I too have been a Genesis fan since 15 (1972).
Being the keyboard player for a fledgling prog rock band in Sarnia, Ontario called Theater of Life (great name don't you think) and having been a Rick Wakeman fan I began to tire of his movement to be more technically driven rather than melody driven.
I purchased the Foxtrot LP and was hooked on Banks dedication to the song rather than the technique.
My foundest memory was attending the 1976 Trick of the Tail show in London, Ontario on March 26, 76, their first live appearance with Mr. Collins on lead vocals and my first time seeing Genesis.
It started a bit slow, Mr. Collins visibly nervous but quickly became, as they always were, a tight melodic increadable sound.
I have seen Genesis in all of their incarnations (except with Mr. Gabriel) 6 times in total, Mr. Gabriel solo 4 times but have the foundest memory of the London ,Ontario show.
It was intimate, only a couple of hundred attending. and their interaction with us more seemed more genuine.
They appeared to be moved with our reaction and thankful for it. Thanks again for keeping these memories alive.
What a superlative set of memories you have had with Genesis...and Peter Gabriel (solo)...as both a fellow musician and a genuine, appreciative fan, dear Paul!
Thank you so very much for sharing this unusual memory of Phil's first, tentative outing as their lead singer and frontman.
It serves us all well, I think, to go back in our minds to a time before he was Mr. Phil Collins, international start of stage and screen (and Motown Hit remakes).
I have always had great respect for Phil...not only in his pure vocals - but, his magnificently complex drumming.
I've read how he is a consummate musician - in that he play nearly every type of instrument he picks up...and his ability to sew different compositions together, through clever transitional arrangements, set him apart.
He was a workaholic who gave freely of his time and talents when his friends needed top-notch drumming to be recorded for their solo albums & asked for no pay (just ask Peter)..and, if there had later been sour grapes or bad feeling on anyone's part - it usually would be Phil who played the mediator or mood-lightener.
So many folks these day forget how far-reaching his musical depth truly is...and merely assign him the more shallow Pop Star persona he later became.
In that, I am very sad to slowly learn that he became a very depressed individual, later in life...and, perhaps understandably bitter as to how everything panned out, for him.
But, at least he has his newly-published book on his years-long obsession "The Alamo" to find joy in !
All my best..and sincere thanks,