âTurn It On Again â Peter Gabriel, Phil Collins & Genesisâ by Dave Thompson.
Backbeat Books, San Francisco, 2005.
Until their apparent demise in the late â90s, Genesis were one of the longest running, most successful music acts in the world, having debuted in 1967. Dave Thompsonâs new book covers every decade of their existence, as well as the careers of Peter Gabriel and Phil Collins, the two frontmen who went on to enjoy equally massive success as solo artists.
Billed as the first book to cover the complete history of Genesis, Thompsonâs book is probably the most comprehensive. I havenât read Robin Plattsâ âGenesis: Inside and Out (1967 â 2000)â, which, at 184 pages, canât be seen as the definitive overview to date.
Thompson truly starts at the beginning, telling the stories about how future members of Genesis met at Charterhouse, an old, exclusive public boarding school, in 1963. Here, kids are taught to feel superior to the common folk and are not just educated, but trained to become leaders. Until 1965, the schoolâs most famous alumnus was Baden Powell, the founder of the Scouting movement. Jonathan King managed to score a massive world-wide hit with âEveryoneâs Gone To The Moonâ which caused some of the students to dream about being pop stars. In a return visit to Charterhouse, he was presented with a demo by an unnamed band and enjoyed the vocals of the lead singer, Peter Gabriel. To christen the start of his career as a music producer, he dubbed the unnamed band Genesis.
There is a mention of how few people thought Peter Gabriel was born to be a performer but instead saw him making a go in fashion. Gabriel found an old hat in his grandfatherâs attic, had a manufacturer run off several copies, and sold them in London boutiques. Pop star Marianne Faithful bought one and became a regular customer of his.