In the Beginning


This is my story of Rael, Genesis and The Lamb.  Growing up in New Jersey, right across the river from New York City,
I often listened to WNEW-FM (102.7) and specifically to Alison Steel (God Bless Her Soul), “The Night Bird”.  Her show began at 12 midnight, and she was able to showcase some not so main stream rock music. (I remember one night calling into the station and asking her to play “Supper’s Ready” and she said to me, are you crazy, I can’t play song longer than 20 minutes”)....... but I digress.


Heading toward the Christmas season, WNEW had been sponsoring an annual benefit concert.  Back in 1972, “The Night Bird” was hot on GENESIS, and that year, Genesis was the attraction. For about a month, Alison Steel (and the other WNEW DJs) were promoting this benefit concert featuring a new band from England, “GENESIS”.  Alison started playing more and more GENESIS as well. 
She was very excited that the lads were going to perform at that year’s Annual Benefit Concert.


The only exposure I had to Genesis until then was thru WNEW. WNEW simulcast the concert on the radio and I got to hear Genesis LIVE for the first time. I still remember the  sense of awe I felt when I first heard the opening TRON chords for Watcher of the Skies. At the time, I thought that I had not heard a Mellotron before (I now know differently) and being a musician, I wanted to find that TRON sound. And to this day, I remember thinking that I never heard a live band sound like their records (I went to tons of concerts back then so I had a good base of comparison). The band that sounds like their records, LIVE, had now piqued my curiosity.


For the next 12 months, I purchased all the GENESIS albums released to date in the States and began my listening adventure. Being a musician, how GENESIS could sound so GREAT live became my obsession.  I was in High School at the time and playing in ‘cellar” or “garage bands”.  A couple of my musician friends shared my passion for GENESIS and we began an adventure of learning how to PLAY Genesis songs.

 

I was a guitar player so the first instrument I needed to play GENESIS music was a Les Paul.  My friend, Joe Dalton, was a bass player and my friend Mike Carroll was a drummer. Of the three of us, Mike was most proficient on his instrument and had a pretty good drum kit and could play a bit like Phil Collins.  So, after a couple of years (Genesis was about to release, “The Lamb”) fooling around as a three piece (wasn’t too gratifying) and looking for a keyboard player with a Hammond and a Leslie (not a Farfisa) was next to impossible to find.


Now, the buzz around North Jersey and NYC was the upcoming Genesis tour to promote their unreleased new album.


The Lamb Shows


It was the fall of 1974 and as soon as tix became available, we (Joe, Mike and I) headed out to Ticketron and purchased both The Academy of Music show in NYC and the Capital Theatre show in Passiac, NJ.  At the time of the ticket purchase none of us had yet heard the new album nor what it’s title.  The tickets at the Academy were upstairs in the balcony but I got two fourth row, center tickets at the Capital Theatre for me and my girlfriend (now my wife, Kim).  To say we were psyched about these shows would be an understatement.


Earlier in 1974, we had tickets for the Selling England by the Pound show, also at The Academy of Music.  I was working at the time and had to take a night off so I could go to the show.  We all left a bit early to get into NYC and get a bite to eat before the show.  I remember being on 14th Street and there literally was a “magic in the air”... all us young folks, trekking into the big city to see GENESIS.  We went to eat at “Tuesdays” which was around the corner from The Academy
.  As we were leaving from our meal, there was literally, mayhem outside of the restaurant.  All around, people running and shouting at the same time. I couldn’t quite make out what was happening but it couldn’t be good.


Now, on the sidewalk, one of the shouters ran right by us and was yelling, “The Show is CANCELLED”!  We walked around the corner, and sure enough, the marquee at The Academy now said, GENESIS TONIGHT - CANCELLED!


Turns out, this was the night that their equipment was held for ransom. GENESIS apparently paid off whomever they needed to and the concert was rescheduled for another work night. I asked my boss if I could take another night off and he said if I did, I could have every night off. So, I wound up selling my ticket and missed the Selling England Show, which would have been the first time I saw Genesis LIVE.  Understand my excitement about having tickets for two GENESIS shows about a week apart from each other and fourth row, center,  seats for the Passaic Show.

 
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