Last year, on the first anniversary of my Pete fanhood, I wrote a short essay about how I came to be one of Gabriel's Angels. I've reached my second anniversary now, and I thought I'd write another essay to commemorate the occasion.
There's always something frightening to people about someone who cares. Particularly someone who *really* cares. I've always been one of those. I figure, if you're going to like something, you might as well go all the way. So, I'm fanatic and obsessed about a lot of things: Apple computers, Babylon 5, Doctor Who, and, of course, Peter Gabriel.
Over the last two years, I can't even think how many times I've heard each and every one of his songs. Many people thrive on new material coming from their favorite artists, and God knows I can't do that. At least until Peter stops playing ping-pong and finally finishes the bloody album. So what is it that, after two years of non-stop exposure, still attracts me to his music?
I think it's the freshness that his music retains. Even after all this time, I can still listen to one of his songs and have it feel brand new. It's not like they're brainless songs with a great beat; I can listen to them over and over and still get new meaning out of the lyrics and execution of the song. And then again, maybe it's the diversity of the music that keeps it feeling new. Any kind of mood I'm in, Peter's likely made a style of music to match it- from "Moribund the Burgermeister" to "Washing of the Water" to "Sledgehammer."
I listen to a lot of stuff, from Cake to Melissa Etheridge to Bjork to Zappa to Enya to Deep Forest to They Might Be Giants. Nevertheless, somehow, no matter how long I listen to each of those tapes, I always end up going back to Peter. For me, it's like going home musically. Everything else gets irritating after a while: Peter is like cool water flowing over my ears. When I walk around during the day, it's not the Zappa melodies that pop into my head; it's the old favorites, like "Shock the Monkey", "Get 'Em Out by Friday", or "Willow Farm."
Peter and his music still have more vitality than almost any of his colleagues. The Spice Girls radiate a sugar-high hyperactivity, Hanson and Oasis merely sound burnt out at a young age. Pete, so much older than much of the up-and-coming music world, still manages to have more strength and youth in his work than any of those other artists could even hope to achieve. I can't wait to see what he comes up with next. Hopefully, I'll be able to hear a new PG album by my fifth or sixth (or tenth or twelfth...*sigh*) Pete fanhood anniversary.