When Peter Gabriel launched his solo career in 1977, he was determined to make a name for himself outside of Genesis. His self-titled debut LP sounds nothing like the prog-rock Genesis created during his tenure in the band, and when he toured he padded out his setlist with “All Day and All of the Night” by the Kinks and Marvin Gaye‘s “Ain’t That Peculiar” to avoid relying on the catalog of his old band.
Still, he didn’t want the Genesis fans to go home completely disappointed. On his 1977 tour he ended the show with “Back in New York City” from the 1974 Genesis album The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway, and the next year he closed out the night with the album’s title track. He even put on his old leather jacket from the Lamb stage show for the occasion.
Here’s video of Gabriel playing “The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway” in Essen, Germany on September 15th, 1978. It was the final tour where he played even a single Genesis song, though he did reunite with the band for one concert in 1982 to raise money for his fledgling WOMAD organization. A few months after that show he joined former Genesis guitarist Steve Hackett onstage in England for an impromptu rendition of Genesis’ 1973 hit “I Know What I Like.” It was the final time he sang a Genesis song in public, though he did re-record vocals for the band’s 1998 box set. He also recorded a new version of “Carpet Crawlers” that he sang as a duet with Phil Collins.
Genesis fans have been praying for a reunion concert with Gabriel for decades, but it seems pretty unlikely, especially because Phil Collins is suffering from a nerve condition that makes it very difficult for him to play drums. In a 2011 interview with Rolling Stone, Gabriel made it very clear a Genesis reunion is the last thing on his mind. “I won’t say never ever,” he said. “But it’s in the outside department of the betting shop . . . I think if you stick with the stuff that nourishes you the most, then you’ll probably be the happiest . . . We had a great run. They did way better after I left anyway. So I don’t think anyone has anything to complain about.”