“Don't fold that programme!” - A fresh look at Genesis’ tour programmes by Alan Hewitt.
This feature originally appeared many moons ago in an earlier edition of TWR just like the preceding features on the solo members’ tour programmes. Since then, there have been a couple of “selections of shows” to augment our collections and I have also managed to acquire several programmes which I didn’t have when the original feature was written so I thought it would prove useful to revisit the feature this time round. I hope it proves useful to any collectors out there! The emphasis of this feature is on tour programmes and so I have omitted details of brochures which were produced for specific gigs.
The first programme to feature anything other than the briefest mention of the band was the Lincoln Festival brochure issued for the ill-fated Festival that took place on 28th May 1972. With a bill which included such heavyweights as The Beach Boys, Joe Cocker and Van Der Graaf Generator, Genesis themselves merited a brief mention and photograph in the souvenir brochure which was produced for the occasion. Strangely enough, the band’s three appearances at the Reading Festival in 1971, 2 and 3 respectively seem to have gone without mention and no brochure for any of these events appears to have been produced.
1972 was a busy year for the band and their next appearance in a programme was once again for a festival. The Melody Maker Poll Winner’s Party concert arranged for the end of September 1972. A large format programme featuring a cricketer on the cover (the event took place at The Oval cricket ground) was produced. This time, Genesis were relegated to the “also appearing” section although they did also have a half page advertisement for the new album Foxtrot as well.
The year ended with the final souvenir brochure to feature the band. Once again, Charisma put two of their most popular acts out on the road in a double package. This time Genesis shared the billing with Lindisfarne although by now they were giving their label mates a good run for their money. The brochure, sporting a photo of Lindisfarne on its cover had a two page text and photo coverage of the band along with advertising for Foxtrot with features on Lindisfarne themselves and Rab Noakes who was also on the bill at several of the gigs.
The Foxtrot tour continued well into 1973 and in the UK at least a souvenir brochure was again produced. At last, the band featured on the cover with the now famous Armando Gallo shot of them outside the Bitter End Café in New York on the cover. Inside were biographical and technical details about each band member and their stage gear, an itinerary for the UK and a page of text by Jeremy Gilbert recycled from the earlier Lindisfarne programme. Funnily enough, this entire programme was recycled a year later at the band’s gigs at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane in London, the only difference being the colour of the cover which was red this time instead of yellow the first time!
Strangely enough, considering how popular the band were by the time they undertook their tour to promote Selling England By The Pound in the autumn of 1973, the programme that was produced to commemorate it was bizarre to say the least! Enclosed in an envelope were a flexi disc of Twilight Alehouse the B Side to the then hit single; I Know What I Like; a revolver, poster; die and sticker along with a single page of “programme notes” written by Michael Wale. Complete copies of this package are probably the rarest of any Genesis programme.
Thankfully for the band’s tour in support of The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway, a more traditional programme was produced. A5 in format this was an excellent little brochure featuring more of Armando Gallo’s photography accompanied by an informative text and tour dates for the first leg of the European tour which was up to and including the UK shows. No programme was produced for the second leg of the European tour nor indeed for the preceding US tour as far as I am aware apart from an A4 sized single-sided flyer which, I am assuming was placed on each seat at gigs.
With Peter’s departure and the arrival of Phil in the front man’s position, the band undertook another extensive tour of the USA/Canada and Europe to support the new A Trick Of The Tail album. Unusually, there was no official souvenir brochure produced for this tour although several bootleg affairs were organised. The band’s first foray into live concert film was premiered in the autumn of 1976 and a special souvenir brochure was created at least for the film’s premier at which the Princes Royal; Princess Anne attended. Without doubt, this is one of the most difficult programmes to obtain and like the posters for the film itself is a highly sought after item.
|1977 was an eventful year for the band in many ways. The tour for the Wind & Wuthering album not only took them on another extensive jaunt around the UK, Europe and the USA/Canada but also saw them become one of only a handful of bands at that time to have performed in South America. The first programme to appear was the World Tour programme. Once again, a large format edition containing a wealth of photographs and an informed text by Sounds columnist Barbra Charone helped to make this one of the best brochures available.|
|Sadly, the next programme produced during 1977 is one of the most disappointing. Titled “European Tour ‘77 Picture Book” this, as its title suggests, is a visual affair only. Containing the photographs of one of the best known concert photographers; Robert Ellis, this brochure really does his work no favours. Most of the photographs are either badly lit and/or out of focus - no great advertisement for a photographer! An easy one to find for collectors though.|
|With Steve’s departure in the summer of 1977, the band were not long in getting to grips with working on what was to prove their most successful album to date. With its release in the spring of 1978, the band undertook their most intensive round of touring since The Lamb… with no less than THREE separate tours of the USA, two in Europe and their inaugural visit to Japan as well. The poor old UK had to settle for one gig at the massive Knebworth Park. The USA was graced by the band’s presence first and for their visit an unusual programme was produced. Opening out into a poster, the text was taken from the recently published Genesis - The Evolution Of A Rock Band, the first book on the band by Armando Gallo. An unusual item, and one which is quite hard to find these days.|
|There was no official brochure prepared for the European leg of the tour and so the next to appear was the special programme to commemorate the band’s only UK gig at Knebworth. An excellent effort including a nice mix of photographs of both Genesis but also the other main acts on the festival bill along with details of transport to the gig and even a list of refreshment costs - fish & chips 70p! Them were the days!|
|The band were back in Europe in the late summer for a string of festival appearances at some of the major events of the year. Their appearances at several of the German festivals that year was commemorated by the production of another nice programme. A nice touch was the dual language text on both Genesis and the rest of the main acts on the bill along with some excellent photography making this another nice addition to any collection.|
|The final programme of the year commemorated the band’s first visit to Japan. Another highly sought after item this one. What a pity that the resulting programme is somewhat disappointing. A large format edition, this takes a similar approach to the 1977 “Picture Book”. Text is in Japanese as you would expect and the photos are by Armando, but once again, they aren’t the best examples of his craft. Nonetheless, an extremely collectable item.|
|1980 saw the band back on the road in support of the Duke album. This time, it was to be mainland Europe which lost out as the band treated their UK fans to the kind of tour they hadn’t seen since the heady days of the mid 1970’s. The band also consolidated their burgeoning success with a series of shows in the USA and Canada following on from the British gigs. The programme once again, like its predecessor, contained Armando Gallo’s photos and indeed the text featured extracts from his updated biography of the band; Genesis - I Know What I Like. This is another relatively easy programme to find.|
The band’s popularity continued to rise with 1981’s Abacab album (unless you were an inhabitant of Leiden that is!) and once again, the resulting tour programme threw up a couple of different variants. Some copies of the European programme contained a double page spread with the lyrics to the album, others didn’t. The US programme looked exactly the same as the European edition on the outside, the inside back cover gave the game away however, with an advert for the band’s back catalogue on Atlantic Records instead of the plug for the tour merchandise.
Interestingly enough, the band did merit a mention or two in the 21st anniversary programme produced for the 1981 Reading Festival. Ironically, Steve Hackett was one of the major acts appearing at that year’s event!
|Capitalising on their success and with no new product to promote, the band undertook an extension to the Abacab tour throughout the summer months in the USA/Canada and Europe. Now more commonly referred to as “The Encore Tour” the band took everyone by surprise by radically changing their set to include classics such as Supper’s Ready for the first time in many years. Once again, a brochure was issued with an informative text written by the then tour manager Andy Mackrill and accompanied by photos by Hans Schmidt and Robert Ellis this is another nice addition. There may have been a US tour variant of this programme featuring the US tour dates but I have never seen one if there is.|
|The year ended with the event Genesis fans had dreamed of ever since 1975. The one-off reunion of Peter Gabriel with his former band mates as a fundraiser for the artistically successful but financially disastrous WOMAD Festival which Peter had organised earlier in the year. Such an event could not go by without a commemorative brochure and the end result was an enjoyable mix of photos from the band’s rehearsals with Peter at Hammersmith and archival photos. Basic background text on each of the other acts on the bill and the usual mix of advertisements made up the rest of this highly collectable effort.|
|By 1983 the band were achieving massive success in the States and so, to capitalise on it, the 1983/84 tour was to be an almost exclusively US/Canadian affair on to which five gigs at the cavernous NEC arena in Birmingham were attached. Once again, the resulting programme was disappointing although at least the rehearsal photographs were in focus this time! Those featuring the band dressed in various sportsgear were embarrassing to say the least! In the UK, each of the five nights at the NEC was in aid of a different charity and each night’s programme cover sported the logo of the respective charity but otherwise remained the same as the US version.|
|The 1986/87 Invisible Touch tour was the most extensive the band had undertaken since the 1978 And Then There Were Three tours. Once again The UK, Europe and the USA witnessed the spectacle of the band’s new show. In addition to that, the band returned to Japan again for the second time and also found time at last to visit New Zealand and Australia as well. As far as I am aware, there were three variants on the programme produced for this tour. The US tour programme featured the same domino design as the subsequent European variants although sporting only three and two dots instead of the five and three on the others. Other differences were the Michelob logo on the front cover as opposed to the Virgin Atlantic Airways logo on the others. The USA programme also had no mention of Tony Stratton-Smith’s death which had not happened when the programme went to press. The two variants of the European 1987 programme feature slightly different texts on support act Paul Young and the transposition of the back catalogue and Pernod advertisements but otherwise are exactly the same. With such an extensive tour, any of the above are still relatively easy to find.|
|Another lengthy gap followed the conclusion of the 1986/87 tour but eventually the band reappeared in the summer of 1992 with another extensive US/European tour to promote the We Can’t Dance album. The brochure this time was a large format effort featuring the usual mix of photography and a basic but informative text. This brochure served both legs of the tour and is easy to find.|
|Taking their UK fans by surprise, the band returned to the UK in the autumn of 1992 for a series of shows at provincial theatres which hadn’t seen the band since the heady days of 1980. The souvenir brochure for these shows was a major disappointment. Ostensibly the programme looked different from the outside, sporting as it did, a different cover design. Internally, however, it was exactly the same as that which had been produced for the summer tour!|
|Another lengthy wait followed the end of the 1992 tour and the fans not only had to endure the shock of Phil’s departure but the lengthy delay before the announcement of his replacement; Ray Wilson. With a new album; Calling All Stations, the new look Genesis were initially scheduled for an extensive tour of the USA in the autumn of 1997. Sadly, that tour was scrapped thanks to poor ticket sales and it looked likely that the European leg would suffer the same fate. Fortunately, that was not the case, and the band toured Europe throughout the spring of 1998. The resulting tour programme is a disappointing effort with basic text and computer graphics. An essential addition to any collection, nevertheless.|
|Nine years were to elapse before Genesis appeared again. Essentially a reunion with Phil Collins, the 2007 Turn It On Again tour saw the band performing a “selection of shows” in Europe, England and the USA in the summer. Another commemorative brochure was issued. Sadly, for what may well prove to be the band’s last ever tour, the end result is quite disappointing. The photography from the rehearsals was excellent and the usual if predictable selection of archival photos were interesting if unduly familiar. However, the chronological text was basic and could have been so much better but there you go.|
There you have it, the band’s tour programmes in a nutshell. I hope
you found it interesting. My thanks to Carol Willis of TSPM and Peter Vickers
for their help with this feature.