Peter Gabriel, lead singer of Genesis, has finally confirmed the rumors that he is quitting the band. Gabriel's announcement followed weeks of specula. tion and adamant denials by the group's management that the vocalist was leaving the theatrically-oriented quintet.

However, a spokesman for the group's label said Gabriel will record two albums with Genesis before officially parting with the band. There will be one more Genesis studio record featuring Gabriel, he said, and a live album which will mark Gabriel's farewell to the group on vinyl. The live disc will be recorded during Gabriel's swan song tour with Genesis, which is scheduled to begin sometime after the New Year and will cover the United States, England, and parts of Europe. The label spokesman said Gabriel will devote himself to "other literary and experimental interests outside of music," speculating that the singer may become involved in film or the theatre.

But a close friend of Gabriel's said the vocalist is busy writing songs for other artists and may produce other singers. He has already written and produced a single for British comedian Charles Drake.

Gabriel's confidant, an English musician of some repute, said there were "no moodies, no unpleasantries" involved in Gabriel's departure and that everyone in the band was still very friendly toward him. But personally, he said, he believed Gabriel would not
record or tour with Genesis again. The source explained that Genesis had already auditioned several singers as replacements and that guitarist Steve Hackett was considering having the band remain a quartet, leaving the vocal chores to three of the group's remaining members.~

Confusingly enough, another source close to the group said in an interview with the British press that the band is replacing Gabriel as soon as possible. "The boys are at present looking for a new singer to replace Gabriel and, in fact, they already have one idea very much in mind. And if that doesn't work out, they have alternatives up their sleeve. I can tell you quite definitely that Genesis, together with a new singer, will be going on the
road in the New Year."