“Don’t you just love live TV? ” - Your editor looks back at a frantic couple of days of Genesis-related activity. Photographs by Alan Hewitt and Jo Hackett.
Isn't it funny that when you take your eye off the ball for just a moment all hell breaks loose? Well, that’s the way it usually is at TWR HQ anyway! Just when I was thinking that there was a chance to take a breather a couple of emails changed all of that!
The first of these was from Joanne Greenwood (AKA: “She Who Must be Obeyed“ ) the band’s PA with an invite for me +1 to the screening of the new “Together And Apart” documentary in London on 2nd October (already an auspicious day in Genesis history as we all know!). Well, I hummed and I haahed about it for a millisecond before replying “yes please” on behalf of myself and Mr Stuart Barnes - TWR’s long standing (mostly in the corner!) webmaster. Of course, I then had to check with Stuart to see if he would be available or if he would be washing what remains of his hair that day?! The hair could wait and the answer was, as I expected, in the affirmative.
The prospect of being in the same room as any line up of Genesis was exciting enough but for it to be the line up that is regarded as the “classic” one including Messrs Gabriel and Hackett too was daunting to say the least! Never being one to miss an opportunity I made a quick enquiry to Mr Anthony Phillips who sadly was not going to be in attendance on the day to organise a chat with him earlier in the afternoon and so soon it was “Six of The Best” for TWR!
As if that were not enough however, a few days later I received an equally exciting email from Mr Barnes who had been contacted by the BBC asking if TWR could get a group of fans together to attend the band’s appearance on The One Show of all things the following day (October 3rd). Much scratching of heads and consultation of address books and Christmas card lists resulted in a list of potential candidates being submitted to the BBC and so then it was merely the job of containing our excitement until the day of the screening and the lengthy trip to the great Metrolops for yours truly.
Eventually I met up with Stuart and after a very pleasant chat to Mr Phillips for another TWR exclusive (which you can read later on in this edition), we set off in search of the elusive Haymarket Cinema in the West End of London and after some mis-direction from a policeman(!) we found the location and went to grab a hasty bite to eat before joining the queue to enter for what promised to be a memorable evening.
|Upon entering the cinema I was greeted by Joanne Greenwood with instructions to look for the seats with “ Reserved For TSPM ” on them. So, we were to be guests of “The Management” - nice! Anyway, in we go and find our seats and before long a few familiar faces appear; Mario Giammetti (editor of the excellent Italian Genesis “Dusk” magazine) and his partner arrive and take their seats next to us. Stuart clocks Pink Floyd’s Nick Mason and I am accosted by an unlikely character in a suit - Luke Juby from Mike and the Mechanics who, after some good natured banter about court appearances, introduces me to Mike’s son Harry and a brief nod from Mike’s good lady Angie too. It was nice to see a couple of members of the Genesis road crew in attendance too. Managed to have a very brief chat with Jo Hackett too as the five legendary members arrived and took their seats a few rows behind us.|
|Eventually show time arrived and the “famous five” made their way down to the front of the cinema for a brief chat and a chance for a photo opportunity for the lucky attendees before they returned to their seats and the main event went ahead with the premiere of the much anticipated documentary itself. I have to say, the strangest part of which was during one of Ant’s appearances when I thought to myself … “hold on, that room looks VERY familiar” as Stuart and I had spent part of that same afternoon there - very Groundhog Day eh?|
|That done, the chaps were sadly whisked away rather hastily to a venue as yet unknown where no doubt Mike’s birthday was celebrated with the odd glass of lemonade or two whilst we were left to digest what we had just witnessed. My comments on the documentary are elsewhere in this edition so I won’t dwell on them here or the controversy currently raging among the fans about it and move along instead to the following days’ madness and mayhem|
Spending the day in London is always a mixed blessing but at least the weather gods were kind and so it was a pleasant experience. Arranging to meet up with fellow invitees Frank Rogers and John Wilkinson prior to the final muster gave us a chance to chew the fat about the current spate of activity and indulge in our own speculation about what the future might hold for the band before a ‘phone call from Stuart gets us rushing to BBC TV Centre earlier than planned! Apparently they want a few of us to ask questions to the band during the broadcast and so, off we go and are soon joined by the rest of the TWR posse and are ensconced in the foyer of BBC TV!
Eventually we are whittled down to three of us (And Then There Were Three anyone…? Oh well, I thought it was funny!) to ask the questions and then we are all ushered into the studio which looks like a bomb has hit it with people milling round - this is LIVE TV remember, folks!
Anyway, we are all in place and on cue when the director starts shouting her instructions and after the introduction, I am amazed as Phil Collins, Mike Rutherford and Tony Banks walk on to the set a mere few feet away from me! The rest of the show came and went in the blink of an eye until our moment came and then… run out of time! Ah well, it has evidently given many of you some amusement that I didn’t get to ask my question (and I shall deal with you all at a later date!) but hey, TWR has had the chance on more than one occasion now, haven’t we?
I did have my compensation however, as if you watch the broadcast properly, just before the end, you will see Phil look at the audience and he plainly recognised me because as they leave the stage, the three of them come over directly to me and all shake my hand and as if that wasn’t enough I happen to glance over my shoulder and there is the band’s manager; Tony Smith who grins and winks at me in recognition too - not bad for an amateur eh?
And so there you have it. Two days in the life of your TWR staff. To be in the presence of one line up of Genesis is a rare treat but to be in the presence of TWO over two days is something that I am sure will never happen again and which is something all of us involved will never forget! My thanks again to Joanne Greenwood at TSPM, Stuart Barnes and his good lady, Emma for their hospitality, the staff at the BBC and to everyone who joined us and above all, to Genesis - past and present for making it all possible!