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A History

The development and the changes the

German Genesis Fanclubs "it" has undergone since 1991

it's only knock and knowall, but I like it – that was the title of a report that appeared in the #21 edition (December 1996) of our fan club magazine. It celebrated the fifth anniversary of the existence of it. It is hard to believe that so many years have passed since. In November 2001 we celebrated our tenth birthday and now we are firmly headed towards our fifteenth anniversary. There is no end in sight, and why should it? We still enjoy working with and for Genesis fans. Let us walk down Memory Lane and see what happened back then.

The prehistorical past, as it were: There has been quite a long tradition of Genesis fanclubs in Germany. It is very probable that the first fanclub was founded even in the mid-seventies. Throughout the eighties there were fans who wanted to share their enthusiasm for the band with other people by way of founding a club and/or publishing self-made fanzines. Our immediate predecessor was Der Genesis Fan, which existed from 1984 to 1993. For a time, their publications appeared parallel to our magazines. When Helmut Janisch decided he wanted to add his enthusiasm and creativity to the Genesis Fan in 1991, he may have been aiming at too much change in the magazine. There was too much bad blood between him and the magazine’s editor.

1991: What to do with so much energy and enthusiasm? Helmut was determined not to let it rest. He would do his own thing. In the summer of that year he came into contact with Peter Schütz and Bernd Zindler. We had written articles for the Genesis Fan in the new layout that Helmut had developed. For obvious reasons, they did not appear there. Peter also had a knack of providing rare CD singles. In November Helmut asked Peter if he would like to work on founding a new fanclub, and so they took the next steps together. One of them was finding a name for the new club. They decided on “Invisible Touch” and a logo that did answer the question whether the club would cover the more remote past of Genesis. The first publication appeared in December 1991. It had been put together mostly on the computer and consisted of 26 pages. Thirty copies were printed and, as the subsequent four magazines it was produced (copying, folding, stitching) by hand. Shortly after this first magazine appeared, Bernd joined the team. The editorial staff was complete and would not change for many years. 

1992: A new magazine every three months – that became our aim. We also began to offer additional material such as t-shirts, buttons and stickers. In June 1992 we welcomed the 100th member. One of the reasons (if not the main one) for the massive increase in members was Genesis’ new album We Can’t Dance and the subsequent tour. We used it to distribute large numbers of flyers (some 50,000!) advertising the club to concert-goers before and after the band’s concerts in Germany. From September 1992 onwards, all club members were provided with a “starter kit” that included a laminated membership card. Around that time we began to have the cover page of the magazine printed in off-set which made for a much more sophisticated appearance. The club grew in profile. When, at the end of their We Can’t Dance tour Genesis went on a UK tour, Helmut and Bernd decided to travel to England to hear the band live once more. It was a perfect time that consisted of great shows and the very first interview with a former member of the group, Anthony Phillips.  One year after the founding of “Invisible Touch” the fan club welcomed it 250th member.

1993: From #6 in March 1993 on the whole magazine was printed in off-set, and the “Invisible Touch” banner was given an overhaul. They were now set in the font known from the Nursery Cryme, Foxtrot and Live albums. The font was created by Paul Whitehead and fans were familiar with it, of course. In those days we would print some 700 copies of each magazine. In it, readers would find articles about current issues such a new records &c. that were complemented by special columns. There appeared a series of articles that covered past Genesis tours (and, later on, Peter Gabriel tours as well). “Collectomania” or (earlier) “Genesis on vinyl” was the title given to the column about collectable items. The December 1993 edition of the magazine (#9) was the first to have been completely translated into English. This was a special service we decided to offer for our foreign members. Unfortunately, because of several circumstances coming together, we had to stop doing English versions as of #17. In August 1993, Hessischer Rundfunk [a state-wide public radio station; translator’s note] invited us to Frankfurt/Main. Bernd and Helmut travelled there and on August 22, 1993 they made their first appearance in public, giving a brief presentation about the club. And then there also was the first meeting of the club which took place in Aschaffenburg. We had absolutely no idea what we were in for. We were just sort of prepared, and then we were more or less drowning in visitors at the collector’s market. It certainly was a remarkable experience. The day came to and end at the “Colos-Saal” [which puns on the German word for hall, “Saal”; translator’s note] where the Genesis cover band Seconds Out played a terrific show. We have had good contacts with them for many years.

1994: The times, they are a-changing. Early in 1994 we put our heads together to restructure the club and establish a better distribution of workload. Bernd took over membership administration as well as producing/mailing the starter kits from Helmut, while Peter took care of shipping club merchandise and other products. That was the birthday of the “Shop of it-snips”. Administrative matters were not the only things we thought about, though. We also came up with a new layout and a new name for the club. Club members were presented with a glimpse at both changes in March 1994 when “Invisible Touch” became it. We had come to dislike the fact that the name “Invisible Touch” tied us to the highly commercial, highly successful and highly pop-oriented phase of Genesis that is represented by the album. Since we also often published articles about the history of the band we preferred “it”. An additional bonus was that “it” could be interpreted as the initials of “Invisible Touch”. The June 1994 edition of the magazine (#11) was the first with the new layout. It literally shone because of a better paper quality – and it premiered the new club logo which remains unchanged to this day. April 1994 saw Helmut and Peter’s second official trip to England. This time, they had interviews with Anthony Phillips, Steve Hackett, Kim Poor, Peter Cross and Richard Macphail on their agenda. We did not want to solely present our favourite musicians but also take the time to introduce you to people that are close to the band. We hope that this attempt worked out quite well. In October we had our first club meeting that did not take place on Whitsun. Again we combined it with a show by Seconds Out who performed after the event. This time we were prepared much better than the previous year, and despite the total failure of a video beamer it was a fine day.

1995: The focal point of this year was the Mike & The Mechanics tour. We also began to print transcripts of the interviews we had conducted in 1994 in our magazine. What’s more, we got to interview Mike Rutherford (twice) and Paul Young of the Mechanics. This abundance of material caused the September ’94 issue of our magazine to have 36 instead of the usual 32 pages. For magazine #14, Richard Macphail became the first lesser-known person from the Genesis camp to make it onto the front page. The annual club meeting took place in Braunschweig. It was the first time we had the opportunity to present the rarities and collectables in an appropriate way, viz. in new showcases.  The day’s programme was enriched by additional ideas such as an auction and a quiz. The convened fans enjoyed themselves (despite the rather sudden end of the event caused by a resolute landlady). In October 1995 the opportunity arose to travel to England again. Contacts with the management and the record companies had been improving steadily, so that this some some of the doors that had remained closed to us in the club’s early days were open now. The climax of the journey was the interview Helmut and Bernd conducted with Tony Banks at the band’s own studio The Farm. They also met Glen Colsen, David Rhodes and Dale Newman.

1996 was the year of the meetings. Not only the meeting with Paul Carrack in June which we, of course, used for an interview. There were also, for the first time in the history of the club, no less than two club meetings at the community centre in Welkers . In May there was the annual club meeting that was attended by many club member from all over Germany. In September we staged a very special event at Welkers, the Selling England By The Pound event in cooperation with Serge Morissette (on September 21, 1996). Serge had taken the trouble to travel here all the way from Canada to bring and show rare slides and video material from the Selling tour. He also brought slides and a video film of the well-known cover band The Musical Box which he also presented to the ecstatic audience. On March 29, 1996 Peter Schütz was the spokesman for the club in their first and (as of now) only presentation on the television. In a report about Phil Collins leaving Genesis that was broadcast in the Heute Nacht programme in ZDF [public tv station roughly equivalent to BBC2; translator’s note] he found fine answers to the questions posed. 1996 was all in all a very successful year and it found a great finale in our club magazine #21. Its cover featured a unique collage of people who play(ed) an important role in the history of Genesis. Inside there were many interesting interviews next to a “special” about the fifth anniversary of our club which took a close look at our first semi-decade. 

1997: The club thrived and it also changed. Time pressure and growing obligations were the reasons why we had to change the interval in which we would publish our magazine. There would be only two editions a year, one in March (later on “in spring”) and in September (“in autumn”). They would each be at least 44 pages long. We also decided we wanted to have colour in them too, so that there were two full-colour pages and a two-colour cover to each magazine. In between editions we would send all club members “it-infos” with all news about Genesis in printed form. This was already asking a lot from club members, but we also had to raise the annual fee from DM30 to DM40 [approx. EUR15 to EUR20] to prevent our club from bankruptcy. We hoped that these measure would not only go towards a secure financial future for the club but also from the hectic struggles to get everything ready before the deadline for the next edition of the magazine. Well, what with Phil Collins having left Genesis in March 1996 and our rearrangements in 1997 we had reason to be sceptic about the number of club member. There were, indeed, some people who left the club, but we never reached a point at which we would have had to shut down the club just because of insufficient membership fees. When the year came to a close, however, things had lifted – and, of course, Genesis had found a new singer and a new drummer and they were going to tour in 1998. In August we had had the opportunity of an exclusive interview with the “new” Genesis (and it duly went into our magazine). Let us also not forget the annual club meeting in May which we organized with something approaching professional routine. Most guests said they had enjoyed it very much.

1998: Genesis and Phil Collins (with his Big Band) were touring at almost the same time. That was the special thing about that year. We used the Genesis shows to advertise our club by handing out flyers. Both the spring and the autumn edition of the magazine were chock full of reports, serials, specials and interviews, some of which had been conducted back in 1997. Prominent interview partners were Nathan East, Daryl Stuermer and Ronnie Caryl (interviewed during the Dance Into The Light tour stop in Leipzig in 1997), Richie Havens, Ayub Ogada and Horst Königstein (also in the “chat” in 1997). Last not least we also spoke with Anthony Drennan, Mark Fisher, David Costa, Nick Davis, Dale Newman, Geoff Callingham, Mike Bowen, Anthony Phillips and Armando Gallo. Helmut had conducted most of the interviews on his first solo trip to England. He had been invited to a Genesis rehearsal gig in Bray. Genesis pilgrims found their way to the annual club meeting at the community centre in Welkers. A large crowd were present when the highlight of the meeting took place: A telephone call to England. Steve Hackett was on the line and some of our guests had the opportunity to ask the former member of Genesis a number of questions. These and Steve’s replies were put on speakers so everybody in the hall could hear them.

1999: “Lots of things happening in the Genesis camp. Spring brings many new records by our heroes …. and some interesting re-releases to boot.” These were the words from the editorial of #26 of our magazine published in spring 1999. Well, their truth is mirrored in the reports included in those year’s fan club magazines. We had record reviews, concert reports, lots of great articles and interviews with Paul Carrack and Paul Young, Ray and Steve Wilson, Paul Whitehead and Steve Hackett. The annual club meeting took place in Welkers again. Despite some doubts attendance was a big as ever and thanks to some very active club members and their two fine live performances everybody had a couple of fine hours in the company of like-minded people.
That year’s harmony was marred by two bits of bad news. First of all press reports began to prophecy the end of Genesis. There were many statements about this topic and most of them were merely rumours. It was not too long, though, until these rumours would become sad facts. Genesis probably would never record an album again. Well, the existence of the group is certainly more important than the existence of a fanclub in Germany, but our fan club had their own historical news with far-reaching consequences. The bomb went off in October ’99. A statement entitled “There must be some other way” informed all club members about the plan to be implemented from the year 2000 on. Health and career issues made it impossible for Helmut to continue fanclub work as before. A new media, the internet, was to play an important role. We decided to publish reports, articles, interviews and the like without any publishing deadlines on our very own (German-language) website, News could be sent almost immediately to club members. We also provided for people not yet hooked up to the net: These people would receive a monthly newsletter in the mail. There was a club area and an open area on the web site. While the open area was accessible to everybody the club area was protected by a password. Only club members who had paid their fee received a user id and the password that permitted entry to the club area. There would furthermore be only one magazine a year, a so-called “it archive”. It would be published early in the year and comprise all reports, news, editorials &c. that had appeared on our website the previous year. We decided to offer the “it archive” for sale to everybody regardless of membership. It was a very tough decision for us, not least because all club members without access to the internet were put at a disadvantage. It was a kind of wistful moment when we produced our last magazine in the late autumn of 1999. #27 was the only one to have a full-colour cover.

2000: Plans called for the website to go live on March 01, 2000. We made it in time. Thanks to André Fedorow who was of tremendous help in the early days of building our website everybody could take a look at the first contents of the site. We learned a lot about building and maintaining a website during that year. It was fun to find one’s way around this important new media. Peter took over the post of webmaster from André. In case of serious technical issues Matthias Täubrich became a big source of support. From that time onwards we kept regular updates and the site grew from month to month. The concept worked, and the year of the millennium was by no means boring, as can be seen in the plethora of reports, specials and interviews we put online. One of the highlights was an interview we had conducted with Chester Thompson back in 1999. Other important events were the “Genesis reunion” on September 21, 2000 in London and interviews with Noel McCalla, Daryl Stuermer and Simon Collins. Helmut and my favourite events of the year were Steve Hackett’s shows in July 2000, which prompted a comprehensive special featuring reports and interviews with all musicians involved. And let’s not forget the annual club meeting in Welkers. We were very anxious how the club’s restructuring would affect the turnout. Indeed, attendance this year was smaller than in previous years. Had we irritated too many club members? Who knows. The fact remains, however, that we never lost more members than in 2000. 

2001: Great things happened that year. Club members, particularly those without an internet access were waiting for the it Archive 2000. In March it was ready, and a “tome” of 84 pages was shipped to everybody who had ordered a copy. Not only us staff members, but also the recipients were agreeably surprised by the result. Quality-wise the magazine was as good as its predecessors though we had switched to a different printing method (which reduced printing costs). Another big highlight was the Lamb Lies Down On Broadway event. We had begun advertising it even in the previous year. It followed a concept similar to that of the Selling England By The Pound event of 1996. Again we had invited Serge Morissette, without whom the whole thing would have been impossible. The idea had come from The Musical Box concerts in which the band fulfilled a dear wish of many fans: The Lamb … Live! One show was filmed in its entirety and Serge brought the material over to Germany. He had also compiled a complete film from rare 8mm films and material from the TV, slides and photos that offered more than a fleeting impression of what a Lamb concert in 1974/5 was like. We were quite overwhelmed by the success of our endeavour. Shortly after sales began we had to arrange for an additional date because the tickets were in such high demand. Both events (in June 2000) were a hugh success and they will certainly be a dear memory to everybody who were there. In August we finally went live with the forum. Many visitors to our web site had asked for it, and it has been a busy place ever since. The forum would not have been possible without the help of Matthias Täubrich.
Alas, there were a couple of bad news, too. Due to several reasons Helmut could not keep up with his work load from autumn onwards. Consequently the it archive series was discontinued and so was the customary monthly newsletter. From 2002 the club would only exist on the internet. There was some good forebodings for 2002, too: The e-mail newsletter would continue, membership fees would be discontinued and the website would be “opened to the world”, as it were – there would be no password-protected club member area anymore. Every visitor would be able to check out the whole site.

2002: This year the annual club meeting took place in spring. We wanted to link the meeting with the release party of our first fanclub CD which combined well-known material with exclusive greetings by the band members and a Rutherford song that had been previously unreleased on CD, Compression.
Running a website is a lot of work – work we did and do in our spare time. We wanted to be able to provide up-to-date information, and therefore we decided to find a fourth member for our staff. We hoped for both some relief from the workload and a fresh breeze of ideas in our team. The man of choice was Christian Gerhardts. He had already written many articles for us, and, back when we were still doing the magazines, he had offered to work closer to the staff. And so there were four of us. In August, Virgin Records invited us to the concert event to celebrate the anniversary of Virgin Germany in Munich. This gave us access to Peter Gabriel’s press conference. Simultaneously we put the first of our new projects online, the Up Microsite. It had a special design and contained everything about Gabriel’s newly released album Up. The rest of the website, however, grew ever more cluttered, and we decided we had to do something about it.

2003: During the first six months we tidied up the homepage and introduced a number of headers to facilitate finding reports on special topics. In summer we switched to our brand new forum which is very popular with you all. Highlights in 2003 were interviews with Steve Hackett, Ray Wilson, Tony Levin and reports about Gabriel’s tour. Peter also released his SACDs, and we published a special about it. Numerous competitions met with growing interest by you. The annual club meeting 2003 took place in Welkers on Whitsun again. This time, John Morell joined us as the live act and left a thrilled audience. In autumn we started organizing the 2004 meeting which was going to be a very special thing. It was shortly before Christmas that we lifted the secret: Ray Wilson, live and exclusive for the fanclub at the “RayVent 2004”. That same autumn saw both The Musical Box (for the first time) and Steve Hackett (for the first time in ages) tour Germany. Both promised more shows in 2004. When, in November, Phil Collins and Peter Gabriel announced that they would tour Europe again in 2004 we knew that we were in for an interesting year. But first of all we had to solve a problem to secure the future work of the club: When we had opened the special membership area on our site to everyone we lost all the money needed for running cost. The solution turned out to be a partnership programme with and GetGo/Eventim. The share of all orders placed there via our links made the club’s financial situation less precarious.

2004: The first couple of months were completely taken up by the upcoming RayVent. The event had sold out in less than half a day so we had to find an additional date. Tickets for that sold incredibly fast, too, and we were quite relieved, not least because planning such an event involves more money than one would think. After ticket sales we could sort of lean back and plan on. In spring, both Mike & The Mechanics and Tony Banks released new albums. We also had an interview with Mike. In summer, Peter Gabriel and Phil Collins (the latter one supported by Mike & The Mechanics) toured Germany and Europe. The Musical Box announced their Lamb Lies Down On Broadway tour for 2005. After years of waiting we finally had the opportunity to interview Phil Collins in Berlin. When the workload slackened slightly it became time for another reorganisation of the club. Lots of discussion persuaded us that we needed to restructure the website from scratch, especially from the technical point of view. The distribution of work became another hot topic and it, too, would chance in autumn. All this caused a rather long summer break for the club. We hardly found time to update the site except for a set list service – we usually could present the set lists of Phil’s and Peter’s shows immediately after the performance had ended. Even new news items took longer than usual to appear. At least we could offer some competitions in autumn, and even before we re-launched our website the “news” part of it went online. As the year came to a close we switched to the new design and concept of the “it” website. News are always put on the homepage “while they happen”, as it were, and all club members receive a monthly newsletter that sums up all the news. We are convinced that you will be able to find articles on a particular musician faster now. The individual sections will be refilled by and by and we may even add some new sections.

2005: Just like the previous year, the first months were filled with work on the 2005 club meeting, the Early Years Event. Richard Macphail had agreed to appear as a special guest. We also aimed to present an extensive exhibition of good quality, which of course was more work than we had the year before. The Early Years Event with Richard’s Question Time was very well-received. Over the year we put many new articles online, the web archive was filled and we also introduced an online shop. For the first time we could offer downloads. Our English-speaking visitors were also treated to their own start page at The number of visitors grew steadily and in December we found that almost 600,000 people had visited our page. The struggle for a new newsletter system was therefore a minor disappointment. Many of the technical issues have not yet been solved but we are confident. Bernd Zindler decided to do a bit less for the fanclub because changes in his job and private life left him less spare time.

2006: The content of the international website grew without neglecting the German “core”. A forum was launched on The question of the club day 2006 turned out a bit tricky. We had originally all the plans ready for Whitsun, but for various reasons we had to plan it all over again. So we decided to celebrate our 15th anniversary in autumn 2006. Special guests at the event were Armando Gallo and – at short notice – also John Mayhew. The event turned out a big success (it was sold out). While we were at the event information leaked out that Genesis would go on tour in 2007. It was known that the band had met with Daryl and Chester in October to rehearse. The fall of 2006 saw a new Genesis hype. At the weekend of the Evolution Of A Rock Band event alone we had around 700 new subscriptions to our newsletter. After the event we had to rent our own server in order to be able to cope with the run on our website.

On November 6th Genesis gave a press conference in London. The German Genesis Fanclub was represented by Christian Gerhardts. At the day of the press conference more than 40,000 people visited our website to find out about the latest news – an unparalleled record! By the end of the year the number of newsletter subscribers exceeded 5,000. At the end of the year we relaunched our forum and switched to vBulletin to have more technical option and to make sure the system would remain stable for the increasing number of users in the forum.

2007: We spent the first months gearing up for the Genesis tour 2007. We feverishly worked on ideas and possibilities how we could make this tour very special both for you and us. The introduction of an official fanclub (for which you had to pay) by the Genesis management put a bit of a damper on that. The official fanclub was announced on March 6 at the press conference in New York, as was a North American tour. We also expanded our site; the international forum switched to vBulletin. In spring the number of unique visitors to our site grew to up to 15,000 a day, and so we moved to a better server just in time for the beginning of the tour in June. In only nine months the fixed costs for the website had multiplied by 20. The increased number of visitors fortunately covered that (thanks to you) through the partner programmes. In May the tour blog went online to get the reports online fast and give you more opportunities to participate.

During the tour we got to interview Chester Thompson, Tony Banks and Mike Rutherford. Daryl Stuermer had given us a long interview shortly before the tour. On June 22 we had an international fan meeting at the Wild Geese Irish pub in Braunschweig, Germany, where Ray Wilson played a solo show, thereby gracing a second it event with his presence. Apart from the interviews and the the photo gallery drew the most attention during the tour – thanks to your wonderful support we were able to offer photos from each every (!) single concert of the tour. You must have sent us around 10,000 photos altogether. Another record was broken on June 28 when there were more than 50,000 individual visitors on our website. Throughout the tour there was no day with less than 28,000 hits to our websites.

As they say, after the tour was before the tour – we used the summer break between the European and North American legs of the tour to redesign our website and also to plan another highlight: The Musical Box kindly agreed to play an exclusive Nursery Cryme concert for you (on Oct 31) as a thank-you to the German fans...

2008: The year 2008 was a comparatively quiet year after a very busy 2007. When the Genesis tour film When In Rome 2007 was shown in cinemas we were able to get you a number of seats in several venues. We also organised the When In Welkers Event, which was attended by Dale Newman as a special guest. We also presented you selected songs from the SACD boxsets in 5.1 surround sound. Unfortunately, the event had an exceptionally small number of only 40 visitors, which did not help motivate us to set up other events.

We focused on the relaunch of the (German) website that finally took place in August 2008. Since then our website is fully dynamic and all the content is embedded in the same basic design.

Towards the end we were able to announce something really special: Steve Hackett had said “yes” - and so could announce the Steve Hackett Event for 2009.

2009: The first months of the year were all about preparing for the event. The tickets for the “concert day” sold out quickly, and we could also persuade Nick Magnus & John Hackett as well as The Watch as live acts. Both days were all but sold out and the risk we had run in going for a big big event worked out. This time it was Remscheid that hosted the event in the venerable cloister church of Lennep, where we had the big concert hall and two large rooms for the exhibition and the market. Steve was in an excellent mood, very relaxed and fulfilled very patiently every wish for an autogram. The Steve Hackett Event was the biggest thing we had done so far – in every regard. It was a tour de force as far as the organisation and interpersonal emotions were concerned, and has taken us to the limits of what you can do when you do it as a hobby. We have enjoyed it trememdously and still feel tickled pink by the incredibly positive feedback we received from all over Europe and particularly from the Hackett household. The exhibition itself impressed not only the ordinary visitors but also our star guests. Once again (and we are proud of it) we were the first to convince someone from the Genesis camp to come to an event. We had achieved that with Ray Wilson, Richard Macphail, The Musical Box and Armando Gallo before. Steve Hackett had previously come to other events, but so far he had never been prepared to participate to this extent.

The on-stage interview from the event is available here, although we could not get together a special event report – we fell into a kind of post-event-coma. The event marked a watershed. We could only go for even larger events that are markedly more difficult to realise, or back to smaller ones. The Steve Hackett Event thus became the highpoint of our club days and events.

What we heard from the Genesis camp in 2009 gave the impression of new albums: Peter Gabriel completed his orchestra project and Phil Collins went into the studio with the Funk Brothers. Steve Hackett released Out Of The Tunnel’s Mouth in fall, but the biggest surprise came from Mike Rutherford. He announced out of the blue that Andrew Roachford would be a new singer for Mike + The Mechanics. It was clear to the fanclub that things would go on.

In cooperation with the promoter we organized top tickets for the Berlin concerts of Peter Gabriel’s New Blood tour. The local promoter even agreed to cover the additional work and expenses, while we distributed the seats.

2010: The year began with a highlight. Peter Gabriel released Scratch My Back and played a few shows in Europe. Our ticket offer for Berlin brought very positive feedback. With Genesis, the 60th birthdays began to roll in, and we took the opportunity to poke a little fun at the birthday boys.

We took a close look at Phil Collins’ new album Going Back, ran another ticket offer when Peter Gabriel returned for another New Blood tour and had a long interview with Ray Wilson in Dresden. The secret about the new Mechanics was completely revealed when it was announced that besides Andrew Roachford Tim Howar would join as a singer. We managed to reserve front-row seats for five of the seven Mechanics shows in Germany 2011. In December The Musical Box announced that they would return to Europe with the Lamb show in 2012.

We decided not to have a club get-together in 2010, for we felt we needed a rest.

In December we premiered our quiz, where we asked 24 very tricky questions that could be answered in the forum in the multiple choice fashion.

2011: Our birthday specials continued with Phil Collins’ 60th birthday. We interviewed Mike + The Mechanics in London before they came back to tour in Germany and made a very positive impression. Ray Wilson made another stab at the charts in the second half of the year; the fanclub supported him in this – there is a big interview online about the Genesis vs Stiltskin set and the set went to #21 in the German album charts, the highest position a Ray Wilson album has reached there. Peter Gabriel was busy, too, and released New Blood in October, only a few weeks after Steve Hackett’s new album Beyond The Shrouded Horizon had come out. We celebrated the year’s events with competitions about Ray Wilson’s Genesis vs. Stiltkin set, Peter Gabriel’s 3D cinema shows and the Mechanics tour.

Behind the curtains work on the databases and a new run of our Album League continued, but we did not have much time for that because of the upcoming 20th anniversary. We considered different concepts and began to plan for several options simultaneously, but in the end we decided to keep it simple and not force ourselves to do an event in 2011. In September we announced a new version of the Lamb Lies Down On Broadway Event that will take place at the time-honored community centre in Welkers in March 2012. We also celebrate the 20th anniversary of the Fanclub with another highlight – a fanclub CD with the song Pennsylvania Flickhouse by Anon!

... to be continued

The future: There have been many moments in the past when the further existence of the club was on knife’s edge, but we always decided that giving up and dissolving the club was just too easy a way out. We always tried to find a solution that enabled us to keep going. The changes since 2001 are probably the most far-reaching in the history of it, with club members without access to the internet being at a disadvantage in the first couple of years. In the meantime, however, the internet has been expanding so rapidly that the number of “internet-less” people is melting away very fast. The fanclub had to adjust to that. The latest website relaunch and the integration and presence in social networks were inevitable evolutions. Still the website will remain what it is: A source of information for you and an archive.
We will continue to have club meetings or larger events if the opportunity and a good reason arise. Not much in this world remains as it is, and the evolution of this fanclub is a good example. In the early 90s nobody would have thought that the club would only be present in an intangible fascinating world called the “internet”. It was impossible to keep up the club idea of the 90s with its annual get-togethers, collectors' markets and it magazines. We now have this rather anonymous community in the forum instead, from which friendships have evolved now and then. What with globalization and a growing percentage of foreign visitors to our website we have decided to offer an English version of our website. We do look forward to what the next years will bring.

Many Thanks: If we began to try to list individual people we would run the risk of accidentally forgetting someone. That is why we would like to thank each and all the enthusiastic people who supported the club through the ages, be it by writing articles, helping with club meetings and events or by distributing flyers and advertisements for the club. We really appreciate what you have done for the club and hope you will keep your enthusiasm in the future.

There is, however, one person who really must not go unmentioned: Helmut Janisch. It is his great ideas, his enthusiasm and his willingness to spend much time and energy on his hobby that have made the club what it is today.

We could not have done all this so comparatively easily without the support of our families who helped us in their way with out hobby. A project like this cannot be done without some tensions between the different focuses of the team members; they have made it tricky at times, but the results speak for themselves.

We would also like to thank the record companies, particularly the whole team of Virgin & EMI Germany, Inside Out, Eagle Vision and the helpful and friendly ladies and gentleman of the Genesis management: Carol Willis, Annie Callingham, Billy Budis, Ralf Hermersdorfer). They have opened many doors for us that would have remained shut without them.

Last but by no means least – the artists: Without messieurs Banks, Collins, Gabriel, Hackett, Phillips, Rutherford, Wilson & Co. there would have been neither one of the greatest bands ever – nor this club. We would like to thank them for the terrific music they have written and performed, and for giving interviews &c. to our fanclub. Thanks guys, without you all this would not have been possible!

by Bernd Zindler and Christian Gerhardts (from 2003 onwards)

English by Martin Klinkhardt

it Fanclub