On 28 September 1972, Peter Gabriel appeared onstage during ‘The Musical Box’ with the foxes’ head and the red dress from the Foxtrot album cover.Continue reading “Dublin, 28 Sept 1972: Peter Gabriel wears a fox head and a red dress”
Peter Gabriel’s press announcement about why he has quit Genesis, published in The Melody Maker on 6 September 1975.
Peter Gabriel writes why he left Genesis
The news of Peter Gabriel’s departure from Genesis had first leaked in various music magazines from July 1975 onwards. At first, Genesis’ label Charisma Records denied the rumours, but in August finally admitted that Peter had left. On 6 September 1975, Peter Gabriel issued his own press statement, insisting that they should publish it only in full.
Peter Gabriel’s statement:
I had a dream, eye’s dream. Then I had another dream with the body and soul of a rock star. When it didn’t feel good I packed it in. Looking back for the musical and non-musical reasons, this is what I came up with:
OUT, ANGELS OUT – an investigation.
The vehicle we had built as a co-op to serve our songwriting became our master and had cooped us up inside the success we had wanted. It affected the attitudes and the spirit of the whole band. The music had not dried up and I still respect the other musicians, but our roles had set in hard. To get an idea through “Genesis the Big” meant shifting a lot more concrete than before. For any band, transferring the heart from idealistic enthusiasm to professionalism is a difficult operation.
I believe the use of sound and visual images can be developed to do much more than we have done. But on a large scale it needs one clear and coherent direction, which our pseudo-democratic committee system could not provide.
As an artist, I need to absorb a wide variety of experiences. It is difficult to respond to intuition and impulse within the long-term planning that the band needed. I felt I should look at/learn about/develop myself, my creative bits and pieces and pick up on a lot of work going on outside music. Even the hidden delights of vegetable growing and community living are beginning to reveal their secrets. I could not expect the band to tie in their schedules with my bondage to cabbages. The increase in money and power, if I had stayed, would have anchored me to the spotlights. It was important to me to give space to my family, which I wanted to hold together, and to liberate the daddy in me.
Although I have seen and learnt a great deal in the last seven years, I found I had begun to look at things as the famous Gabriel, despite hiding my occupation whenever possible, hitching lifts, etc. I had begun to think in business terms; very useful for an often bitten once shy musician, but treating records and audiences as money was taking me away from them. When performing, there were less shivers up and down the spine.
I believe the world has soon to go through a difficult period of changes. I’m excited by some of the areas coming through to the surface which seem to have been hidden away in people’s minds. I want to explore and be prepared to be open and flexible enough to respond, not tied in to the old hierarchy.
Much of my psyche’s ambitions as “Gabriel archetypal rock star” have been fulfilled – a lot of the ego-gratification and the need to attract young ladies, perhaps the result of frequent rejection as “Gabriel acne-struck public school boy”. However, I can still get off playing the star game once in a while.
My future within music, if it exists, will be in as many situations as possible. It’s good to see a growing number of artists breaking down the pigeonholes. This is the difference between the profitable, compartmentalized, battery chicken and the free-range. Why did the chicken cross the road anyway?
There is no animosity between myself and the band or management. The decision had been made some time ago and we have talked about our new direction. The reason why my leaving was not announced earlier was because I had been asked to delay until they had found a replacement to plug up the hole. It is not impossible that some of them might work with me on other projects.
The following guesswork has little in common with truth:
Gabriel left Genesis
1) To work in theatre.
2) To make more money as a solo artist.
3) To do a “Bowie”.
4) To do a “Ferry”.
5) To do a “Furry Boa round my neck and hang myself with it”.
6) To go see an institution.
7) To go senile in the sticks.
I did not express myself adequately in interviews and I felt I owed it to the people who have put a lot of love and energy supporting the band to give an accurate picture of my reasons. So I ask that you print all or none of this.1
Title photo: Melody Maker 6 September 1975: Peter Gabriel: Why I Quit Genesis
Bright, Spencer (1988): Peter Gabriel. An authorized biography. London: Sidgwick & Jackson.
Holm-Hudson, Kevin (2008): Genesis and the lamb lies down on Broadway. Aldershot, England, Burlington, VT: Ashgate
Platts, Robin (2007): Genesis. Behind the lines, 1967-2007. Burlington, Ont., Canada: Collectors Guide Pub.
*= Affiliate Link
- The statement can be found in Bright (1988: pp. 65-66), Platts (2007: pp. 80-81) and Holm-Hudson (2008: pp. 113-114), ↩︎
A week after The Melody Maker had rumoured about Peter Gabriel’s decision to leave Genesis, the departure was confirmed with the cover story ‘Genesis Seek New Singer’.
Chris Welch recalls a great British Band
At this point, the band had already moved on and worked on what became their next album A Trick of The Tail. Peter Gabriel’s departure was old news for them, but now, they had to deal with the media. For them, Genesis could not exist without Gabriel and his visuals. In the eyes of the critics, he was the band, not just a member of the team. Naturally, the band felt upset by the obtiuary. In The Melody Maker, journalist Chris Welch ‘recalls a great British Band’.
The front page of Melody Maker from 23 August 1975
Several news papers reported about Peter Gabriel’s departure on 23 August 1975. The front page of Melody Maker said:
Genesis seek new singer
PETER GABRIEL has quit Genesis. And that’s official!
The Melody Maker last week front-paged the growing doubts about Gabriel’s future in the band. Reports, denied by the management of Genesis, indicated that Gabriel was unhappy with his role as a rock star and had already left the group.
And this week an official statement admitted the split in Genesis. “They are now looking for a new singer,” said the band’s management. “They have a few ideas but nobody has been fixed.”
“The group are currently writing material and rehearsing for their new album, and they will go into the studio shortly to record. The album will be released at Christmas and Genesis will go on toe road in the New Year.”
It is understood that Gabriel will now concentrate on straight theatrical ventures.
Of course, the band was interviewed by the press after the news had come out. Phil Collins remarked that the rest of the band ‘…were not stunned by Peter’s departure because we had known about it for quite a while.’1 They had already decided to carry on without him and interestingly, the new singer was already in the group and was exactly the same member who had exclaimed the statement from the Melody Maker‘s article above. But that’s another story.
Title photo: Front page of Melody Maker 23 August 1975
*= Affiliate Link
- Welch, Chris. “Peter Gabriel Quits Genesis”. Melody Maker, 23 August 1975. ↩︎
The Melody Maker rumoured in its edition of 16 August 1975 about Peter Gabriel’s departure from Genesis.
Peter Gabriel left the band after the 1975 tour
After the The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway tour in 1975, lead singer Peter Gabriel left Genesis. The band did not announce his departure right away, but instead went into the studio to record what became their next album A Trick of The Tail and audition new singers. By August 1975, the press had heard rumours about Peter Gabriel’s decision to leave Genesis. On 16 August, the Melody Maker put a picture with him wearing the batwings on the cover and featured the headline GABRIEL OUT OF GENESIS?
Here’s the text from the Melody Maker’s front page:
GABRIEL OUT OF GENESIS?
PETER GABRIEL’S position in Genesis was uncertain this week as mounting speculation suggested he had quit the band.
Gabriel had remained incommunicado since the end of Genesis’ British tour in the Spring – he has refused repeated requests for interviews and reliable sources told the Melody Maker this week that he has decided to leave the band.
The speculation comes as various members of Genesis are becoming increasingly involved in solo projects. Guitarist Steve Hackett has finished work on his first solo album and Michael Rutherford, the bass player, is also planning to record. Phil Collins, the band’s drummer, has been playing with his own pub group.
Commenting on the reports of a split, the band’s manager Tony Smith told the MM: “The group are being rather broody at the moment, but this happens every year when they are thinking and writing for the next LP.“
And Tony Stratton-Smith, head of Genesis’ record label, Charisma, said: “Peter has been involved with one or two summer projects including producing a single for Charlie Drake.” Both Smith and Stratton-Smith, however, denied a split in Genesis.
Genesis manager Tony Smith first denied the rumours, but a week later, the band announced it officially and explained that they were searching for a new singer. Hardly did they know that the singer was already in the group: Their drummer Phil Collins. But that’s another story.
Title photo: Melody Maker 16 August 1975: Gabriel out of Genesis?
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