ARCHIVE - Genesis '73 - The first time of Peter Gabriel's costumes

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By D.B.

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The February XNUMX XNUMX atRainbow Theater in London, on Foxtrot On tour, Peter Gabriel wears his first costumes and masks destined to become famous. A turning point for Genesis, which began on September XNUMX of the previous year withthe women's dress and the fox head worn at the end of The Musical Box - FIND OUT MORE' . Music, images and memories of that evening.

The audio recording of the concert:

00:50 - Watcher Of The Skies;
10:45 - The Musical Box;
21:54 - Get 'Em Out By Friday;
31:00 - Suppers's Ready;
53:40 - The Return Of The Giant Hogweed;
01:03:21 - The Knife (cut).

Peter introduces himself in the dressing room with a huge trunk in which he crammed the costumes, unbeknownst to his companions. Steve Hackett has repeatedly stated that Gabriel never tried to wear those disguises during rehearsals before that performance and that it was a surprise for them too.

Genesis in Italy. The concerts 1972-1975 by Mino Profumo:

"If in Italy the triumph is now taken for granted, for Genesis things are about to change even in old England because the band, a month after the Italian glories (January 20 and 22, Reggio Emilia and Rome - Editor's note), embark on the first tour as headliner (...).

Peter then decides to imprint one further acceleration to the theatrical aspect of his appearances inventing new masks and costumes (...). The rest of the band accept this scenographic change with barely concealed reluctance, even knowing that the growing popularity is certainly not foreign, at least in the media ".

No, I'm not dead yet: Autobiography by Phil Collins:

"Peter's costumes become increasingly outlandish as the tour progresses. For Watcher of the Skies he paints his face with phosphorescent paint and wears a cape and bat wings on his head. It's not the ending: it's the first song of the concert. The theatricality is accentuated by Tony who plays a long moody introduction with the Mellotron (which can now be used with the right hertz).

Peter's theatrical gestures are now integrated into the live performance. As for the press and the public, it is the hallmark of Genesis. In the context of the early seventies it doesn't seem too crazy. There is Alice Cooper doing strange things with snakes, Elton John who dresses as a duck and wears glasses bigger than his head, the Who who are blowing out concept albums. Our quirkiness, however, is a little different, a strange and typically English thing, perhaps for this reason it is so popular in the United States. 

Peter will not warn us of the flower mask he will wear for the part of Willow Farm in Supper's Ready, nor for the triangular box that he puts on his head for the next part, Apocalypse in 9/8. We also see them at the same time as the public sees them.

He does not want to know how to decide in a group in these cases. According to Peter, a democratic process for those exquisitely theatrical issues would slow everything down, due to the discussions about the colors that the dress should have or if the flower is an annual plant or perennial. "

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"" Thatthe Rainbow was one of our best concerts ", Banks says. "To thetri did something with the costumes, but we used the whole spauncle of the stage. When you went to a Genesis show you saw them veiled curtains, and then artificial smoke, which is now a cliché but alhe was not at all now. You saw bat wings and make-up eyesyou. You heard the sound of the Mellotron, practically the first effect in steguilty. There were no other concerts of that level in the world. The first diethere were minutes of incredible power. I think we were among the very first groups to capture the beauty of the fusion of music and efvisual fects. A little happened by chance and luckily, a little because the aBilita in that sense was truly unique. "

"It was all flour from Peter's sack," recalls Macphail. "I find Guy Chapman, who made him the masks of Supper's Ready and Foxtrot, and the black cloak ».

 «When you put the maflower shape, it assumed the contours of the artist from the music hall, "detto Banks. "And it increasingly gained the center of attention».

«The flower-shaped head was supposed to be a kind of game. Was was meant to be manifestly unrealGabriel said to «Circus» in 1974. «I didn't want to scare anyone. Let's say that I would have preferred to be Fellini. Indeed, the flower walk invitesit sheds more Shirley Temple, which is always better than mimicking Eric Clapton. ''

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My book of Genesis di Richard Macphail:

"It was also during this period that Peter cut his hair in a strange way, shaving a small triangle on the front, so as to appear 
a bit like an alien. He understood that simply playing good music was not enough. You had to stand out to get people's attention, so it started to get more and more outrageous on stage.

And so came the flower-shaped mask in Supper's Ready and the bat wings became the signature of Watcher of the Skies. During this time Peter was becoming increasingly central on stage, after Dublin there was no way to stop him. (...)

Of course it was always and only Peter. Tony has never compromised on this point. The biggest concession I ever made was to wear a white shirt when playing on a white stage. (...)

The Genesis concert at the Rainbow was a real turning point for the bandsold out with a standing ovation at the end. Photographer Barrie Wentzell took a photo of Peter in his flower headdress which appeared on the front page of the Melody Maker. In his review entitled "The Genesis of Genesis", Chris Welch wrote:
«The Genesis received such an ovation at London's Rainbow Theater that has visibly moved this usually imperturbable group»." 

In Get'Em Out By Friday Gabriel wears a bowler hat, in Supper's Ready goes wild: the crown of thorns, the flower, the red rhomboid box, the long black cloak that Peter gets rid of for a white dress and a tube of white light for the finish. Das of September 1973 in The musical box leave the foxhead and the red woman dress for theoldman.

Listen to the special "Delmale Flowers" on Peter Gabriel's Costumes by Horizons Radio (in Italian)

Watch two videos on Supper's Ready costumes:

The weekly Ciao 2001 publishes a detailed account of this historical show in the April 15 issue. Here is the cover and article (as reported from the web):

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Hello 2001 of April 15, 1973
Baroque bats and flowers
by Manuel Insolera

Did Peter Gabriel create a monster?
This is roughly the question that all the astonished British specialist journalists asked themselves immediately after the amazing show at the Rainbow Theater in London a short time ago.
The band suddenly appeared on a stage entirely covered with very white curtains. All the members of the group were also dressed in white, all except Peter Gabriel, wrapped in a tight black tunic, with two lugubrious bat wings adorning his shoulders.

The bewildered applause of a crushed and unleashed audience was not yet finished, which already the Tony Banks' mellotron introduced the graceful violence of "Watcher of the skyes" one of the workhorses of "Foxtrot" and their current live performances.
Thus opened a show that everyone in London agreed in judging as one of the best things ever in the history of pop and the acme of the art of Genesis so far: the romantic-decadent impact of music, the suggestive violence perfect instrumental constructions, the spectacular allusiveness of a Gabriel who has reached the maximum of his mimetic faculties, have reached a very balanced cohesion fulcrum.

So, looking at them on the stage of the Rainbow, you suddenly find yourself in front of an allegorical nineteenth-century painting, where the morbid and fabulous ghosts of ancient British fantasies are evoked, imbued with a sick and silty surrealism: Steve Hackett and Michael Ruthetford seated, bent over their guitars; Tony Banks in dim light behind the keyboard pinnacles; Phil Collins mobile and anchored to his drums; Finally, Peter Gabriel, free to move, hermaphrodite and elusive appearance behind the constant changes of role and identity, asexual and suffused with classic ambiguity, like a son of distant loves between men and gods.

And when the tragic dream of "Musical Box" arrives and Peter disappears everyone expects the return in the flaming fox clothes: but this time they are wrong.
The figure who returns to the stage to scream the last desperate invocation to the wide-open eyes that will no longer be able to touch her is not a fox, but stands as a mystical geometric apparition, halfway between the caricature of a potted medieval nun and an unreal character of "Alice in Wonderland".
And the show continues, full of unexpected events and unexpected events such as the sudden explosions of flames and smoke and the transformations of Gabriel as a neoclassical idol.

The apocalyptic saga of "Supper's ready" unfolds, the angelic-demonic suite that in its ambiguous incompleteness reaches paradoxical summits of distorted evocativity: the public sways on the chairs as hypnotized and here it starts moving in harmony with the mysterious figure with a candid face and by the black cloaks above it on the stage.

Desperate, neurotic applause. The white figures and the black angel leave the stage and people start screaming "more! More! "(Again, again!) And here the lights go dark, the goblins, minus one fall and attack the angular chords of" the knife "from the old album" Trespass "and then a white light flashes and here it is, here it is: Peter Gabriel embodied in the green spirals of a hallucinated and grotesque flower!

The last transformation took place, the last mystery was celebrated: the lights of the Rainbow come on again, people fall back into the mechanical turns of the twentieth century. But time continues to pass and the carnival merry-go-round of the world continues its dance.
And Genesis never ceases to embody the gentle decadence of their fragile fairy tale: a new album in the process of being recorded ("Selling england by the pound - ed -) that should see the light in the green-gold explosion of June: an American tour from the end of March, as imponderable as fate; an unpredictable and elusive future like the confused forms of life and death. (from Hello 2001, quoted by the web for the record)

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And here are some types of ticket for the evening:

If you have memories of this concert to share in writing or audio / video send them to Horizons Radio and will be published with your signature.













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