Thursday, March 17, 2011

Mini Proggers

Anyone who knows much about me might know I am an avid Genesis fan. I love their newer material, which means the albums that are 19-36 years old featuring Phil Collins as lead singer. And I really, really love their older material, which means the albums that are 37-42 years old with Peter Gabriel as lead singer.

I don't care if loving the band dates me, or makes me incredibly uncool by most, if not all, modern standards of coolness. Go ahead. Judge and mock me. I can take it. I'm also a Mets fan, so I know a lot about hanging tough with an underdog and cheering for them at the top of my lungs no matter how vehemently the masses might ridicule them. Friggin' Yankees...

Most of the solo works by the individual members of Genesis from its many incarnations grace my collection in one form or another. Master guitarist Steve Hackett is my favorite, but I've already written that blog post. And yes, my Lovely Wife, he has a new one coming out this fall. (I'll try to be considerate during my 6-month period of obsessive replaying after it arrives special delivery from the UK.)

As time travels forward, my love of the band's music remains constant, even though the daily lust for it might wax and wane. From time to time, I put the discs aside, skip over the playlists on my iPod, and gravitate toward other genres. But never for very long.

Something about the overwhelming wall of sound from the melotron, the tinkling intricacies of the acoustic guitars, the screaming cries of the electric guitars, the simplistic complexity of the keyboards, the controlled chaos of the drumkit, the bass line that travels its own path through the song while somehow still supporting it, and the audacious pomposity of the lyrics -- for some reason it all blends together and calls me back like an old friend.

Lately, I've been reveling in the prog rock classic "Supper's Ready" from the band's 1972 album Foxtrot. Not only does the song contain every possible aspect of progressive rock that makes my Lovely Wife cringe, it has a running time of just over 23 minutes. On vinyl, that side of the album had only one other song, an acoustic guitar solo ("Horizons," also a classic) lasting only 90 seconds.

While I try not to subject my Lovely Wife to prog rock, our children are at my mercy. While Our Daughter, the teenager, is beginning to turn up her nose, the boys are still young and foolish enough to idolize me and, therefore, believe I have good taste. The Italian's standard response to seemingly every song I play is: "Can you put that on my iPod?"

So, it shouldn't have come as much of a surprise to me when, after having been subjected to "Supper's Ready" several times in the past few weeks, both the Italian and the German walked through the house this morning singing lyrics from the opening sequence of the song.

"Hey, babe, with your guardian eyes so blue-hoo," the Italian crooned.

"Hey, my baby, don't you know our love is true?" the German answered in turn.

My Lovely Wife rolled her eyes. I beamed at them from behind my bowl of Honey Bunches of Oats. Let her try and twist them round, round, baby right round with her Top 40 modern disco pop. So long as they display even a little fondness for 1970s rock opera prog, I'll proudly call them my sons.

© 2011 Mark Feggeler

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