Dallas – July 15

Early start at 7am but no problem for the Peters family who have not had time to consider such things as jet lag. The boys are fantastic and used to a life with a mum and dad who always have ‘stuff’ going on. Today’s ‘stuff’ involves a television appearance on the early morning KDTV channel’s Texas Daily show.
James Chippendale and I are the special guests along with the one time ‘fastest man in the world’ Michael Johnson. I can’t resist getting my photo taken with the great athlete and my kids are quite taken with him too “Is he faster than Usain Bolt?” says Evan.
Michael Johnson Mike Peters Dylan Peters Evan Peters
I have to sing a version of ‘Strength’ which I sing in Ab minor as it’s a little early for full on rock and roll singing and although I’m awake my singing voice is still half asleep.
Mike Peters Texas Daily
We are interviewed by four US women and it’s a lot like being on ‘Loose Women’ in the UK.
The Texas Daily
photo copy 11
After the show, it’s back to the hotel for a meeting with a literary agent named David Hale Smith from Inkwell Literary Agency who has approached me (through James), to talk about doing a book based on my experiences. It’s a really good meeting, and I feel comfortable in David’s presence. David has actually climbed Mt. Snowdon so that’s pretty cool in my book (excuse the pun). We talk through some ideas and ways forward and before you can say ‘new chapter’, it’s time to head back to Austin for the ‘sold out’ solo show at the Listening Roon at Winflo on 6th street in Austin.
The traffic is terrible again and we only just make it before the doors open to set up. My dressing room is an old Airstream caravan which is very cool indeed.
Mike Peters Airstream
It’s another night to benefit Love Hope Strength and there are some great people in attendance. The evening begins with a talk about the charities origins from James and I followed by a solo acoustic set that tells the story of my battle with cancer from 1995 onwards. It turns out to be a very emotional night.
Mike Peters James Chippendale
Jules and the kids are sat beside the stage but the boys are fast asleep before I had sung the first song. I’ve never played a show like it before and it is quite draining to go back through the details of the scary situations Jules and I found ourselves in that are the foundations of Love Hope Strength. To close the show I invited James back onto the stage again thanked him for his kindness to my family in our hours of need. We said our goodbyes for now and boarded the tour bus bound for Nashville, TN.

Mike Peters – The Song That Changed My Life Documentary

Big Country Tour Dates 

Be a Donor-Get On The List! Campaign 

Love Hope Strength 

The Alarm Official Web site 

Love Hope Strength Video Trailer See the video here

Mike Peters appears at House of Commons for Marrow Drive to Celebrate Parliament Increasing Eligibility Requirements of Donors in the UK from 17-30 to 17-55 years of age BBC News

Follow us on Twitter: @LHSF
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Austin – July 13

Today is the day when Jules and the kids arrive in to the USA.
The wait is almost over. James and I grab some breakfast in South Congress and are joined by Richard Rees. Richard is the man Jules turned to when I couldn’t get insurance to travel to SXSW in 2006 when the ‘Under Attack’ album was being released. Richard introduced Jules to James Chippendale via email and so our relationship began. It’s great to see Richard again, we have many memories of past SXSW (“South by” as they say around here), adventures and it was Richard who got The Alarm involved in iTunes back when it was a fledgling service and we sat in on a SXSW lecture hosted by Apple’s Alex Luke (who turned out to be a big Alarm fan).
James Chippendale Richard Rees Mike Peters
Love Hope Strength
After brunch we head back to James place and continue our talks about all things LHS. I get a text message from Jules and the kids that they have landed in NYC and are ready to make the connection to Austin. So close. James and I have lots to discuss and the day speeds by. We are getting ready to head for the Belmont show when a text comes through that Jules and the kids have had to deplane because of a mechanical failure and that they will not arrive until 10 o’clock which is the time I’m due on stage with Big Country. So close not close enough.
James and I head for the venue and it’s seriously hot even this late in the evening and the Belmont just happens to be an open air stage. I resolve myself to the fact that I will have to wait until after the show to see Jules and the boys and James heads off to the airport to pick them up and seeing as it’s late take them straight to his house.
The intro tape sounds across the PA and I’m on stage and singing to a fantastic audience who get right behind the band. It’s a great setting for a gig with the night full of stars and the hi rise financial centre buildings dominating the skyline. I end up in the crowd during ‘In A Big Country’ and as I’m making my way back to the stage I spot Jules waving from the balcony. My heart skips a beat and there are my boys too. It’s so emotional and strange to finally see my family whilst I’m on stage and unable to run to them.
The song is soon over and I’m up on the balcony and we are a family reunited. The boys are excited to be in the USA and Evan wants to go and see the stage and help the crew take down the equipment. Dylan comes with me to the donor booth and helps out and joins me in most of the photos with the fans.
Donor Drive Austin
At the end of the show we all pile into the Chippendale mobile and head to his place for sleep safe in the knowledge that we are all together again.

Mike Peters – The Song That Changed My Life Documentary

Big Country Tour Dates 

Be a Donor-Get On The List! Campaign 

Love Hope Strength 

The Alarm Official Web site 

Love Hope Strength Video Trailer See the video here

Mike Peters appears at House of Commons for Marrow Drive to Celebrate Parliament Increasing Eligibility Requirements of Donors in the UK from 17-30 to 17-55 years of age BBC News

Follow us on Twitter: @LHSF

Provo – July 08

A busy day in the offices of Kaleidoscope Pictures. I am given my own office to be able to catch up with everything that I have going on in my life right now. A lot. I get to meet all the staff who are beginning work on the project called ‘Love Hope Strength’. It’s going to be another interesting adventure. In between meetings Russ and I chat over the phone with rest of the entire executive director team of Alex Coletti, James Chippendale, Stasj Silonski. It’s an exciting time ahead. We leave the office and get back to Russ’s amazing hilltop home in time for dinner. Later that evening I sit out on the porch which overlooks all of Utah… it’s amazing view.

Provo - Utah

I have a guitar and the music flows…. where does it come from I wonder….. I have my iPhone and commit this fledging new creation to hard drive and another piece of my soul finds it’s way into the world. There’s an album brewing…. I can feel it!

Big Country Tour Dates 

Be a Donor-Get On The List! Campaign 

Love Hope Strength 

The Alarm Official Web site 

Love Hope Strength Video Trailer See the video here

Mike Peters appears at House of Commons for Marrow Drive to Celebrate Parliament Increasing Eligibility Requirements of Donors in the UK from 17-30 to 17-55 years of age BBC News

Follow us on Twitter: @LHSF

Eureka – June 30

I’m not really sure where we are today. I woke up on the tour bus at a surprise destination organised by Jan our tour manager. It’s a campsite in the middle of the redwood forest near Eureka apparently. There’s not a lot to do here, so that’s exactly what I aim to do. I got to catch up on my blog writing and tried to get on the internet, but it was not really working.

I had a good chat with James Chippendale on the phone, but I had to walk for about a quarter of a mile to find a signal. I had to do a radio station interview at 10:58 precisely in the evening live on air. I walked out under the night sky to talk about The Alarm, Big Country and Love Hope Strength. It’s all good but I had no idea where the radio station is… somewhere in LA, apparently. It was cool though and luckily the guys were very informed. I sat by the campfire for the rest of the evening and wondered where my little boys were at that moment in time… probably just about to wake up and head for school.

Beautiful night sky full of stars….

Mike Peters - Eureka, California

Big Country Tour Dates 

Be a Donor-Get On The List! Campaign 

Love Hope Strength 

The Alarm Official Web site 

Love Hope Strength Video Trailer See the video here

Mike Peters appears at House of Commons for Marrow Drive to Celebrate Parliament Increasing Eligibility Requirements of Donors in the UK from 17-30 to 17-55 years of age BBC News

Follow us on Twitter: @LHSF

Temecula – June 28

Today was officially the hottest day on the West Coast of America ever recorded. Big Country was booked into an outdoor open air show at Wiens Family Cellars, in the wine country of Temecula, California. The only thing I wanted to do was stay in my dressing room and soak up the air conditioning.
The upside was that there was a fast internet connection…. so I got to have a great Facetime chat with my little guys back in Wales. They had so much to tell me, and I had so much to tell them. I showed the boys how to flip the screen on the iPhone so that they could film each other and show me what was happening in their lives. I got to see pictures from school, Dylan (pictured below) with his ‘Players Player of the Year’ soccer trophy (you can’t imagine how proud I felt). Evan turned the camera towards Dylan playing the Welsh National Anthem on guitar (“I can’t do that” I tell them….), Dylan even rattled off the Big Country riff for ‘Home Of The Brave’ just for me. Evan then took the camera into the playroom to show me the devastation of his playmobile castle that was wrecked by his friends

“Daaaaad….can you build it for me when you get home,Daaaad?” says Evan. Heart wrenching stuff when you are 6,000 miles away.

DYLAN AP MICHAEL PETERS
Dylan Ap Michael Peters (Aged 9)
Evan Ap Michael Peters (Aged 6)
The heat continued to drive everyone indoors. I answered some emails and threw a reminder out to James and Shannon to look into the possibility of hosting the world’s longest ever donor drive sometime in the future. I Googled a few things to see if anyone had ever done anything like that before, and came across this very interesting article. It was about donor drives in Israel, being run by a Dr. Amal Bishara.
BONE MARROW REGISTRY IN JERUSALEM OFFERS HOPE TO ARAB CANCER PATIENTS
When Suleika Jaouad (http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/author/suleika-jaouad/), a 24-year-old writer, found out she would need a bone marrow transplant to cure her cancer, doctors told her that her mixed ethnicity — Tunisian and Swiss — could make it difficult to find an unrelated donor. Fortunately, Jaouad’s brother turned out to be a perfect match. But for the roughly 40% of Arab patients who cannot find a match in their own family, the odds of finding an unrelated match are not in their favor.
It can be hard for Arab cancer patients to find a genetically compatible donor — and even harder for interracial Arabs like Jaouad — on international bone marrow registries, since Arabs make up only a tiny portion of registered donors. In fact, the only extensive unrelated Arab bone marrow registry is located in the Arab world’s least favorite country — Israel.
Dr. Amal Bishara, an Israeli Arab, launched the Hadassah Medical Center’s Arab bone marrow registry in 2008 in Jerusalem. Through more than 90 awareness campaigns and bone marrow drives in Israel and the West Bank, she has succeeded in enrolling 23,094 Arab donors, some 4,000 of whom are currently being evaluated for their human leukocyte antigen (HLA), the tissue that determines the degree of match between a bone marrow recipient and donor. So far, the Hadassah registry has matched 105 Arab donors with Arab and non-Arab patients in Israel and abroad. 22 of these matched donors went through with the process, donating their bone marrow or peripheral blood stem cells to local and international Arabs, and also to non-Arabs.
“The response of the local Arab community was more than expected, and [the] only limitation for continuous donor recruitment is shortage of funding; the cost of HLA typing of each recruited donor is $50,” said Bishara. “Most of the matched donors were cooperative and were willing to proceed with further testing and donation.”
Despite travel restrictions between Israel and the Palestinian territories, Bishara has been able to reach the West Bank. She conducted a donor drive in Ramallah (gaining 400 donors) and in Beit-Sahour (75 donors), and has recruited donors from Hebron. Recently, a 9-year-old Arab girl from the West Bank— who suffered from a genetic blood disorder — found a match through Bishara’s registry after waiting her entire life.
Still, Bishara said: “One big limitation is collecting blood sample from donors from the West Bank, once they are match, since they do not have a permit to come to Jerusalem.” Additionally, she has been unable to reach Gaza, because it is under siege and difficult to reach from Israel.
              It’s a really interesting piece and you can read the whole thing here.
Reading it for myself really fired up my imagination, so I wrote to Shannon and James Chippendale at LHS HQ, and floated with the idea of having Israel be our next big LHS Rocks destination. It would be a very powerful and rewarding way of LHS working with musicians, in a culture and environment that really needs the kind of help and drive that is unique to the Love Hope Strength Community. I’m going to do all that I can to make this work.
As showtime came closer, I was joined in the dressing room by an old friend, Richard Blade– who I met when he was a DJ at the world famous KROQ back in 1983. Richard also put together the Bands Reunited VH1 program that enabled the original line up of The Alarm to perform together for ‘One Night Only’. Richard was here to host the show and interviewed me for his national radio show (which goes out every day on Sirius Satellite Radio across America). It turned into another great night for Big Country.
Richard Blade Mike Peters
Photo: Richard Blade and Mike Peters
Mike Peters Guitar
Photo: Mike Peters GuitarBig Country Wiens Family Cellars Temecula
Photo: Mike Peters on stage with Big Country
It was a beautiful stage, set under American skies, and the music was elevated in the atmosphere that was created by the ambience of the heat from the setting sun. Tonight we played two sets so that the event organizers could host an auction that would benefit a local charity. During the break, I went to the ‘Get On The List’ booth to chat to a whole bunch of interesting people. Interesting people who signed up to the registry, which was once again, being run by the ever dependable Ruth Oakes, Alan Robinson (who was on Everest Rocks 2), and Marissa Rawson (who was also at Vail Rocks with Alan).
Get On The List - Temecula
I went back to join the band for the second part of the show and there was a stage invasion from the audience, but instead, Big Country invaded the audience for a closing photo session before we said goodnight. We invited Richard Blade back to the stage for one last group shot. There was a thousand stars in the night sky…..
Richard Blade and Big Country

 Photo: Richard Blade with Big Country

Big Country Tour Dates 

Be a Donor-Get On The List! Campaign 

Love Hope Strength 

The Alarm Official Web site 

Love Hope Strength Video Trailer See the video here

Mike Peters appears at House of Commons for Marrow Drive to Celebrate Parliament Increasing Eligibility Requirements of Donors in the UK from 17-30 to 17-55 years of age BBC News

Follow us on Twitter: @LHSF

Los Angeles – June 26

Big day ahead.

James Chippendale pulled up to the hotel and took me to a meeting with Rob Dillman (who manages The Fixx and Psychedelic Furs amongst others). Rob has been a friend of our family for a long time now. He was very supportive of me while I was on tour with The Alarm and Psychedelic Furs in 2004, and had to go home for the premature birth of my son, Dylan.

I was on the tour bus when Jules called me and said, “Are You Sitting Down?”

“I’m lying down,” I said (I was asleep on the tour bus at the time…).

“My waters have broken and Dylan is on his way,” said Jules calmly. “You had better come home.”

Pow! Just like that. Next thing I know, I’m up and directing the bus driver to get to the airport. Luckily, he had just gone past Houston Airport. Before I had time to think, I was in the sky and heading for home. Rob Dillman, The Psychedelic Furs, and the guys in The Alarm were fantastically understanding, and so began my new life as a dad! We had lunch at a restaurant in Beverley Hills and began to catch up on the state of the music industry. Rob was very perceptive.

From there, James and I meet up with Stash Silonski and Russ Kendall (Russ directed the documentary Mike Peters – The Song That Changed My Life’ documentary) at Swingers coffee shop, on Beverley.

We were thrashing out details and timelines for the production… (I was secretly online catching up on the transfer news at manutd.com). It was all heady stuff and soon we were joined by Shannon and Jeremy Henn from Love Hope Strength USA (who run the Colorado office and all things LHS).

Love Hope Strength Movie Production Meeting

Eventually we all left for The Shrine Auditorium and the Robert Plant show. It was a huge 6,500 capacity venue and is home to the Oscar ceremonies.

Mike Peters Shrine Auditorium

Once we got all of the correct accreditation to get into the gig, we all interacted with the audience, in hopes of encouraging people to sign up for the marrow registry. I met all kinds of people, from celebrities like Phil Chen (who was Rod Stewart’s bass player). Mark Brzezicki and Phil have both played on Pete Townshend of The Who’s solo albums, although they have never met before (They both feature on tracks from White City but not at the same time…. ).

Mark Brzezicki Phil Chen Mike Peters

I also met Michael Des Barres (who was in Silverhead… I loved his album ’16 and Savaged’ when I was a kid). On his business card he describes himself as an Exhibitionist.

Michael Des Barres Mike Peters

Photo – MP with Michael Des Barres (Exhibitionist)

Silverhead

There was a lot of Alarm fans there tonight, some who recognized me, and also some Big Country fans who have been at the recent shows. It was very sociable and a lot of people signed up. The hardest part is telling someone who is interested that they are too old, which happens quite a lot with this audience, but they all go away determined to get their kids or there children’s children to register. It all counts.

Mike Peters Oli Powell

Photo – MP with Oli Powell (RP Production Manager)
Wayne Mike Peters

Photo – MP with Native Wayne Jobson Indie 103.1 DJ

3

Photo – MP with Russ Kendall (Director of Kaleidoscope Pictures)

Love Hope Strength Crew

Photo – Love Hope Strength Crew

We also got to see some of the show. Robert Plant has an incredible presence on stage, especially with that instantly recognizable voice of his. I love the way it is so relaxed yet powerful. After the show, I was invited to have a photo taken with the great man and present him with a leather Love Hope Strength wristband. What a day…….

Robert Plant Mike Peters

Photo – Robert Plant and MP

Big Country Tour Dates 

Be a Donor-Get On The List! Campaign 

Love Hope Strength 

The Alarm Official Web site 

Love Hope Strength Video Trailer See the video here

Mike Peters appears at House of Commons for Marrow Drive to Celebrate Parliament Increasing Eligibility Requirements of Donors in the UK from 17-30 to 17-55 years of age BBC News

Follow us on Twitter: @LHSF

Oceanside – June 24

The problem with being an international social media conscious twitterer, instagrammer, website updating facebook posting, blog writing mover and shakerer (or in other words – a musician in the modern era), demands that you have to spend so much time on updates that your life starts to become that of a news reporter / cameraman / photographer / newscaster / producer and network executive all rolled into one. There are so many emails that I have to deal with today plus all the aforementioned updating that my day off is over before it has begun. I had every intention of heading to Hollywood today but time got the better of me, not too mention calling home and catching up on all the family activity (always the best part of the day and the reason FaceTime / Skype and vibe were invented for in my opinion).

Phew…. I remember when days off where exactly that – days off…. nowadays you don’t get an hour off without the phone ringing or the laptop message centre churning out reminders that you can’t help but read. On the Big Country tour bus, we even send emails from the front lounge to the back. Sometimes, across the aisle as we sit opposite each other but mostly though it’s across the continent or at least over the state borders. It’s an amazing world we live in and I don’t know how we survived without the internet. I’m really soaking up all the changes right now and embracing what I feel is a different America to the one I’ve inhabited since first coming here in 1983.

I took a call from James Chippendale with the news that we have just received permission from Robert Plant (Led Zeppelin), to host drives on his USA tour starting at The Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles tomorrow night. Phones are on speed dial between where I am, Colorado and Texas. Some rearranging of schedules is called for, and when I looked up at the time, it was 4 o’clock in the afternoon and my plans to head for Hollywood go up in smoke!

Mike Peters and James Chippendale

Photo – James Chippendale and I at Vail Rocks 2013

Big Country Tour Dates 

Be a Donor-Get On The List! Campaign 

Love Hope Strength 

The Alarm Official Web site 

Love Hope Strength Video Trailer See the video here

Mike Peters appears at House of Commons for Marrow Drive to Celebrate Parliament Increasing Eligibility Requirements of Donors in the UK from 17-30 to 17-55 years of age BBC News

Follow us on Twitter: @LHSF