Eye (all seeing signs)
Okay. One of the things that has always struck me is how we can unknowingly find ourselves enjoying the performances of an artist over many, many years without consciously realizing that that person has been replaced along the way. But the more I've learned from studying the excellent research posted here, the more I've seen that I've often been a fan of a performer both before and after replacement, but on some level I do seem to register that a change has taken place. Like I enjoyed the pre-replacement David Bowie as well as much of the work that Favid did later on in the 80's. I always wrote off his changes in style and look as costume and makeup-related, which was easy to do since when he was younger he enjoyed stepping fully into his Ziggy Stardust persona and burying himself under tons of theatrical makeup.
Another performer that has crossed my radar recently who in some ways is similar to Favid Fowie is Peter Gabriel. Like Bowie he started out when he was younger as an extremely theatrical performer who almost always obscured his features and body with extreme makeup and hair alterations (in some early performances he even shaved his hairline which gave him a weird faux balding appearance at a premature age.)
Like Bowie/Fowie, he has had many "lives" professionally. There was the early theatrical performer, and the later, mainstream 80's guy who seemed more sexy and Top 40, with hits like Sledgehammer and a bunch of highly successful videos in the early 80's (although as in his video Shock the Monkey he was often still barely recognizable because he was buried under so much makeup.)
Then he got into soundtracks and wrote award winning film scores like the one for The Last Temptation of Christ in the late 80's (I love that score!)
Then later on he almost disappeared from the music scene and became heavily involved with projects involving the heavy promotion and production of "world music" and almost becoming like Bono with his world improvement causes - only Peter Gabriel's projects have mostly involved musical outreach, not so much general world charity or solving world hunger like Bono/Fono has involved himself with. More recently he has become heavily involved with trying to pioneer new ways for artists (especially minorities and artists from neglected nations) to get their work out there in various digital formats and distribution formats. Almost like setting up new distribution formats for independent musicians.
Career-wise it would seem like there were many points in his history where there could have been a replacement. This includes the juncture point where he left Genesis to pursue a solo career, and Phil Collins became the lead singer for Genesis.
To me Peter's voice seems pretty consistent over time, with that unique husky texture to it. But oddly he hasn't really released much new stuff in a long time, and the last major album he sang songs on was all cover songs from other artists, which seems odd to me. A great songwriter like him is covering everybody else? Makes sense if he's just a Feter now, though!
So lately I've been looking at photos of him from his various epochs and I'm seeing different ear shapes and nose shapes, maybe even head shapes between the different Peters. I realize a lot depends upon finding photos of similar poses, or of the same ear views to compare, but here are some of the photos I've been looking at so far. I would appreciate any feedback from you eagle eyes out there to tell me if I'm barking up an unfruitful tree or not. Sometimes you can get a little too close to this stuff and THINK you see something, but it's not really there.
I'll start with the youngest photo I have found on him:
From the 1970's sometime:
With Phil Collins:
I know it can be hard seeing differences in these early photos, but please stick with me and examine some as he got older:
Now we get into older photos of him - and this is where something starts to smell for me:
Where did that long, pointed schnozz come from? The early Peter had a relatively aquiline nose. Do noses get longer with age??????
Also notice how in all of his older photos (the more recent ones) he always seems to be sporting a goatee, so you can't' get a good look at his chin shape. In some of his younger photos he almost seems to have a slight cleft to his chin - in others, he doesn't.
And the ears confuse me. I know older men can develop somewhat elongated "old man" ear. But you'll see in the last photo he doesn't seem to have that at all. The ear just looks different to me. When he was younger there was a bit of an elfin quality to his ears, almost a point. Now older Peter has perfectly rounded ears?
There might be some lip changes, too. I'm not sure.
Anyway, I hope I haven't completely made a fool of myself with this post! It just came to me recently thinking about this stuff that Gabriel could be similar to Bowie in some respects - having multiple "incarnations" as an artist while secretly being replaced somewhere along the way. Maybe even twice!
He had a painful divorce around 1987 and disappeared from the scene from
about 1988 to 1992. That's one time frame that's possible for replacement.
In reading his bio I'm struck by how involved he's been with known NWO type/world improvement fronts like Amnesty International and so forth - but that all came post 1988.
"He also became well known as an anti-Apartheid activist, for his efforts to bring different styles of international music to the attention of the West by establishing the WOMAD (World of Music, Arts and Dance) Festival, his own Real World label and recording studios as well as the addition of world music performers and styles into his own music. He has also worked extensively for Amnesty International as well as many other humanitarian efforts, such as founding his own human rights organization Witness and co-founding, with Richard Branson and Nelson Mandela, world human rights advocacy group The Elders in July 2007. His dedication to humanitarian causes was recognized with the Nobel Peace Laureates' Man of Peace Award in 2006 and Amnesty International's Ambassador of Conscience honour in 2008. "
A lot of that work came after that 1989 to 2002 break period.
For a successful hit maker in the 1980's, he took a weird path after that. Only one album in 2002 that is somewhat reminiscent of his 80's stuff, a more moody and thoughtful version of his material with some minor hits on it. And then no more vocal recordings really until 2010. His new album is a weird one, too - it's all cover songs of other artists' works. I heard a song from it recently and while it sounded like the distinctive husky voice from the 1980's, I was thinking, "Gosh, these sound like castoff pieces he might have done a long, long time ago." Meaning - why couldn't they simply be extra music that the original Peter recorded a long time ago?
Same for his 2002 album. That one always struck me as possibly being "extras" that hadn't been included on his last album from the 80's. One thing we need to keep in mind is that when an album is being made, depending on the artist and how prolific they are, there can be double the amount of songs recorded as are actually used on that album. Sometimes more. So songs from the original Peter could have been archived and used later. So it's probably very common for albums and songs using the original's voice/talent are being released when it's a replacement who has now taken over the rest of the brand.
He mostly has been doing soundtracks for TV and film during the periods between albums. Nice way for a replacement to be out of sight and not be observed. He's also been very shy of press and rarely gives interviews, is rarely seen at events unless he's getting an award, that type of thing. Probably because the nose is so damned noticeable!