Twenty-five years ago today (8/14/83), Peter Gabriel performed at SDSU’s outdoor amphitheatre with the Call as opening act.
Though battling marital problems and dealing with financial trouble due to his failed Womad festival, Gabriel pulled off a set that I cited for years as the best concert I’d ever seen. During one song, Gabriel approached the front of the stage, turned his back to the crowd, and fell backward into the audience, not even looking to see if he’d be caught (he was). Then he was passed around by the uplifted arms of audience members, traveling the entire width and length of the amphitheater infield before being returned to the front of the stage.
At one point, Gabriel passed directly over my girlfriend and me. I could see he was wearing no shoes and only one sock, which hung loosely three-quarters of the way off his foot. As I noticed this, my girlfriend reached up and yanked the sock off his foot! Gabriel’s face being turned upward, I did not see his reaction.
My reaction was to scold her: “What the hell?!” During my time with her, she never looked so happy and satisfied as she did when holding on to that sock.
Whenever I think of this concert, I always think of Peter Gabriel’s sock, which I made my girlfriend keep in her purse on the way home so as not to stink up the car (it was pretty funky).