This week marked the sad and unexpected passing of Peter Siebert, a friend to all and a true gent loved by many, especially in OC's dining scene, especially by the customer and staff at Memphis in Costa Mesa and the late, great SanTana location. His jazzy interpretations of classics and obscure songs alike entertained guests and workers alike for years wherever he played. He was a passionate musician, worthy companion, fine instructor, and kind in spirit. He was also an equally zealous proponent of the arts of both mirth and revelry. “Far too soon” doesn’t even touch it. “Devastating” gets ever so slightly closer to the mark.
I was fortunate enough to not only enjoy his warm company as a friend but also as a guest. It was always my pleasure to pour him a beverage and otherwise attend to his needs. He was a welcomed addition to an evening at the shop and was always warmly received at any gathering. I dug his demeanor – ”The Cut Of His Jib,” as some would say – and that feeling was shared by multitudes. I liked even more that he looked you in the eye when he spoke to you. You don’t get much of that these days.
When people speak of those that have passed, I frown on terms like “long-time regular,” “local,” or “fixture.” I consider the terminology pedantic and maybe a little insulting. Like they were nothing more than a butt on a seat, or Norm from Cheers. Peter was much, much more than that. He was a beautiful soul. And now he is gone.
Here's a recording of him at Chapter One, accompanied by longtime musical partner Brett McConnell on drums:
We in The Biz have three types of patrons. Ones you tolerate. Ones you like. And ones you cherish. Peter was the latter, and I and so many more did indeed cherish him. He was a gem. Rest in peace, bud. You are going to be sorely missed.
Peter is survived by his mother Esther, brothers Andrew, Paul, and Matthew, sister Martha Wilson, and an absolute army of loyal comrades.
Services to be announced.