Peter Gabriel is one of the most famous British singers, producers and writers.
He is best known as the member of the famous rock band called Genesis.
In today’s article, we are going to learn more about his life, career path and personal life, so stick with us to find out more.
Peter Brian Gabriel, the most talked about multimedia artist on the planet, was born in Cobham in Surrey, England, on February 13, 1950.
Despite his image of a man broken to all devilry and I use to handle all the devices offered by contemporary technology, he was born and raised in the countryside, went to school by bicycle and played in the fields with the children of the farmers.
Not that he wasn’t an early visionary. Those who knew him as a child know well that little Peter was equipped with such a lively imagination that he was even autonomous in the games, easily arriving to view scenes of miniature battles in the fields adjacent to his parents’ home.
Someone then saw a link between these early childhood games and the autobiographical mold that present some songs, such as the large suite, entitled “Supper’s Ready”, from the album “Foxtrot”, lasting an entire facade of Long Playing.
The parents, however, particularly cared about the fact that Peter had a complete education on all fronts, and here they sent him to take piano lessons, in the hope that that instrument, so full of history and sublime compositions, could direct it to the highest shores of western music.
But the baby has other inclinations. He does not seem so inclined to press keys and to study scales, but he is attracted to the drums, a decidedly more physical and immediate instrument.
Rhythm is an aspect of music that has always fascinated Gabriel, a constant that has also followed in the subsequent and pioneering exploration of ethnic music.
The compulsory school is instead represented for the musician by a classic private college, an experience that still today, if someone dares to remind him, does not fail to horrify the artist.
In fact, the colleges of the time were certainly not designed to develop the creativity of talented pupils, but rather to repress it and direct it towards reassuring and academic forms. Only his passion for music alleviated the overwhelming and disciplined college life.
During the summer holidays he almost always went to his grandfather’s Victorian house, then taken up in the song “Musical Box”, where together with his sister Anna he loved rummaging in the attic, in a trunk rich and incredibly full of old costumes, which Gabriel did not fail to wear, attracted by the possibilities offered by the idea of change or disclosure of one’s personality that the theatrical mask offers.
His passion for theatrical performance takes shape from those first experiences, a form that allows him to express himself through a thousand disguises; the same, it can be said, that when he becomes an all-round artist they will be an unmistakable peculiarity of his making music, or rather of his way of “representing” music.
Recently he has been involved in the production and promotion of world music and in the study of new methods of distributing online music.
He is also known for his constant humanitarian commitment.
In 1966 Gabriel is still a student of the Charterhouse Public School and together with some of his companions he forms a Garden Wall group.
After some changes in the staff and in the musical setting, the group the following year turns into Genesis. It includes Tony Banks, Anthony Phillips, Mike Rutherford and drummer Chris Stewart.
The name of the group is suggested by another Charterhouse student, Jonathan King, who will also be the producer of the first album: From Genesis to Revelation.
As a lover of soul music, Peter Gabriel’s singing is inspired by various sources, but particularly by Nina Simone, Procol Harum’s Gary Brooker and Cat Stevens for whom Gabriel plays the flute on the 1970 album Mona Bone Jakon.
The Genesis first established themselves in Italy, Belgium, Germany and other European countries and then achieved success also at home.
The fame of the band is largely due precisely to the exuberant stage presence, to the make-up and costumes of Peter Gabriel, and to his recited parts that introduce every piece of music in live performances.
The backdrop used by the Genesis at that time is a fluorescent white sheet, with numerous ultraviolet lights aimed on a relatively uncluttered stage, so that all the components appear as silhouettes and that instead stand out the colorful costumes and makeup of Peter Gabriel.
Gabriel’s abandonment (which upsets fans of the group and seriously questions the survival of the band itself) is the result of numerous factors.
The Genesis had always operated as a collective, but the attention paid by the media to the figure of Gabriel leads to the fear that he will be unfairly considered the only creative source of the group.
The tensions increase starting from the ambitious concept album The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway, entirely conceived by Gabriel and which sees its complete upper hand on the writing of the texts.
While composing the album, Peter Gabriel is contacted by the director William Friedkin, interested in making a film from the short story contained in the album booklet. Gabriel’s interest in this film project further contributes to the abandonment of the group.
This decision is made before the start of the tour in support of The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway, but Gabriel will remain until his complete conclusion.
The definitive breaking point comes after the troubled pregnancy and birth of Gabriel’s first daughter, Anna.
When he decides to stay by the side of his sick daughter instead of recording and going on tour, the resentment of the rest of the group leads Gabriel to the final abandonment. This story was also told by him in the song Solsbury Hill.
Gabriel refused to give his first four solo albums a title because he wanted them to be treated as magazine issues rather than independent works.
These early albums are commonly differentiated using a number according to the order of publication or according to the cover image.
We therefore have I, II, III and IV or also respectively Car, Scratch, Melt and Security. Even after agreeing to give his works a title, Peter Gabriel has always used words of a syllable: So, Us and Up. His latest hit collection also has a very short title, Hit.
A way that manifested itself to its maximum degree in Genesis, a group initially called, when Peter Gabriel was already included in the “line-up”, Garden Wall.
After other name changes, in 1967 (still students and minors!), Genesis signed a contract with Decca.
In 1968, the first single, “Silent Sun”, was released, which did not raise any kind of hype and was most often observed with benevolence only by professionals or enthusiasts who were more attentive and curious about novelties.
The problem, judging with hindsight, is that the group had not yet developed a recognizable physiognomy.
In March 1969, in fact, still under the aegis of Decca, “From Genesis to revelation”, an album inspired by the best known Moody Blues, Nice, the folk rock of Cat Stevens and the Family, from which, among other things, Gabriel s later he inspired a lot for the way to sing and use the voice.
In October 1970 the album “Trespass” came out with a piece contained in it, entitled “The Knife”, well-built and truly original for the time. Represented live, he reaches nineteen minutes, finally showing the unpublished face of a chameleon Gabriel.
In the pressing story of “a revolutionary in the grip of a delusion of power”, the artist transforms the character of the song into an aggressive stage animal that releases guttural and wild tones vibrated to Roger Chapman, the leader of the aforementioned Family.
The Genesis, therefore, thanks to Peter Gabriel become a unique case in the turbulent and colorful panorama of the rock of the time, despite the material difficulties represented by the professional instability of the components.
Classical training, laboriously built for a decade, it was formed only in 1972 with the release of the album “Nursery Cryme” (an album that also represents one of the highlights of Gabriel’s transformation career), but ceased to exist already in 1975, with the spill of Gabriel himself, eager to embark on new and lonely roads. The charismatic Gabriel will be replaced by the more “correct” Phil Collins.
However, after a long period in which the musician experimented with various solutions in the field of Pop, sometime later “world music” was born together with the ex-Genesis.
Gabriel is among the first to devote himself to that trend, whose term, now so fashionable, is used to define a music that tries to get out of the shoals of western tradition to innervate it with rhythms and flavors taken from other cultures.
To do this, Peter Gabriel has also created his own record company, dedicated to refined and esoteric productions, called significantly “Real World.
A label that he had the courage to publish, in the name of the re-evaluation of local traditions that attention to ethnic music he brings with him records of artists of the most neglected countries from the normal record business, among which you can also count, for one thing, Sardinia with its “Tenores de Bitti” (a group that sings popular songs without the use of tools).
As you can see, a repertoire that is anything but easy or commercial and that in fact sometimes touches the self-punitive attitude.
For this reason, when listening to a work by Gabriel, one is made to think of being in front of someone who has the desire to unhinge the usual clichés, an artist who wants to deal with other traditions and other rhythms.
Full name: Peter Brian Gabriel
Date of birth: February 13th 1950
Birthplace: Chobham, England
Profession: Singer, Producer, Songwriter
Height: 1.80 m
Weight: 89 kg
Net Worth: 90$ million