Songs from "Unreleased 1990-2005"

Click on the song titles from the list below to go directly to that song's background story and lyrics.

Fall On My Head
Now That You're Gone (Rock Remix)
I'm The Only One (Live)
Haunted
I Can Feel You (Acoustic Remix)
What Have I Done To Deserve This?
100 x 8 x 2
I Will Let You Go
Let Me Out
You'll Never Know
With Your Love (Live)
Lead Me To Your World
Deep, Deep Water
Everything
This Is The Way

All lyrics written by Peto Gerth (except where noted)
©1990-2005 Peto-A-Go-Go Music (ASCAP)

"Fall On My Head" ©2005

A friend called this song a "celebration of failure" which made me laugh. It's kind of true... more accurately put though, when I wrote this I was thinking about how in life we continually fall down (or make mistakes) and are forced to try to get back up (recover) from each situation in order to move on. And from my somewhat jaded thirtysomething's perspective, at this point in the game of life it becomes too easy not to even want to get back up if I'm just going to "fall on my head" again a few steps later. The song was fun and let me create my own 4-padded-walls refuge in which to laugh.

Falling down is what I'm so good at
The get back up still needs some polishing
Who, what and why are too common now
When I work so hard, it's just demolishing

So I do what I do best...

Fall on my head
Over and over I'll do it again
Fall on my head
Over and over I do it again
Fall on my head

I can show you how I do it again

"Enough for now" is what I keep thinking
But hell if I know what solution there is
Timing or power or just who you know
But who do I know that's finding power in this?

So I'll do what I do best...

chorus

Maybe I'll just invest in some padding
To put up on the four walls cuz I'm falling again

On my head
Over and over I'll do it again
Fall on my head
Over and over I do it again

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"Now That You're Gone" (Rock Remix) ©2000

I swear, I wrote this 5 years before I even heard Kelly Clarkson's "Since U Been Gone"! Truth is, I love her song (guilty pleasure) but the original version of my song appeared on my 2000 debut CD "In My Place". After I heard Kelly belt her song backed by some awesome production that was similar to how I wanted my original version to sound, I went back this year and added in some extra guitars, vocals and production to try to up the ante a bit.

lyrics available at the IMP lyrics page

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"I'm The Only One" (Live)

It's well documented that the Go-Go's changed my life and made me want to be a pop musician at age 11. This live track, a cover of one of my favorite songs from their "Talk Show" album, was recorded in our demo sessions before we recorded the "Sugarcoated" CD in 2001, and a song that we played at our live shows regularly.

written by Valentine/Harvey/Carter ©1984

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"Haunted" ©2005

This song was an interesting experience. First off, it was my first song of 2005 and my first in almost a year's time so I was happy to be writing anything at that point. But when I went to write the music, suddenly I felt like I had given birth to a country song. Me? A country music writer? What the hell?!! But there posed the challenge... mold, create, make it NOT country! I was happy with the lyrics because I really felt like I had been "haunted" by a past relationship that never felt like it had closure so it seemed worth working harder on the song to make it more of a pop song, since I wasn't looking to cross over into the country genre. And it really is interesting how important an arrangement and delivery changes the entire feel of a song.

It was another place and time
Thoughts of you would fill my mind
Every song I heard, every single word
I found you in every line
But still I find myself unsure
If I will ever find the cure
A hidden remedy to each and every need
Making memories of you just a blur

I don't want to be haunted
I don't want any trace of you
I just want to be free and I want to be me
Me without you

What's the point in a burning flame
When all the ashes tend to leave a stain
Just a filthy mess left for me to address
And there's nowhere else to place the blame

I don't want to be haunted
I don't want any trace of you
I just want to be free and I want to be me
Me without you
I don't want to be haunted
There's no longer a place here for you
I just want to be free and I got to be me
Me without you

I never questioned what the time had meant to you
Still, even so, you could've told me you were through
I could say "goodbye" – why couldn't you?

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"I Can Feel You" (Acoustic Remix) ©2002

When we recorded this for the "Sugarcoated" CD, I was all headstrong for keeping it sounding like a pop-rocker of a song so that it stood up well to the other upbeat numbers on the CD. But really, behind the crunchy guitars and pounding drums, is an emotional song that I knew would work well stripped down to the just the basic essentials as well. Daryl's piano and Sean's background vocals were part of what really made the song arrangement stronger to me and I wanted to let them be heard in this acoustic version.

lyrics available at the Sugarcoated lyrics page

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"What Have I Done To Deserve This"

A 2004 collaboration with Dustin Hunter. When we were looking for songs to build up the Dusty & Peto repertoire, we remembered this song and saw it as a fun way to do a cover of the Pet Shop Boys & Dusty Springfield duet, but also represent the coming together of Dusty's and my different approaches to music making. Dusty is really great at layering sounds and creating counterpoint arrangements (plus he can do that talk-rap vocal thing and sound good where as I never could) and I really like to create a good guitar basis and belt out a good vocal.

written by Lowe/Tennant/Willis ©1987

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"100 x 8 x 2"

Another from Dusty & Peto in 2004... this was my favorite song of Dusty's and though he had already done a couple of versions of it on his own, I really wanted to sing and play on it and he always wanted to have real guitars in the song (whereas before he was crafty with a stream of sampled loops). It was a whole heap of fun doing this because we just kept layering in guitars and vocals and more vocals and laughter and he even got to throw in an obscure reference to 80's teen princess Molly Ringwald and what someone called "those George of the Jungle drums". What more could we ask for in a pop song?

written by Dustin Hunter ©2003

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"I Will Let You Go" ©2004

This was the first song I had written solo in two years. The only other song I had worked on that broke this very long "dry spell" in my writing was a song originally by Dustin Hunter in which I helped him re-write for us to record this Spring. So this was a long time coming, and it felt good to revisit a more emotionally-toned genre (dare I say "Emo"?!! haha), like back in my earlier days of solo acoustic performing...

What can I say when I think of you this way
How do I know how to let go and grow
One way, one day, the next is just so far away
I can't let the feelings go, no

It's all too much, it's all too lame, what's gone down, what's stayed the same
I love you, no I don't...wait, yes I do (still)
I found gold, but your love is old, truth was told and now I'm left here cold
I don't know what else I am to do

Chorus:
Ah you and me, seemed like perfect company
So what's not right I just won't know
And now I have to let you go
I will let you go

And now I'm confused, feeling used up and quite bruised
So I just stay away, these days, no other way
Hope to come through and see myself get over you
There's just no other hand to play

I'll be strong for just as long as I can bear to write this song
But the truth is that I goofed and I was wrong
I'll mend in the end but I intend to be your friend
And now my life just moves along

Chorus

You say, no way and I let myself fall anyway
And so now I have to let you go
We slept, I wept and now I feel so damn inept
But I will learn to let you go
Yes I will have to let you go
I will let you go

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"Let Me Out" ©2002

Getting older and still confused about that ever looming meaning of life...while still trying to hold on to any scrap of optimism left in my newly realist world...

Where do I go from here
Now that I’ve got to where I am?
Where do I go?
I don’t know who I am

Too many places
Too many faces
Have come and gone by now
How will I know the reasons
When I don’t know who I am

Chorus:
There is something to see
Here inside of me
And it’s dying to be set free
So just let me out – just let me out

How do I know what’s coming
When I can’t see how far I’ve come?
How do I know?
I can’t seem to understand

3-3 and counting
The years keep mounting
But yet they just drift away
And still I’m asking these questions
Because I can’t seem to understand

Chorus

I’ll show you something to see
From deep inside of me
Cuz I’ve been dying just to set it free
Oh, I want to get out – just let me out

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"You'll Never Know" ©2002

This was one of the hardest songs I've ever had to write. Not necessarily musically, but lyrically. It was an emotionally dark and very stressful time in my life and the lyrical content was very real and very sad for me. Now before you think I'm riding in the pity parade, let me just say that it was very theraputic in the writing and it was a long time since I had written a song like this -- given that the just-released Sugarcoated CD it followed was all pure powerpop.

Out my fourth story window that sits above the city view
I struggle with my thoughts that tell me that I am losing you
Every contemplation that haunts me of every sign I've seen
Magnifies the contradictions of what you say you mean
And then it comes to me: you’re already gone

Chorus:
I didn’t want to believe that I’d have to let it all go
And my heart just didn’t want to have to take that kind of blow
So you need your time, well give me back what’s mine
Now you’ll never know this kind of love
This kind of love

From this fourth story window where I was thinking it through
I thought that I could solve the problem and so I wrote that letter for you
Such a final decision I came to, but what would that mean for me
Take away all aspirations and possibilities
To die for you is a shame because you’re already gone

Chorus

What you need is apparently unknown
And what I need can’t come from what you’ve shown
But that doesn’t erase the fact of how I loved you
I loved you so

Now from this fourth story window not so far away from you
Stands a man with new convictions and understanding of what to do
I can’t throw it all away and give up seeking what I deserve
There are many steps for me to take now and so then I must learn
And so I hope we find our way and never let the hope be gone

Chorus

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"With Your Love" (Live) ©1991

This song had a few incarnations in it's lifetime but this was my favorite, sung at one of my live acoustic shows in 1995 as a duet with my friend Patty Holley. She and I always had fun singing together and she was so great at harmonizing and being right in line with my vocal that we were able to just have fun and sing this in a really cool bluesy way. This version juxtaposed the more serious-sounding original version I did on a cassette demo a few years before that which was much slower in tempo with a somewhat gospel-like music and vocal backing.

When I looked up at the moon tonight
Drifting it's way across the purple sky
A soft rain shed it's tears upon me
And the blues within my soul echoed still

With my mind reflecting pure melancholy
I eased my way through the darkness with a song
Tongue tied for so many months now
I feel relief washing through my tired soul

Lead me through the darkness with your love
Ease me through the silence with your love
Let your words grow silent and surround my soul
Cuz this, baby, this is all I need

When your presence filled up my perfect view
Aflame with all its beauty
I shivered softly and I held my breath
Then you covered me and healed me with your love


Chorus

Oh, you mean so much more to me
Than all – all my words can say
The rivers run deep, so very deep, right through my heart
And they lead – they lead my way to you

Chorus

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"Lead Me To Your World" ©1992

The "B-side" to my first studio demo "Deep, Deep Water". It was the first time I got to really delve into the sexuality of a song. In the years following the recording of this, as I got more and more fluent and in touch with the soulful emoting of the song at live shows, it always got really great reactions from crowds. I mean, I'm just an all-around dork – I never thought of myself as sexy in that rockstar kind of way... but with this song I could surely pretend to be! HaHa! Oh, and yes, this really was inspired by a soft scent left behind on a pillow... ahem, good times.

There on my pillow is a soft scent of you
A whole life story in words I don't understand
Yet, I want to get near you to smell your sweet, sweet skin
And realize your whole world with the touch of your hand

Lead me – lead me to your world
With your strong frame, yes and

Let me – let me see your world
Undress in my eyes

I can't explain what I'm feeling, though I've felt it before
Your scent drives me wild in my room
It's like I know so much but can't think of a thing
And little by little I see me nearing my doom

Lead me – lead me to your world
With your strong frame, yes and
Let me – let me see your world

You are there on my pillow – there's that soft scent of you
A whole life story I'm beginning to understand
And I want to get near you to smell your sweet, sweet skin
And realize your whole world with the touch of your hand

Lead me – lead me to your world
Oh yes and, yes and, oh
Let me –let me see your world
Lead me – lead me to your world
With your strong frame and hands and
Let me – let me see your world

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"Deep, Deep Water" ©1993

What a great experience I had with the "Deep, Deep Water" studio demo. It was my first time in a real recording studio setting tackling two songs of mine that I wanted to present to the world – remember this was before the digital recording age was available to the masses so it was a really big deal. Veteran musician/producer Chuck Wild (Missing Persons, Liquid Mind) was at the helm and helped make my songs sound great by adding in keyboards and drum tracks that I couldn't play but heard in my head. And because they had worked together in the past, Chuck became a second reason to convince vocalist Jean McClain (aka Pepper Mashay) to join in for some really fun soul-singin' background vocals! I learned so much from these two pros and had a blast doing it.

The song was definitely written by a much younger, naive me... tongue-tied on how to tell that certain someone that I was into him and afraid of the outcome if I did, but at the same time being all weak in the knees just at the sight of him and his big ol' deep blue eyes. Sounds VERY "high school" to me now... The funniest part of it all was that the guy was completely and utterly straight, so I never had a chance anyway. Hmmm... all these years later, and I don't think I ever told him that the song was about him...

When I look in your eyes I see deep, deep water
Your beautiful eyes are just like deep, deep water

Can you tell that you level my world?
I'm walking on air when you walk in the room
You've saved me before and then again and again
Do you know – do you know

When I look in your eyes I see deep, deep water
Your beautiful eyes are just like deep, deep water
But when your eyelids close or you just look away
My heart it dies like it's just been betrayed
Because you won't let me in
You won't let me in

I'm so unsure how to open up to you
Do you walk on the side where it's greener?
If I pull will you fall all the way to me
I can hope – I can hope

chorus

If only you know but then I could be shattered
If only you know how much you mattered – hey!

chorus

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"Everything" ©1992

This was like the lost and forgotten song on the collection. I didn't even know I had a recorded version of the song until stumbling upon it while searching through a badly labeled cassette tape for something else. I only performed it once or twice back in the days when I was carting my little Mac onstage to play sequenced keyboard and drum machine tracks so that I could sing and play guitar with no band behind me. That was at the tail end of my Erasure-esque days in the early '90's, shortly before I abandoned the confinements of performing live to computer and became an acoustic guitar-playing solo guy for awhile. Though the original version was a simple 4-track recording with mostly just the funny keyboard horns and slappy drum track, I added in some extra guitar for the sake of hearing it on the "Unreleased" collection.

Mixed words in every flavor
Remind me when I talk to you
That love is a fragile thing now
But it is pure and simple too

If questions come when you think of me
We can talk until they're gone
The night can grow so endless
But with you it can't be wrong

I will be to you what you are to me
I will see you through the possibility
I will be to you what you are to me
And to me you are everything
Everything

Such distance is a major fear
When we think of us being together
But if you think that you're coming home now

I will be your blue boy forever

But if questions come when you think of me
We will talk until they're gone
The night can grow so endless
But with you it can't be wrong

chorus

How can we think that we want it all
When all we want is everything

chorus

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"This Is The Way" ©1990

When it came to picking what early stuff to have represented on the collection, it was hard to find stuff that didn't make me cringe or laugh my ass off. This tune was written in my early days in Los Angeles – I think I was 19 or maybe 20 years old and I had just gotten out of my first two scummy, dirt-cheap apartments and was renting a tiny little guest house in Silverlake that was so small I could almost do dishes in the "kitchen" sink while I was sitting on the toilet – that's how small it was. But regardless of size, I was renting from this really friendly Korean family that lived in the main house and I had a surrounding neighborhood that actually had trees and curvy hillside streets that I could walk through and not feel like I lived in rundown seedyville Hollywood. Somehow it gave me a new lease on my LA life and from that I wrote this song. Again, the naivete shows in the lyrics, but it's a good representation of the dork I was then compared to the dork I am now in "Fall On My Head", the newest song on the "Unreleased" collection. Plus this is the only song I'm including that was recorded as a duo with my sister's keyboardist/songwriter boyfriend at the time. We actually called ourselves Colors Dancing! (Like the post-80's band name wasn't bad enough, we just HAD to include the stupid exclamation mark – I kid you not. Scary!)

It's been so long
Since I've walked among the streets on which I live
And felt such peace, such freedom
The way I do today
The sun's warmth seeps into my skin
And the wind blows by my ear
No one's around to break the calm
Which is sad but a blessing still

Cuz this is the way that life should be
This is the way for you and me
This is the way we should be living our lives today

It's been so long
Since I've been able to walk through my neighborhood
For the streets before were tarnished and gray
And anger filled my will
I only wish
That everyone could feel the way I do today
No fear, no anger
Just love for the life that we share

chorus

And yet there is anger here still
We don't know why but there's people killed

It seems so easy if people would just work along

chorus

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