When I was nine years old, Peter Gabriel left Genesis. Phil Collins took over as the lead singer, and I was devastated. OK, that may be a slight exaggeration. Truth be told, I was completely oblivious.
That's because I didn't know who Genesis was. Ditto Gentle Giant, Rush, King Crimson, UK and ELP. I was listening to McCartney and Wings singing silly love songs, Wild Cherry playing that funky music (for their one and only hit,) and learning 50 ways to leave your lover from Paul Simon. Sara Smile, Afternoon Delight and Gary Wright were my thing, and Casey Kasem's top 40 didn't have room for a song called "Squonk" or any other song from A Trick of the Tail for that matter. At that point in my life, if it wasn't music from one of my mom's old 45's or on AM radio, I didn't know it existed.
Fast-forward 9 years. A band-mate friend of mine handed me a cassette tape and said, "The first time you listen to this, you'll think it's weird and you probably won't like it. The tenth time you listen to it, you're going to think it's a masterpiece. Promise me you'll listen to it at least ten times."
I promised, and he was right. That cassette was "The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway" by Genesis, and to this day it remains one of my favorite recordings. By the time I was a full-blown Genesis freak, Duke had come out, and Genesis was on their way to becoming a household name. I was disappointed that I never got to see Genesis with Peter Gabriel, but still, I burrowed deep into their back catalog, and within no time I owned all the Genesis there was. I then expanded into other areas of prog music, and became a huge fan of Marillion, Spock's Beard, ELP and Rush.
Which brings me to this past weekend. Yort, my wife and I went and saw this show:
It was fantastic, and I highly recommend it. Two years ago, I saw the same band play the entire Lamb Lies Down on Broadway Album. I think they do a better job with that line up, but the Phil version isn't shabby at all, especially if you like the Trick of the Tail CD. For that show, we sat far enough away to preserve the illusion, and it was truly like going back in time. They use the same lighting, the same stage props, same slides, same equipment, you name it. And they are top-notch musicians to boot. I guess they'd have to be in order to pull off album-perfect renditions of Genesis tunes.
If you want to feel really old, have a conversation with your friend's 16-year old about the concert you're going to see.
"They're a Genesis tribute band."
"Genesis. You know who Genesis is, right?"
"Phil Collins? You HAVE to know who Phil Collins is."
"I think I maybe heard of him."
At that point, since he was clearly lying through his teeth, we just laughed and gave up.
Fame is fleeting, I guess.
I'm going to bed. Old people need their rest.