19 June 1944|
Westminster, Central London, England
|Died||22 January 2002
Malibu, California, United States
|Genres||Rock, progressive rock|
|Occupation(s)||Keyboardist, pianist, songwriter, singer|
|Instruments||Organ, piano, keyboard, synthesizer, mellotron, vocals|
|Associated acts||Camel, Them, Mirage, Van Morrison, Keats, Rod Stewart, Peter Green, Bobby Tench, Shotgun Express,Peter B's Looners,The Village,The Cheynes|
Peter Skiving Bardens (19 June 1944 – 22 January 2002) was a keyboardist and a founding member of the British progressive rock group Camel. He played organ, piano, synthesizers and mellotron and wrote songs with Andrew Latimer. During his career, Bardens worked alongside Rod Stewart, Mick Fleetwood and Van Morrison and recorded solo albums.
Bardens was born in Westminster, London. In 1965, he spent a brief spell as the keyboard player with Them after leaving The Cheynes. He moved on and formed Peter B’s Looners which eventually morphed into Shotgun Express, a band that played soul music and featured Rod Stewart, Peter Green and Mick Fleetwood.
In 1970 he formed The Village and recorded The Answer (1970), an album featuring Peter Green and Andy Gee. Bardens recorded an eponymous album in 1971 which was released in United States as Write My Name in the Dust before forming Camel in 1972. During this period Bardens began exploring electronica and would release albums such as Heart to Heart (1979). He left Camel in 1978 to join Them bandmate Van Morrison's band. He recorded Wavelength (1978), with Morrison and appeared in the line up of the album's promotional tour.
Bardens co-wrote "Looking For A Good Time" with Bobby Tench, featured as the B side of the single "Chain Gang" (1982), which Tench had recorded as a tribute to Sam Cooke. In 1984 he became a member of Keats. Bardens continued to release a number of solo electronic albums including Seen One Earth (1987), which found success in the United States.
His first single from this album "In Dreams", proved to be surprisingly, thoroughly commercial. The song enjoyed heavy airplay on FM rock stations in the U.S. and Australia, where Brisbane rock station FM104, the most popular radio station in the country at the time, added it to their playlist. In 1988 he followed this with Speed of Light (1988), which featured Mick Fleetwood. "Gold" from this album was released in the U.S as a single and found some success on MTV.
He released Water Colours (1991) and formed Pete Bardens' Mirage in 1994. This album featured his former Camel bandmate Andy Ward and Caravan's David Sinclair. His last concert, subsequent to being diagnosed with a brain tumour, was in Los Angeles in the summer of 2001. Other performers who joined him at his concert included, John Mayall, Mick Fleetwood, John McVie, Sheila E and Ben Harper.
Bardens died from lung cancer in Malibu January 2002, at the age of 57 and is interred in the Hollywood Forever Cemetery. A double CD Write My Name in the Dust: Anthology was released after his death and included tracks recorded throughout his career.
- 1970 - The Answer
- 1971 - Write My Name in the Dust
- 1973 - Camel (with Camel)
- 1974 - Mirage (with Camel)
- 1975 - The Snow Goose (with Camel)
- 1976 - Moonmadness (with Camel)
- 1976 - Vintage 69 (reissue of The Answer)
- 1977 - Rain Dances (with Camel)
- 1977 - A Live Record (with Camel)
- 1978 - Breathless (with Camel)
- 1978 - Wavelength (with Van Morrison)
- 1979 - Heart to Heart
- 1984 - Keats (with Keats)
- 1987 - Seen One Earth (US Billboard #148)
- 1988 - Speed of Light
- 1989 - Pete Bardens (reissue of Write My Name in the Dust)
- 1989 - White Magic Soundtrack (to film by Warren Miller)
- 1991 - Water Colors
- 1993 - Further Than You Know
- 1995 - Big Sky
- 1995 - Mirage: Live 14.12.94
- 2000 - Speed of Light: Live (as Pete Bardens' Mirage)
- 2002 - The Art of Levitation (featuring Mick Fleetwood)
- 2002 - Live: Germany 1996
- 2005 - Write My Name in the Dust: Anthology
- 2008 - Wavelength with Van Morrison (re-mastered + bonus tracks from promo album Live at the Roxy)
- 1987 - 'In Dreams' (U.S Billboard Album Rock Charts #41)
- 1988 - 'Gold' (US Billboard Album Rock Charts #4)
- 1988 - 'In Dreams' (Australian Aria chart #99)