That Was Genesis
Dear diary...so much time has elapsed in my life, filled with moving around a lot, but now I'm older and more settled it hardly seems possible that many of those old friends who said we'd stay in contact forever, have now sadly gone.
Yet! As Samhain comes around again, whispers from across the years surface for me, recapturing kindred spirits...if only in my mind, old friends who ignited my passion for music, or was it the voice in my head that murmured softly as Shakespeare once said: 'If music be the food of love, play on,' sparking my appetite for that soulful proof of who I am today.
Those promising pleasures are set in motion, appearing each time I hear spiral of notes from far back that corkscrew their way; overflowing out of every orifice in my body, like the audience rising at a sensational, euphoric performance; calling out for more. So too in ecstatic bliss do the hairs on my arms rise to attention becoming noticeable, while guitars gently carry me on a journey, mellow voices flying my spirit through rainbow coloured notes into absolute ecstasy of fairy tale magical joy.
Suddenly I'm back there, it's October 23rd 1973 at the Liverpool Empire, I'm nineteen with teenage hormones raging for the boy of my dreams, blowing kisses in my mind to the long, dark haired Peter Gabriel, his alluring eyes absorbed me instantly, as dramatic gestures wrapped around myself. I was captivated by Peter's individual; enigmatic weaving of stories within the music, knowing his distinctive changes of character was so unique...he was adored and respected by me. I hoped one day I'd meet and fall in love with him, but of course I knew I'd never be worthy of such a genius; though it's great to dream.
I didn't have too many aspirations back then, but if I had set myself goals, nothing would get in the way till I'd achieved my dreams, which I'll admit didn't always work out, but still with tenacity, clinging with purpose, disappointment never entered my mind till too late, then I'd curl up in my shell and mend my broken ego.
Recently listening to: Nursery Cryme from 1971, which is one of my favourite albums by Genesis, just gave me shivers hearing again. It's music that emanates ethereal voices with the cadence of Phil Collins drums, that would send me into raptures. Recalling sitting close to the front of the stage at Liverpool Empire. Tony banks transforming keyboards, blending so well, evoking rivers sometimes gently flowing, lilting sounds then swiftly gushing over boulders, as well as washing over my skin, swooping once again like an eagle.
Luxuriating in stirring guitars that dip into creeks, and the crevices of my own body, eagerly longing to hold onto the moment; drawn by the energy of youth, with my then way out boyfriend, a self taught guitar musician. It was his nineteenth birthday and we'd been looking forward to this night with our faithful tickets for weeks.
The relationship with my friend was a strange one, because I had feelings for him, but he just wanted friendship, so I settled for whatever I could get. I have to say one of the reasons he was so attractive to me, was because he reminded me so much of the young Peter Gabriel, with his jet black long hair that would drift across his face when getting carried away by the incredible melodious – lyrics outpouring through our imaginations.
Never one for hiding in shadows, my then tall boyfriend who constantly lit josh sticks and wore patchouli, always hypnotized me with his incense, I just couldn't get enough of the calming fragrance...or him for that matter, dressed in his black loons and top to match.
He would get his sister to apply purple streaks to his already gorgeous dark hair, then with a touch of black nail varnish and black eyeliner we would hit the music scene. I was so proud to be seen with him. The goths thought they'd invented all this wild makeup, but Peter Gabriel and my boyfriend were way ahead of their time.
We were the freaks of the day, following bands like Genesis; Hawkwind, Wishbone Ash wherever we could. Money wasn't too much of an issue at this time, as I was working in an office, and my then boyfriend had a job as a carpenter, so we were more or less paid weekend hippy freaks. Neither of us liked our jobs, but it was a means to an end, and meant we got to travel all over the place.
I spent many a happy journey traveling back and fourth from Bristol to Flint. There was a pub close to the station, but I can't recall the name, I just remember the bar always being packed out with young people just like us, listening to those original progressive far out sounds. They even sat on the beer stained floor throughout the bar with lively chatting trying to rise above the loud music.
So with a taste for freedom, music and of course guys and girls flirting, life was just one big constant weekend party, with that feeling of belonging; which was measure of just how important that time was. I'll won't forget never wanting it to end.