"Don’t Fold This Programme" - The Solo Artists’ tour programmes examined by Alan Hewitt.
Continuing the feature that appeared in the last edition of TWR, I thought it high time to turn my attentions to the tour programmes that have been produced to commemorate the solo activities by the various members of the band since they began to fly the nest back in the mid 1970’s. A previous edition of the magazine effectively covered the programmes from Phil’s career and most of those by the irrepressible Mr Hackett but even so, there is still a lot of ground to cover so let’s get on with it!
I will start where I left off with Steve Hackett. Steve continued to tour into 2004 on the back of the To Watch The Storms album and the 2003 tour programme effectively doubled for that tour too.
In 2005 however, Steve returned to the acoustic format having released the orchestral album Metamorpheus. As both Steve and keyboards man Roger King so aptly put it, it wasn’t possible to tour this album properly unless each musician had at least eight hands so instead, Steve stripped things down to a trio comprising himself, Roger and Steve’s brother John on flute for the first time since his accident in the mid 1980’s. The result was a lovely A5 sized programme sporting a close up of the detail from the album cover. Inside, there was an informative interview with Steve done by Paul Clark and the usual mix of photographs and information about Steve’s new website. A delightful effort and one which is still quite easy to find.
Steve continued to tour with the trio in 2006 -2008 and I assume that the above programme was used for those gigs.
2009 and Steve returns to the rock fold with the marvellous Out Of The Tunnel’s Mouth album and an extensive tour which was to run until the middle of 2010. Sadly, for this and its follow up; 2011’s Beyond The Shrouded Horizon, no tour brochure was produced and the only item I am aware of from this period emerged at the Schio Festival in Italy in March 2009 which had a commemorative brochure produced in which Steve has a single page to himself. As such, this is a very rare item as it was produced in limited numbers.
As if to compensate fans for the dearth of tour brochures, Steve’s recent Genesis Revisited II tour generated two highly collectable items. The first of these was the brochure which was available at gigs in the UK, USA and Europe. This comprised an excellent twenty page brochure replete with an informative text (including a contribution by the editor of a slightly well known web site!) and accompanied by a healthy selection of photographs.
Steve’s return to Japan in the summer of 2013 however, saw an entirely different tour brochure available exclusively at the Club Citta gigs. A large format programme which seems to be the norm for Japanese programmes, this one is exquisite featuring a superb selection of photographs and accompanying text and discography. As usual, this one is likely to be highly sought after by collectors in the future. Another example of the unique nature of Japanese merchandising can be seen in the Genesis Revisited “beer towel” (yes, honest folks!) that was part of their commemorative efforts.
We have already covered Phil’s solo career in a previous feature and looked at most of the brochures from Mike & The Mechanics apart from that which was produced to commemorate the 2011 tour in support of The Road album. Previous efforts at a tour brochure for the band had been disappointing to say the least. This one went more than some way to redressing that with an informative text comprising interviews with the three main protagonists in the band along with a selection of rehearsal photographs. One intriguing omission however was the lack of illustrations for either the M6 or Rewired albums in the advertising space for the band’s back catalogue!
That leaves us with the career of Mr P Gabriel to look at.
Peter’s solo endeavours got off to a flying start in 1977 when his self-titled debut album reached the top ten of the UK charts and the accompanying single; Solsbury Hill did equally well both at home and abroad. An extensive tour schedule was undertaken and for the European/UK leg a large format tour brochure was produced which featured what was soon to become the usual mix of information about Peter and the projects he was involved in. This one even includes a copy of a medical report! With the passage of time, this one is becoming harder to find.
Surprisingly enough for Peter’s second album and tour in 1978, there was no tour brochure produced although Peter’s appearance at the second Knebworth Festival in September 1978 where he was playing second (or third) fiddle to the likes of Frank Zappa and The Tubes ensured that only a couple of pages were dedicated to the man himself. Nevertheless, as a one-off event, this brochure is very hard to find these days.
There was also a postergramme available during the year although the exact details of this are not known at present (see cover illustration).
Peter’s touring activities in 1979 were restricted to a handful of festival appearances in the UK, for which, as far as I am aware, no tour brochures were produced. 1980 however saw Peter return to full touring in support of his third album. As usual, the resulting tour programme was a little different to say the least! Taking the form of a booklet modelled on the “Little Red Book” of Chairman Mao, the intriguingly titled “Tour Of China 1984” brochure contained a confusing mix of Chinese advertisements and the occasional snippet of information about Peter. This one too, is becoming harder for collectors to find these days.
A further two years were to elapse before Peter returned to touring in support of his fourth album. The bulk of touring in 1982 was reserved for the USA and Canada for which as far as I know, no tour brochure was produced. However, prior to that, Peter had taken the bold step of inaugurating a brand new music festival - The World Of Music Arts and Dance (WOMAD) Festival, the first of which took place at the Showering Pavilion in Shepton Mallet over the weekend of 16th to 18th July 1982. A souvenir brochure was produced which featured text about the festival and the artists featuring in it and this is another very rare programme to have in your collection.
The summer of 1983 saw Peter finally arrive in the UK and a brace of commemorative brochures emerged as a result. The first accompanied the anti-Apartheid concert that Peter took part in at Selhurst Park Football Ground on 9th July. Once again, this brochure featured a mix of information about the acts on the bill and about the anti - Apartheid movement itself. As a one-off show, this is another increasingly rare item as numbers were limited.
Peter’s UK tour proper also saw a bona fide tour programme which unlike so many of those which had preceded it, actually contained some information about Peter including an up to date discography and other material. Copies of this one are not too hard to find if you know where to look.
1986 had Peter begin what was to be his most intensive bout of touring since his first tour beginning with a handful of shows in the USA as part of the Amnesty International “Conspiracy of Hope” tour raising awareness of Amnesty’s work in the USA. Also on the bill at these gigs were other such alumni as U2 and Sting. It appears that no brochure was produced to commemorate these gigs though.
Peter’s own solo tour proper in support of the recently released So album, began in the USA in November 1986 and ran through until the same month in 1987. A brochure was produced for the latter European/US gigs in the summer of 1987 which it has to be said, is the most disappointing of all of Peter’s tour programmes thus far. Minimal text on the man himself and very little by way of enjoyable photography, this one however, is still relatively easy to find. I am not aware if a similar brochure had been produced for the first leg of the tour though! If so, no doubt it would be similarly disappointing. Although I have never seen one, I would guess that there might also have been a US variant of this programme to accompany the first leg of the tour.
Peter’s involvement with charitable causes is well known, and his involvement with Amnesty International which began with the Conspiracy of Hope tour mentioned above, reached its peak two years later with the Human Rights Now! Tour which spanned just about every continent in the drive to bring the message about human rights abuses home to as many people as possible. The resulting tour brochure is one of the satisfying from Peter’s career with a well designed large format booklet full of information about Peter and the other artists that accompanied him on the bill which included Bruce Springsteen and Sting which of course, broadens the collectability of this one.
Peter continued to be involved with charitable causes hence his appearance on the bill of the concert to celebrate the birthday of renowned anti Apartheid activist and political prisoner, Nelson Mandela which took place on 16th April 1990. A superb ninety one page brochure was put together to commemorate the event which saw not only Peter’s appearance but that of the likes of Tracy Chapman, Simple Minds, Neil Young and many others making this another highly collectable item, especially if you have a copy with the fold out poster that came with it.
A three year gap separates that programme from the next ones by Peter. In February 1993, prior to the commencement of the Secret World tour, Peter was invited to take part in the WOMADELAIDE Festival in Australia. This one was part of the UN Year of Indigenous Peoples celebrations and as such featured an extremely eclectic mix of musicians from all over the world. A brochure was produced for the event which is a big step up from the previous effort. An informed text accompanies photographs of the artists and other festival details and as another one-off event, this is a very difficult programme to find.
For the Secret World tour itself, Peter gave fans what is without doubt his most disappointing tour programme, doubly disappointing given the sheer inventiveness of the shows themselves. There is very little of practical interest in this one but it is still an essential part of any collection and isn’t that hard to find.
Peter continued to put in sporadic appearances at events usually connected to the now well-established WOMAD festival but otherwise focussed his attentions on his studio craft but in 1998 another event of historic importance drew him back to the concert stage once more. This was the 40th anniversary of the signature of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights by the United Nations now enshrined in law in the UK by the Human Rights Act. A concert was duly organised in Paris, where this momentous event took place, and a commemorative brochure was produced. A large format affair, this one featured a healthy mix of information about the artists taking part in the concert as well as much useful information about Amnesty International. Another hard to find item, due to the one-off nature of the event.
Since the release of the Up album in 2002, Peter’s touring schedules have become increasingly regular and those which took place in 2003 and 2004 were commemorated by a pair of excellent large format brochures, which, for once actually had a LOT to say about Mr Gabriel and his work. Replete with informative text and plenty of photographs, these are both worthy additions to any collection.
As far as I am aware, there were no brochures produced to commemorate Peter’s 2007, 2009 or indeed the more recent New Blood shows and so (pun intended) that brings me to the most recent addition to the collection. Peter’s recent “Back To Front” shows celebrating the 25th anniversary of the So album have been accompanied by a rather nifty tour brochure which, in keeping with the “Back To Front” motif, is itself back to front! A healthy mix of information about the tour, as well as the usual selection of information about causes close to Peter’s heart this is another excellent offering. The 2012 US and the 2013 European programmes have only one thing differentiating them and that is the presence of the respective tour dates inside.
One item which was omitted in our previous features was the one programme which relates to Anthony Phillips. OK, you might be thinking that your editor has lost the plot here. After all, Anthony has not toured since he left Genesis, has he? Well, ok strictly speaking the answer to that one is yes but this item is still a major collectable. Around the time that Anthony and Richard Scott were working on the Invisible Men project, they were also encouraged by Tony Smith who was Ant’s manager at the time and a Lewis Carroll fan to have a go at a modern take on the Alice In Wonderland story. The result was the Alice musical which opened at the Leeds Playhouse on 22nd March 1984. The show generated an eight page programme featuring information about the major players in the performance, biographical notes about Richard Scott and Anthony Phillips and the usual mix of other information. The show only ran for a few weeks and has never been performed since making this programme a highly sought after item.
I should perhaps mention a couple of final items which was omitted from our last feature, in the case of the first one, mainly because I was not even sure of its existence until I finally acquired one quite by chance, and that is the Japanese version of the 1986/87 Invisible Touch tour programme. This one appeared quite out of the blue. In format it is pretty much the same as the European and US versions with the same cover as the US version albeit with a slightly darker colour shading and minus the Michelob sponsorship logo, of course! Internally, the programme lacks the mention for Paul Young who evidently wasn’t the support act at these gigs! There is no mention of the death of Tony Stratton-Smith either although he had not passed away when this programme went to print. Visually, the same photographs are used that appear in each of the other variants and the opening and closing pages of text are in Japanese as you would expect. A nice item and one which seldom appears these days.
Our last item which I had forgotten was in the archive and is probably a unique one for any collector because in its pages it mentions not only Genesis but Peter Gabriel AND Steve Hackett too, is the 1981 Reading Festival brochure. This thirty eight page programme commemorates the 21st anniversary of the festival from its humble beginnings in the 1960’s through to the current year’s event at which Steve was making his second appearance. An excellent and informative brochure and well worth tracking down.
And there you have it. Folks! Mind you, with most of the incumbents having put in appearances at numerous one-off events, festivals etc, it wouldn’t surprise me if there were other programmes/brochures featuring details by our heroes that I have missed so, if you have any info on such items, please get in touch in the meantime - happy collecting!