Vicky’s parents Peter Asher (of Peter & Gordon and longtime producer of James Taylor, Linda Ronstadt, the Beatles and many more) and Wendy Asher (an art collector and philanthropist) talked about their daughter Vicky in a recent Interview with Tidal. Check it out below:
Can you describe Vicky’s upbringing? When you found out you were having a child, what was important to you to impart to her?
Peter Asher: I suppose what we wanted to impart to her were traditional values. The most basic being nice to people, being honest and faithful — all of that kind of stuff, all the basic stuff that one likes people to be. I don’t think music specifically came into it and indeed, initially the talents she demonstrated were artistic and more film- and TV-related. In terms of what we wanted to impart, I think humanity.
Were there any particular books or songs that you shared with her pretty early on? Or any artists?
Wendy Asher: I think, obviously, she listened to the Beatles when she was three years old. She watched A Hard Day’s Night and those movies. She watched foreign films with subtitles.
Peter: In terms of books, like any parent, I brought her up on my favorites. Alice in Wonderland, I’m fanatic about. So she read those very early on. Oscar Wilde’s short stories. So it was a mixed bag of what her parents liked.
Wendy: She was into Goosebumps, too.
Peter, you obviously have a musical background. What’s it like to be part of a multigenerational musical family?
Peter: It’s fun. It means that not only do I get to hear what Vic is up to musically, she has lots of friends in the music business — so do I, but they’re from a different generation. If she has some friends over to the house, I’m likely to discover I’m talking to some new Swedish or Icelandic producer, who is a friend of hers.
It keeps me in touch with another generation of musicians and music-makers whom I might not otherwise meet. People like Fall Out Boy, I’ve met through her and a lot of other bands that she’s friends with. And obviously when she was out on the road we would be the other generation parents hanging out with the hip kids, you know. Probably very annoying to them but we had a good time.
And you have a label with her as well?
Peter: Yes, we just started this venture called Muted Color, which is in the formative stages now. Victoria has been working on some new music of her own, which is really good — and so, in that context, with a couple of partners, we’re in the process of forming this label/production venture.
More specifically, we’re looking to sign other acts — assemble an actual working independent label. As you probably know, it’s much easier to be a label than it used to be because you don’t have to worry about the old things as much, such as radio and all that. Any artist who puts their stuff up online is essentially a label; we’re just trying to make that process a little bit more of a service to artists that we like, including Victoria.
What advice would you give other parents of musicians?
Wendy: Well, the interesting thing is, years ago, Victoria didn’t want to learn piano — like she didn’t want to take the classes and all that. I remember asking Carole King what she thought about that, and Carole King said that her mother never told her she had to practice.
Some kids, their parents force them to do the lessons and practice. I just made Victoria do one lesson a week. Of course that doesn’t work out well, because then you don’t learn all the keys and everything, but I think you have to let them breathe.