Laugh or Cry

I feel a mixture of nausea and excitement when I read this article:      TEL AVIV, Israel (Reuters) – British singer and songwriter Phil Collins said on Sunday he would be open to a reunion of his old band Genesis. It was pretty much just pure nausea until I read this line: “I’m happy to […]

I feel a mixture of nausea and excitement when I read this article:

     TEL AVIV, Israel (Reuters) – British singer and songwriter Phil Collins said on Sunday he would be open to a reunion of his old band Genesis.

It was pretty much just pure nausea until I read this line:

I’m happy to sit behind the drums and let Peter (Gabriel) be the singer. If (a reunion) happens, I’ll be there.

I dunno if this is just phil flappin’ his gums or if there’s something to this. But Genesis – real Genesis, Peter Gabriel genesis, Steve Hackett Genesis, Lamb and Nursery Cryme Genesis, Supper’s Ready Genesis – were and are one of my favorite bands of al time.

Yet – that same band, as members melted away, went on to spawn a band I loath; Invisible Touch Genesis, Abacab. We Can’t Dance Genesis.

And then there’s Phil Collins. Once of the best drummers in rock history, truly, truly brilliant at the kit, and possibly the best singing drummer ever, yet author of some of the most trite pop hits of – well, of his era anyway, in a time before boy bands and spice girls and brittany spears. I fucking hate Phil Collins as a solo artist. And yet, I love his drumming, and his singing in the transition Genesis, Trick of the Tail Genesis, Wind and Wuthering Genesis, Seconds Out Genesis.

So I look at the idea of a reunion – one of the greatest bands ever, certainly one of the two or three most important prog-rock bands (you could make a case for King Crimson being the other), and I want to believe. I want to think Steve Hackett would come back, that Peter Gabriel would come back. That Genesis could be Genesis again.

Gabriel’s burnt out, certainly. He really hasn’t done a lot musically since So. It was obvious when he started naming albums he was out of ideas. He’ll never be that psychotic blur of motion he was. Nor will Phil Collins. I don’t even know if Hackett’s working any more, I’ve lost track. But even if they have not a thing to say musically between them, to hear them play The Knife or Watcher of the Skies. God, I get goosebumps thinking about it.

And then I imagine them playing fucking sussudio, a selection of mike and the mechanics favorites. And I just don’t know.

I hate it when great old bands come back and suck. Leave it the fuck alone, I want to say, don’t show us how old you are, how bad you’ve sold out. Don’t fucking do it. Yet, sometimes, they still have it. They still mean it. They can still play the old songs.

I never saw real Genesis. I picked up on them right after Peter split the band. Yet, Genesis, that first time, stands out in my mind as possibly the most brilliant concert I’ve ever seen. It was one of those I saw god moments. I’ve seen Peter, when we was at his creative peak. I’ve seen Steve Hackett. Great concerts all.

Do I want to go back? I don’t know.

In fact, if they do it, I’ll have to. If Peter stands in front of Genesis, with his flute and bass drum, I have to go. If I get a chance to hear Hackett with Genesis again, if I can listen to them play In The Cage and Back in NYC.

But god. I’m afraid. I don’t know if I can take hearing an unfelt, sellout version Lilywhite Lilith or Dancing With The Moonlit Knight.

Better they don’t, I think. Better they don’t.

17 thoughts on “Laugh or Cry”

  1. Being a Genesis fan, too (I was a serious late-comer–I got hooked in 83 with “Genesis”), I still cringe at some of the later albums, and while I enjoyed some of the solo efforts (more M&TM than Phil’s stuff), I’m in the same boat. Let the past be the past…but if they want to jam together again, I’ll at least give them a chance. Maybe this’ll give Tony Banks a bit more of a chance to shine.

  2. Sussudio–Oh no. Thanks, now I’m going to have that song playing in my head for the rest of the night. Dammit. You just had to go there, didn’t you??????

    Did you ever listen to Passion, the score Peter Gabriel did for The Last Temptation of Christ? If you haven’t, you should. I’ve been listening to that for years and some of the pieces still give me goosebumps.

  3. Mixed feelings. Ooooh, mixed feelings. If they do and early reports are decent, then I may buy a ticket. If they do and early reports suck, I may skip it. If they don’t, it’s a moot point.
    I say go with the non-decision, they really shouldn’t.

  4. You are absolutely right to be afraid. Remember The Pixies’ reunion tour? No? Me neither. The problem is that, like the song says, “you trade your passion for glory”. Peter Gabriel will always be a Fucking Genius in my memory. And he still stirs and sparks with life in the odd track. Hell, Even Phil Collins has his moments ….moment… the video for land of confusion was ok… Never mind.

    This stuff shouldn’t be touched ever again.

    Hey did you ever hear Gabriel’s Hash Brownie anecdote?

  5. “Passion” is extraordinary, as is (to a slightly lesser degree) “Long Walk Home” — Gabriel’s best work since “So” has been, without a doubt, his instrumental arrangements. So much of his lyrical and thematic focus in trapped in pop-therapy/talking/feelings/self-esteem land that it’s hard not to cringe sometimes, but muscially he still kicks out amazing stuff.

    Sonically-speaking, “Up” was brilliant (aside from the awful “Barry Williams Show” single, which had a fantastic video anyhow…) and at least 3 or 4 tracks (Growing Up, Signal to Noise, The Drop, arguably Sky Blue) are up to the quality of his 3/Security/So period. “Us” was less so, but that was largely because it felt terribly overcooked — the live versions of its songs on Secret World Live were far, far superior, even without Sinead O’Connor.

    Phil Collins, though — hmmm. I hate what he became, and what Genesis became along with him, once he had his big smash success with No Jacket Required. But those first two solo albums have some pretty damn good (and pretty damn weird — “Through These Walls” anyone?) moments on them, and “Duke” still ranks somewhere in my Top 250 CDs list.

    Oh, and everyone MUST go buy the new Kate Bush CD immediately, It’s fantastic (well, the second CD is fantastic. The first CD is a brilliant train wreck mish mosh).

  6. I say leave it alone. You can go but you can never go back.

    I saw the 21st Century Doors, and as much as I love Robbie Krieger and Ray Manzarek, Ian Anderson ruined it by trying to do Jim’s moves – – and those fucking sunglasses, UHG! I would’ve preferred someone who was himself singing the old songs.

    What does this have to do with Genesis? Just what I said about going back.

  7. P2P = Peer to Peer networking. Google “BitTorrent.” Makes Napster and KAzaa look like diddly. Rampant music theft and copyright violation (with a great beat and you can dance to it).

    And I’m with you on the feral Kate lust thing.

  8. One word review: Abacrap.

    I love Peter Gabriel.
    He’s like a singing Monty Python. Or something.
    You know, he has that thing called ‘a personality’ that Phil Collins seems to totally lack.

    It would be like Charlie Watts taking over lead vocals for the Stones.

    *shiver*

  9. I’m tagging you, Karl Elvis.

    My apologies.

    1. Delve into your blog archive.
    2. Search the archives for the 23rd post.
    3. Find the 5th sentence, or closest to.
    4. Post the text of the sentence in your blog along with these instructions. Ponder it for meaning, subtext or hidden agendas.
    5. Tag 5 people to do the same.

  10. Hmmm. According to a clip in Rolling Stone today, it may be coming together:

    http://www.rollingstone.com/news/story/_/id/8784854/genesis?pageid=rs.Home&pageregion=single1

    “Earlier this week, Collins reaffirmed his desire to drum again for the real thing during a Tel Aviv press conference. Last month, guitarist Steve Hackett told the Chicago Sun-Times that he received a phone call from Genesis management. “There’s a movement to put us all together again,” he said. “I do think it will happen.”

    Notorious perfectionist Gabriel warns that any reunion concert would require serious preparation time. “When we got back together in 1982, I don’t think we rehearsed,” he says. “To really do it properly, we’d have to take more time. It’s quite a commitment.”

    When pushed to definitely say if the group is reuniting, Gabriel remains coy: “I wouldn’t put money on it . . . yet.”

    Wow, Gabriel AND Hackett.

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