Friday, October 21, 2011

The Bad Peter Gabriel News: No More

About 17 years ago, a Peter Gabriel and Apple fan forever to be known as MacCat started what was then the web's first comprehensive Peter Gabriel fan site. It preceded Radio Real World and Many other sites have come and gone (including my short lived site, "In rraven's Eyes".) But after 12 or so years of doing free work and having to quickly find another server, MacCat had to call it quits. Life just gets complicated that way.

Others tried to take it on, but trying to run a free fan site can be terribly stressful. Trust me -- I know. I considered taking over the site and realized that with my poor health and my Mom's poor health (and accidentally pissing off Real World engineer Dickie Chappel), I couldn't do a good job of it. The last admin, Jakks, let the domain expire. Why -- I don't know. is no more. included extensive information on PG news, music, the unparalleled Peter Gabriel Scrapbook and unmatched humorous bits. MacCat, who wrote as the head of a fictitious "Solsbury Committee", took snark to a whole new level years before the word "snark" became common slang. MacCat published some of my criticisms of PG's music (I was the one who wrote "I Go Swimming: Lost PG Gem or Just Something to Do?") as well a humorous bit comparing Peter Gabriel to guinea pigs (and there are a hell of a lot of comparisons.)

MacCat (and Stephen King) both heavily influenced my writing style. Even though my writing career has temporarily stalled due to the worldwide economic recession, I still had a few years where I paid my bills doing what I loved -- writing. Thank you, MacCat, wherever you are.

With gone, it's like losing the last part of my childhood. I am now truly old.


Cyn said...

I miss it as well- I remember first stumbling on the internet and Solsbury Hill as being a mainstay. When Jakks took it over it remained fun place to visit and a real treasure of information.

After listening to New Blood and then my old Peter Gabriel Plays Live album, the fire lit again and I found that quite a few of the old sites are gone or abandoned.

It is a shame that all of the info is gone (save for what was saved by the Wayback Machine) and I absolutely salute both Mac Cat and Jakks for their time and devotion.

Karen Elizabeth said...

I remember very well, and I was saddened when I realized it was gone a few years ago. May its memory live on.

I remember you too. If I recall correctly, I saved some old images of your "In rraven's Eyes" comic because I still had some copies saved that you didn't. I still use that predicament as an example of the problems of digital preservation.

Anonymous said...

I know this is old, but the site is still available at

If there is interest, I can see about trying to open up the archives. I still have all the old files. It's just a matter of sorting through them and integrating them with the redesign I did.

I wish I had the time and resources to really make it active, but life gets in the way, like you said in your post. If you or anyone you know would like to take up a role, I'd be happy to set up an account.

These days, I think the PG subreddit is my favorite place, though it's not terribly lively either.


ExcellentBird said...

Wow, I know I'm posting super late - but I too am sad that is no more. It had a real nice community there.
Don't know if you remember me, I went by the name ExcellentBird or Shimmering depending on if it was the solsburyhill site or the RealWorld forum-or the Genesis forums. It is surprising that they're aren't as many sites dedicated to PG considering how technically savvy a lot of his fans are - but as you've observed with MacCat & Jakks, running a fan forum is hard. I checked out and sadly that doesn't seem to exist anymore either. Thanks for your blog post, right now I think it's the only thing that comes up on Google when someone searches for that site!

Speaking of Solsbury Hill, you may get a few chuckles out of this movie trailer - probably the worst use of a Peter Gabriel song ever: