Latvian rock ’n’ roll legend Pete Anderson dies at 70

The Latvian 'king of rock’n’roll' Pits Andersons (Pete Anderson) has died at 70, reported LSM's Latvian-language service Wednesday via LETA.

He died from liposarcoma, a rare form of cancer. Last summer the musician had raised €21,000 from his fans to undergo treatment in Munich.

He was an authentic 50s-style rock legend together with The Swamp Shakers band in Latvia, instantly recognizable from his quiff and Buddy Holly glasses. If you were lucky you might even spot him cruising downtown Riga in a pink Cadillac convertible.

Music journalist Artemy Troicky has called Andersons the very first true rocker in the entire former Soviet Union.

His rebel-rousing concerts in the 1960s and 1970s are even considered to have played an important part in helping Latvians stand up to regain their freedom and independence.

The Soviet authorities cracked down, trying to ban his concerts and kicking him out of college - but not even they could stop the force of rock 'n' roll.

Nor was his appeal limited to Eastern Europe. His completely authentic brand of rockabilly made him a regular on the international circuit, too, and proved that Latvians can shake, rattle and roll with the best of them.

In 2009 Andersons won the award for the best Rockabilly Album at Just Plain Folks Music Awards in the US, with his album titled Brass-A-Billy.

Thanks Pete!


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Frank Dam
I met Pete in the eighties as I was secretly visiting Riga to write a story on the Baltic Sates for a Dutch newspaper. In autumn 2015 I visited him in the Jurmala Hospital. Despite his illness it was a warm hearted welcome after almost 40 years years. He then with great effort signed one of his last recordings for me. We promised each other to keep in touch and I did send him a cd of Dutch 'Fifties' Rock and Roll as soon as I returned. No reaction. I feared the worst but it was only tonight that I started to do some investigation on the internet. How sad the truth appeared to be . Such a kind and brave and talented person. Frank Dam Rotterdam . NL
Ken Knudsen Knudsen
Pete, first saw you in the Poligraphi club in Riga and spoke with you many times while you would be walking your girlfriends dogs on Avotu iela, which was right around the corner from my place on Getrudes Iela. You were a class act and my heart sunk when I read of your passing! Your music reflected a time in my life that was simple and happy. That's the way I have always, and will always. remember you. Godspeed my friend!
Jone Jones Jones
Very very sad to hear about the death of Pete Anderson. Very nice guy, great and much liked performer. Many friends here in Helsinki, Finland will miss him. RIP Pete !
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