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Peter Gabriel – The Face Behind the Mask

#ProgLoopGenesisWeek The original lead singer and songwriter of Genesis, Peter Gabriel was born on the 13th of February, 1950 in Chobham, England. He had been interested in singing and song-writing since childhood, and his talent had been recognized by his teachers; nevertheless, his priority then wasn’t to become an expert. In fact, when he was given money to pay for professional singing lessons, he preferred to spend it on a Beatles’ album. When he was 12, he wrote his first song. When he was 15, he formed a band with his classmates called Garden Wall which would be a foundation, in some ways, for Genesis.

In the early stages, this band didn’t even have a proper lineup, they were mainly focused on recording demo songs and seeing what worked. It was during those times the group realized that Gabriel’s voice was more fit for singing, and he ended up singing all of the songs they had written. When he was appointed to be the lead singer, Gabriel wasn’t the confident stage presence we know today. After the band had developed into Genesis, during their early shows, he would just uncomfortably stand behind the microphone. As he developed his stage persona and confidence, he began to tell stories to the audience, mostly about the songs they were about to play: he even developed the confidence to dress up as a fox before coming onto the stage while promoting Foxtrot. Later, his costumes and makeup became an integral part of their shows.

However, the reviews of the band started to focus too much on Gabriel’s theatrical performances and gave him a rock star status, which he had not wanted. Disagreements within the band, along with family issues, caused him to quit the band in 1975. In 1976, he started his solo career, releasing three albums titled “Peter Gabriel.” His later releases were big hits, “So” becoming platinum, and Gabriel being considered an “international pop star.” In 1986, his involvement with humanitarian causes also became apparent, and his work “gained him a reputation as a true nobleman of the pop world.”

Since the 1970’s, Gabriel has been influencing the world of music with his creative approach: without him, Genesis wouldn’t be the sensational band it is today.

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