“Bald, gray and fat,” jokes Peter Gabriel when asked to describe himself these days. Admittedly the middle-aged rocker isn’t exactly boy-band material, but he isn’t beating himself up over it. “I’m 52 now and a lot more comfortable in my own skin,” says the ex-Genesis frontman, “so it doesn’t matter so much.”
What does matter, at least to fans, is the long-awaited chance to catch Gabriel during his U.S. tour, which begins next month, to promote Up, his first studio disc since 1992’s Us. So what took so long? “I enjoy making music a lot more than I enjoy the business of selling it,” says Gabriel. “So music piles up.” A lack of salesmanship aside, Gabriel owes at least part of his hiatus to more welcome distractions, including a wedding, his second, last June to costume designer Meabh Flynn, 30, and the birth of the couple’s son Isaac, 1.
As for the inevitable question about a Genesis reunion, Gabriel, who lives in Bath, England, advises fans not to dust off their lighters anytime soon. “Getting together is like going to a school reunion—quite fun, but we’re probably more interested in looking forward. Old musicians mainly get back together because they’re broke,” he says with a laugh, “and I haven’t hit that point yet.” Liz Corcorar