Saturday, September 24, 2011

Are Peter Gabriel Fans Mentally Ill?

You know you've thought it. The answer is, "No." All Peter Gabriel fans are not mentally ill. Just some of us. I have been diagnosed with endogenous recurring depression, which is a mental illness. It's not a fun mental illness that makes you see neat things or go for days without sleep, but it's still an incurable mental illness.

Source of Misconception

PG himself began calling his fans "lunatics" back in 2002 in conjunction with the release of Up. (The moon was one of the major symbols of Up and the Growing Up Tour. "Luna" = moon. However, PG has kept using the term for nearly 10 years.) In a recent "Welcome to My Facebook Page" message, Peter says, "If you're a PG nut ..." in a way in which was probably not meant as a compliment.

Trickery of Memory

The human memory works on identifying patterns. This can be helpful, such as knowing that all animals with fangs may bite, but can also lead to generalizations in thinking, such as all Peter Gabriel fans are mentally ill. If you meet just one mentally ill Peter Gabriel fan, that's going to stick out in your memory. That strong memory will overshadow the other 30 normal Peter Gabriel fans. Mentally ill people are generally considered to be dangerous. Anything dangerous sticks out in your memory. Normal people are not dangerous and more easily forgettable. See how it works?

What If You Meet a Mentally Ill Peter Gabriel Fan?

It depends on the mental illness, how well it is managed and on just how much of a natural asshole the person happens to be. Liking Peter Gabriel's music, unfortunately, does not magically remove assholery from people. If you've ever met me, you've met a mentally ill PG fan. And I'm a natural asshole, but a harmless asshole. The worst I'll do is curse you out and talk about you behind your back. However, your wallet will remain in your pocket and your back will remain knife-free or any-other-weapon-free.

So now, that this issue is clear as mud, let's watch a video. This is a demo for a song called "Funny Man" that PG recorded in the 1970s but has never seen an official release. Until next time, kids, this is rraven off to pop a Prozac:

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Peter Gabriel's 3D Movie and Redesigned Webpage Receive Underwhelming Responses

It's a strange time to be a PG fan. Thanks to the Intenet, there's more material to access, but trying to find out new information about PG's projects can be just as difficult as back in the days of snail mail and rumors put out by Q magazine.

Peter's 3D concert film, Peter Gabriel and the New Blood Orchestra: LIVE in 3D has come and gone to Europe and North America (although whether France and Italy will get any screenings is unsure.) Publicity for the film was practically nil. Amazingly, this resulted in almost-empty cinemas -- either that or the few fans who went brought along a lot of extra empty chairs. Peter hmself did not begin doing publicity for the film until 11 September -- which was well after most areas had their one and only showing.

You have to wonder -- does Peter sometimes think, "I've really had it with being sucessful -- let's screw up for a change!"

Fans are divided about's completely new design. It's been the first major revamp since 2002. Most fans that I've talked to hate the new design -- "pig's ear" was the most memorable phrase used -- but a few of us actually like like it. (About six at my last informal count.)

Yes, that's right, folks -- I LOVE the new design. (Same to you.) It downloads faster on my old PC and doesn't give me a headache when I read the text. So, THERE. Kudos or complaints go to "cavedwellerrich" from Real World's staff for actually going onto the fan forums and taking some heat. I'm unsure why Rich picked the nickname "cavedwellerrich" but after dealing with PG fans all week, I'D sure as hell like to live in a cave.

Let's conclude this by looking at a snippet of PG's press conference in Montreal on 12 September:

Tuesday, September 06, 2011

Peter Gabriel's "New Blood" To Be Released Week of 24 October

New Blood, PG's orchestral reworkings of his own songs done in the style of his last album, Scratch My Back (2010) has an official release date of October 24 or October 25 (depending on what country you live in.) Pre-orders are being taken by the usual suspects like Amazon and WOMADShop.

However, in all of the excitement, there's a bit of a problem. Not all of the songs given the SMB treatment will appear on one CD. If you want to get them all, you'll have to fork out for at least 3 CDs. For example, "Blood of Eden" appears on the "regular" version but not the Special Edition or the Deluxe Edition.

Apparently, if you order the album from WOMADShop you also get a free download of "Father Son" -- which does not seem to appear on any CD version. "Washing in the Water", which was released on iTunes and PG's Facebook page for a limited time, seems to have vanished.

A vinyl album of the regular version (and for now the regular version only) will be released on November 7.

I'll be passing on ANY version of New Blood for now, due to poor finances and the fact I'm getting a little tired of hearing reworked material rather than any NEW material.

Some other long-term fans are planning on passing at least two versions of New Blood out of protest of the way the songs are being released. There are some very interesting discussion about this from PG newbies and die-hards alike on's General forum. Some die-hards expressed extreme disappointment at Real World's super-capitalist decision to dole the tunes out like methadone at a rehab clinic.

I am also disappointed with the way the songs are being released. There also seems to be no reason for one track, "A Quiet Moment" which is NOT a PG song but "ambient noises recorded on Solsbury Hill."

FUCK THAT! I used to live with Solsbury Hill peeking over the tree lines across the River Avon. I have walked to it a couple of times, although I never bothered to go UP it as the real Solsbury Hill always seemed to be congested with traffic, public urination, dogs barking and drunks singing Pogues' songs in a way that made Shane MacGowan sound like a nightingale. Yeah -- that's REAL ambient. I want ambient noises mixed in between songs, I'll listen to Pink Floyd.

Finally, here's a trailer, released only online, for PG's 3D concert DVD/film: