Lightning in a bottle

Peter And The Acid King logo

Peter And The Acid King review

Production company – Imagine Entertainment/iHeartpodcasts

Rating –

Being a musician, with a love of punk and all its myriad early 80s offshoots, New Wave is an almost inexhaustible source of great music. Now, back in the early 80s, MTV didn’t exist. I know, I know, MTV doesn’t really exist nowadays does it (not as a music channel anyway). But back then, the young music fan was really hard done by when it came to seeing their favourite bands on TV.

When New Wave Theatre first aired then, it was something of a shock to mainstream audiences. Its collection of chaotic bands, irreverent interviews and bizarre behaviour made it something of a sensation.

So what’s it about?

The host of the aforementioned New Wave Theatre, was one Peter Ivers. He was a musician, journalist and eccentric. It was his strange manner and offbeat interview techniques that gained him, and the show a cult following. Everything was in place to finally cement Peter Ivers as a true icon. Everything was perfect.

Until it wasn’t. Peter had had enough of the life he’d created and quit. Much to the surprise of his friends and fans. He had everything he wanted, so what went wrong?

Peter Ivers was someone who played by his own rules. If he decided he didn’t want to do something then that was that. This mentality had served him well throughout his life, when he was primarily working on his own, but now he had other people involved. People who relied on him for their income. People who would take the news of Peter’s decision very badly indeed.

Peter’s body was discovered in his apartment. He was wrapped in blankets and had been beaten to death. A murder inquiry was started, but no killer was ever identified.

Is it any good?

The story of Peter’s life and death is narrated here by Penelope Spheeris, a close friend of Peter’s and a stalwart of the LA punk scene for decades. Through the course of the series the story is told through interviews with friends and associates, both recent and from the time of the incident.

This is a thrilling true crime podcast, reminiscent of Lost Hills. There are plenty of moments that will have you shaking your head in disbelief, particularly as all the threads of Peter’s final days are woven together. There is a real sense of injustice, that the killer walked free. Especially as it was clear to everyone except the police who was really responsible.

Now for the downside. There are Sooooo many advert breaks. Sometimes I get spoiled with receiving advance episodes, with no breaks and so I sometimes forget that podcasts have to pay for production using ads. There is a trend now though (which I first noticed here) of having four ad breaks, with one right before the end credits. It catches me out every time.

That is really the only criticism I can level at this show though. It’s well worth the investment of your time, especially if you’re a true crime fan.

Final thoughts

I would love to hear another podcast by Penelope Spheeris. Her genuine punk attitude has not diminished with age and she is a true breath of fresh air in the podcast world. It would be great to hear more of her stories of the late 70s, eary 80s punk scene. Possibly in a similar vein to Disgraceland by Jake Brennan. There are so many old venues, and diverse bands that there would be no end of anecdotes to be told.

You can get Peter And The Acid King here:


If you want to discover many more great podcasts, then I recommend GreatPods

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