"Genesis At The BBC - Part Two: In Concert” by Jonathan Dann. Memorabilia: TWR Archive.

Strictly speaking, Genesis have only ever made one appearance for In Concert in its original form. The majority of the band’s appearances that have been broadcast by Radio One have been from live concerts. However, the one appearance they did make has gone on to be another popular item with fans. During the course of our chat with Tony Banks (see #28 for the results of that chat - AH) I took the opportunity to ask him what he recalled about this early appearance. The answer was quite simple - nothing! So, for Tony and the readers of TWR, we now look at these performances.

In Concert itself had its roots in the unique BBC session recordings. The instigator of In Concert was producer, Jeff Griffin who had the initial idea for the programme after recording a session with Led Zeppelin back in 1969. Guitarist Jimmy Page expressed some interest in being able to perform live in front of an audience to produce an exclusive show and so a pilot programme featuring Led Zeppelin was broadcast during the summer of 1969. Having got a fairly good response to the initial programme, In Concert was launched on 4th January 1970. The first band to be featured were Family, although disaster struck just as the concert was due to be recorded as vocalist Roger Chapman had lost his voice. However, Tyrannosaurus Rex agreed to help out and they played the remainder of the show.

The show’s format was fairly straightforward. Two bands were each given half an hour to play a selection of numbers before an audience who were given free tickets at the BBC’s Paris Studios in London. Occasionally “name” bands would appear and when this happened they would be given the full hour. The vast majority of the shows were pre-recorded a week or so before they were due to be broadcast.

And so we come to Genesis’ performance for the series. The selection of bands was entirely up to Jeff Griffin, so he must be congratulated for having the foresight to get Genesis into the Paris Studios for this half hour. As with the detail of the band’s BBC sessions, we are able to bring you the complete details of this performance. It has been bootlegged a couple of times whilst Alan Freeman resurrected it on his Saturday Night/Sunday Morning Rock Show back in 1989.

Recording Venue: Paris Studios, Lower Regent Street, London.
Recording Date: Thursday 2nd March 1972.
Producer: Jeff Griffin.
Engineer: Chris Lycett.
Tape Operator: John Atchels.
First Broadcast: Saturday 11th March 1972, between 6.30 and 7.30pm on In Concert.
Songs Performed: The Fountain Of Salmacis/The Musical Box/The Return Of The Giant Hogweed.
Recording Detail: This show was recorded in stereo but subsequently mixed into mono for broadcast, as the earliest In Concert shows were only broadcast in mono. Although the stereo masters of some of these early shows do exist (most notably Led Zeppelin’s landmark concert from late 1971), only the mono master of the Genesis show exists.

One of the mysteries that has surrounded this broadcast has been the identity of the show’s host who can be heard introducing the songs and the band members. I can now reveal that it is Andy Dunkley, whom I would assume was one of the show’s regular comperes, and NOT John Peel or Bob Harris as has been suggested in the past. Apart from the music, the show also includes Peter Gabriel’s “filthy stories” which add a nice piece of atmosphere to this good performance by the band. I wonder if we could see an extract of this on the forthcoming history of the band? It would certainly be worth having an official release of this performance. We now bring you a complete transcript of the show which was as follows….

Song: The Fountain Of Salmacis.

A D: “That was The Fountain of Salmacis and it’s the first time I’ve heard Genesis with the Mellotron live and I must say that it vastly adds to the sound and adds to what was already a very good group anyhow. This next number I’m particularly pleased that they have committed to wax on their new album Nursery Cryme because it’s always been one of their good stage numbers. It’s Musical Box (applause). First of all, our court jester, Mr Peter Gabriel, would probably like to say a few words about it…”

P G: “Henry, Henry, Henry! What’s happened to our game of croquet? Cried little Henrietta. Henry found croquet completely irresistible and so he rushed out onto the front lawn to join his little sister. Just as play was about to commence she raised the croquet mallet in the air and with one fell swoop she removed little Henry’s head. This had the effect of killing him (laughs). But two weeks’ later she was in Henry’s old room when she found an old musical box which used to play the tune of Old King Cole. And when she opened the musical box and the tune began to ring out, a strange and somewhat familiar pair of green knickerbockers were mysteriously lowered from the ceiling. Into these Henry was dropped. He’d been given a second round. Always a bit on the randy side, Henry found himself a young lady, and he led this young lady up the old wooden stairs to the attic to show off his very fine water tank. (laughs). The nurse was downstairs however, and she heard strange noises, so she rushed up, picked up the musical box and instinctively hurled it at the bearded child, destroying both. In the middle of this number we’ve arranged for a small pair of satin green knickerbockers to be lowered from the BBC Paris Studios into which very casually, a naked Eddie Waring will be dropped! (laughs and applause). This is called The Musical Box (applause)…” (Just at this point someone in the audience calls out “Eddie we love you!”).

Song: The Musical Box.

A D: “I think those three years rehearsal were well spent. That was The Musical Box and a very fine version there. Just in case you need reminding who Genesis are, we’ll give you a quick run down on the line up. On bass you’ve got Michael Rutherford (applause), then on drums Phil Collins (applause), Steve Hackett on lead guitar (applause), Tony banks on keyboards (applause) and on bass, percussion, flute, lead vocals and filthy stories, Peter Gabriel (applause) (cue drum roll from Phil Collins). Whilst we’re still talking we’ll give you the run down for next week when we’ve got Deep Purple and it’s introduced by Mike Harding. Balancing was by Chris Lycett, leaping around by John Actchels, and production by Jeff Griffin. And now for our last number. You may remember last summer we were plagued with the Giant Hogweed (applause) and you thought you’d got rid of it. Well no such luck, because this is the Return Of the Giant Hogweed (at this point Phil Collins can be heard counting the band in to this final song).

Song: The Return Of The Giant Hogweed.

And so ended the band’s performance on the show. The other concerts by the band that have featured on In Concert are those which have been recorded at live shows. The most recent concerts have been relayed live as the gig had been played. Several of these shows have been pressed on to record for distribution to radio stations around the world. A run down of these other BBC broadcasts is as follows….

Empire Pool Wembley 15th April 1975. An hour’s worth of highlights from The Lamb… show. This has been bootlegged several times and remains a popular item with fans. The complete version of this concert is held in the BBC One Radio Archive as are the complete tapes of the band’s other In Concert shows.

Knebworth Festival 24th June 1978. An hour and a half’s worth of the band’s only UK show in front of over 120,000 fans.

Lyceum Ballroom London 7th May 1980. The complete show was broadcast by Radio One, but the all important between song stories were edited out.

Wembley Stadium London 4th July 1987. A live broadcast from the band’s final show at Wembley.

Knebworth Festival 30th June 1990. Genesis appeared as part of this all-star charity concert, which was broadcast in its entirety on Radio One.

Knebworth Park Stevenage 2nd August 1992. Once again, the band’s whole performance during this concert was broadcast live on Radio One.

There are also some other concerts which have been broadcast by other radio stations in the UK, which we shall detail here while I am at it…
Earls Court Arena London 24th June 1977. Capitol radio were responsible for this one.

Sheffield City Hall 17th April 1980. Broadcast as part of a special edition of Hallam Rock by Radio Hallam in Sheffield this was the entire concert including between-song stories.

Royal Albert Hall London 16th November 1992. The penultimate date of the We Can’t Dance tour was this charity performance which was broadcast by Capital Radio.