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July 2, 2012
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Music has always been a touchstone, and for the last 20+ years Peter Gabriel has been a regular source of inspiration and consolation.  Having dug back into his catalogue recently (I don’t mind telling you things have been… weird in the Nerd world), I wanted to take a day to celebrate the salve his work has brought into my life.

Index finger:
The background on this is just a hodgepodge of powders dusted on a layer of clearcoat, so no real polish going on.  I painted over a shadow effect of Peter Gabriel’s face on this one.

Middle finger: Cherimoya Bood Diamond
This is from the cover of the US album from 1992.  Still remember seeing this tour in Denver, then hanging around the busses afterward trying to meet him (unsuccessful, though did make friendly and pen-palish with his then-drummer). My favorite (and I use this term loosely, since they’re all beloved songs) off of this one is “Come Talk To Me”, a song he wrote for his daughter.  On the album Sinéad O’Connor sang the backing vocals, but in a later tour (Secret World) Paula Cole sang with him.  The video of this performance never fails to tug at my heart.

Ring finger: OPI Number One Nemesis
This is the (slightly wonked) character from the UP album in 2002. Super special album and tour to me — but I think what stands out most from this album is a very dear friendship that grew up around this time. We went to the Peter Gabriel concert together in San Francisco, and he later flew out to visit me on the east coast where we saw Peter Gabriel live again; wherever you are K, I love you for all the love you shared. I can never hear “Growing Up” without thinking fondly of K, now cast somewhere in the world and, I pray, happy.

Pinky finger: ORLY Dayglow
The famous SO album. Probably most downloaded for “In Your Eyes” (John Cusack’s boombox should probably be in the Smithsonian for all that James Cameron’s movie did for this song), I will forever break apart listening to “Mercy Street”. Somewhere deep inside I will always be that teenage girl listening to this on repeat on a Lufthansa flight for hours, crying. I sometimes forget there’s a therapy in that release. The song is dedicated to the poet Anne Sexton, who lost her battle with suicidal tendencies in 1974.

Peter Gabriel Nails

OPI Number One Nemesis

Peter Gabriel US

Peter Gabriel SO

Peter Gabriel UP

3 Responses

  1. Gottwinkies says:

    Girl, you made my day by doing this one. LOVE Peter Gabriel’s music…have since the early 90′s. I remember dancing with my 3rd child to Red Rain and Mercy Street…holding her and soothing her through colic-music cranked,lol…wonderful artist…Great Mani, too, but thank-you for reminding me of music I haven’t hear for years

    • the nerd says:

      I can totally picture it, that’s just a super sweet memory/moment… absolutely agreed, Gabriel is an amazing artist and I’m so glad to have been turned onto him as a teenager. I think I’ve had his music in every tape cassette box/traveling CD case/mp3 player since then. If you ever get the chance to see him play live, DO!

  2. ElkieTouchstone says:

    Wow, this has made my week! I LOVE Gabriel’s music (Red Rain & Talk To Me being favourites). I’m new to your site and this was the last thing I was planning to find, and a brilliant surprise. I’m in a Proggy band so I can’t wait to try it out on stage!

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