I don’t know how common a collectors item this is. I’ve never heard anyone else mention it. If it’s content is available in some archive somewhere I apologize for the repetition. I have a program book from the Genesis/Gabriel “Six of the Best” reunion benefit on October 2, 1982. Apart from having several pictures I’ve never seen elsewhere of Pete and the group together in 1982, it also has short essays written by Tony, Phil, Peter, Mike, Daryl and Chester about their thoughts about the upcoming reunion show. I figured I’d make these available to all of you.
It’s going to be cold but it will be marvelous if it works. It’ll be weird going back to playing as we were then. Some of the old songs feel almost like antiques — ‘Musical Box’, for example, we wrote as a four-piece even before Steve Hackett joined us so Mike and I played the guitar part. So I’ve got to start learning to play the guitar again and I’m a bit rusty.
It will be nice for people to hear some of the old songs with Pete again. We’ll do the songs we still play in our set together with some of the early classics and one or two other bits we feel like playing.
I don’t know if we can really live up to what people are expecting. What’s strange is that the last tour we did with Pete playing ‘The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway’ we were playing town halls and not even filling most of them but now there’s an awful lot of people who want to hear it. I just hope they haven’t built it up into something it can never be.
It will be a bit like a first night for us in some ways but it will certainly be interesting. I just hope we can get through it without too many mistakes.
I hope everybody has dragged out their duffle coats and long scarves from the cupboard for the occasion! Actually, I’m hoping for snow then people will still be remembering it in fifty years time . . .
‘Do you remember that open air concert we went to when it snowed? . . .’
I was talking to someone about Milton Keynes the other day and he said he was too young to have seen Genesis with Peter Gabriel in the band which made me stop and think. It’s actually eight years since Peter left so there are going to be a lot of people at the gig who have never seen him with us. For them it won’t be a reunion, it will be a new experience. I’m just glad it’s coming at the end of the tour so that people won’t have anything to compare it to!
It’s going to be strange getting back behind the drum kit full time again, but I’m looking forward to the challenge and I’m going on a crash course to adjust to my former role in the band. In fact Pete was suggesting that we duet on ‘The Lamb’ but I said I’d prefer to stick behind the drums.
I’m surprised at just how much some of the songs have changed from the way we do them now. I’ve been having trouble adjusting to the different pace on some numbers like ‘Suppers Ready’. And I shall be interested to see how Pete’s voice copes with it all. I certainly couldn’t sing the first set of songs I did with the band now. We’ll have a couple of days to sort it out but if it doesn’t fit he’s just going to have to get on with it because we’re not going to change keys!
But it doesn’t matter how much we rehearse, it’s going to be whatever happens on the night. Peter’s going to be forgetting the words, I’m sure! I just hope ‘The Knife’ sounds better than when we tried it yesterday!
I’m sure that, as with anyone reliving their youth, I’m going to feel a lot of nostalgia about the gig although in terms of career moves it’s probably not a very good idea for them or for me. But financially it’s going to be very useful for the WOMAD Festival and I’m certainly going to enjoy it.
I’m still sure that the World Of Music Arts and Dance Festival will continue. The proof of just how successful it was for me was that an audience that likes rock and roll will listen to a troupe like Tian Jin from China which is really foreign to them. Normally those groups are kept in a fairly academic environment but we were able to give them the space and opportunity.
And although most people who haven’t seen the Drummers of Burundi are still a bit cynical about them because of all the hipness — Adam And The Ants and Bow Wow Wow — everyone I know who saw them was completely blown away. They ended up on my front lawn doing a performance for television and they could really turn it on for the cameras except that with Western performers you know it’s a performance but this had a spontanaiety and vitality that you never normally see.
With the concert we shall be able to pay off some of our dates [sic] and hopefully learn from our mistakes. WOMAD would be a great event to hold in Hyde Park for free if we could get someone to sponsor it and Ken Livingstone to arrange it, for example.
I’m learning the Genesis lyrics at the moment but I think I’m going to need a large cheat-sheet or else a small prompter disguised as a monitor cabinet.
This is a reunion with Peter Gabriel for a reason — to raise money for WOMAD — which means that it’s an excuse for us to play all our old songs again. I don’t think I’d want to go out and play most of the old songs if it wasn’t for a one-off evening which should just be a lot of fun for everyone. That’s why it’s important that it’s just one show and not a series. It will have highs and lows but the best bits should be exhilarating.
I don’t think any of us realised how much work this was going to be. It can take a surprising amount of time to learn a song you haven’t played for ten years — when I played a tape a [sic] ‘Musical Box’ the other day there were about four minutes in the middle that I’d completely forgotten!
We’ve been learning the old songs on the bus between gigs on our British tour because we haven’t got much time to rehearse them. They sound fine but I can’t compare them to what we do now because it’s another era. Genesis and Pete have gone in very different directions since we parted but that’s irrelevant for an event like this. I’m just looking forward to seeing Pete back on stage with us and having Phil back on drums again for one show, just to remember what it used to be like.
Fingers crossed for fine weather — this is the first winter festival!
I’ve never played with Peter before although I saw him at Hammersmith Odeon a few years ago and thought he was great. He is definitely different. Personally, I find it hard to see how they were ever in the same band because the way Genesis is now, it’s very hard to see a connection. But then I didn’t grow up with it. I used to listen to a lot of English bands like Procol Harum and King Crimson but I really only heard Genesis from ‘Trick of the Tail’ onwards so it’s going to be a fascinating experience for me.
I actually wish we were doing it for several nights so that I can really get into it. I’ll be OK on the old songs that we still play but on the others such as ‘Musical Box’ and ‘The Knife’ I’ll really have to think about what I’m doing. But that’s a challenge, after you’ve been with a band for a while it’s good to make a change, even if it’s only for one show.
This will be another dimension to playing with Genesis for me but I’ve always loved the variety that Genesis gives. I enjoy changing around and playing music from different cultures but Genesis aren’t just an English group because they aren’t like most English groups and that’s why I like them better than most English groups!
The first time I toured with them made me realise just how different the English are. I’d be sitting in a room full of people speaking English and I wouldn’t understand a word of what was going on. But I understand it now and the old songs have been developing because of what we all put into them. I originally learnt them in the way Phil used to play them but over the years you tend to start putting more of yourself into it. It’s just a natural process.
QUESTION: Why are Genesis and Peter Gabriel playing at the Milton Keynes Bowl on October 2?
ANSWER: Because January 10 was already booked. (Think about it as you jump up and down to keep warm).