Friday, November 25, 2011

Gabriel in the Hall? Go ahead, shock my monkey

When Peter Gabriel decided not to perform or even appear with his former Genesis bandmates upon their induction to the Rock Hall in 2010, it was a soul-crushing experience for fans of the prog-rock and later lite-rock legends.

But we got it. After helping to make some of the most incredible albums of the 1970s - if not the last 40 years - Phil Collins, Tony Banks and Mike Rutherford went on to slowly but surely soil upon Genesis' legacy not unlike skidmarks in tighty whiteys. Pistol Pete wasn't going to get up there with those limp dudes.

There could, however, be a moment of glory for Gabriel fans to revel in soon. Or, rather, there should be:
Peter Gabriel should be in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a solo artist.

It's been nine freaking years since he's been eligible, people. And it's not like it's never happened before:  McCartney, Lennon and Harrison from the Beatles. Clapton from Cream. Neil Young from CSNY (barely counts but still).

And it should happen again here. Let's rundown the reasons why:

1) Obviously, his tenure as the frontman of Genesis. Strike that, his tenure as a groundbreaking frontman, one that dressed as a vegetable while selling England by the pound and laid down on Broadway while looking like some whacked out ghoul who spent way way too much time in the sun.

There's always been Ethel.
2) When he wisely split from Genesis in the mid-1970s - get out before things get lame - his stuff got better while Collins-Banks-Rutherford started their decent down Rock Mountain. Look, I dig pseudo proggish stuff like 1976's "Trick of the Tale," and I even like the cornball '80s stuff for what it is. "Invisible Touch" was one of my first tapes; I can recite every line. I saw them on the "We Can't Dance Tour" at the Vet. But "Illegal Alien"? "Follow You Follow Me"? Come on, man.

Gabriel, meanwhile, came out slugging with his a trio of great self-titled solo albums stuffed with all-time classic singles. Do I really have to list them? Thought not.

Rad video.
3) Early on Gabriel remained very weird and very artsy and appeased just about everyone from prog fans to FM radio listeners to those who dug underground rock. What really makes him Hall-worthy is his big-time (excuse the pun) commercial period in the '80s, when he slammed it out of the park with "Sledgehammer" and crafted a stone-cold slow jam classic in "In Your Eyes" that will be passed on forever thanks to "Say Anything," both of which are just two of the highlight reel that is the album "So." "Mercy Street," "Big Time," "Red Rain" ... wow.

1992's "Us."
4) The ridiculously underrated 1992 album "Us." With songs like "Digging In The Dirt," "Blood of Eden" and "Secret World," Gabriel recreated the scene from "Roadhouse" where Dalton yanks the heart out of the bad guy's chest, only he does it to himself.

Some might say this is just another issue of another guy who should or shouldn't get in, who cares either way.

But if Sting or some other crap-peddling puffball somehow gets in before Gabriel, the Hall should be imploded and forever forgotten.

1 comment:

  1. Agreed. One of the most egregious omissions. -Dezmond