Vocals / A Genesis-Related Dream

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Dear Paperlaters:

Currently there is a great deal of discussion on the age-old topic of Peter vs. Phil as lead singer, since I am relatively new to this list I guess I'd better take my stand on this issue.  First of all I emphasize that I am not trying to convince anyone.  Being the strong-headed person that I am I know it will take a miracle for anyone to convince me of anything, so I won't even try this on others.  By the same token I have never attempted to convert my friends or acquaintances into Genesis fans.  Moreover appreciation of a particular style of music or art is not something to be forced on people, since everyone is entitled to their own tastes.

I think Peter is a brilliant artist, incomparable for his imagination and creativity.  He is also one of my favorite vocalists.  Even if we restrict ourselves to his work with Genesis, it is not hard for me to hear a lot of attractive qualities in his voice:  a fierce intellect, alluring mystique, inventive intonations, the "catch my drift, dummies?" attitude (which can be considered cool sometimes), etc. etc.  However (you saw this coming, didn't you?), I can't help but feeling like something is lacking.  Why is it that in such a young voice I can detect no warmth, no innocence, passion for his art perhaps, but not much passion towards anyone else or life in general?  This is why I prefer Phil's voice, not because he can hit higher notes, but because he has what Peter lacks, i.e., accessible emotions.  To paraphrase Phil himself:  "It's the FEELING inside, the feeling inside." (We Said Hello Goodbye).  In fact, I would go a step further and say that Phil has emotions to spare which seems rather unusual for an Englishman (no offense to all you Brits!).  If back in the 70's Peter sounded a bit wise beyond his years, Phil's voice on the other hand exuded a youthful innocence and endearing vulnerability (which some of you will surely dismiss as wimpiness).  This was just what the band desperately needed - a human touch behind all that technical prowess and theatrical spectacle.  Similarly Phil replaced Peter's kinky humor with his own brand of self-deprecating goofy humor, I welcome that change too.  I do agree that Peter improved somewhat in the emotion department later in his solo career, though.             

Of course it may well be that the division between Peter and Phil supporters among Genesis fans is drawn along rather arbitrary lines such as who you were exposed to first, an extension of all the other questions of enormous significance in pop culture:  Sean Connery or Roger Moore?  Capt. Kirk or Capt. Picard?  Michael Keaton or any of the rest of the Batmen? ...


Dear Paperlaters:

I wish I could add to the discussion about Genesis tattoos but I can't, so I thought maybe I could contribute to the list by recounting my Genesis-related dream. 

For someone so obsessed about the band, it is really rather surprising that I have had only one dream about them so far.  Come to think of it, it is probably because I rarely have dreams and when I have them most are completely bizarre and detached from reality.  For example one time I had a dream about a Big Bird type looking creature blocking the door to my home, but I digress.  By comparison my dream about Genesis was quite unimaginative and anticlimactic.  In the dream I was somehow transported back in time to the 80's and got front row(!) seat to a Genesis concert at Wembley Stadium.  When I analyzed this later I realized that both the time and the place were no coincidence.  Having never been to any of their concerts, I at least have seen their 80's live footage at Wembley Stadium on Behind the Music, so it made sense that this occurred in my dream.  Anyway the show was about to start and the crowd was quite noisy as some people were still trying to settle into their seats.  Some pre-show music was playing very loudly.  I was of course beside myself with all the excitement and anticipation.  Then I noticed the person sitting next to me, a middle aged lady looking remarkably calm in contrast.  So I said in a tone not unlike a star-struck teenager:  "Wow, I just can't believe I got front row tickets!!  Aren't you excited?!"  Her reply was:  "What?  I don't even like Genesis!  I only came here because I got free ticket from the radio station, and they wouldn't give me the prize that I wanted!"  That was when I woke up, still dumbfounded and in disbelief that someone would insult my favorite band like that!  Moreover I kicked myself for waking up before the band had taken the stage and tried in vain to go back to the dream and at least see them perform 1 song!    

Back to reality.  Earlier someone mentioned that Tony looked unusually emotional towards the end of BTM.  I noticed this too.  Actually since I don't have an extensive collection of Genesis videos, I taped that BTM episode from TV and watched it for maybe 50 times (my roommate probably thinks I'm a nut).  The part where Tony talks about "time to pack it up" with "Duchess" playing in the background gets me every time.  He looked like he needed a hug.  I don't know what made it so depressingly sad, if it was the song, Tony's expressions, or the photo of the classic line-up as 5 young men out to conquer the world.  It just feels like the passage of a dynasty.  It makes me want to go out and get drunk, except that I can't drink.  I will always be their fan even if they never get back together again, but I wish they would do a reunion at least for the sakes of those of us who have never seen them perform live and even sadder, have never met another Genesis fan, not even in dreams.     

Lily

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