From Genesis To Reunion Revelation?

In response to news reports saying Genesis – with Peter Gabriel – could go back on the road, agent John Giddings said, “At least they all still talk to each other, not like some bands I could mention.”

Apart from throwing in some thinly veiled references to Pink Floyd, the Solo Agency chief was reacting to a November 7th BBC News item saying Phil Collins is “open” to a reunion with Gabriel.

“I’m open for it. I’m happy to sit behind the drums and let Peter be the singer,” Collins told the BBC. Collins expressed the same views in an Israeli broadcast and print media interview earlier in the day, but Giddings said that – as far as he’s aware – there are “no plans as we speak.”

“I’d be proud and very pleased to be involved, but this is something that’s been discussed so many times over the years. In fact, it feels like we’ve discussed it a million times,” Giddings explained.

The BBC story also quoted Collins as saying, “If it doesn’t happen, it would just be because there are too many things in the way.”

Most of Collins’ own 2006 diary could well be taken up with adding to his film score for Disney’s “Tarzan,” which is being rewritten for a Broadway musical.

However, the reunion story took on a little more substance when Collins echoed Giddings’ comments on the general bonhomie that exists between the band’s former members.

“Just because we don’t play in the same band any more doesn’t mean we don’t see each other and enjoy each other’s company,” Collins told The Independent. He went on to say he’d play in a band with Gabriel “in a second” if he was asked.

Last month, some U.S. music mags quoted former Genesis guitarist Steve Hackett as saying, “A reunion, I think, is on the cards at some point.” In addition, Gabriel recently told an American talk show that he’d be meeting with the other members to discuss whether a joint project could take place in the near future.

Genesis formed in the late 1960s and were internationally successful for more than 30 years, despite a series of lineup changes, before the group called it a day in 1998.

Collins, who took over vocal duties when Gabriel left in 1975, is currently nearing the end of the second leg of his solo First Final Farewell Tour, which has included dates across Western Europe as well as Istanbul, Beirut and Tel Aviv.

The latter was promoted by Shuki Weiss, who told Pollstar that Collins’ November 7th show at the 15,000-capacity Bloomfield Stadium was a “wonderful and breathtaking event.”

Collins is the most prominent international music star to perform in Israel since the start of the Palestinian uprising more than five years ago. His visit to Tel Aviv created such a media frenzy that local political and religious issues seemed to be put on hold for a couple of days.

“It was a magic 48 hours,” Weiss said, having overcome the security problems caused by the tour arriving from Lebanon and then travelling on to Dubai. Israel doesn’t have diplomatic relations with either country.

Having “waved off three planes at Tel Aviv airport,” Weiss said the outward journey wasn’t such a problem as Israel and Dubai already have trade relations (and diplomatic ones may soon follow), but the flight in from Beirut involved a stop-off for a full security check in Cyprus.

The logistics were made a little easier because Elissa Murtaza from Mirage Promotions‘ Bahrain office did the Beirut and Dubai shows on either side of the Tel Aviv date.

Having been first to bring major international talent to Israel for half a decade, Weiss said he hoped Collins’ visit would “open people’s eyes” and make them realise that the country’s problems aren’t anywhere near as bad as international media reports suggest.

“I look at what’s happening in France and the terrorist attacks in London and, from what I see, it looks like the whole world is going crazy,” he added, before saying it was time for him to “get on the phone to international agents” and repeat the message that there’s no danger in playing Israel.

The November 3rd show at Istanbul Adbi Ibecki Stadium made a little history of its own as the first major date Marcel Avram has promoted under his Concerts West umbrella since quitting Deutsche Entertainment AG in September.

In a deal that was described as mutually beneficial to both parties, his departure was eased by DEAG chief Peter Schwenkow waiving a two-year non-compete clause in return for Avram guaranteeing that future co-operations between the two would yield what’s being described as “a two-digit-million Euro business volume” over the same period.

After the Dubai show, Collins’ tour was set to continue through Dusseldorf, Dublin, Belfast and Glasgow (which Giddings is promoting) before wrapping with two shows at Prague’s Sazka Arena (23-24), which were shifted from October 24-25 because Collins went down with the flu.

John Gammon