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Traumafessions :: Ryan Clark of Thrill Me! on Peter Gabriel

June 29th, 2011 by aunt john · 5 Comments

Hey there!

My name is Ryan Clark, and I write a blog over at

As I was trying to come up with a Traumafession, I realized that an inordinate number of my childhood traumas dealt with surreal imagery or people transforming, especially facial transformations. Many are actually music videos rather than horror movies, because I used to watch MTV a lot in the early-to-mid ‘90s; you know, back when they were still MUSIC television.

There were a few videos that scared me, but I think the one that terrified me more than all others was the video for “Sledgehammer” by PETER GABRIEL. Something about his twitching head transforming into various objects via claymation absolutely scared the CRAP out of me, and I would run screaming from the room every time that video came on.

As with many of the music videos that once had me paralyzed with fear, the song and video are among my favorites, and now I’m an avid PETER GABRIEL fan. I think if I ever met the man I would have to tell him how much his innovation frightened me — in a sense, he was MY boogeyman. I’m just thankful I didn’t see his “Shock the Monkey” video until I was older!

Tags: Kindertrauma Jukebox · Traumafessions

5 responses so far ↓

  • 1 godmonsterNo Gravatar // Jun 29, 2011 at 7:59 pm

    I agree, “Shock the Monkey” freaked me out, but I think “Sledgehammer” is delightful. It was his third solo album ‘melt’ which really challenged me. The opening song “Intruder” is really scary! I couldn’t figure out why he would write a song like that. Then he hit me over the head with the cinematic “Family Snapshot”, a song about a man who wants to kill the president. That song still haunts me.

  • 2 RawhideAlmondMacheNo Gravatar // Jun 30, 2011 at 2:55 am

    Not to mention the video for “Games Without Frontiers” with the terrifying three-faced baby doll head!

  • 3 FatherOfTearsNo Gravatar // Jun 30, 2011 at 8:50 am

    “I Don’t Remember” from “Melt” was a bit creepy for me when it was played on the radio in 1980. Peter’s howls in the song were a bit unnerving. The ending was even more scary. He whispers unintelligible words in back of synthesized “ambulence sirens” and Tony Levin’s grinding Chapman Stick to create a haunting soundscape.

  • 4 Baseley09No Gravatar // Jul 1, 2011 at 10:19 am

    Shows you how amazing PG3/Melt is, one of the best albums ever made, the sense of paranoia is startling.

  • 5 Ryan ClarkNo Gravatar // Jul 2, 2011 at 2:35 pm

    Yay! I just now noticed this was posted. Thanks. I agree with you guys that Peter Gabriel III is terrifying and amazing. The album cover used to leave me quivering in my boots when I’d see it at the record store. When I finally started buying his albums, I found “I Don’t Remember” especially creepy. I totally love that album!

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