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Scenes from Revelation: Stunning early live Genesis performances with Peter Gabriel
12:31 pm


Peter Gabriel
Brian Pern

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…

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
Master of disguise: Peter Gabriel’s mind-blowing make-up, masks and costumes from the 70s
11:51 am


Peter Gabriel

Peter Gabriel in costume as
A 23-year-old Peter Gabriel of Genesis in costume as “The Watcher in the Skies,” 1973
During the tour for their cosmic 1974 double record, The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway (the subject of an excellent book by the same name by Kevin Holm-Hudson), Peter Gabriel and his many different theatrical personalities took center stage. But that wasn’t the first time Peter Gabriel tripped his bandmates out with his on-stage personas.

In an 2012 interview, Gabriel recounted how the audience reacted the first time he appeared on stage in his wife’s dress, and a custom made fox head back in 1972 during Genesis’ tour for their album Foxtrot.

With the costumes, I started wearing bat wings and stuff, and getting a little more outlandish, and then on Foxtrot I wore the fox head and the red dress. My wife, Jill, had a red Ossie Clark dress which I could just about get into, and we had a fox head made. The first time we tried it was in a former boxing ring in Dublin, and there was just a shocked silence.

Peter Gabriel as the Fox during the tour for the 1972 album, Foxtrot in his wife's dress and a custom made fox head
Peter Gabriel as “The Fox” during the tour for the 1972 album, ‘Foxtrot’  with his wife’s red dress and a custom made fox head

When it comes to how the other members of Genesis felt about Gabriel’s getups, he said that “some of them hated it” (I’m looking at you Phil Collins). According to Gabriel, none of the members of Genesis knew what “clothing” he had packed in his suitcase for the six-month Lamb tour, until he arrived to rehearsals. After the last performance of the tour, Gabriel left the band.
Peter Gabriel as
Peter Gabriel as “Old Man Henry” during a performance of “The Musical Box” from the album ‘Nursery Cryme
If for some reason you’re not acquainted with this era of Genesis (which is perfectly understandable if you are of a certain age), the following images of a young Peter Gabriel, will probably blow your mind (man). Even if you are long-running fan of the band, it’s nearly impossible to not admire Gabriel’s pioneering weirdness, and chameleon-like ability to look like anyone but himself.
Peter Gabriel as
Peter Gabriel as the deformed “Slipperman” (Phil Collins’ most hated costume of the ‘Lamb Lies Down’ tour)
Peter Gabriel as
Peter Gabriel as “Britannia” 1973
More after the jump…

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The Lamb Lies Down on German TV: Full Peter Gabriel concert from 1978
07:01 pm


Peter Gabriel

Peter Gabriel’s classic 1978 Rockpalast show has been so heavily bootlegged over the years that you’d think someone would have taken the hint and released it properly on DVD. Featuring standout versions of “Here Comes the Flood” and “Solsbury Hill,” with an energetic encore of “The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway.”

The band here is comprised of Tony Levin on bass, Jerry Marotta on drums, Larry Fast and the amusingly “himbo” Tim Capello (the dude could have been a Chippendale’s dancer) on keyboards (Capello plays sax, too) and Sid McGuiness on guitar.

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
Peter Gabriel covers Tom Waits for The Voice Project

Voice Project co-founder Hunter Heaney recording schoolchildren in Koro Abili

It would seem by now, that most of the world is well-aware of the LRA—Lord’s Resistance Army—the much-feared fighters led by blood-thirsty despot Joseph Kony, who has been terrorizing war-torn northern Uganda (and beyond) for over two decades. Kony’s diabolical practice of abducting children from their families and often forcing them to commit atrocities—killing or raping friends and family members—have left many of the former soldiers who have managed to escape from him feeling unable to return to their tribes for fear of reprisals.

Among the Ugandan women, an extraordinary peace movement formed. Armed only with music—so-called “dwog paco” or “come home” songs—their goal was to let the LRA soldiers know that they are forgiven and that they should return home. The Voice Project was inspired when Hunter Heaney was volunteering at an IDP camp in Agoro, a small village in northern Uganda where he heard the “dwog paco” songs and learned of how they were spread, often just by word of mouth, like musical chain letters.

When Heaney returned home to the US, he enlisted his friends, filmmaker Anna Gabriel (daughter of Peter Gabriel) and musician/producer Chris Holmes (Ashtar Command) who co-founded The Voice Project with him. The trio tapped into their contacts, convincing friends and musicians from across the globe to cover another artist’s song in “cover chains” like they are playing “tag”—the point being, that when you went to their website to hear Peter Gabriel cover Tom Waits, you would become aware of the situation in the Congo. Perhaps you’d want to share the songs on Facebook or Twitter. Perhaps you’d want to buy the Home Recordings album on iTunes—featuring Peter Gabriel, Billy Bragg, Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros, Andrew Bird, Dawes, Joe Purdy, R.E.M.‘s Mike Mills, Angélique Kidjo and many others—and support a very worthy cause.

Owing to the rather unfortunate circumstances involving the Invisible Children organization and the Kony 2012 video, you are probably wondering if the money is going to produce cult-like music videos. I personally know the people involved and I can tell you for sure that this is not the case.

Where the money will go is towards helping The Voice Project (working in tandem with the United Nations) to build and maintain FM radio stations that will play the “dwog paco” songs around the clock allowing the message of forgiveness to penetrate deep into the jungle. There has been a dramatic increase in defections from the LRA recently and most of of the former combatants escaping from Kony cite the FM radio broadcasts and “come home” messages in the Luo language from family members and other defectors like themselves as their principle reason for coming out of the bush and returning to their homes.

Hunter Heany, via email from Uganda explained:

When we first heard these “come home” songs in 2008 and worked to start spreading the word on this, how effectively music was at bringing these kids home, how music was actually helping to end this war and had already brought home thousands of children and combatants, that this was something we could help amplify on the ground as well as learn from as an international community, there were plenty of people who just dismissed it. They didn’t take it seriously or just treated it as a quaint, localized story.

Getting funding was almost impossible, we got turned down by every single foundation we applied to, but the people who got it, understandably enough, were the music people. They are the ones who helped us spread the word on this and carry that message around the world. I think deep down we all know that music can change lives, it’s one of the most deeply effective and formative means of human communication, and musicians who have built their lives around that truth were our first natural supporters.

The rest of international community is catching on now, and that is incredibly exciting.

For the first time in in a quarter century, the region has a chance at real peace. By helping the Ugandan women’s peace movement amplify their message of forgiveness, The Voice Project has played an important role in all of this.

The Voice Project on Facebook
The Voice Project on Twitter

Below, a short film, narrated by Peter Gabriel, that explains what the Voice Project does:

Peter Gabriel covers Tom Waits’ “In the Neighborhood’:

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
The Lloyd Dobler Effect: John Cusack onstage with Peter Gabriel
03:14 pm


Peter Gabriel
John Cusack

Saturday night at the Hollywood Bowl, Peter Gabriel played his classic 1986 album So from start to finish. For the album’s big finale, “In Your Eyes,” Gabriel brought out John Cusack, who of course played romantic dreamer Lloyd Dobler in Cameron Crowe’s 1989 movie, Say Anything….

During that film’s climax, Lloyd holds up a boombox playing the song outside the home of Ione Skye’s character, Diane Court. It’s one of the ultimate, most immortal gestures of romantic love in all of cinema history so why am I even bothering to describe it?

In any case, it’s a great and iconic scene, and it’s cannily played out to exactly the perfect soundtrack. I’m sure that “In Your Eyes” was already a staple of romantic mixed tapes that lovelorn Gen X guys would have made back then even prior to Say Anything… but post-Say Anything…, well, that song became quite a statement indeed for a guy to put on a mixed tape. That meant he really, really liked you.

When I was in my 20s, I distinctly recall someone I know telling me how he kept VHS tapes of romantic comedies “casually lying around” his apartment for seduction purposes. I certainly don’t think he was the only guy to figure this out, and I would always take note if I saw that a male friend of mine owned a lot of rom com videos, you know, “chick flicks.” (A girlfriend of mine once told me how she’d been gushing about me to her mother because I had a VHS of Breakfast at Tiffany’s on my bookshelf and she felt this indicated great things about me. I didn’t have the heart to tell her that it wasn’t mine and that I had no idea how it had gotten into my apartment and onto my bookshelves. When I met her mother she mentioned knowing that I was a big fan of Breakfast at Tiffany’s!)

The videotapes I always seemed to notice in the homes of these 80s Don Juans were things like Say Anything, The Princess Bride, When Harry Met Sally and The Sure Thing (dig the Rob Reiner / John Cusack axis / overlap there). If these four films were as effective as Jägermeister, another no-fail seduction cliche of the 1980s, then imagine that you are the guy who actually played Lloyd Dobler and “Gib”?

Christ, that must be like having a superpower or something!

Below, Gabriel, in fine voice, performs a stellar “In You Eyes” at the Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles, October 6, 2012:

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
The Drive to 1981: Robert Fripp’s art-rock classic ‘Exposure’

In 1977, King Crimson founder Robert Fripp—who left the world of music in 1974 when he dissolved the group—moved to NYC’s Hell’s Kitchen (later the Bowery) and immersed himself in the city’s punk and “new wave” music scene. Inspired by New York’s frantic energy and wanting to combine the new sounds he was hearing with “Frippertronics,” the droning tape loop system he had developed with Eno, the final product was his solo record, Exposure.

The ambitious Exposure is one of the ultimate art-rock documents of late 70s New York, a classic album that sadly seems to have fallen through the cracks for many music fans. It’s a brilliant and underrated missing link between what was to become King Crimson’s next incarnation, the “Berlin trilogy” of David Bowie and Brian Eno (and indeed Fripp and Eno’s own collaborations), Talking Heads, Peter Gabriel and believe it or not, Hall and Oates!

That’s right Exposure was meant to be seen as the third part of a loose trilogy that included Daryl Hall’s Sacred Songs and Peter Gabriel’s second album (both produced by Fripp). Daryl Hall’s management threw a wrench in the works, concerned that Hall’s decidedly more esoteric solo material might confuse his fan-base expecting catchy, “blue-eyed soul” AM radio-friendly pop tunes and that this would harm his commercial appeal. Additionally, they insisted that Fripp’s own Exposure album be credited as a Fripp/Hall collaboration. As a result, Fripp used just two of Hall’s performances on the album, recording new vocals by Terre Roche and Van Der Graaf Generator’s Peter Hammill.

Sacred Songs didn’t come out until 1980 and sold respectably well. Both albums include the snarling buzz-saw rave-up, “You Burn Me Up I’m a Cigarette.”:

The first voice you hear in the “Preface” is Eno’s and the voice before the phone starts ringing is Peter Gabriel’s. The vocal however, is obviously Daryl Hall, but not as we’re used to hearing him. Fripp later described Hall as the best singer he’d ever worked with and compared his musical creativity to David Bowie’s. High praise indeed.

Another highlight on Exposure is Peter Gabriel’s amazing performance of his “Here Comes the Flood,” perhaps the best version of the many he has recorded: Gabriel disliked the orchestral arrangements for the song on his first album, considering it over-produced. He did a different version on Kate Bush’s Christmas TV special in 1979 and still another on on his Shaking the Tree greatest hits collection. The rendition heard on Exposure is sparse, haunting and moving. I think it’s one of his single greatest vocal performances. Eno, Fripp and Gabriel are the only musicians on this track:

In 1985, a remixed “definitive edition” of Exposure was released and finally, in 2006, a remastered 2 CD set came out on Fripp’s own label with the original 1979 album and a second disc containing yet a third version of Exposure with bonus tracks including the Daryl Hall vocals as originally intended.
Below, a promotional video for Exposure. Not a lot happens here, but in the context of 1979, this would have seemed absolutely futuristic. I’m assuming that this was shot by Amos Poe (director of Glenn O’Brien’s cable access show TV Party) or else Blondie’s Chris Stein:

After the jump, Robert Fripp being interviewed Wayne’s World-style on NY cable access in 1979.

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
Apocalypse in 9/8: Genesis perform ‘Supper’s Ready,’ 1973
06:18 pm


Peter Gabriel

Genesis performing their epic, seven-movement progressive rock sonata “Supper’s Ready” onstage at Shepperton Studios in 1973.

“Old Michael went past the pet shop, which was never open, into the park, which was never closed, and the park was full of a very smooth, clean, green grass. So Henry took off all his clothes and began rubbing his flesh into the wet, clean, green grass. He accompanied himself with a little tune - it went like this…”

In a sense, this is the ultimate example of what they did during the Peter Gabriel era. There’s a detailed Wikipedia page about this song, which took up almost all of side two of their Foxtrot album.

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
Kate Bush: Vintage TV Show from Christmas 1979

By heck, Christmas is getting earlier every year. It may be Rosh Hashanah, but the good citizens of Heywood, Lancashire, England, have their sights on Christmas, and have already lit up the town with their flickering festive lights.

Bah humbug, maybe, but I found it difficult not to share this freshly uploaded winter treat - the whole of Kate Bush’s Christmas Television Special from 1979. Filmed in October of that year, the show stars the beautiful songstress, together with her band and Peter Gabriel. While we have shown one song from this before, we have never managed to find the whole program online until now - and it’s been worth the wait. Enjoy.

Previously on Dangerous Minds

Kate Bush: Live at Hammersmith, London, 1979



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