His first four albums released in England and first three in America were titled "Peter Gabriel." The first 3 are sometimes referred to as "car," "melt," and "scratch," based on the album covers.
He started the annual WOMAD (World Of Music And Dance) festival, held for the first time July 16-18, 1982 at Shepton Mallet in England. It featured musicians from Africa and the Far East who influenced Gabriel. Over the years, P.M. Dawn, Sinead O'Connor, and Crowded House all performed at WOMAD.
He composed the music for Martin Scorsese's movie The Last Temptation Of Christ. The soundtrack won a Grammy for best New Age performance.
Gabriel's US label, Atlantic, dropped him after his third album because they thought it would be a commercial flop. They tried to buy him back two years later after the album did well.
His fifth and most commercially successful album is titled So. Two theories:
It is a mock reference to "Sell Out."
"So" is the fifth note of the musical major scale (solfeage). (thanks, Patrick - New York, NY)
He won the MTV Video Vanguard award in 1987 for his outstanding music videos.
Gabriel has tried many forms of therapy including psychoanalysis, meditation and yoga. One thing he never got into is drugs. He did eat an entire hash cake one time when we was looking for inspiration, but it went horribly wrong, as Gabriel had vivid hallucinations and was convinced he was going to die.
He was lead singer of Genesis
from 1969-1975. He took a year off before releasing his first solo album.
His first daughter Anna-Marie almost died soon after her birth in 1974. She was born breech and spent three weeks in an incubator.
He decided to leave Genesis in the middle of their Lamb Lies Down On Broadway tour in 1974. He was convinced to finish the tour, but left after that.
Gabriel's first wife Jill was the daughter of the Queen of England's private secretary. They met when he was 15 and she was 16, and got married in 1971.
According to Spencer Bright's authorized biography, they divorced 18 years later after various bouts of infidelity from both partners: Gabriel had an affair with the actress Rosanna Arquette, and Jill at one point took up with David Lord, who co-produced Gabriel's fourth album.
He often commissions stunning visual works to accompany his songs, including spectacular videos and artwork. He was doing this back in the day when it was distributed on CD ROMs.
Gabriel composed the theme for the short lived TV series Brimstone, about a reincarnated detective tracking down escapees from Hell. (thanks, John - Levittown, NY)
In 1991, Gabriel became the first artist who refused to release his CDs in the standard "Longbox" format, with was a 12 inch box designed to fit display cases, but that created lots of extra packaging. Gabriel mandated that his CDs be sold in shrink-wrapped jewel cases.
Gabriel was asked by The Guardian what his most embarrassing moment was? He replied: "I used to sing one song at the farthest seat from the stage. In some cases, this required me running around from the stage door to the front door to access the stairs. At one gig in Germany, the security guard refused to let me in: he could hear the band playing and thought I was trying to blag my way in."