Just before Valentine’s Day, the 13th of February is the birthday of one of the most loved people in the prog community, Peter Gabriel. The original lead singer of Genesis turned 70 today. He was born in 1950 in Surrey, England to a middle class family. His mother came from a musical background, which led to him getting piano lessons from her. Gabriel wrote his first song, “Sammy the Slug” when he was 12 years old. A distinct memory from this time is when his aunt gave him money for professional singing lessons but Gabriel used it to buy the first Beatles album.
Gabriel’s first band was a traditional jazz band called Milords. 2 years later, in 1965, he formed Garden Wall. The band featured Tony Banks on piano and Chris Stewart on drums, and it was the seed that Genesis bloomed from. This band disbanded rather quickly, but were brought back together in 1967 when Anthony Phillips and Mike Rutherford invited the trio to work on a demo tape. The next 10 years saw many successes and failures that made up Genesis’s journey through the music industry. As Gabriel grew, the band grew. His stage performance, costumes, stories astonished the crowd waiting for Genesis to perform their magic. In 1974, he left the band, and Phil Collins took over the lead vocals. This departure kickstarted his solo career with many No. 1’s in charts. He released 9 studio albums, newest in 2011, featuring many well-known names from the prog community.
We wish him a happy birthday on this special day!