Happy Birthday to Prog Rocker Peter Gabriel!
Peter Gabriel was born on February 13th, 1950 and became one of the great pop/rock geniuses of the 1970’s through the 1990’s. In 1967 he began adventurous the prog-rock band Genesis with Tony Banks, Anthony Phillips, Mike Rutherford, and Chris Stewart which made a name for itself in Europe with Gabriel wearing bizarre costumes and using other visual cues. But in 1975, Peter Gabriel shocked his fan base by leaving Genesis, releasing his first work as a solo artist in the classic acoustic rocker “Solsbury Hill” in 1976. Since then, Gabriel has taken the world by storm.
The classic album So hit #1 in the U.K. and the 2-spot on the U.S. Billboard Albums chart on the strength of incredibly captivating singles like the brassy, “Sledgehammer”, the Prince-funk infused, “Big Time”, and the stirring, affecting ballad, “Don’t Give Up”, a duet with his friend Kate Bush. Peter Gabriel’s contributions to music are immeasurable, but what it’s really all about is sitting down, putting on some headphones, and really listening to it. It can provide the music lover an eternity of joy, entertainment, and stimulus to thought. Happy birthday, Peter!
Here’s what else happened This Week in Rock History:
Born This Week in Rock History:
Michael McDonald: February 12, 1952 (vocals & keyboards, The Doobie Brothers)
Ray Manzarek: February 12, 1939 (keyboards and organ, The Doors)
Bill Szymczyk: February 13, 1943 (producer, The Eagles, The Who, B.B. King, Elvin Bishop, etc.)
Peter Gabriel: February 13, 1950 (vocals & flute, Genesis)
Vic Briggs: February 14, 1945 (guitar, The Animals)
David Brown: February 15, 1950 (bass, Santana)
Died This Week in Rock History
“Screamin’” Jay Hawkins: February 12, 2000 (R&B singer-songwriter)
Waylon Jennings: February 13, 2002 (Country singer-songwriter)
Mike Bloomfield: February 15, 1981 (guitar, The Paul Butterfield Blues Band, The Electric Flag)
Little Walter: February 15, 1968 (Blues harmonica and singer-songwriter)
Thelonious Monk: February 17, 1982 (Jazz pianist & composer)
Music Releases and Top of the Charts
February 12, 1966 – “19th Nervous Breakdown” by The Rolling Stones is released in the U.S.
February 12, 1975 – Bob Dylan releases Blood On the Tracks
February 12, 1977 – U.S. release of Pink Floyd’s Animals
February 13, 1954 – “The Things That I Used To Do” by Guitar Slim hits #1 on the R&B charts
February 13, 1967 – The Beatles release the “Strawberry Fields Forever / Penny Lane” single
February 13, 1969 – The Doors’ “Touch Me” goes Gold
February 13, 1969 – Bob Dylan records versions of “Lay, Lady, Lay”
February 13, 1970 – Black Sabbath release their first album, Black Sabbath
February 14, 1966 – Simon and Garfunkel’s Sounds of Silence is certified gold
February 14, 1967 – Aretha Franklin records “Respect”
This Week in Rock History
February 12, 1974 – The legendary New York City rock club The Bottom Line opened on this date. Located at 15 West 4th Street between Mercer and Greene in New York City – our old New York University stomping grounds, as it turns out – a plethora of famous and important musicians across a variety of genres have played there including, and in no order, Eric Clapton, The Police, Prince, Van Morrison, Neil Young, Miles Davis, Muddy Waters, Paul Butterfield, birthday boy Peter Gabriel. The club was also a veritable launching pad for a “bossy” young musician who came along by the name of Bruce Springsteen who played some legendary early shows there.
February 13, 1966 – The Ed Sullivan Show features The Rolling Stones, the band’s third appearance on the program. The setlist included the lively “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction,” the haunting Jagger and Richards duet, “As Tears Go By,” and an aggressive version of their newly minted smash song, “19th Nervous Breakdown.”
February 13, 2005 – Led Zeppelin were awarded a Lifetime Achievement Award at the Grammy Awards. Because they are the best ever, and if you disagree you can go sit in the corner and think about what you’ve said.
February 14, 1974 – A joint tour by Bob Dylan and The Band, with the latter serving as Dylan’s backing band – you gotta serve somebody, right? – concluded at the Forum in Los Angeles. The tour consisted of 39 shows in 21 cities. The final show was attended by such renowned figures as Carole King, Neil Young, Jack Nicholson, Ring Starr, and Warren Beatty. Some of the performance is used on the live double album Before the Flood. The setlist is enough to make a Dylan fanatic praise the heavens, full of classics like “She Belongs To Me,” “Ballad of Hollis Brown,” and, of course, “Blowin’ In the Wind.”
February 17, 1969 – Speaking of Bob Dylan, on this date he recorded “Girl From the North Country” at CBS Studios in Nashville with Mr. Johnny Cash (no word on whether Cash greeted Dylan by saying, “Hello I’m Johnny Cash, but we like to think so). The track made it onto the classic Dylan album Nashville Skyline.
And that’s all we got for you this week. So long, til next time rock fans!
– J&R Adventures
Since like us, we know you love good ol’ rock music, why not check out our latest article here. It’s a feature on the former jam/blues/southern rock band The Black Crowes, why they split, and how much we’re hoping they get back together. Eventually. We think you’ll enjoy the article.