Peter Allen: Age 48 | Cause Of Death: AIDS

(b. February 10, 1944, d. June 18, 1992)

In the 1970s, Peter Allen gained recognition both as a composer of romantic ballads such as “I Honestly Love You” and “Don’t Cry Out Loud” and, contrastingly, as a flamboyant stage performer. He learned to play the piano and began entertaining people at the pub in his small Australian hometown when he was still a child…  During the late 1960s, Allen became involved in the Greenwich Village music and theater scene, and grew disenchanted with the more conventional show business world represented by his professional partner and his wife. He and Minnelli separated during the holiday season of 1969 (though they were not divorced until July 24, 1974), and the Allen Brothers broke up in the spring of 1970. On June 24, 1970, Allen played his first show as a solo act at the Bitter End nightclub in Greenwich Village. He wrote songs for the Off-Off-Broadway La Mama Theatre Company, and made his Broadway debut on January 12, 1971, in Soon, a rock opera that played only three performances…The introspective style of much of Allen’s music was increasingly contrasted with his bold performing style, and in 1977 A&M issued a double live LP, It Is Time for Peter Allen, that showed off his concert work. Back in Australia, his recording of the frothy “I Go to Rio” (co-written with Adrienne Anderson) topped the charts… He died of complications from AIDS in 1992. — William Ruhlmann