Peter Gabriel

Feb. 13, 1950
  • 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). >>
    Suggestion credit:
    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. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    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."

Comments: 7

  • Roberta Trevisan from S?o Paulo, BrazilNice artistfacts, he fascinates me! =P
  • Tom from Marble Falls, ArI really liked his songs during the 80s and early 90s. Yeah, "Sledgehammer" was a great song and video. It was video of the year in 1986 and was voted best video of the 80s once (Thriller also got that honor)
  • Jim from Mansfield, EnglandGabriel, along with Tony Banks and a drummer named Chris Stewart, formed a band called Garden Wall while at Charterhouse Public school in 1965. At the same time, Mike Rutherford and Anthony Phillips were in another band called Anon. Later, the two bands amalgamated into the first incarnation of Genesis.
  • Markus from Graz, AustriaHe has invented "stagediving". Gabriel - known for his theatralic shows in his Genesis times - performed always a "stagedive" during the song "the knive". Once he even broke his leg, but crawled back on the stage and finished the concert.
  • Jeffrey from Bethel, OhHe more "formed" Genesis than "joined" it. He was 19 years old at the time. Born in 1950.
  • Jp from Kelowna, CanadaHow old was he when he joined Genesis. Must have been young
  • Josh from Hauula, Hi"Sledgehammer" was voted best music video of all time. By me.
see more comments

Artis the SpoonmanSong Writing

Even before Soundgarden wrote a song about him, Artis was the most famous spoon player of all time. So why has he always been broke?

Daryl HallSongwriter Interviews

Daryl Hall's TV show is a hit, and he's been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame - only one of these developments excites him.

Rebecca St. JamesSongwriter Interviews

This Australian Christian music star found herself a California surfer guy, giving new meaning to her song "Wait For Me."

Gilby ClarkeSongwriter Interviews

The Guns N' Roses rhythm guitarist in the early '90s, Gilby talks about the band's implosion and the side projects it spawned.

Terry Jacks ("Seasons in the Sun")Songwriter Interviews

Inspired by his dear friend, "Seasons in the Sun" paid for Terry's boat, which led him away from music and into a battle with Canadian paper mills.

Billy Gould of Faith No MoreSongwriter Interviews

Faith No More's bassist, Billy Gould, chats to us about his two new experimental projects, The Talking Book and House of Hayduk, and also shares some stories from the FNM days.