Summer Stories: 9th September 1972, the Genesis Foxtrot Tour begins - READ and LISTEN

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By D.B.

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September 9, 1972, at the Seloncourt Festival in the Halle Polyvalente of Montbeliard in France Genesis starts on Foxtrot Tour, full of twists and historical moments for the group. Here is the story of those days. 

Listen to the podcast (in Italian) on the occasion of the 45th anniversary:

  1. Stories of summer: September 9, 1972, the Foxtrot Tour begins


Il Foxtrot Tour of Genesis touches the United Kingdom, Europe and North America

The show at the National Stadium in Dublin, on September 28th, will remain in the history of Genesis because, in the finale of The musical box, Peter Gabriel shows up on stage wearing a fox head and a red woman dress of his wife Jill, unbeknownst to his companions. The beginning of an era of theatricality and costumes, which gave the band a hitherto unknown visibility and popularity.  

In fact, the 9 February, at the Rainbow Theater in London, Peter Gabriel wears a full trunk in the dressing room and wears his famous costumes and masks on stage . On the notes of mellotron di Watcher Of The Skies, Peter comes out for the first time in a black suit and bat wings on his head.  

Here's the effect (in a video from the following tour, October 1973 Live Shepperton Studios):

And then again, new twists throughout the concert. Images that will mark, for better or for worse, the band forever. Here is Phil Collins' comment in his autobiography "No, I'm not dead yet", Mondadori:

"Before this there had been no indication that Peter wanted to start dressing up. How, later, he won't warn us of the flower mask he will wear for the part of Willow Farm in Supper's Ready, and not even for the triangular box that you put on your 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. (...) These are the very unconventional things that Peter Gabriel is now doing on stage with Genesis. After Dublin, Ms. Volpe reappears at every concert, always in the same spot. We get used to it early, and it's better for us: a photo of Peter in the new costume ends up straight on the cover of the «Melody Maker», and adds a zero to the Genesis engagement rate. We go from thirty-five pounds to three hundred and fifty pounds a night. "

Mike Rutherford tells in his autobiography The Living Years, Arcana:

"We had been kept completely in the dark about Pete's intentions; he knew, moreover, that if he had anticipated something we would have tried to stop him."

Remember Tony Banks in Without Borders. Life and music of Peter Gabriel di Daryl Easlea, Arcana:

"Others did something with the costumes, but we used all the space on the stage. When you went to a Genesis show you saw the veiled curtains, and then the artificial smoke, which yes now is a cliché but then it was not at all. bat wings and painted eyes. You could hear the sound of the Mellotron, practically the first stereo effect. There were no other gigs of that level in the world. The first ten minutes were incredibly powerful. I think we were among the first bands. to grasp the beauty of the fusion of music and visual effects. Partly it happened by chance and luck, partly because Peter's ability in that sense was truly unique. "


The first time of Peter Gabriel's costumes.

The Delmale Flowers: Peter Gabriel's costumes.

It is during this tour that the Genesis land for the first time in the United States, for a troubled Christmas concert at the Philharmonic Hall in New York on December 13 1972, preceded by a live for a few students at Brandeis University in Boston two days earlier. Phil Collins again:

"As soon as we arrive we discover that our American manager, (...) has organized a concert for us at Brandeis University near Boston, Massachusetts. At lunchtime. So our first performance on American soil is an atrocious and hasty disappointment. . To New England students English rock, or at least ours, cares even less than we thought, and they seem more interested in their studies or their sandwiches. This does not bode well for Genesis' good fortune in the United States. 'America.

(...) As we approach New York for the first time, we are overwhelmed by the enormity of the metropolis that falls upon a group already beaten by the failure of Boston. But as you enter at dusk from the George Washington Bridge, the Manhattan skyline gradually lights up, illuminated by millions of lights. New York! We've seen it in the movies, and now we're here. (...) 

And then we go to Philharmonic Hall to test and discover a very big problem: the different electrical system in America implies that electromechanical instruments go to 60 hertz and not to 50 as in England. This means that the Mellotron (a new toy that we bought from the King Crimson) and the Hammond organ are out of tune compared to the guitars.

Listen to i Genesis live at the Philharmonic Hall in New York:

We find an improvised solution and, that evening, we play the concert at the least worst possible way. The audience doesn't seem to notice anything strange, but even though the five of us are telepathically synchronized, for Genesis the concert is a mess. We get off the stage, take the elevator to the dressing rooms and the air is green with anger. Even years later, just naming that first concert in New York puts us all on edge and brings back horrible memories. "

A first stage in the United States that was not particularly successful, perhaps due to the unripe times and the notoriety of the band that is still scarce overseas, despite the expensive promotional campaign organized by the Charisma's US branch, Buddah Records. The technical problems certainly had great importance. Again Mike:

"The Rickenbacker bass I was playing emitted a hideous hum: I didn't hear a note all evening. The others didn't hear anything either and the feeling was that we were throwing away an opportunity. (...) Immediately after the show I hurled to the ground my bass in a fit of rage, cursing and cursing. "

An experience that is repeated ai early March, with some dates in the USA and Canada, this time with more success.

Il 20st January 1973 the Italian part of the Tour begins in Reggio Emilia. READ AND LISTEN TO THE SPECIAL OF HORIZONS RADIO ON THE TOPIC:

The album Genesis live was recorded in February 1973 during the English part of the tour. 

Started on September 9, 1972, in fact, the tour ends on August 26, 1973 at the Reading Festival, UK. LISTEN TO THE GENESIS EXHIBITION:

Setlist of the tours:

  1. "Watcher of the Skies"
  2. "The Musical Box"
  3. "Supper's Ready"
  4. "The Return of the Giant Hogweed"
  5. "The Knife"

Other pieces performed during the tour:

  • "Can-Utility and the Coastliners"
  • "Get 'Em Out by Friday"
  • "The Fountain of Salmacis"
  • "Twilight Alehouse"


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