Genesis Singer Peter Gabriel’s Life-Changing Live Show, ‘It Was Like The Sun Was Coming Up’

Have you ever been to a show where you were sure to sweep you off your feet right the moment you entered the venue? You see, every now and then, you might get a ticket or two to go and witness your favorite artists perform live, but it’s not every day that you’ll get to see a life-changing, magical gig.

Talking about fascinating concerts, any average rock fan might agree that London in the ’60s was the perfect place to see life-changing shows. If you were to take a walk in the streets of London, you’d probably witness Eric Clapton performing in one club and turn around and see Jimmy Page or the newly-formed Rolling Stones, with Brian Jones performing in another one.

And if you were to look closely enough, there might also be the distinct possibility that you’ll get to see an early version of Pink Floyd, fronted by Syd Barrett, playing some gigs in the underground stages of Cambridge and London. However, if you weren’t feeling like going out and sitting in a club for hours, you could’ve just popped on the radio and listened to the Beatles sing.

So, it was surely a prime time for any music enthusiast to get inspired to start a band. That’s what the young Peter Gabriel had been thinking about. You see, after hearing the Beatles popping up on the radio while sitting in the back of his parent’s car in the early ’60s, Gabriel was amazed by the mischievous sound the act had, and it was inevitable that he would also form a band.

However, neither the names we’ve listed nor the Beatles had performed the show that swept Peter off his feet. You see, surely, all of these acts had been influential on the path to co-founding Genesis, but the ‘life-changing’ performance he witnessed came from the one and only Otis Redding.

Well, while recently chatting with Canada Today, Gabriel discussed how amazed he was by Otis Redding’s cover of ‘Change Gonna Come,’ initially composed by Sam Cooke. The rocker then recalled how walking into the Ram Jam Club in London in 1967, the same year he co-founded Genesis, changed his life upon seeing Redding. It felt to him that the club was shining bright all around as if ‘the sun was up.’

The singer noted how magical seeing Redding perform with the following:

“I was very fortunate to see Otis Redding perform at the Ram Jam Club in Brixton, London, in 1967 when I was 17. When he showed up, it was like the sun was coming up. So it was just that amazing voice that ran it all, a great band, great grooves, and passion that permeated everything.

I think I’d have to pick an Otis song, and ‘Change Gonna Come’ might be one. Obviously, this is a song associated with other people and Sam Cooke and whatnot. But that’s how Otis got the message across. I think he is an excellent performer, and what a heart.”

Thus, Otis Redding’s show was life-changing for Peter Gabriel, and it indeed was no coincidence that he co-founded Genesis the same year after witnessing Redding perform. All of these also show how unique the British rock scene was back in the day as you could enter a club, and see an icon in the likes of Otis Redding, perform.