"Twenty Eight, not out" - Your Editor looks back at the ongoing history of TWR.
Well, we have created a monster! Here we are looking back at an incredible twenty eight years of this natty little “magazine”. Back in the summer of 1987 which was strangely every bit as hot as the current weather here in the UK, the idea of writing a magazine on this most fecund of bands may have seemed like a good idea to some - yes it’s all YOUR fault, Messrs Sayers and Morton! Not me though, oh no! I had better things to do with my time although what they were exactly, eludes me these days!
It is only when someone else mentions to you that you have been doing something for a certain length of time that you actually stop and think… “Christ, has it really been THAT long…?” and it is only in conversations with fans and TWR readers and the occasional remark from a band member, that the sheer scale of what started out as a simple fan published magazine has achieved actually hits home and let me tell you, if anyone had told me back in that balmy (or barmy) summer of 1987 the things TWR and through its auspices, I personally, would achieve I would have most likely laughed myself hoarse or called for the little white men in the little white coats to take the incumbents back to their comfortable padded room! Me? I’m just an editor but back in 1987 things weren’t quite as simple as that although one of the band’s album titles does sum the situation up quite nicely: And Then There Were Three. TWR was then, and always has been a TEAM effort. Yes, over the years some people have left, often because their actual lives beckoned, others in high dudgeon, and others joined, some have even come back to visit from time to time (mad fools) but the whole ethos behind the magazine has always been to get the fans involved in one way or another.
It is that involvement that has been crucial to the success of TWR. In the old days - that’s pre- laptop and I-pad for those of you of a certain age ( ah, yes I remember them well - just!) that success was usually measured by how many PAPER copies the magazine sold. Essential for two reasons: 1. To enable us to AFFORD to get another edition out and, 2. As an indication that fans actually WANTED this kind of stuff! Persuading fans to actually contribute written material took a bit longer - you’re a shy bunch really, aren’t you? But some of you came out of your shells eventually and thank goodness you have continued to do so to this day as the current edition will hopefully demonstrate. That and the active support and encouragement of most of the band members and their respective management representatives without whom none of this would be necessary - or possible! Perhaps one of the nicest compliments TWR has ever received was from one of these latter personnel who kindly referred to TWR as “the bands unofficial official fan club” a compliment of which I hope everyone who has been involved in the production of TWR will be as justly proud as I am!
Twenty eight years is a massive amount of time to keep anything going. Companies have lasted for less and indeed TWR has outlasted several equally well put together magazines/web sites and was online before Genesis themselves took the plunge and got an official website, so it is even more astonishing to think that TWR also has a sister publication: The Pavilion which was officially sanctioned by Genesis founder member, Anthony Phillips as his official fan club publication. The Pavilion ran for a further ten years before becoming Ant’s official web site, now proudly stewarded by Jonathan Dann, himself a TWR reader and winner of a place at the first “Ant Day” so our legacy continues in more ways than one! Jon has even delved into more attics and tape boxes than I have since then and long may his researches continue!
Magazines/web sites, like gigs just happen don’t they? Err, no actually a LOT of hard work goes in to each and every issue - just ask Mr Stuart Barnes TWR’s long standing (in the corner usually!) web master who has been making sense of my ramblings for almost twelve years now making him the second longest serving (and therefore second saddest) member of the TWR team! Articles have to be researched, interviews organised and questions etc compiled and articles proof read before the magazine reaches you dear reader and all of that takes considerable time and effort but the end result is worthwhile if we get the feedback from you - even if that feedback is critical (you heartless buggers! We DO have feelings you know?!). Seriously though, it is just as important if not more so, to know where we have got things wrong as it is for us to know that we have got things right. Thankfully it appears that the latter greatly outnumber the former - phew!
Anyway, enough of the rambling. I would simply like to thank each and every person who has contributed to TWR in whatever form over the last twenty eight years for their input and encouragement. “Here’s to the next twenty eight years!” I hear some of you say? Pardon me while I confine myself to that padded room I mentioned earlier!
It’s for you folks - enjoy!