Peter Gabriel probably deserves (Note to self: Ya think?) the exquisite ribbing he gets in The Life of Rock with Brian Pern, but considering that the great man himself actually participated in the hilarious BBC Four spoof rockmentary series that “affectionately” ridicules his entire life and career, he proves beyond all shadow of a doubt that he must have a wonderful sense of humor.
Examples of Gabriel’s willingness to allow others a little fun at his expense come early on. I mean look at that fucking haircut! You’d have to have a good sense of humor—nay a great one—to walk into the hairdressers and ask that they make you look like Friar Tuck after he’s had a frontal lobotomy. And in the early 70s to boot. Certainly—along with David Bowie’s Ziggy-era shag and Johnny Rotten’s trendsetting bedhead—Gabriel’s particularly peculiar hairstyle is among a handful of the most iconic hairdos of the decade. Not in a good way like the other two. His hairdo was more of a hairdon’t and as far as I can tell, this cautionary coif was not one that was really copied by too many people. You’d have to be really weird to do your hair like this, eh? It was a brave, if odd, fashion statement to be sure. (If you were a teenage Genesis freak and had this hairstyle, for the love of God, PLEASE post a pic in the comments.)
Is there any doubt about who is being “fictionally” portrayed here?
In any case, seen in retrospect, the epic TV appearances and filmed live performances by Genesis—as ripe for Spinal Tap-type bludgeoning as they might be—are (in my opinion at least) the best way to appreciate “early” Genesis. How did they make these sounds? I want to see their hands. Was it a twelve-string guitar there? In these extended clips, you can see all this and more, but besides getting to see the musicians in action, as led by Gabriel, Genesis were arguably the most theatrical rock act of the era other than Alice Cooper. Their stage act was so elaborate that to divorce how it was presented to the audience would be like only ever hearing the soundtrack album of a Broadway musical. Lest you think I’m getting this backasswards—which I am, sort of—yes, of course they toured in support of a particular album with a particular stage show like every other group, but do consider that their 70s tours have been recreated down to the fine details—as if they were indeed works of musical theater, which indeed they clearly were—by the ultimate tribute band, The Musical Box.
Continues after the jump…