Expansive Oral History Celebrates New Hope’s John & Peter’s, A Venue With Over 50 Years Of Continuous Music

DiWulf Publishing has announced the release of the music venue celebration Still Drinkin’ & Smokin’, Rockin’ & Rollin’: An Oral History of New Hope’s John & Peter’s by Amy Yates Wuelfing. John & Peter’s, a bar which boasts over 50 years of continuous music, has weathered the increasing encroachment of gentrification. The original John and Peter actually preserved the integrity of the bar by selling it five years ago to some of their own dedicated employees.

Amy Yates Wuelfing, author of the oral history No Slam Dancing, No Stage Diving, No Spikes, and Hard Times Magazine: An Anthology of ‘80s Punk & Hardcore embarked upon this new labor of love with Joan Arkuszewski and Loren Hunt. Crafted through hundreds of hours of interviews and archival research, this comprehensive oral history lays out the narrative of a “small, charming dive of a bar that has persevered through the decades by providing the local community with entertainment and a sense of belonging.”

Described as “part watering hole, part town square, part living history,” John & Peter’s has stood for five decades and its stage has seen an amazing array of performers, artists, and personalities. Hosting live music 365 days a year, John & Peter’s has showcased more than 48,000 musicians and entertained more than 640,000 guests since the first performance took place in 1972.

Amy Yates Wuelfing shares about her motivation in choosing this project:

John & Peter’s is a truly remarkable and cherished establishment. It embodies the essence of what many people seek in a bar experience: a sense of history, a connection to local culture, and an authentic and welcoming atmosphere. In an age where many establishments are owned by corporations and can lack personality, John & Peter’s stands out as an authentic and genuine place with a strong sense of identity. It’s important to me that it’s preserved. 

J&P’s is the creation of its easygoing founder John Larsen, whose principles of inclusiveness and generosity continue to this day, making sure that whether gay, straight, young, old, black, or white, all find in it a place to call home. Ween, George Thorogood, Frank Stallone, Rhett Miller, and an early Penn & Teller, have all graced J&P’s stage. Others include Clarence Gatemouth Brown, The Chambers Brothers, and Ritchie Cole and so many more.

One of J&P’s distinctions is that it remains the longest running nightclub in the country dedicated to musicians who play original material.

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