Contact Us

The Day Peter Gabriel Left Genesis

Graham Wood, Getty Images

On Aug. 15, 1975, it was officially announced that Peter Gabriel had left Genesis. The announcement followed weeks of speculation that a split was about to occur. At the time, a record company spokesman issued a statement that Gabriel was leaving the band to concentrate on “other literary and experimental interests outside of music.”

One such possibility was working with film director William Friedkin of The Exorcist fame, who had liked the short story Gabriel had written on the sleeve of the band’s Live album and thought Gabriel might be someone to work with on a film project. Though this never materialized, it made Gabriel think about more than just being in Genesis.

In the documentary, Genesis: A History, Gabriel explained his feelings at the time, “There was all this big time stuff happening with long tours being planned way in the future, and I just felt I was getting to be part of a machine. I felt I was becoming a sort of stereotype, sort of ‘rock star,’ or falling into wanting that ego gratification. I didn’t like myself, I didn’t like the situation, and I didn’t feel free.” Add to that, the fact that Gabriel and his wife had recently had their first child, and it was obvious something was going to come to a head.

“For me there was no question about priorities, that I think pissed off the band too. I was the first to have a baby, and they didn’t have any understanding how it changes the way you feel.” Tony Banks conceded, “He grew up perhaps quicker than the rest of us, really, at that time, and he wanted a bit more time than we felt we could give. So he felt he had to leave.”

After one final performance of The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway in Besancon, France, Gabriel was gone. At the time, the music papers more or less rang the death bell for Genesis, assuming Gabriel was the band. Time would prove that theory wrong. The band’s spokesman at the time was quoted in Rock Scene as saying, “The boys are at present looking for a new singer to replace Gabriel and, in fact, they already have one idea very much in mind. And if that doesn’t work out, they have alternatives up their sleeve. I can tell you quite definitely that Genesis, together with a new singer, will be going on the road in the New Year.”

The Top 100 Albums of the ’80s

Next: Top 10 Peter Gabriel Songs

Recommended For You

Around the Web

Best of Ultimate Classic Rock

Leave a Comment

It appears that you already have an account created within our VIP network of sites on . To keep your personal information safe, we need to verify that it's really you. To activate your account, please confirm your password. When you have confirmed your password, you will be able to log in through Facebook on both sites.

Forgot your password?

It appears that you already have an account on this site associated with . To connect your existing account just click on the account activation button below. You will maintain your existing VIP profile. After you do this, you will be able to always log in to using your original account information.

Please fill out the information below to help us provide you a better experience.

(Forgot your password?)

Not a member? Sign up here

Sign up for Ultimate Classic Rock quickly by connecting your Facebook account. It's just as secure and no password to remember!