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Brand X Special: An Urorthodox History
Not Dead Yet live
Richard Macphail Ma Book Of Genesis

Harald Dreyer

Both Sides Of The Story ...

von Harald Dreyer (aka Ernie)

It must have been in the mid-90s when I first heard or read of a Genesis fanclub. I was probably looking for rarities and live recordings and so came across Helmut Janisch's fanzine and his other activities. We made contact and then I had the opportunity to expand my Genesis horizon by reading in the lovingly made and very competent magazines. I was deeply impressed by the eye for the detail and the quality of the information I would find there.
My respect and thanks to Helmut for this dedication, because without him we would not have this community and these means of information!
The first fan meeting in Welkers showed that you cannot cope with all that work without a couple of Gyro Gearlooses in the background, because all this goes far beyond a small group of people who meet once a year for beer and sausages and a good chat. Therefore also thank you to Peter Schütz, Bernd Zindler and all the others who have done theirs beyond the call of duty and continue to do so without making a fuss.

You may wonder why I have not mentioned Christian Gerhardts yet. That is simply because – without taking away anything from the efforts and achievements of the others – his role in the fanclub has become a crucial one. It is particularly due to his efforts that the club could go internet and, I think, has become an incredible success.
He will not like to read this, but I feel that without his patience and industriousness the fanclub would not be anymore. From the technical work in the background, his humorous moderation at the fan meetings to directing things in the forum – the list is endless and he deserves all the praise. Thank you to him, too, for everything!

My personal highlight in these years has always been getting to know like-minded people who share my love for music. Some of these contacts have become friendships, although everyday life sometimes pushes aside the pleasant things in life and sometimes contacts has been all but lost. But perhaps we will meet again at some concert or fanmeeting of other. That would me neat!

Apart from that I have to mention all the musical and personal events that gave me an opportunity to meet other interesting people whose names you usually only find in small print in the booklets – or occasionally in large print on the covers! :-)
These encounters have been touching, they have moved me, and sometimes the experience was quite instructive as far as the human factor is concerned. Those were very special moments for me and they would not have been possible without the commitment of the guys.
My own musical hero, Peter Gabriel, is probably not missing anything in this life, but then again he does not not what he is missing by not coming to the fanclub meetings. :-)
This brings me to another topic that needs to be mentioned, the tensions between the Gabriel and Collins camps. It is a supremely superfluous enmity that makes our fan community in the forum (and hence also in public) look like a bunch of quarrelers. I must admit that I made remarks about Phil Collins during my early days in the fanclub that other users objected to (justly so), but condescending remarks by some „musicologists“ or „professional cynics“ do not make the forum more lively, but it drives away those fans who want to just have a friendly and enjoyable exchange about their musical passions. That has nothing to do with the ability (or lack thereof) to take criticism. If I do not like something as well as someone else, I could simply …

I also find it repugnant that some people have declared themselves defenders of justice if someone offers things on ebay or here in the forum that are perhaps not a hundred percent above the board. Mind you, I am not talking about professional crooks! The rules of the forum are quite clear and they must be obeyed, but some actions and comments do lack manners and look rather like a witch hunt to me. If people actually talk about letting the law know about it I am quite disgusted. It is a topic that has led to intense debate on the forum, and it should therefore be mentioned here despite the state occasion. Nobody needs that!
That much about the downsides I see in our small internet community. I am aware that some people in the upper echelons may disagree but I needed to get this off my chest.

So, how are things going to continue with our fanclub? Well, we are going to have ourselves a jolly big celebration, are we not? A two-day fanclub event next year that is all but sold out as well as other highlights to come such as the upcoming TMB tour make me all excited!
Apart from that I am quite curious what else is going to come musically from the gentlemen! Certainly no reunion or things like that, at least to my mind, but first of all I hope that Phil gets a grip on his health problems and then who knows what else is going to happen. There certainly is enough potential and artistic maturity! :-)
Therefore stay true to the fanclub and enjoy your favourite music no matter who is making it!
Ernie on Oct 30, 2011

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