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Nine Questions


As music instructor at Nogales High School since the mid-'70s, James "Sonny" Peters has inadvertently changed the landscape of Tucson music as we know it. Besides siring Jons drummer James Peters, the senior Peters has taught and inspired numerous notable local musicians over the years, including members of The Weird Lovemakers, Shark Pants, Mankind, Seven to Blue and, of course, The Jons.

What was the first concert you ever saw?

The Doors in 1967 at Hi Corbett Field. My second concert was the Newport Pop Festival in 1969 with Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, etc.

What CDs are in your changer right now?

Meet the Beatles!; Elton John, Greatest Hits; Jeff Beck, Wired; My Vitriol, Finelines; Los Apson.

How many total albums do you own (CDs, vinyl, cassettes, 8-tracks)?

More than 2,000 on vinyl; more than 700 CDs.

Do you download music, and if so, legally or illegally?

No downloading; I barely got a cell phone this year!

What was the first album you owned?

The Byrds, Mr. Tambourine Man.

What song would you like to have played at your funeral?

The Beatles' "The Long and Winding Road."

Musically speaking, what do you love that your friends don't know about? What's your favorite guilty pleasure?

I love the Ray Conniff Singers.

What band or artist changed your life, and how?

Tito Puente. I had never heard salsa before (when I) saw him in the '70s, and he changed my life and my musical direction.

Figurative gun to your head, what is your favorite album of all time?

The Beatles' Sgt. Pepper, with The Sea by the San Sebastian Strings as a close second.

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