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Family Snapshots - Bildergalerie

Mario Giammetti

The Dusk Side of it

Mario Giammetti about 20 years of 'it'

It’s  probably easy to forget it now, but twenty years ago the world was very different. Information was still working through radios, televisions and magazines, and the word Internet had still to be invented. Hence, no Facebook, no Twitter, no web sites, no blogs, no mails. Most of technology, then, was a fax machine. And everyone still considered to buy a stamp and to trust post offices when contacting people from other countries.
I had given birth to my Genesis fanzine Dusk, in Italy, in March 1991, even ignoring that it wasn’t an original idea; others had been before, and the English The Waiting Room was actually already active since a few years, then. When I discovered it, I immediately subscribed TWR and ordered all the back issues published by then.
And it was just on an issue of The Waiting Room that I discovered probably one year and half later about the work being done by a few German Genesis fans, with a fanzine called Invisible Touch. I think I contacted immediately Helmut (or was it the reverse? Who knows!) and we got on very well immediately. We decided the simpler thing to do was to swap our magazines, rather than subscribing one each other’s.
And when I got the fanzines they had printed by then… wow! Again, you have to transport yourself in the early Nineties. Invisible Touch had an A/4 size (while Dusk was A/5), and even if it was of course only photocopied (just like TWR and Dusk), it already had a quite professional layout. Photo collages were put together and showed some graphic creativity, along with the “Bildergalerie” idea, where a rare photo was printed (yes, through a normal photo laboratory!) and glued into a frame of the fanzine.
But the contents were as just interesting, and very well organised too: not only the news, but also solo biographies, collector’s items, and funny cartoons. Plus, Invisible Touch was very precise in its publications: 4 times per year, in March, June, September and December.
I had already interviewed Anthony Phillips back in 1990 for Ciao 2001, the Italian weekly magazine I contributed to at the time, but the first interviews done on purpose for our respective fanzines (Dusk and Invisible Touch), were done more or less at the same time.
Helmut, Bernd and Peter, however, seemed always to have ideas and chances a bit before me! Their first issue not simply photocopied was in March 1993, mine was in October of the same year. Then they decided that their magazine needed an English translation, and only a couple of years after their Issue No. 1, they started to enclose, in every issue, the full translation of the German version, although in a smaller size and without pictures. A wonderful service for non German speaking people which I tried to offer too to the non Italian speaking people a few months after, but never at the same level.
In January 1998, Helmut and I finally met in Bray, where Genesis did their dress rehearsals before the Calling All Stations tour. By that time, both Invisible Touch (which in the meantime had changed the name in it) and Dusk had grown up a lot, and had became great reference points for the Genesis fans of their respective countries. Both with fantastic contents, both with their own scoops. But there never was comparison as for the layout and the graphic quality, it was far better than Dusk!
Sadly, in the meantime, the intruder was plotting in the shadows: Internet. Yes, it represented a huge help to get news and contacts in a much faster way, but on the other hand it made our work as printed magazine harder and harder. The web sites fever, of course, hit the Genesis world too, and it became pretty obvious that it was going to be a really cruel struggle. Eventually in 2000, after a big and unique issue that year, it decided to stop to print the mag, while I tried (and am still trying, after so many extra years) to fight.
But Helmut & Co.’s decision wasn’t a submission. They were still ready to do the job at their best even if with a different approach. So they started with the website Genesis News, which was going to become one of the best Genesis websites worldwide, if not the best. Lots of updates, a fantastic timing, detailed reviews and fantastic interviews, courtesy of the new and talented cohort Christian Gerhardts.
After so many years, we are all a bit aged, but still keeping the flame alive.
I wish to all my German friends will continue with their commitment for so many years to come, sure that the success will be always on their side as it has been in the past few decades.
Mario Giammetti

it Fanclub