Genesis: 50 years ago the first tour in Italy, 6 - 19 April 1972 - AUDIO, VIDEO & MEMORIES

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April 1972, the Genesis debut in Italy, the country that first understood their music. Here are the stages with memories, sounds and images of that historical adventure.

Listen to the Horizons Radio podcast (in Italian) - CLICK HERE

First stop: on April 6, 1972 in Adria in the province of Rovigo, in front of, it seems, just over a hundred people.

Hello 2001, the weekly-bible of those years states that the concert, part of the Nursery cryme Tour, would have taken place in Belluno.

But the proof that it is in Adria is this (click to enlarge the image):

Registered at the Hotel Stella d'Italia in Adria are the Genesis and their collaborators. And here is the photo of the Municipal Theater of Adria where the concert took place:

"We arrived at the place where we had to play around 11 am and we did the sound check calmly, to do it well.

Those places were like cathedrals, you clapped your hands and heard the echo 12 seconds later. Mixing the sound was almost useless, it went by trial and error, but people appreciated the same.

Then we ate. Maurizio always knew where the best restaurants were, so we had a big meal. We quickly learned to eat Italian-style: pasta first, often homemade spaghetti with a delicious sauce, a meat steak, no vegetables, maybe a little salad and then a dessert, like tiramisu. We also discovered fantastic wines, so by the end of lunch, around four in the afternoon, we were absolutely satiated and drunk.

We went back to the hotel, closed the blinds to create complete darkness, collapsed in the bed and slept like a dead man for two hours.

Then we got up and did the concert. Life was beautiful and the arenas were full, 5000 and, in the second tour, 10.000 fans waiting to listen to us ". (From: My Book of Genesis by Richard Macphail. My translation)

"The strange introductory stories full of surreal humor that the frontman tells before the various performances, initially used as a mere filler but which slowly begin to live in their own light, attract the attention of the public at this stage of the band's on stage career. ". (from: Genesis in Italy. The 1972-1975 concerts of Mino Profumo)

The band on Sunday 9, is at Lem Club of San Martino Buon Albergo in the province of Verona, the first date on which the shows are two, at 16, for students, and at 21. Shows dedicated by Peter to the Trieste public , who couldn't see the show, canceled the previous day.

Here is a recording of part of the concert, first audio testimony of the tour:

A Facebook page contains comments and memories of that date - CLICK HERE.

Read comments also in

L'April 11 in Pesaro on stage with Genesis are Premiata Forneria Marconi and Odissea.

A testimony reported by Mino Profumo in Genesis in Italy. The concerts 1972-1975, tells how, during the sound-check in Pesaro, Genesis tried what would later become Watcher Of The SkiesBut with al mellotron not Tony Banks, but even the legendary "handyman" Richard Macphail.

And here's another memory, of Claudius Salvi, published by the Dusk Magazine website:

"Back in 1972 (the year in which Genesis brought their Nursery Cryme around Italy), the band of Gabriel and companions played at the Palasport in Pesaro on April 11th.

As told by my friend Carlo Betti, during the afternoon check sound the imperfect acoustics of the Palazzo dello sport in Via Marconi - which already hosted the games of the current Scavolini Basket - then ended up becoming very impatient Banks. It really was Tony which for more than an hour moved from one side to the other, positioning itself in various parts of the stands of the old hangar (then obtained by means of a dense plot of scaffolding with Innocenti tubulars and wooden boards that could hold up to 5.000 spectators), puffing and cursing for the redundant sound and for an unpleasant echo effect that ended up making the whole sound indistinguishable.

The problems, despite the commitment of Tony, did not resolve in that rehearsal session, but only in the evening with the entrance of the large audience. Pesaro was then included in the large circuit of concerts because then such a Bizzocchi, concert organizer, often flew to Great Britain and visited English clubs and pubs to find new bands. So it was that, thanks to a far-sighted department of culture of the Municipality and to Bizzocchi himself, Gabriel and associates ended up in Pesaro. But in the same year they also did Traffic, the Soft machine, Brian auger and Oblivion Express and others.

Another curious anecdote that my friend Betti did not fail to tell me about that day with a meticulous wealth of details. Immediately after the afternoon check sound (so shortly after 19), the "ours", once outside, walked together with a group of technicians and a bunch of local organizers and Bizzocchi himself, towards the Pesaro seafront which is just a hundred meters from the Palasport for dinner.

Arrived in the middle of Viale Marconi, where various local companies were stationed, i genesis they noticed some kids (among whom the friends of the aforementioned Betti) who played ball. So it was that Banks, Rutherford e Gabriel they played football for more than ten minutes with those kids who were actually a little surprised by those strange and long-haired guys.

Immediately after the game (Rutherford he also scored a goal in a door between two trees), i genesis they landed at a then famous pizzeria restaurant with a very American and little English name: "Ranch".

It was there that between pizzas and beers and laughter the right climate was created for one of the most beautiful and fascinating concerts ever landed on these shores.
Needless to say, the evening was an incredible success. "

Franz Di Cioccio of PFM, told an anecdote in an interview with  Music Around:

"We played with Genesis in Pesaro, it was their first concert in Italy ...

... We met there, then we refreshed when they came to Milan, finally we met when we went to England.

It was like that at the time. Peter Gabriel invited us to his house one afternoon to listen to the music to spend some time together. English tea is an unforgettable experience, they do it with that veil of cream, in the right teapot…. "

READ ALSO (press review): Odyssey, the inhabitants of Biella who opened the Genesis concerts in the 70s


The date of Reggio Emilia on April 12th, is officially considered the  birthplace of Watcher Of The Skies.

According to the memories of Hackett and Rutherford, in fact, it was in the Emilian city that practically all of it was performed during the pre-concert rehearsals.

"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 if, even today, I'm not sure how conscious he was of how good they were . " (From The Living Years by Mike Rutherford. My translation)

So we can credit Reggio as a musical home of song Foxtrot, while the text was written by Mike and Tony on the roof of their hotel in Naples a week later.

Read also the SPECIAL OF HORIZONS The places of Genesis: the birth of Watcher Of The Skies in Italy - the BAND's MEMORIES

It reminds Horizons Radio Raimondo Vecchi Fossa: "The stage was facing the high grandstand and not towards the audience as for the other concerts and it surprised me a lot. Gabriel with the rear window of his hair performed as the first song Happy The Man that I had and I still have like 45 laps."

Lon date of April 13, in Cuorgné, in the province of Turin, remains unique and historic on Genesis tours.

Read also the SPECIAL OF HORIZONS RADIO Genesis places: The 2 Rotonde of Cuorgnè, Turin Italy - MEMORIES of RUTHERFORD and EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEWS

Here is the complete testimony Beppe Crovella audio, Leader of the band of Turin Arts and Crafts - LISTEN:

So remember Mike Rutherford The Living Years: The First Genesis Memoir (English Edition, my translation):

"We were playing in the mountains one evening when Tony had food poisoning. We lasted for a while without him, but it was like being in a car that had lost a wheel and we had to finish the set early.

Since we hadn't been able to sell many tickets, the promoter had the excuse that he was looking for not paying. Rich did not want to know about it and was a little aggressive. The promoter had a gun. We weren't paid. "

And here What he told Radio Horizons Pierluigi Gassino, present at the concert:

"The concert was interrupted because keyboardist Tony Banks felt bad ... and as a consolation I managed to exchange a few words with Phil Collins, while Peter Gabriel had a drink leaning against the bar of the disco where they had performed in front of a few of us ... I remember then that the bassist and the guitarist wandered around the stage at the end of the concert, picking up some cables and equipment ... all this before becoming rock stars!

My brief dialogue with Phil Collins was due to a fact that made the evening even more bitter for me and my friends because on leaving we could no longer find the car in the parking lot and, having returned to the disco to ask for a ride in order to return home, I meet Phil outside the club who approaches an Alfa model 1750 with a guy who seemed to be the manager at the wheel.

I asked him, gesturing in Anglo-Italian, a passage to Turin, explaining the fact that just happened and the evident difficulty. He told me that they were going to Milan and there was no place, then added that those who had stolen the car were killed by making the gesture of cutting the throat as a joke.

He greeted me shaking my hand ... beautiful and bitter memory ...! "

Su Dusk n ° 55 a detailed reconstruction of the evening by Beppe Crovella (click on the cover to order a copy):

The Beatles and Genesis in Canavese. History of beat & pop music in Canavese from 1962 to 1974 by Gianpiero Madonna, contains a souvenir of the concert and a profile of the lively music scene of the period in the Canavese area:

Read other memories on

Il 14 April, Genesis are a Pavia

Here is a fan registration. Precious testimony of that concert - LISTEN:

Double concert, afternoon and evening. But the second is marred by unrest for the contestation of those who consider the sum of XNUMX lire to be excessive.

A Facebook page is entirely dedicated to the concert:

Here is the memory of two presents taken from the site Genesis The Movement:

"During" The Return Of The Giant Hogweed ", the electricity goes off. Phil Collins played a drum only and when power returned, they didn't restart the song but continued it from the point they left it at." [Matteo]

"The show was one. Absolutely NOT 2 (I was there). The Police arrived when, after 20 mins from the show start, people outside tried to get in without paying. But only 2 cars of Police got only a BIG CLAP from the crowd and people got in ... A bootleg has been released in Italy from that show. A very poor q .ty bootleg, but has been released (NO CD-R). I had a copy in my hand and I sold it to a friend in Miami, USA to make another Silver-CD (NO- CDR too). [Roman] "

Here is a special memory (although in post 1973 it stands for 1972):

Other memories and curiosities in the book by Mino Profumo:

On April 15 problems also in Lugo di Romagna (Ravenna), at the Hit Parade room.

Here are two concerts, afternoon and evening. LISTEN:

But just like on the previous date in Pavia, where the beginning was delayed by accidents between the boys and the police, here an important unexpected event comes between the evening concert is even canceled.

The problem was, apparently, a black out the electrical system, caused by a throw of cushions towards the stage, the result of too much enthusiasm of the afternoon audience.

Here is how he remembers it with Horizons Radio Edio Caroli, present at the concert:

"I was in my twenties and Genesis back then was the biggest in the world like the Van Der Graf Generator, which I saw in the same room at that time. I also remember the rudeness of the boys who uprooted the cushions from the armchairs and threw them on stage."

Daniela Carlotti:

"I saw the concert in Lugo and the one in August in Marina di Ravenna, I was 16 and in both cases my parents accompanied me (obviously they didn't enter, it's not like now ...). Unfortunately I don't remember almost anything, not even the throwing pillows we are talking about. In Marina di Ravenna I saw the concert in the afternoon, I arrived late, I passed in front of Peter & Co. who were there one meter away, on a low platform. I don't remember that there were many people, not even in Lugo I would say. Anyway it was magical, especially in Lugo. I have a tremendous nostalgia, unfortunately. "

On Facebook, other memories:

Yet evidence of

Here are two bootleg Lugo with the concert:

Live in Travagliato (Brescia), with a double concert at the m Supertivoli on April 16th.

Here is the memory of Richard Milella on the site 

"The Italy of concerts was as amateurish as could be expected. No professional Service, no backlines and backlights, no spies on stage, no catering, no roadies, no dressing rooms and / or showers, no security, nothing In short, generating sets, nothing at all.

The group arrived with a friend or two in tow a few hours before the show in the same van in which instrumentalists and instruments were piled together which then all unloaded, assembled, tested, adjusted, tuned.

A sandwich, two oranges and off with the concert with the same shirt and jeans of the afternoon. Even for Genesis it went like this, at least at their first drop Italy of rock found itself unprepared to set up performances worthy of the name."

"Peter speaks in his language but makes it clear that he will now perform a song recorded a few days ago and that it will be released on the next LP entitled Foxtrot.

I remember the song very well because it moved us all from the first listening with its majestic gait between the keys of the Hammond: Watcher of the skies it is a milestone and Gabriel also played it theatrically crouching in the chiaroscuro of the organ and literally jumping high in the orchestral explosions.

Some literature says that the song was conceived during this first tour in our house; wrong, when they performed it on Italian dates it was already so beautiful, so complete and so arranged as to certify a painstaking preparation even if on disc it will actually come out months later ".

There is some doubt about this second part, since an already completed form of is unlikely Watcher in Travagliato. Perhaps Milella remembers the summer concert, always in the lower Brescia area, even if she does not refer to it. The charm of the mystery envelops this concert of which nothing remains, not even the place, demolished to build a shopping center in 2012 - Read.

This instead the memory of Paolo Burg on Horizons Radio:

"Four of us arrived with a Fiat 600 at" Paradiso "to see them. Disappointment, after an hour we had to give up and go back to Cervignano. I already had" Trespass "at home so I was dying to see them live.
Here the beauty begins! The school I attended in Monfalcone had organized a visit to a factory near Brescia. I get off the bus and find myself in front of the nose a poster with the writing: Dancing Supertivoli, Travagliato, Brescia "Genesis".
Looking for the time of the first evening train to Travagliato and leaving was one.
I still have the concert before my eyes. Unforgettable!"

On April 17th Genesis are live in Siena, at the Palazzetto dello Sport.

Photos from Facebook

Here is a detailed account of

Mario Giammetti in Genesis. The years Prog reports a memory by Tony Banks, concerning the execution of Watcher Of The Skies:

"In Siena at the Palasport ... even before having recorded it ... the introduction seemed really great in that location with a great echo ..."

On this occasion, the first cover of a Genesis song was made.

Here's how Mino Profumo reported in Genesis in Italy. The concerts 1972-1975:

"In rehearsals Odissea perform a Genesis song in the presence of the same English band in the audience that shows incredulity and lively satisfaction. It is perhaps the first live cover version of a Genesis song. Odissea however decide not to repeat this exploit during the their performance. "

April 18th is the moment of the live at the Piper Club in Rome. A concert of which these remain video, first to show the band on stage and backstage. LOOK:




Double show also in Rome ....

Here is the memory of Mike Rutherford in The living years (Trans. G. Testani ):

"Rome was always a benevolent city for us: that sense of antiquity, history and grandeur was the perfect setting for our music.

In a short time we would have come to play in arenas and stadiums, but at the beginning we performed in small clubs in front of an audience of XNUMX-year-old students.

The shows were held mid-afternoon on Sunday to allow the boys to return home in time to go to bed. "

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And here's the one of Phil Collins in No, I'm not dead yet, traduz. A. Mioni, M. Duvets:

"The Italian public is extraordinary. Not only do they adore us, but they really capture our spirit.

They applaud and scream even at the slightest change of atmosphere, something that Genesis often do: we move from a fast pace to a whisper, to a pastoral interlude, without batting an eyelid.

No wonder Italians like us so much: we are an English group that explores the lyrical tradition. "

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Bis with Going out to get you, as in Lugo di Romagna, performed without Steve Hackett.

Also Richard Macphail in My Book Of Genesis remember with pleasure those Italian days (my translation):

"Being such hardcore fans, the Italians had bought and absorbed all their records; they knew every note and nuance of the songs. It was really extraordinary. We had never experienced anything like this.

I was there at the mixing desk in the audience and everyone was clapping their hands, seeing my kids so understood and appreciated was a wonderful experience. Fans loved everything and rewarded the band with a standing ovation at the end of each show.

This worked wonders for their trust and all five guys, Peter, Mike, Tony, Steve and Phil, never forgot the warmth of their first tour in Italy, or its importance in their development as a band.

I hope we paid our debt of gratitude by sounding good for them. "

More testimonials from Without borders. Life and music of Peter Gabriel, di Daryl Easlea, tcancellation of L. Testani:

"With its strange mechanisms, early afternoon performances and dinners between two shows, all culminating in a concert in Rome (...), Italy marked a decisive step towards the Genesis live act as we know it. Maniacally perfectionist, the group dismantled the performance of the night before piece by piece as they moved to the next city.

"Every time I traveled with them I had to put up with the comments on the concert the night before in the van," smiles Conroy (Paul Conroy, tour road manager, Editor's note). They remained fairly calm as they assessed whether Tony Banks had really gone wrong; they were perfectionists. And during the breaks we listened to the Shadows, inside the van. traveling for four hours from one concert to another ».

"The intent was always to improve," adds Steve Hackett, "which risked making him look like an autopsy!"

«We were sailing on sight. And then here is this little ray of light that comes from Italy ». says Mike Rutherford. «The road was hard, all uphill. Suddenly a country comes out that loves you; nothing else is needed to give you the feeling that it is really worth going on »."

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Collector's Corner (click on the covers and buy your copy on Ebay). VINYL:


With other Italian dates of that tour:

Here are others bootleg from the concert:

Last stop: Genesis are live at the Mediterranean Theater of Naples on April 19th.

A double concert that closes the first part of the Nursery cryme Tour of Genesis in Italy.

Here is the live audio:

A date that will remain in the history of Genesis, because on the roof of the Hotel Domitiana, which houses the band, Mike and Tony write the text of Watcher Of The Skies.

Here is the memory of Tony Banks in Genesis: I Know What I Like di Armando Gallo:

"We were sitting on top of this building, it was a hot sunny day and we were just 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' says: an alien being who comes to the planet and sees it completely deserted. And so the story unfolds with a bit of science fiction. I like Arthur Clarke's 'Childhood's End' and books like that. "

And of Mike Rutherford in The living years (Trans. G. Testani):

"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."

The song is already being used for the sound check before the concerts. In Naples it is then 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 of 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. "

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Read other memories here:

The places of Genesis: the birth of Watcher Of The Skies in Italy - the BAND's MEMORIES

The genesis of the GENESIS

When Naples became the muse of the Genesis

The former Hotel Domitiana, now JFK.

The Italian dates bring further luck to the Genesis, which confirm their success in our country. Not only that, returning home, Steve Hackett will meet Ellen, who will become his first wife and mother of Oliver.

And it does not end here: Genesis will return to Italy in August, For a second part of the tour. But that's another story.

If you remember any of the concerts on this tour, write to Horizons Radio.


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