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Peter Gabriel 2

I apologize for my remiss in making a quick post about my favorite Peter Gabriel solo album, Peter Gabriel 2 (aka. Scratch).

Scratch was originally released on June 2, 1978 – when this future Genesis fan was still incubating in her mother’s womb.

I wrote a review for the album, which Alan Hewitt so generously included in the special, limited, print edition of TWR#100.

For those of you who are interested in what I have to say about this great work of art, please read my full review here:

Not Just Scratching the Surface

At first, I was very skeptical about this album because my mind is automatically set to think that the first solo album by an artist is the best and that they usually go downhill afterwards. But, in this case, I stand corrected. 

After I fell in love with Peter Gabriel 1, (a.k.a. Car) I didn’t want to listen to any of his other solo works. It wasn’t until nearly two years later that my husband burned all Peter Gabriel’s solo records onto CD for me.  When I first decided to be open-minded about trying his other albums, I did not expect to like any of them. As soon as I heard “On the Air” and “D.I.Y.,” I was absolutely amazed. Then, a few tracks later, I head “White Shadow,” and became completely smitten with the song. It did not take long until I came to like Scratch even better than Car. Sadly, however, when I tried to listen to Melt, I did not have the same reaction.  It seemed that Peter changed his musical direction as soon as the year turned over to 1980.

As I have mentioned in my other posts, I do not like country music, but I found it very interesting that most of the tracks on this album contain some steel guitar. Even though the song “A Wonderful Day in A One-way World” sounds a little bit country with its steel guitar and throbbing bass, I find it to be completely irresistible! 
“On the Air” is also a song about a character called Mozo. Though the Mozo project was scrapped before its completion, it was written along the same lines as a concept album. The character might have come by as a means as a different part of Peter Gabriel’s creativity, as nearly four years earlier he created the character of Rael for The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway, his last album with Genesis.

The album was produced by King Crimson’s Robert Fripp, and the song “Exposure,” was chosen by Fripp as the title track to his own solo album. (This is my least favorite song off the album, but that is just a matter of my personal preference.) 

This album, however, ends on a sad note, as did Car.  While the first album’s last track was “Here Comes the Flood,” Scratch ended with “Home Sweet Home.” Without giving too much away, the title is not what it sounds like. This should not, however, affect one’s overall listening experience with this album.   

If you are a fan of the prog. rock incarnation of Genesis, or of Peter Gabriel in general, this album is a must have!

 

 

 

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Spot the Pigeon

I apologize for my silence of of late, but some of you might already know that my husband and I have embarked upon a big project involving Genesis!

That being said, my posts might be a little scarce for the time being.

In the meantime, here is a picture of my copy of Spot the Pigeon:

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Guest Post by Dave Creek

Jen asked me to write about my love of Genesis music, and I told her it had to start with my larger love of Yes music, because they were the “gateway drug” for my interest in progressive rock.  It started with hearing Yes’s hit single “Roundabout” when it was first released in 1971 on their album FRAGILE.  Steve Howe’s shimmering acoustic guitar sound, the “thock” of Bill Bruford’s snare drum, and Rick Wakeman’s classic keyboard solos were like nothing I’d ever heard.  Add Jon Anderson’s high-pitched vocald and Chris Squire’s way-up-on-the neck bass playing, and I was hooked.

The first album I bought by them, though, was their classic CLOSE TO THE EDGE, which came out in 1972.  And man, it was even more mind-boggling!  I’d never heard a song like the title cut that stretched across an entire album side (remember album sides?). yet wasn’t a lot of aimless jamming.  The other two songs on the album, “And You And I” and “Siberian Khatru” (no I still don’t know what a ‘khatru’ is), were also masterpieces.

So imagine my anticipation the next year when I read a review in a music magazine about the new album by a band I’d never heard of called Genesis.  The magazine may have been Circus, but I’m not sure.  Anyway, the reviewer praised the album and compared it favorably to the music of Yes.  Now I had to buy it.  The album: SELLING ENGLAND BY THE POUND.

The album won me over from the very first track, “Dancing With the Moonlight Knight.”  Peter Gabriel’s vocals were evocative in a different way from Jon Anderson, but his performance and the nature of the lyrics had a similar quality of evoking fantasy-like images.

Instrumentally, Genesis was a “quieter” band than Yes, but it made for a nice contrast.  I was a confirmed Genesis fan from the beginning.  Peter Gabriel left after “The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway,” and I wondered who would fill the gap.  Phil Collins, of course, started pulling double-duty as both singer and drummer and although the sound of the band changed a bit, it still kept much of its progressive edge.  Over time, the band became a hit factory, and Collins’s pop sensibilities took over.  I couldn’t blame them — a guy’s gotta make a buck, and Yes went in the same direction in the eighties.  I appreciated a lot of the later stuff, but I found myself going backward in the Genesis catalog, listening more to the likes of FOXTROT and NURSERY CRYME.

I never got to see Genesis live, and I really regret that.  My wife and I got to see Phil Collins once, and I appreciated his solo stuff for its own sake, but it’s still not like seeing Genesis.  And with Peter Gabriel apparently reluctant to return to his roots and Collins dealing with health issues, it looks like I’ll never get to see them.

But we’ll always have the albums, to relive the wonders of “Firth of Fifth” and “Carpet Crawlers” and “Watcher of the Skies.”  In fact, I have a novel in progress with the working title of WATCHER OF THE SKIES.  I haven’t managed to sneak a Yessong (yeah, that’s one word) into a title yet, so maybe Genesis is more of an influence than I realized!

Guest Post by Warren Vlass

My Journey Leading The Peter Gabriel Fans Page on Facebook: A hobby of labor of love

Hello, my name is Warren Vlass. I am just an Average Joe. I am not rich, nor poor and a person more comfortable in t-shirt and blue jeans than a dress shirt and tie. I live in a second floor apartment in the city of Fall River, MA. A horrible place to live but it is a roof over my head and a place to rest my ten gallon head of worry and stress every night. I live there with my wife of 19 years, Debbie, and our 15 year old son, Owen who has Autism. We also just got a one year old Papillion puppy from a rescue organization, Mylo. They are my whole life. I travel 70 miles to work Monday through Friday working my 9 to 5 maintaining and fixing copiers for a major medical site. I am also a music lover and a fan of some great music In particular, I am a major fan of Peter Gabriel, Genesis and their storied history. I am fascinated by the great music they put out both as a group and in their solo and side projects.

To me, I am most fascinated and intrigued by Peter Gabriel and all he has done in the music industry, as a humanitarian and as a political activist. Although I may not agree with all that Peter believes, I can separate out my respect for the man and our differences and still see him as the most fascinating performer in the industry. It starts with his music and his love to please his fans. There is really no other in the industry that has gone through the lengths he has to keep us fans entertained. From masks, costumes, stories and face paint to falling into crowd and walking upside down, the man is constantly thinking of the fans and their entertainment. Then there is his music, setting the mood, telling a story, making you think about a cause, person or character. I love how he purposely goes “outside the box” and seeks out different world beats and sounds and then incorporates that into his music. From his days leading Genesis throughout his solo career he has been a major innovator and driver of new sounds in the industry.

About four years ago, I joined a Facebook group that honored Peter. It’s name Peter Gabriel Fans run by Gerd Sievers. It had a little over 1,000 members and honestly was not very active at the time I joined. Another page member Davide Castellini and I were the only ones really posting on the page during this time. A couple months went by and I learned from Davide, who is one of the most knowledgeable people regarding Peter. Then I asked Gerd to make me an admin for the page. He granted my wish. I began to come up with ideas and a game plan to grow interest in the page both internally and I began to ask questions, have Song Duels, post a ton of videos and pics and slowly and gradually the page began to grow more and more active. 2,000-3,000-4,000-5,000 members and I was begging everyone to be active and participate as they became members. They responded. More and more came to the page over the next months. More admins were brought on to control the page as Collins/Gabriel fights flared up. We set guidelines and what was and was not appropriate on the page
Peter Gabriel then decided to his Rock, Paper, Scissors tour with Sting and it seemed like 30-40-50 people were joining a day. We were getting swamped with requests to join the page. Then the most kindest thing happened, as the page raised $300 on a GoFundMe Page so my wife and I could go to see Peter Gabriel / Sting in Worcester, MA. Many said on the page that I deserved to go and were happy the money was raised. To this day, I thank all who contributed to purchase the two tickets. Again, I never asked anyone to do such a thing.

The page grew and grew as the tour went on. Eventually, the page grew and broke 10,000 members. I had an idea as a great friend of mine, Brian Cummings, who playing Gabriel stuff in England, was corresponding back and forth with me. I asked him to perform a LiveStream concert celebrating the achievement. He played for an hour. It was a huge success. A LIGHT BULB WENT OFF IN ME. The page could ask musicians and performers to donate their time and talents to play on the page. Free concerts and events. Imagine that. Performers like Marco Maggoire, Kai Orien (twice), Jacob Moon to name a couple answered the call and played on the page.

We then had the contest. One of our admins Eliza Lami had been in correspondence with Real World Records. They offered to sponsor a contest. We decided to have the concert be an Art Contest and a months time for submissions. We set the rules and who would decide the winner and Real World Records decided on the prize. Three unreleased remastered Peter Gabriel albums. https://store.realworld.co.uk/product-category/peter-gabriel/. After the month, a winner was chosen, Linda Marr and she got her rewards. The contest, a huge success.

Peter Gabriel Store

Since then, the PETER GABRIEL FANS page has hosted a two Q&A’s. One with Leigh Harris (LileighWhite.com) and Kim Poor, famous artist and ex-wife to Steve Hackett and a few more LiveStream concerts. Life has been good for the page and we are pushing for bigger and better events in the coming year. What started as a page like every other page out there has transformed to a very unique page that does special things from time to time. We aim to be different while honoring Peter Gabriel, a man defined as unique. Again, I am just an Average Joe and a music lover.

Lileighwhite.com

Author Interview with Jon Kirkman

This post actually appeared first on my Jen’s Favorite Authors blog but, since it is Genesis-related, I decided to post it on here as well. Please take all the time to read Jon’s interview and look at is webpage.

*I recently had the privilege of befriending Jon on Facebook. Another mutual friend of ours told me about his soon-to-be-released book, Genesis: The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway. I then decided that I would like to interview Jon in hopes of helping him promote his newest title. Please read about some his fascinating accounts below:

 

How old were you when you knew you wanted to be a writer?

Well, I never actually thought about it to be honest. My history is that I’ve worked in the music business for forty-three years this year (2018). I have been a roadie and a tour manager, done voiceovers for radio, video, and TV. I have done filmed interviews for various bands and record labels for release and been a radio presenter and written sleeve notes for albums until around 2011. I never thought about it and my first book was on the band Yes called Time and a Word: The Yes Interviews. It has been subsequently published in a second edition as Dialogue and was an official Yes book.

 

Who are your favorite authors? (Please limit your answer to five or ten.)

Never been a fan of fiction though I used to like Michael Moorcock, but I prefer non-fiction like biographies, historical books, etc.

 

What are your greatest sources of inspiration?

Music has always been my inspiration, to be honest, and it depends on my mood. Some days, it’s a band like Genesis, Yes, or The Beatles. Other days, it could be Led Zeppelin or even some classical music. It changes on a daily basis, but music has certainly inspired me all my life.

 

How long have you been a fan of Genesis and what inspired you to write a book about The Lamb?

I first heard of Genesis in 1972 when a friend of mine lent me his copy of Nursery Cryme and I suggested that I listen to it, as I might like it. I did, but the real hook for me was a song called “Harold the Barrel,” which, to be fair, is a little left field, but I remember thinking, “Wow! Where does that come from?” So I sought out Trespass, and when the Foxtrot and the Live album came out, I bought those. I first saw the band for their Selling England by the Pound tour. Ironically, though I had the album, I could not get tickets for The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway shows. The band played in Liverpool for three nights; I remember being hugely disappointed. I wanted to write a book or compile a book of interviews, photos, memorabilia clips, etc. around the 2013 and envisioned the book coming out for the fortieth anniversary of the UK tour in 2015. Sadly, problems with the publisher meant that did not happen. So I recently took back the book and am publishing it myself as a limited edition. It will be out in May 2018. I was probably inspired because I loved the album but never saw the show. The book can be ordered from here.

 

Have you ever met any members of the band?

Yes, all of them over the years and worked a lot with Steve Hackett in America when he has been on the Cruise to the Edge. Next year, he will be on two cruises: THE ON THE BLUE Cruise with Justin Hayward and Cruse to the Edge again. I also know Ant Phillips very well and have done some filmed interviews with him.

 

What Genesis shows have you seen live? Any tribute bands?

I have seen Genesis in 1973 for the Selling England tour, the Wind and Wuthering tour, Earls Court in 1977, Knebworth 1978, and the Duke tour in 1980 all three nights again, I think, as my friend was mixing the sound for the band on that tour and the Invisible Touch tour.

 

Do you have an author website?

Yes, Jon Kirkman

 

Do you have any blogs?

Well, I have a number of Facebook pages and a Twitter feed for my online station. I am easy to find on the Internet.

 

Where can people find your work? (to purchase or just to read)

Well, the Yes book was published in two limited edition formats in 2013 and also 2017. Both editions sold out, but there is a sell through edition of the Yes cook coming out called Time and a Word. It is being published in May 2018 and will be available through Amazon and also in book shops.

 

Do you have any other hobbies besides writing?

I love watching films and walking on the beach with my girlfriend.

 

Tell us something interesting about yourself.

Paul McCartney once gave me a lift home, and my phone book has many rock musicians’ telephone numbers in it. I am actually friends with many musicians.

 

Is there anything else you would like to share?

Well, I have an online radio station called Classic Rock Radio. I have also worked (if that is the word) in a record shop which effectively means I was paid to play records all day…Not a bad job. I am working in America next year on the Yes cruise, Cruise to the Edge and also ON THE BLUE cruise with Justin Hayward of the Moody Blues and also the Monsters of Rock Cruise. If people want to contact me, please feel free to do so though my website or Facebook pages.

Thanks for all your questions. It was fun answering them.

Jon

www.jonkirkman.co.uk

Lamb

Peter Gabriel Fans on Facebook

If you are as much of a fan of Genesis as I am, then you are probably aware of the many online groups dedicated to the band. On Facebook, alone, I belong to at least six or seven!

One group I want to talk about in particular is Peter Gabriel Fans. Warren Vlass is one of the administrators, whom I am proud to consider one of my friends. I joined Peter Gabriel fans about four years ago, and I am only one who makes up their large base of over 11,000 members!

When recently talking to Warren, I told him that I would like to feature his group on my blog, and I asked him about some key points he wanted me to emphasize:

The group is unique. There are no other groups like it, mainly because of the far reaches it expands to. From art contests sponsored by Real World Studios to a Q&A session with Kim Poor, this group has a to offer all its members. Some of the new features which Peter Gabriel Fans will have include live stream interviews and concerts, in addtion to all the wonderful programs it has already fostered. There is also a stong sense of community between members, as they truly seem to care for each other and respect the opinions of their fellow Gabrielites. The admins also hope to inspire each and every fan to bring out the best of each other and have a good time discussions various aspects of Peter Gabriel.

Having said all that, if you have a Facebook account and are a fan of Peter Gabriel, then I suggest that you have a look at Peter Gabriel Fans. You might find that it’s definitely worth your while!

 

 

Guest Post – “Daryl Stuermer And Firth Of Fifth” by Troy T.

Daryl Stuermer And Firth Of Fifth

 

Hardcore Genesis fans are well acquainted with Steve Hackett’s iconic guitar solo during the song Firth Of Fifth.  For many it is THE guitar moment for Hackett during his time with the band.  In the live arena Firth Of Fifth has maintained a long lifespan.  The song was played live, sans the piano introduction, by the Gabriel led band and initially by the early Phil Collins led formation.  Over time Genesis incorporated just the instrumental section into their medleys where it became a staple.  As a solo artist Steve Hackett has also played just the instrumental section for many years.  In the late 1990’s he began to play the song in full, including the piano introduction, thanks to his immensely talented keyboard player Roger King.

 

Genesis were a band that was fortunate to have employed several extraordinarily talented musicians.  Among that group were guitarists Steve Hackett and Daryl Stuermer.  Hackett and Stuermer came from different backgrounds musically.  Hackett’s foundation was the blues, while Stuermer’s was jazz.  Both have very different playing styles and approaches.  These differences have caused quite a bit of debate from fans over the years. Some fans have taken issue with Stuermer’s choices on many of the songs from Hackett’s time with the band. In my early years of Genesis fandom I also took issue with some of Stuermer’s choices.  Why, at times, did he have to stray from the original recording?

 

Over time as I delved deeper into Genesis and matured as a music listener I grew to love and appreciate Daryl Stuermer.  Over the last three decades I have heard Firth Of Fifth countless times.  In my mind it is THE definitive Genesis song.  If someone asked me what Genesis was all about, I would play them Fifth Of Fifth. Officially there are close to two dozen different versions of Fifth Of Fifth between releases by Genesis and Steve Hackett.  These version exist on various live and studio albums by Genesis and Hackett. These various takes fall under three versions:

 

  • The full versions with the piano introduction
  • The almost complete versions which omit the piano introduction
  • The instrumental versions which feature the middle instrumental break and the iconic guitar solo

 

There is a version out there for just about everyone. Some fans love Hackett’s version and hate Stuermer’s version.  I happen to love and appreciate both.  The main case against Stuermer’s take is his note choice.  Some feel that he plays far too many notes.  I personally enjoy his take, it was one of the few moments during a Genesis show where he could express himself.  Daryl Stuermer is a very talent musician. He is also the ultimate team player.  Whether he was called upon to play guitar or bass he was up to the task.  Allowing him three minutes of free time to embellish the Firth Of Fifth guitar solo should not have been big deal.  Did he play the solo note for note?  No he did not, but he stuck to the main notes of the solo.  Did he display a great deal of expertise on the guitar in that short spot?  He sure did and as a guitar player myself I fully appreciate his talents.  Did he play too many notes?  Not for me, every note that he played was to my liking.

 

Daryl Stuermer and Steve Hackett are two very different guitar players.  I love and appreciate both for what they brought to Genesis.  Both had very different roles within the band.  Both had different reactions to those roles.  For a time Hackett was a contributing member of the band in regards to songwriting.  As time went on he felt that he needed more of an outlet for his creative aspirations.  Stuermer spent his whole career with Genesis as a touring member with no creative input from a songwriting standpoint.  This proved to be a situation that he was able to work within.  His only creative outlets were those few moments in a live setting where he was able to play outside of the notes a bit.  On songs such as Firth Of Fifth, In The Cage and Carpet Crawlers he was able to put a bit of himself into moments within the songs.  It would seem that the rest of the band was on board with these choices.  As a long time fan I grew to be as well.

 

Troy T.