Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Peter Gabriel Covers Tom Waits for Daughter's Charity

Like father, like daughter. Peter Gabriel helped to found two human rights cahritess, Witness and The Elders, and now Peter's oldest child, Anna Marie Gabriel, has helped to found a human rights charity called The Voice Project. I have read many times about what the Voice Project is suppossed to accomplish and I still can't understand a damn word. So, rather than misinterpert the charity's aims, please click on the links provided and get it straight from the horse's mouth.

This remarkable piece of film was shot by Anna Marie Gabriel in London, but it is unknown who's house or hotel this was. The song is "In the Neighborhood" written by the legendary actor-songwriter Tom Waits. Over on the PG Forums, fans have remarked at how PG takes years to make albums and yet bangs out his gem in about five minutes. Enjoy.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Sometimes Lucid Dreams Suck

NOTE: I consider the PG I dream about to be a different fellow from the real Peter Gabriel (the one I usually mention in this blog.)

I love lucid dreams, especially those with Peter Gabriel in them. Well, usually. There are times I wish he wouldn't show up. This morning was one of those times. I've cut down my Xanax to just one pill a day, so perhaps I can blame the dreams on Xanax withdrawal and not my sick psyche.

Yeah, right.

I had a series of nightmares and most of them were alike. In one, I had to clean a particularly messy bathroom and finally could take a break. Then three children robbed me of my Almond Joy candy bar. Quite annoying.

I then had a series of repetitive dreams. I was in a huge home with a stream running under it. It was filled with lots of valuable little artwork and suddenly all of these richly-dressed people with their glasses of wine and pearl necklaces and black satin suits swarmed the place and took off with everything.

I went mental. I was trying to get my stuff back. I remember fighting disgracefully and even setting one man on fire. I took one young woman's manicured hand and slammed it down on a tabletop just so the nails would break off. Then the entire house caught fire and we all had to run for it.

Then I suddenly realized that I was dreaming. Perhaps it was because I couldn't remember how I'd gotten such a large home or why there was a stream flowing underneath of it and where did all of this artwork come from?

So I had been fighting all of these people and inflicting pain all over nothing. Lucid dreams are rare things, and here I'd wasted my chance because I was too angry to realize that it was all a dream. Someone called out to me, "Would serve you right if Peter saw what you did."

"Peter wouldn't show up here," I snapped. "I mean nothing to him."

And the entire dream fell away like a series of thin curtains being hurled aside and when they were gone Peter was glaring at me, looking like in the image to the left. Only he didn't look angry. He looked sick with disappointment. I would've preferred the angry look.

He began to speak softly and eventually I had to just read his lips.

"You know," he said, "I'm beginning to think you're a lost cause."

I suddenly snapped awake. My head, back and guts ached. There was a numb spot between my shoulder blades.


It was only two in the morning so I thought I'd better get back to sleep. The most lucid dreams happen in the last four hours of sleep. I wanted to show that I wasn't a lost cause.

I was in a schoolroom, but I was the oldest and tallest student there. I could see people walking about but everyone else said that they weren't there. When I described them to my teachers, they were quite upset because I was describing dead teachers that they knew.

I had to make a speech in front of the class. The suddenly I thought -- why am I the only kid that is so tall and old? The teachers left the room. Then I remembered.

Everyone was looking at me because I had stopped talking. "My name is Rena Sherwood," I said, "and I'm having a lucid dream."

The kids in the front of the room looked shocked, but a few kids in the very back applauded. "Finally!" one said, smiling.

I said, "At this point, I'm supposed to ask where Peter Gabriel is." (This is a mental trick in order to not suddenly snap awake.)

"He's right outside." They pointed to their left out of the windows.

And there was Peter in a chocolate brown suit jacket and tie, looking like in the previous dream. All of the kids knew who he was and excitedly pressed against the windows, sticking their arms out to touch him. Peter laughed and shook their hands. I stood back, remembering how disgracefully I'd acted the last time we met.

A gap opened up with the kids and Peter looked directly at me through the window. He slowly smiled like a snake uncurling, inhaled and opened his mouth to speak.

It was then I snapped awake.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Peter Gabriel at Work 11 June 2010

Peter Gabriel is hard at work at Air Studios in the UK recording orchestral versions of his own songs. Some songs have premiered during the New Blood tour earlier this year, but so far, two more have added to the mix. Today's work was on "Intruder", "The Drop" and "Father Son." Already given basic recordings (before the studio digital tweaking) have been "Digging in the Dirt," "Downside Up", "Rhythm of the Heat" and "Blood of Eden."

Peter Gabriel's Twitter page, Itspetergabriel (which had to go with that because "Peter Gabriel" had already been taken) describe PG doing "impromptu" vocals on "Father Son", originally released on the album Ovo (1999.)

Meanwhile, work on my book about dreams, "The Dream Peter Prject" has been shelved so I can concentrate on paying for seeing this incredible tour for a third time and keep paying the usual bills.

Well, I'm lying. That's not the only reason I'm taking a break from it. In order to best describe the impact dreams can have on a person's waking life, I included some autobiographical material. Looking back on my life has been surprisingly difficult to do. It has given me some articles like "How the UK's NHS Saved This American's Life", which brings in a few pennies a month, but looking back has been really gut-wrenching. I know I'm lucky to be alive, but it sure doesn't feel that way, especially at night.

Anyway, I'll feel better the closer the concert date approaches ... and, hopefully, the release date of this album currently being recorded.

Tuesday, June 08, 2010

Last 2 Surviving Pix of Me & PG in 1996

Ok, bear with me, folks. Out of oodles of photos from my 1996 trip to Real World studios, Box village and meeting Peter Gabriel, just 4 remain, due to the wrath of my ex-boyfriends. However, my Mom (Vatican -- make her a saint already!) managed to save 4 (and the 4 are in poor shape, but at least they're in one piece.) I already posted two of them in March, 2010. Since I let my Photobucket account lapse (oops), Blogger is the only place I can post photos online for free.

I'll try to do a more proper post next time.

Saturday, June 05, 2010

Do I Have Manic Depression?

My general practitioner, a title once known as "a doctor", thinks I may have been been misdiagnosed. In England, while homeless, I was officially diagnosed as having "endogenous recurring depression." My GP thinks I may have crossed that albeit ever so slim line over to manic depression (now called bipolar disorder or bipolarity.) One of the most famous still living people with bipolarity is Stephen Fry (pictured.)

Who, Me?

I was shaken to hear that. I knew I was mentally ill, but at least I wasn't THAT mentally ill. I took a very small comfort in that, as if holding on to a teeny tiny security blanket. After all, I'd been homeless and met many, many bipolar people -- some going through full-blown mania where they'd be so convinced they could fly that they'd climb up on rooftops.

I was never like that. Me, well, the first thing I think of when I wake up is, "Oh, shit. Not again." People with manic episodes don't sleep because they feel too good to sleep. I wouldn't mind a bit of that type of mania. Just a bit.

But, said my GP, there are many degrees of manic depression and not just the "common" episodes of manic and then depressive cycles. Which, of course, has now started a little voice in my head saying, "You have a BRAND NEW mental illness THAT THEY'LL NAME AFTER YOU."

Desperately Seeking Symptoms

As a freelance web content writer, I get asked to write about many, many medical conditions. You know how it is -- you read a couple of newspaper articles on a certain newly discovered disease and suddenly you're convinced you have it.

I've written about prostate cancer so much that I start checking for symptoms every time I urinate. And then I have to remind myself that I don't have a prostate. Not that that keeps me from checking for symptoms the NEXT time I have to spend a penny. Just my luck I'll be the only woman in the world that spontaneously grows a prostate just so it could get cancer.


So now I've been having hyperactive, racing thoughts and anxiety every morning. Is this mania? I take a Xanax and calm down enough to do some work. Come to think of it, I think I've had these thoughts a couple of hours after I wake up every damn day, but it's only just now I've become REALLY AWARE of it. I get my work done and it's a job I adore. I take care of my pets and my saint of a mother and have enough to eat. I've survived homelessness, domestic abuse and trans-Atlantic airplane rides. I should be proud of myself.

But by the time I have to go to bed, I think, "I am nothing but a complete and total cunt." Pardon for the lingo, but that is what goes through my head. There are many reasons why I believe this, but the main reason is because if I'm not good enough for Peter Gabriel, then what's the point? There's more to it than that, but I'll spare you the tedious details. (You're welcome.)

I've had these thoughts even before I suffered homelessness and domestic abuse, although those experiences turned the volume up a couple of notches. I then take another Xanax, a melotonin and sometimes a Nyquil in order to get some sleep.

So, am I bipolar? Or am I turning into a Xanax addict? I don't know and I can't afford to think about it anymore because I have to get back to work to pay for a trip to Leipzig to see Peter Gabriel in concert. That will at least make future blog posts far more amusing than this one.

Wednesday, June 02, 2010

Going to Peter Gabriel Concert in Leipzig

(Photo taken at Radio City Music Hall soundcheck by Zenrider)

At the beginning of 2010, I had a bit of savings tucked away in order to get a new computer. As all followers of this blog (both of you) know, Peter Gabriel then decided to tour in a most unusual way -- with a 50-piece orchestra. Because this tour was originally for Europe only, I dipped into the savings for a trip to Berlin.

Then, a day after I booked the non-refundable airplane ticket, PG announced that there would be North American tour dates. Fortunately, one was in New York City, which I could get to by train. However, I discovered that New York City is a lot more expensive than Berlin.

But two times for such a magnificent show are not enough, especially since plans to record the show in the US for a DVD failed to materialize due to production costs. I've been going through crushing PG tour withdrawal symptoms since coming back from New York City.

Now, PG is 60 and I'm 40 (I was born in November of 1969, so I'm only 19 years his junior, not 20.) He has two young sons (as well as two grown daughters) and two young human-rights charities, Witness and The Elders. The odds of him touring again are really slim.

This was my reasoning as I bought a ticket to Leipzig, Germany (where Bach lived) for a gig on 14 September, thereby wiping out my savings.

My doctor thinks I may not just have endogenous recurring depression, but borderline manic depression. I wonder why he thinks that?