In September 1972, when Genesis was touring the Foxtrot album, singer Peter Gabriel took a powder during the second (of two) solos in “The Musical Box.” He returned wearing a red dress and fox head, approximating the anthropomorphic beast on the band’s album cover, singing out the mantra that ends the song: “Why don’t you touch me, touch me, now, now, now, now!” From then, until Gabriel left the band, it wasn’t a Genesis show unless the singer put on a mask.
I wish I had remembered this song in the mid-2000s, in the darkest time of my life (to date, not to be naive I always brace myself for darker times ahead), when I went through my divorce. Fortunately there were other songs, friends–and ultimately my future wife to show me where the light was to be found.
Still, this morning when I heard this song again on my satellite radio, I was astounded that I had ever forgotten it. This is a song that must be played at its loudest.
Every week Ben Towle draws a portrait of someone of ranging level of fame. Last week I suggested he draw either Peter Gabriel or John Irving. After a few Gabriel attempts, he found he had more success with the Irving piece. Here was the original he worked from.
And below is one part of the final sketch.
My thanks to Towle for taking my suggestion. And I was enthused to find out from a Tweet tonighthe will likely tackle the Peter Gabriel piece again sometime down the road.
The celebration of International Women’s Day (March 8 [the 100th anniversary of the day, in fact]), got me thinking about Peter Gabriel’s song with Youssou N’Dour, Shakin’ The Tree. Tonight I stumbled across this version of the song that I had never heard before.
This version is more understated than I am used to, but as with all things Gabriel, I love that he has a variety of versions for the song out there.
The other day when I interviewed Johnny Bacardi, one of the things we discussed was his affinity for posting music videos on Facebook. Tonight he made me aware of a version of a Peter Gabriel song, Here Comes The Flood, that I had never heard before. There’s a layered beauty and simplicity, while at the same time intense complexity, to this song. This is one of my favorite Peter Gabriel tunes, not for Gabriel’s lyrics really, but oddly enough–because of the keyboard work that I feel is the heart of the song. Give it a play and see what the song does for you.
Listening to the latter half of this version, I am reminded of how Gabriel opened his later song, Mercy Street.
First off, I was remiss last week in not mentioning the return of Tony Kornheiser to the radio. He’s grumpy, sure, but few are more funny than him. And even fewer can jump from politics to pop culture to sports with such ease.
AiT/PlanetLar made it in the news, not in the way that most publishers may want to, but I have to give Larry Young (full disclosure, he came up with the name for this blog) a tip of the hat for handling the coverage with candor and grace.
In the folks I would not have heard about otherwise, thanks to Scott Dunbier for directing his readers to the Dave Karlen Original Art Blog where Karlen recently wrote about Frank Godwin. Godwin was a contemporary of Hal Foster, Milton Caniff, and Alex Raymond but never received the level of attention that it appears his work should have warranted. He did two strips, Connie (which ran from the late 1920s to the mid-1940s) and Rusty Riley (which ran from the late 1940s to the late 1950s). The latter strip is the focus of Karlen’s post. Be sure to stroll around Karlen’s blog, there’s plenty of wonderful art to look at, and interesting info about myriad artists, including folks like Frank Robbins.
I love to go looking through You Tube for musical performances. In the past few weeks, I ran across a beautiful string arrangement backing John Cale on his cover of Leonard Cohen’s Hallelujah (be sure to check out Cohen’s live renditionas well). Another gem I found was Cocteau Twin’s Elizabeth Frazer & The Blue Nile’s Paul Buchanan collaborating with Peter Gabriel on Downside Up.
Speaking of covers, Brian Ibbott recently did an all Warren Zevon episode of Coverville. Man, I miss Zevon. Enjoy every sandwich, as Warren once advised.