Genesis and Peter Gabriel - the jaded Roxy audience sat gobsmacked.

Genesis and Peter Gabriel – the jaded Roxy audience sat gobsmacked.

Genesis – in concert at The Roxy – December 19, 1973 – early show – Roxy soundboard –

When Genesis played their first West Coast gig, at the fabled Roxy on Sunset strip in West Hollywood, they were initially booked to play two nights – a band their label thought didn’t have the following in the U.S. that they did in the UK and throughout Europe. Their previous releases were all but buried in the U.S. – and the only time they played anywhere in the U.S. was one gig in New York a few years earlier, when they were licensed to Buddah Records. Nobody at the label really thought Genesis was well-known in the U.S.

Well, the day the Roxy advertised Genesis were playing, the crowds lined up. Hopeful ticket buyers lined down Sunset Boulevard and both shows quickly sold out. Representatives from the label expressed shock as they saw the line snaking around the Roxy and continuing almost to the end of the block. Needless to say, more shows were quickly added and it was abundantly clear Genesis had arrived.

The reason I say all that with a goodly degree of certainty is because I was at that first show. I saw the lines of people trying to get tickets – my buddies at Atlantic were blown away and the whole atmosphere was charged with astonished excitement. Finally, all those fans on the West Coast were going to see a band they had read about in Melody Maker or NME, bought the albums on import, heard stories about Peter Gabriel dressed as a flower – couldn’t wait to catch it all in person.

So this tape, a rare soundboard recording made by the Roxy house mixer, has been sitting in a box, neglected for a very long time. It shows its age in places – but it certainly maintains its excitement.

It’s further evidence the 70s were a pretty amazing decade for music, despite what you may have heard. There was enough incredible to go around and there was something for everyone – even Genesis fans.


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