(Stands, pushes chair back, clears his throat) “My name is Jerry Chicken and I have bought, with my own money, several Phil Collins CD’s”
Its not a very fashionable thing to say, in some quarters you’ll find associates who were previously happy to associate with you, turn their back and refuse to converse with you for the rest of your life on the grounds of “mainstream music fan” in the same way that they did when, at the age of 11, you confessed to having purchased a copy of Rolf Harris’ “Two Little Boys”, or, worse, that you were a T Rex fan (they were bumming each other you know).
But when he sang with Genesis it was different, you could safely state, nay, shout out loud in a crowded trendy bar or discotheque that you were a Genesis fan and folk would turn and nod knowingly in your direction, conferring on you the status of “Music Guru”, initiating you into a club of fellow Music Guru’s who alone knew what “decent music” was all about, your only mistake being that the only song you liked by them was “Follow You, Follow Me” which by virtue of the fact that it was a single success in 1978 meant that it was forever after re-classified as a Phil Collins song and not anything at all that the high-brow aficionados of Genesis would follow, you, follow, me.
When you were 11 years old in your first year of GrammarSchool it was quite the thing to state loudly that you were a Genesis fan, to walk around the school with their first album under your arm, to not mention at all when quizzed that the person who had signed them to a record label and then produced that first album, considered by the aficionados as being ground-breaking, progressive and far-out-man, was none other than trainee sexual abuser, man of the crooked grin and a thousand bad pop tunes, Jonathan King.
This tune is the tune of the 1978 Devon Coast Country Club holiday, a holiday in Paignton with the Cookridge Rangers boys and a sporting theme, a week in which it never stopped raining, not even for one minute, rained so hard that they had to cancel the water polo event in the outside pool for danger that there was too much water in the pool and in the air, and during that week when it seemed that we had chosen to holiday in the underwater paradise of Atlantis rather than the English Riviera, this song played on every tinny transistor radio and we 21 year olds could state proudly “Ah Genesis, yes, I knew of them …”