I tried to get Pete Gill, who is the mastermind behind 2nd Grade, to do a Gimme 5 for our site in anticipation of his new record. I loved 2nd Grade’s previous album that included the smash hit Velodrome, and I was intrigued by the backstory to the new album which technically is not so new, hence the ‘Revisited’ part in the album title. About that backstory: The songs on Wish You Were Here Tour Revisited have their origins in the summer of 2018; A year in which Gill rented Swan boats on the Delaware River, listened to the Beach Boys all day every day, and wrote a crazy number of songs – to his own estimate, somewhere around 150. Out of this motherload and over two weekends, Gill picked a number of songs and recorded them to Garageband, never expecting to release it. Fast forward three years, and with a succesful record in the books, Gill decided to remaster some of the original recordings (14 songs) and rerecord eight additional songs together with members of Remember Sports, Friendship and 22 Degree Halo. Together, these songs make up Wish You Were Here Tour Revisited, which is an extremely enjoyable record full of powerpop and indiepop gems. Gill’s ability to write short and catchy pop songs makes me envious and makes me want to pick up a guitar and write songs myself. It’s like the Beach Boys minus the surfvibes, although there are also subtle hints of Weezer in some songs, like the title track and The Bad Boys Of Rock And Roll. I also like the set-up of the record which allows you to hear the difference between the original versions and the reworked versions. Although the demo versions are decidedly more lo-fi, they illustrate the songwriting prowess of Gill, and his ability to write memorable melodies.
The 2nd Grade Gimme 5 ultimately did not happen, which is our loss, because Gill ended up doing a similar feature for Brooklyn Vegan where he shared not 5 but 10 records that influenced this album. Seven of his picks are Beach Boys albums, and it’s arguably a great read. So yeah, Pete Gill is the one that got away. No hard feelings though, just keep on writing songs this good, Pete!