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The very first time ...

In 1993 our fanclub had been open for a year, and many new members had joined it, particularly during and after the We Can’t Dance tour. Seconds Out, the Aschaffenburg-based cover band, had just formed, and suddenly there was this idea to organize our first Fanclub meeting and perhaps combine it with a Seconds Out concert.

We contacted the band, and they suggested we use a concert they had scheduled already on May 30, 1993 in Aschaffenburg. This sounded all the better because there was a small pub, the Gambrinusbräu, right next to the venue, which sounded like the perfect location.

The club members seemed to enjoy the meeting though we had no experience at all in setting up such an event and many things were rather unstructured and a bit haywire. But we got a first glimpse at what we could do differently or better at later meetings, and we have tried to improve the club meetings every year. Unfortunately we did not take any photos and neither did anybody we know, so there are no photos from that day. Perhaps someday someone will come forward who did take photos. We did not have any tickets or posters either, only a “backstage pass” for the crew. One thing we did, though, was write a brief report for #8 of our club magazine, so that we can reminisce (fondly, we hope)…

Invisible Touch meeting

Aschaffenburg, Germany, Whitsun 1993

On May 30 the very first Invisible Touch club meeting took place in Aschaffenburg. We had announced the date in the March edition of the club magazine and added a newsflash in early May with information about how to get there and about the programme. Unfortunately few club members had voiced their ideas what to do on the day, and most of those who did asked for a flea market and rare video footage. We had discussed a schedule for the day long before, and discussed which items might be interesting enough to take them to Aschaffenburg. None of us had any ideas how to organize such an event, so we focused mainly on the flea market and the video presentations. Peter provided the bulk of the material we would offer for sale and/or trade. Since his other hobby is running a mail order business he was able to find rare things (and sometimes even several copies of them) for you. Bernd’s and Helmut’s contributions were rather modest in comparison because they could only offer some items they had spare copies of. The stock was complemented by stickers and buttons from the I.T. fanshop. For the video show we rented a projector. The rest of the musical equipment (e.g. video recorders, amps, CD-player, speakers and so on) were Helmut’s. We had the idea to exhibit some of the most beautiful Genesis collectibles to complement the flea market and the videos, so we “threw together” all our three collections and created files of old concert tickets, backstage passes, tour programmes, buttons and so forth.

On the evening before the meeting the I.T. staff met at Helmut’s. The next morning we picked up a microbus we had rented. Then we loaded it with mountains of flea market stuff, files and countless boxes of hifi equipment and knickknacks before we headed south. We were joined by Helmut’s wife Silvia and two friends of ours who would be the security guys.

We arrived in Aschaffenburg at 10am and saw for the first time the venue for the meeting – before that we had only heard of it. Once we had determined which things should be placed where we set about to carry all the stuff from the bus into the pub. We slowly established some kind of order, and the organization was complete by noon. We allotted part of the stage that sat in a corner of the room as our backstage area and placed all the audio and video equipment there. Then a 3x5m screen was set up in the same corner to that everybody had a good view. To the left of that we put the flea market items on display on four tables and the files with the rarities from our collections. Then the shock: The video projector kept breaking down and only really started to work shortly before the doors opened.

We were very excited to see what would happen in the four hours to follow. We figured we would have great conversations with everybody while we would take turns to assist Helmut’s wife at the market. Our “security” was to keep an eye on our exhibition. “Perfect plan”, we thought.

At 2 o’clock we opened the doors and got ready to welcome everybody and slowly start things. But as soon as the fifty club members who had been waiting had found their bearings the big rush to the market began. In no time at all the space before the tables was crowded, and people looked eagerly for items that were still missing in their collections. Our exhibition also caused some confusion as people mistakenly thought those items were for sale, too. Since our “security” had gone awol in the first 40 minutes things became stressful. Some club members picked up #7 of the it magazine that had come fresh from the printer’s. Other started to pull tour books and other items from the files to take a closer look at them; We could not really permit that because of all the chaos.

Things did not cool down very much even when the security arrived so that none of us had the opportunity to speak with one or the other of you. The welcome address was given late and totally improvised.

The video footage we showed was probably very interesting for most people. We showed past concert bits like The Musical Box (closing section), live in Paris 1973, Genesis In Concert 1976, Three Dates With Genesis and Steve Hackett Live in Nottingham 1982 as well as current rarities like All About US and No Admittance about the development of US and We Can’t Dance.

The meeting ended at 6, and while we packed everything for the trip back the crowd slowly dissolved. When everything was done there was little left of the meeting in the pub. Only a few people still sat together. The finale of the day was the awesome show Seconds Out played next door in the Colos-Saal.

The meeting was a success, all in all, though it went a bit haywire now and then and there was less exchange between fans than we had hoped for. We have learned much from this day and we will use the experience to make the meeting next year [1994] even better. Any input and support from you will be welcome.

By Helmut Janisch
English by Martin Klinkhardt

Meeting crew:

planning / organisation
Helmut Janisch, Peter Schütz, Bernd Zindler, Uwe Brehmer

Silvia Janisch, Susanne Schütz

Arno Harth, Michael Schneider

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