I don't think I've mentioned it before, but, I'm a big fan of the band Genesis. I have been for almost two decades now. They are my first serious musical love, ahead of Pink Floyd, Led Zepplin, Yes, Soundgarden, John Lee Hooker, the Rolling Stones, B.B. King, Leo Kottke, the Grateful Dead, ahead of them all. They are the musical core of my CD collection; The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway by Genesis and the Indigo Girls' self-titled debut formed the first CD purchase I ever made back in March of 1989. In fact, Genesis was part of the reason that I decided to move to CD in the first place. My cassette tape copies of most of their albums were starting to wear. The CDs have enjoyed near continuous play ever since. I have (legally) ripped copies of The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway, A Trick Of The Tail and Wind & Wuthering on my iPod as I write this.
In short, Genesis are my first musical love and like all first loves, occupy a place that other, later loves can never quite reach.
I was therefore delighted to turn on the TV yesterday morning to Breakfast With The Arts on A&E network present a 75 minute documentary on the band. Fiancee S. made a grab for the TV remote just after I turned it on and realized what it was, only to hear me firmly say "Don't you dare change that channel." She wisely left me alone to watch by myself after that.
It was a very nice bit of documentary work, in all. They had interviews with the "usual suspects": Peter Gabriel, Phil Collins, Tony Banks, Mike Rutherford, and Steve Hackett. They also interviewed some of the not-so-usual suspects: early guitarist and co-founder Anthony Phillips, post-Phil vocalist Ray Wilson, tour guitarist Daryl Sturmer, and tour drummer Chester Thompson, and longtime producers Hugh Padgam and David Hentschel. There was lots of performance clips from the early and later years... many of which I had never seen before (not that I had seen many, but most people don't take the time to dig up footage of a 22 year old Peter Gabriel wearing a dress and a fox head.)
The only thing that saddened me about the documentary is the fact that even the members of the band speak of it in the past tense. I hadn't paid as much attention to new work by the band in recent years, but it was a shock to be reminded that that band is now more or less over. Still, nearly 30 years between first (1969) and last (1997) album is an amazing run, even if it was only two of the four original members on that last one.
The thing I found most amazing is that most of the various members of the band still seem to get along rather well personally. It's a shame that they don't still play together anymore. Oh well.
on 2004-01-19 at 3:05 p.m.
The Wayback Machine - To Infinity And Beyond