The unforgettable places in the history of Genesis & Co., through audio, video, documents and much more.
April 1972, Genesis arrived in Italy, the country that first understood their music. Two stages of that adventure will remain in the history of the group, because Watcher Of The Skies was born here.
The date of Reggio Emilia on April 12th, in fact it is officially considered the birthplace of Watcher Of The Skies.
According to the memories of Hackett, Rutherford and the others present, it was in the Emilian city that an embryonic version of the unforgettable piece was performed for the first time during the soundcheck.
«In the Palasport of Reggio Emilia, a huge horrible place full of echo, in the middle of the sound check, Tony played those two initial chords on his mellotron. They worked very well even though, even today, I'm not sure how aware he was of how good they were. " (From The Living Years by Mike Rutherford. My translation)
In the tour to present Nursery Cryme, Genesis took advantage of free time and also of the rehearsals on stage to compose parts of songs that would later form the Foxtrot album.
Richard Macphail in My Book of Genesis tells how Genesis composes the album. Rich remembers that Tony Banks has officially declared that these are many pieces which were then glued together:
«It was a normal thing in Genesis. Some of the pieces were composed of fragments written by individual members and the problem was how to adapt them. In Supper's Ready, for example, Willow Farm, is in A flat major, it was supposed to lead to a small flute melody in A minor. So we had to work hard to harmonize the different agreements. Sometimes it's a completely natural change and it happened without our realizing it. "
On April 19th Genesis are live at the Mediterranean Theater of Naples.
A double concert that closes the first part of the Nursery Cryme Tours of Genesis in Italy.
A second stop in this Genesis story, because on the roof of the Hotel Domitiana, which houses the band, Mike and Tony write the text of Watcher Of The Sky. From the hotel terrace, in fact, you can see the whole complex of the Mostra d'Oltremare, the Arena Flegrea and the Mediterranean Theater, a foreign body with respect to the city, which could give the impression of a landscape of an unknown planet.
Here is the memory of Tony Banks in Genesis: I Know What I Like di
“We were sitting on top of this building, it was a hot sunny day and we were simply looking out across a large area of buildings and fields; there was no living soul around. It seemed that the entire population had just deserted the planet and this is what 'Watcher of the Skies' tells: an alien being who comes to the planet and sees it completely deserted. And so the story unfolds with a little science fiction. I like Arthur Clarke's' Childhood's End 'and books like that.'
«Tony and I together wrote the text, sitting on the roof of our hotel in Naples imagining that the world was over. Quite strange, considering it was a pleasantly sunny day. "
In Naples, therefore, the song is completed and, as we know, the next Genesis album will open, to be released the following October: Foxtrot.
But in his autobiography, Mike tells another background, which happened in Naples:
«In Naples we discovered another therapeutic pastime ... Concluding a tour with a group fight was a classic. The unusual thing about the quarrel-of-end-tour in Naples was that there was an amusement park just around the corner from the hotel where we slept. We got to the point of being so fed up with each other that we decided that the only thing to do was to throw ourselves on the bumper car track and bump into each other wildly and repeatedly. I have to say that I have never experienced such an effective way to clarify. "
Read other memories here:
Here is the audio of the live in Naples:
00:00 - Happy The Man;
04:18 - Stagnation;
14:53 - The Fountain Of Salmacis;
23:20 - Twilight Alehouse;
32:14 - The Musical Box;
42:23 - The Return Of The Giant Hogweed;
49:11 - Phil's Solo;
51:24 - The Knife.
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