Are we sitting comfortably? Then I will begin…
A long time ago in an alternative universe… Seriously folks, a lot (OK a FEW!) people have asked about how The Waiting Room got started and the people who have been involved with it and so I thought I would take this opportunity to reveal who-dunnit, so to speak!
|By the time of the end of Genesis' massive world tour in support of the Invisible Touch album in July, two friends of mine came to me with a truly daft idea. Ted Sayers, who had previously tried his hand very successfully, at writing a Peter Gabriel fanzine here in Liverpool in the early 1980's and Peter Morton from Sheffield were visiting me for a weekend when Ted raised the idea of trying our collective hand at a Genesis fanzine of our own. Genesis Information, the then official fan magazine, was becoming increasingly unreliable and late and Ted was convinced that between the three of us we could do something ourselves.|
|At this point, amidst coughing fits and laughter, I refused to have anything to do with this. Why? Simple my dear people … a few months earlier, Ted and I had had a similar crazy notion to write a Science Fantasy novel! Strange but true, dear readers. I had relished this prospect but Ted had soon grown bored with the idea or fed up of my nagging depending on which side of the story you believe! Anyway, I was somewhat reluctant to commit myself to something of a similar ilk, as I hope you will understand. Undeterred by my refusal, both Ted and Peter wore away at my resistance Mrs Doyle-like until I eventually agreed; with one proviso: that we all write material and see what emerged from our collective brainstorming. I must admit I fully expected this to be sufficiently off-putting that the idea would never even get off the ground.|
|However, on this occasion I was to be proven completely wrong! By the end of July the three of us had put together enough material which looked suspiciously like the outline of a magazine. Only one problem remained… how to get it printed? This was the day of the typewriter and photocopier (remember them?). Neither of these items were possessed by the three of us. Enter the fourth member of the original TWR line-up: Iain Buckle who fortuitously owned a typewriter and access to a decent photocopier! Thus was issue 1of The Waiting Room conceived and unleashed upon an unsuspecting public, sporting a laughable cover design drawn by yours truly!|
This little edition sold for the measly sum of 50p and believe it or not we sold out of the original run of fifty copies which are now collector's items in their own right apparently, and people started asking about a new issue (mad fools!). This was duly completed and once again repeated the sell-out that its predecessor had done! By now, I had managed to acquire a basic word processor and at that point Iain rode off into the distance to study at university, leaving me holding the baby, so to speak - which was precisely what I DIDN'T want to happen! And it was in this manner that The Waiting Room continued until 1991.
|Many things happened in that intervening period including the first tentative contacts with band members and their management(s) during a frantic couple of weeks in May 1988 where we conducted out first "exclusive" interviews with Steve Hackett and Anthony Phillips. Our good fortune held; and when Ted checked out in 1991 to get married; we were lucky to have one Jonathan Dann waiting in the wings to take over the responsibility of making the magazine leaner, meaner; and infinitely better reading than my efforts had ever been!|
|The advent of the Internet led to some interesting developments not least being the creation in 1999 of the web site on which you are now reading this. This decision was eventually to lead to the demise of the printed version of the magazine in 2002 but not before we had established ourselves as a decent web site and the responsibility for that lies with Martin Dean who took great pains to show a technical illiterate such as me, what the benefits of a web site were. Martin was succeeded in 2000 by Tony Burton who, between stints with Genesis tribute band: Invisible Touch with whom he played a mean bass guitar, also devised the basic layout of the web site which is still in use today.|
|That brings us almost up to date apart from mentioning our current web master (and if I forget to do so you will never read this!). Stuart Barnes was mad enough to agree to take over the reins from Tony when other commitments forced him to resign the web master's seat back at the beginning of 2003. Stuart's eager and enthusiastic stewardship of TWR has certainly enabled me to broaden the scope of the magazine and at the same time his active participation in many of the day to day activities associated with it, has been a Godsend.|
There you have the key personnel involved in the maintenance and indeed, sustenance of The Waiting Room and The Pavilion over the past eighteen years. Frightening to think though, that if you combine the existences of both magazines, that yours truly has been writing about this band for TWENTY EIGHT years… truly a LIFE sentence, by any standards! Do I regret it? Hmmm … not on your life! How could I possibly regret the opportunities which working on this project has opened up? Without TWR, I would almost certainly not have met the members of the band as frequently as I have nor in such relaxed circumstances; nor would I have written Opening The Musical Box - A Genesis Chronicle; had the chance to work on the Genesis Songbook or any of the other projects which it has been my pleasure to be involved with over the years, and, more important still; I would not have had the pleasure (or on rare occasions "displeasure") of making the acquaintance of so many fans either in person or via letter or e-mail … whether the experience has been as pleasurable for them, however, is anyone's guess but I hope that it has!
Anyone who tells you that putting together a fan magazine is easy, has obviously
never done it. Putting together an edition of a magazine or a web site is never
easy nor is it always fun either… long nights and bleary eyes can be the order
of the day (or night) sometimes. The end result is always worth it when you
know that other people have enjoyed your efforts and so the final thanks is
really to the fans who have bought or borrowed or just read or contributed to
both magazines and the site - thanks very much!