epic proportions. Soon to be available at www.Magicismusic.com which redirects to GoodShit.com.
An entrepreneur, a masterful storyteller, a journalistic wordsmith, a super talented visionary, a concert promoter, and just a darn nice guy who wears his heart on his sleeve, because it’s too big to fit in his chest is who Peter Read is, and always will be. Every year he has huge parties to celebrate the magazine and it’s his way of giving back to the musical community and the musicians therein, footing the very large bill and supplying very well publicized events and t-shirts to all players in the shows. This year will be the biggest of all with the most planned parties ever around the natural state to celebrate his 30th anniversary of flying by night. To be included in the lineup of these spectacle of events is one of the greatest honors that can be bestowed upon the mortal musician, as the roster cards are always over full, and hence the need for several parties, because Peter doesn’t want to leave anyone out.
The name “Nightflying” is a reference to the abundant night life, and the wee hours of the morning when us journalists do some of our best work. Cranking out the monthly reports of the life and topics we love and hold a passion for beyond ourselves. All who know Peter, love him to death and I for one feel very fortunate to call him friend.
Now with the technology available at our fingertips, there are many entertainment magazines sprouting up locally, and are a testament to the work he started so long ago here in the south. They say that mimicry is the most flattering form of praise. And as long as you are willing to network, and come together to enhance the musical vibe, especially in Arkansas and surrounding areas for the right reasons, Peter Read will bend over backwards to work with you and help get the word out about your music or venture. If you’re in it for the wrong reasons like fame, glory, success, or monetary gain, you won’t be in the game long anyway, and the wisest of the wise will see through your deceptions. The rocky road is the best road, and quick success will never last, so work and play for the love of the thing, not the money.
To quote the man his favorite ending is: well it’s time to put this puppy to bed and 5 am is creeping up on me. Please visit www.nightflying.com for some of the most heart felt and enticing reading on the planet about the local southern music we all love so dearly. We here at Southern Rockstar Magazine hereby give Peter Read the “Southern Rock Journalist of the Century Award” For his outstanding sacrifice, dedication, and work. www.southernrockstarmagazine.net