Lex Neon on Peters Tork (The Monkees) and Gabriel (Genesis, solo)

Okay, so February 13th is the birthday of Peter Gabriel and Peter Tork. Let’s see if Lex can handle these two Peters at the same time. Note: We didn’t mean that last sentence “dirty.”

Songs can zap you back to a certain place in time and make you feel happy, or nostalgic. Peter Tork zaps me back to my “toddler days,” when I used to religiously watch reruns of the Monkees. Did you know that he co-wrote “For Pete’s Sake,” the song that replaced the Monkees’ theme song at the end of the show during its second season?

In this generation
In this loving time
In this generation
We will make the world shine

We were born to love one another
This is something we all need
We were born to love one another
We must be what we’re going to be
And all we have to be . . . is free!

It may sound like “old fashioned hippie-dippy” baloney. Being “free and loving one another” are concepts that a lot of us still hold near and dear. It’s our right! Because of “For Pete’s Sake,” I heard the message EVERYDAY and I still feel it deeply.

On another note, one of the many things that impressed and inspired me about Peter’s musicianship was his proficiency on several different instruments, including acoustic and bass guitars, keyboards, and banjo. Thanks Peter Tork.

—-

I recently came across a cassette tape I recorded sometime during 1985. It was labeled Genesis: Selling England By The Pound. I held the tape and remembered the feeling I got when I’d listen to this album.

I remember the smell of the wet grass on the campus of USC. I was 16, and was given permission by the school to use their libraries and check out books (being labeled as “special” just for having a photographic memory had its perks). My favorite library was the Doheny. The aroma of old books and knowledge hung heavy in the air.

I’d sit in the cubicles, study and listen to music, via my trusty Walkman. I taped Selling England By The Pound from a cool radio program called “The Seventh Day.” I had been listening to the Phil Collins-led Genesis, and had also heard solo Gabriel before. I was curious to see what the two would sound like together.

I listened to the tape repeatedly. The sound, and creativity behind that album really caught my ears. Track by track, starting with “Dancing With The Moonlit Knight” caught my ear and kept me from concentrating on my studies. I got up to go outside and walk in the rain.

I saw students huddled in doorways, stopping their study sessions for cigarette and reefer breaks. I saw rained-out cheerleaders running past the statue of Tommy Trojan, doing their best not to get erotically soaked. What I heard was the most intense vocal and instrumental work I’d heard in a long time.

And it even had a pop single called “I Know What I Like (In Your Wardrobe)” for the side of my musical brain that craves “sugar.” On the way home, I stopped by Record Retreat and bought a copy of the album for my collection.

It’s an adventurous album and is beautifully sung by Gabriel, who was also the band’s lyricist. Dig “The Battle Of Epping Forest.” It might be “prog rock,” but what’s wrong with that? The music takes you over, and you’re on a new journey.

Happy birthday Peter, and thanks for the music!

(Lex Neon is the musical mastermind behind the music of indie sunshine pop / rock band Poppermost.  For more info, go to http://www.poppermost.com/)

Note: The date listed on the album shown below is for the remastered version. The original was released in November 1973.

Currently listening :
Selling England By The Pound
By Genesis
Release date: 04 October, 1994
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~ by Poppermost on September 6, 2008.

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