"Taking A Little Trip Back…." - Long-standing genesis fan, Peter Gozzard reminisces about his memories of the band.

I would like to start by saying that my first two concerts by Genesis were memorable; but quite frankly I don't remember! No, I don't recall the group although the music I found very interesting and within a short period I had purchased my first Genesis album. The first show I saw was the now famous "Six Bob Tour" with Lindisfarne and Van Der Graaf Generator. I was dragged along by a friend who was a fan of Lindisfarne. Genesis? Good but not strong enough to prompt me to buy their first album. In May 1972 I travelled up to the Great Western Pop Festival. A lot of very good music over the weekend and constant rain ; tent pegs disappeared in mud; the arena seemed covered in straw. My car was broken into and a friend's leather jacket stolen -an eventful weekend! Genesis? History tells me that Gabriel shaved his head for the first time and Watcher of The Skies opened the set for the first time too. Me? I went home and purchased a lot of LPs by the groups I had seen that weekend, among them: Nursery Cryme. The collection had started.

Little was I to know that the next twenty years or so would involve me in such expense! King Crimson still held pride of place; particularly the influential In The Court Of The Crimson King but by now the constant changes of line ups ; delayed and cancelled tours was trying my patience. I continued to buy all of Crimson's albums but as a live act; my last concert was 1974.

Now… back to 1972... October - a review in the Sounds music paper of Foxtrot by Jeremy Gilbert. If ever a review helped to sell a record, this did, especially to me. A week or so later I finally managed to obtain a copy from a local shop. The impact was very similar to the first listen to the Crimson debut album and this was a MAJOR up from the Nursery Cryme album. the review stayed inside the album for a year or two until I lent the record to a friend. The record came back scratched and the cutting was gone! A new copy was obtained and a lesson learned!

1973 was a good year in which I saw the band live on three occasions now the group was important enough for me to buy my first programme which cost about 20p and also to record the details of the set lists! The first of these shows was at Birmingham Town Hall on 18th February . The staging was like nothing I had ever seen before with the "sails" covering up much of the equipment. Without lights they didn’t look impressive. To imagine from there onwards just pick up Genesis Live and look at the front cover! What followed was Peter Gabriel plus costumes and an excellent show. The set consisted of the following tracks: Watcher Of The Skies/Musial Box/Get 'Em Out By Friday/Supper's Ready/The Return of The Giant Hogweed/The Knife.

The second show was at the Reading Festival over the August Bank Holiday weekend. Genesis were the headline act on the Sunday 28th August. The weather this time was much kinder than at Lincoln and over the three days there was plenty of good music. The list included PFM; an Italian outfit with some similarities to Genesis - but that is another story! The Sounds review of the gig can describe it much better than I can. Nonetheless, I thought it was a perfect finish to a great weekend. The set was: Watcher Of The Skies/Musical Box/The Return Of The Giant Hogweed/Supper's Ready/The Knife.
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October 1973… Selling England By The Pound had been released and was part of my record collection which now also included a trip back to 1970 for Trespass and Genesis Live. The show was at the Birmingham Hippodrome on 28th October and was a further improvement on the previous ones earlier that year. More costumes; Batwings; Britannia; Old Man Mask; stockings ;the red box and the luminous rod! All part of history now. Phil's debut singing. A workmate came with me to the show and was for some time afterwards nicknamed "Ethel". I did get the dice/flexidisc pack but didn't keep it. And the set list? Watcher Of The Skies/Dancing With The Moonlit Knight/Cinema Show/I Know What I Like/Firth Of Fifth/More Fool Me/Musical Box/The Battle Of Epping Forest/Supper's Ready. No encore, yes at the end of Supper's Ready down came the curtain and it stayed down despite the crowd standing and calling for more for what seemed like ages! Never again would I see them without performing at least one encore. To this day it does seem to put into perspective the ritual of encores and the "to and fro". Yes, 1973 WAS a GOOD year!

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Since 1973 I have seen every tour with the exception of Knebworth in 1978. I got married in that year and had other things on my mind. Other years hold special memories such as '82 at the NEC and the Milton Keynes mud bowl, nd '92 at Roundhay Park and Wolverhampton Civic; the last gig of the tour but many more people witnessed these these shows and I am sure they have stories to tell as well. During 1992 I became ill with what has now been diagnosed as M E. Getting to Roundhay (I slept virtually the whole journey but NOT during the show!) and Wolverhampton (sitting on the floor at the back downstairs) were both major problems which left me much worse for sometime afterwards - but live is much better than video tape or CD!!

I am now a pensioner and there are not many of those watching Genesis! Being at home all day I probably listen to their music more than ever and look forward to the Boxed Sets later this year. My sins have passed to another generation with all three of my children knowing the lyrics to We Can't Dance which is an in-car favourite. The youngest; aged 7 is pretty good at "It's One O'clock and time for lunch…" never mind the funny walk! Over a period of years the debate about "Old" and "New" Genesis or "With Gabriel" "Post Gabriel" has continued; which was or is the best? I am one of what must be a dwindling number who saw both eras. Apart from the changes in 1969/70, the most significant move was with Abacab. However, the music still retains a quality that is very distinct. I prefer to listen to whatever fits a particular mood - play the music and enjoy it! The interview with Tony Banks over the last couple of issues of TWR has been amazing; in particular the details of the old songs. However, I will look forward to the news of all current activities with equal anticipation. Who wants to live in the past? Lets look forward to the future and more interesting music!