Et Cetera on Peter Cetera

The world's premier Peter Cetera tribute band takes part in the Blue Moon's annual Christmas pageant.

Et Cetera bills itself as the "world's premier Peter Cetera tribute band." This is probably true, because it's hard to imagine there are any other Peter Cetera tribute bands in the world. But tops is tops, no matter how shallow the field, and Cetera's contributions to popular music's canon, solo or as a member of Chicago, have been substantial.

Don Cetera is Et Cetera's frontman and only steady member. (In Seattle, he'll be backed by the Brooklyn duo Pillowfighter, in town for a show the night before at Conor Byrne). He is also Peter's second cousin, and claims to have roadied for Chicago on its Hot Streets tour, an allegation neither Peter nor his former bandmates have ever sought to confirm or deny. During his act, Don has been known to regale the audience, Storytellers-style, with accounts of him and his cousin getting down and dirty with the likes of Dan Fogelberg and Linda Ronstadt, and claims to have had a threesome with Grace Jones and Peabo Bryson in a Madison Square Garden boiler room.

Clinging mainly to the Midwestern card-room lounge circuit, Et Cetera's lone Seattle stop, also at the Blue Moon in early spring 2009, featured a pantomimed re-enactment of the climactic "crane" scene from The Karate Kid as Don and a keyboardist worked their way through "Glory of Love," the film's theme song. The key was way too high for Don, who lacks Peter's extraordinary range. But the emotion conveyed was note-perfect.

"I love my cousin's music and I love my cousin, even if he won't return my calls," says Don, speaking from a rotary phone in his ground-floor apartment's kitchen in Granite City, Illinois, which he describes as "a short drive down the pike from the Windy City" even though it's nowhere near that close. He says the highlight of his career was a fill-in gig opening for Robert Goulet at a tribal casino in Oklahoma. (Goulet, who died in 2007, could not be reached for comment.)

Friday's appearance at the Moon "will be no Saturday in the park," quips Don, who promises plenty of between-song banter during his three-tune set. "My cousin's known as this blond-haired, blue-eyed balladeer, when in fact he was a frenetic night panther," claims Don. "Belushi wouldn't even party with him, although Keith Richards would."

mseely@seattleweekly.com

 
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