THE LIFE AND TIMES OF
Ed Grenga and Douglas Stevens (aka Red Peters), began working on commercial music projects together in the studio in 1978. Ed was a young, 19-year old, up and coming keyboard player who was recommended by guitarist, Kook Lawry, who had played on several projects for the earliest configuration of Handsome Brothers. Douglas immediately recognized an abundance of natural talent and creative ability the moment he heard Ed play, and soon Grenga became a regular on recording sessions from that day forward for clients like Converse, Gillette, Digital, Acushnet, Sheraton, and many other Fortune 500 companies. His musical influence was strong and, soon after, he became a partner when Handsome Brothers incorporated in 1985.
Later that year, Grenga took an opportunity to work with award-winning producer, Ross Vanelli (brother of recording star, Gino) in LA composing music scores and songs for several major motion pictures, a Top 10 R&B song, and was the recipient of two gold and two platinum albums for The California Raisins. Ed and Red continued working on projects and their production company became b-coastal.
But, let’s back it up a bit or rewind a couple of years. In late 1983, while taking a break from an especially tedious commercial project, Ed heard Red singing a new and funny song idea and it inspired him to spontaneously take a break and work on the tune. The two spent the next couple of hours developing the song together and recorded a rough scratch track. Later that evening, they attended a production industry reception and brought a cassette of the new song with them. When their friends and colleagues heard it, the reaction was swift. The song was an immediate smash! So, over the next six-month of commercial recordings at Century Recording with ace engineer, Bill Tracey, they would have the session singers and musicians stay late and add background vocals, trumpets, trombones, clarinets, and saxophones until the song was done. When it was completed and mixed, their classic song, “Blow Me (You Hardly Even Know Me)”, was released and became an instant nationwide jukebox hit! The song was even broadcast on many FM radio stations across the country before the age of political correctness. But Red Peters was born!
Red and Ed continued to collaborate on projects while he was living in LA, and upon relocating back to Boston in 1989, together with Kook, built a full-service recording facility in the jail of the old Police Station in Union Square, in Somerville, MA and named it The Cellblock.
While there, they created and produced many award-winning songs and soundtracks for TV, radio, live corporate events, the internet, and of course, for entertainment. Red, Ed, Kook, Artie, and Mike created and recorded, “I Laughed, I Cried, I Fudged My Undies!”, “Ol’ Blue Balls Is Back!”, “I Can’t Say These Things”, and “When I Jerk Off, I Think Of You” before closing that studio in 2007. And Red, with Kook's tutoring, recorded his first year or so of “The Red Peters Red Peters Comedy Music Hour” for the Howard Channels on SiriusXM.
Handsome Brothers is truly the birthplace of Red Peters.
In early 2004, filmmakers Rob Kirwan and Paul Stern shot a reality TV show pilot about everyday life in a music production studio. But it wasn't just any studio. It was Red Peters' studio! And it actually shows a portion of the making of, "I Can't Say These Things". Despite its promise, and after being shopped to all the cable giants, it failed to gain traction and they all passed. Oh well. It would have been fun!