Tony Levin and Peter Gabriel have become inextricably linked, something that was underscored by the bassist’s recent appearances on the anniversary tour celebrating 1986’s So. They didn’t have a very auspicious meeting, however.
“I was just called by the producer to play on Peter’s first record, Peter Gabriel it was called,” Levin tells Mitch Gallagher of the Sweetwater Minute. “I didn’t know who Peter was, I didn’t know who Genesis was, I’m embarrassed to admit. Bob Ezrin, the producer who had used me on a many great things, called me — and we made one of those musical connections that are so special. To this day, many years later, I’m still playing with Peter.”
Levin would eventually appear on all four of Gabriel’s self-titled LPs between 1977-82, Plays Live in 1983, the Birdy soundtrack in 1985, So in 1986, Us in 1992, Secret World Live in 1994, OVO in 2000, and Up in 2002, among others.
That same late-1970s Gabriel session, and the subsequent tour, would lead to one of Levin’s other most notable musical associations — as a member of King Crimson with Robert Fripp. Levin has likewise appeared on more than a dozen Fripp-related recordings, including 1981’s Discipline, 1984’s Three of a Perfect Pair, 1994’s Vroom and Thrak, 1996’s Trakattak and 1999’s Discipline: Live at Moles Club, among others.
“Robert Fripp was one of the guitar players on that session,” Levin adds, “and I’m still involved with Robert. Let’s call that the best day I ever had.”