Nine Questions with Merle Travis Peterson


Name: Merle Travis Peterson

Birthplace: Great Falls, Montana

Currently residing: Great Falls, Montana

Musical past and present in one rambling run-on sentence: Started on harmonica at 14, then switched to Bass, then to guitar, moved to Missoula then to Seattle then back to Missoula playing original Rock and making demos; when I was dying up on stage I started busting into Johnny Cash songs in order to get the crowd back on my side, and they loved it, and it worked better than my stuff ever did, so I started The Cold Hard Cash Show (a Tribute to Johnny Cash) gave up the notion of being an artist/singer songwriter and decided to just be an entertainer, and things have been good ever since.


1. Who are some of your favourite composers, musicians and bands from the past and present?

1. Johnny Cash

2. Jimi Hendrix

3. Queen

4. Merle Haggard

5. Iron Maiden

… and many many more …

2. Is there a particular song or musical passage that never fails to move you emotionally?

Conway Twitty, ‘I Can Tell You’ve Never Been this Far Before’

“… I don’t know what I’m saying as my trembling fingers touch forbidden places …”

That line makes me smile. It’s so dirty!

3. How would you describe your perfect day?

Everybody leaves me alone for the day, nobody calls, nobody talks to me, and I play the guitar all day long! And it’s NEVER GOING TO HAPPEN!!! A total fantasy of mine!

4. What would your friends say they appreciate the most about you?

I never ask them for money! Ha ha

5. What is your most valued material possession?

Sadly my car, and only because I have put so much money into it since I bought it. I need it to travel to gigs so I got to keep it running. I wish I could say I own a really valuable guitar but I don’t. I play Fender guitars and if my house was burning down I would grab those first.

6. Who were you, or would you be nervous to meet?

I was nervous when I met David Letterman and played on his show, but since then I’ve met lots of famous people, including John Mayer and Katy Perry, and I’ve pretty much got over it. They are all just folks! I suppose I was a little nervous meeting Johnny Cash’s brother, because I didn’t know what to expect. I impersonate his brother, but he was nice and said Johnny would be flattered.

7. If you could blink your eyes and be in a favourite place right now, where would that place be?

Memphis Tennessee, but I’d wait ’til Friday night to blink!

8. Is there something you would like to do more of in the future?

I’d like to Captain a Star-Ship and travel to the far reaches of the Galaxy, in order to rest my spirit. Being a Highway Man is tough! I may be thinking too far into the future.

9. Where would you like to find yourself in ten years?

Probably Las Vegas. I always figured I’ll end up there

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