Absolute Peak of Genesis?

  • I try not to take the music too seriously. There is little that offends me; I appreciate and am always interested in everyone’s differing points of view.

    Taking any music by anyone "too seriously" or not isn't something that ever occurs to me, to be honest. It's more that when musicians are clearly intending to be humorous it rarely works for me as music is rarely a good vehicle for humour and I certainly don't think Genesis ever mastered it. It doesn't come across as offensive, just quite lame. On a tangent, I'm never offended by anything. I don't really get the concept of "offence". But anyway, that's for a different thread.

    Abandon all reason

  • What does the politically and socially advanced 71 year old Peter Gabriel think of the 23 year old Peter Gabriel

    singing line "and Harold Demure who's still not quite sure" in the way he did.

    I'd say he thinks it's a little nugget of shite in a great big bag of shite.

  • I'd say he thinks it's a little nugget of shite in a great big bag of shite.


    I sort of agree with both.


    When I first heard this song I guess I must have been about 16 or 17 , ( late 70s) I thought it was masterpiece amongst masterpieces. Now it's it seems like a flawed piece of whimsy ( maybe trying to bring whimsy up to date or pythonesque, but coming up with a cross between great prog and Carry On) which I can enjoy and usually brings a wry smile to my face. Looking back, when I was growing up , Gay ( homosexuals then being the polite term, ) men were a figure of fun or threatening and lesbians a dark unknowing secret. Like many, I began to question the awfulness of that attitude at about that time. PG was one to always question attitudes and I guess he never would have sung that line just a few short years later. It makes me realise Genesis were ,despite their genius, just young men and a product of their time, like us all.

    I still maintain that that smashing Rob the nob across the gob is the second best line in rock history. (The greatest of course being did you ever see a woman coming out new York city with a frog in her hand. A tribute to PG that he could even get close. )

    I think I'll play BOEF now.

  • What does the politically and socially advanced 71 year old Peter Gabriel think of the 23 year old Peter Gabriel

    singing line "and Harold Demure who's still not quite sure" in the way he did.

    Apparently I'm not noticing something here. Perhaps a non-native speaker thing. Could you please explain? What is so special about the line and the way it was sung back then?

    ...cried a voice in the crowd.


  • Apparently I'm not noticing something here. Perhaps a non-native speaker thing. Could you please explain? What is so special about the line and the way it was sung back then?

    I'll let native speakers explain that but I totally understand you, even after having lived in the UK, it took me sometime to catch on to that and all the other references for that matter. When I first heard the album, the only thing helping us making sense of the lyrics were Armando Gallo's notes and as helpful as they were, they were nearly not enough to shed some light on everything. He would translate and try to provide a reference when things were typically British, but even if you get the words the references, colloquialisms and nuances completely escape you.

    Edited once, last by Fabrizio ().

  • Apparently I'm not noticing something here. Perhaps a non-native speaker thing. Could you please explain? What is so special about the line and the way it was sung back then?

    Harold Demure is gay. And apparently a somewhat feminine type of such.

  • ... It's just one of those things - it was acceptable at that time to do that voice, usually accompanied by a 'limp wrist' gesture, but yes any reasonable person would cringe at it now...

    I never picked up on that before but I can hear it now.

    To be honest, though, if someone had played that line to me before today I would have probably said the voice portrays a toff, or someone of a demure or reserved manner as opposed to a caricature of a gay person.

  • BOEF is full of caricatures. Which is fine but the way PG simgs about Harold is definitely a caricature of the limp wristed feminine man , that was poked fun at left right and centre in the UK at the time. Quite clear IMO. Whilst Rob the nob is getting stuck in getting smashed across the gob Harold Demure who still not quite sure ( about his sexuality ) is up tree throwing little acorns , which is of the best a gay could do. Yes I know, I'm certain PG wasn't being serious or harboured any knowing prejudice, but am sure it was seen as a harmless joke . Also pretty sure PG would NOT approve of his young self.

    Edited once, last by thefarmer: NOT was missing ? Makes a big difference ().

  • I see. About Harold Demure, that is. But then "he's still not quite sure", so doesn't that make him the kind of gender-fluid and partner-orientation-fluid person that is discussed so much these days?

    ...cried a voice in the crowd.


  • I see. About Harold Demure, that is. But then "he's still not quite sure", so doesn't that make him the kind of gender-fluid and partner-orientation-fluid person that is discussed so much these days?

    No, not in Seventies UK . Also the song is far too cartoonish go for that. It s a throw away line. To me much of the song shows the group as a bunch of young men , a public school ladish humour and of their time. (Python made plenty of jibes at the limp wristed man.) Actually in some ways refreshing for the ordinariness of them to be on record . I didn't see it at the time being a young lad myself, and I am looking at it with the perspective of 50 years on , which is why I would like to hear PGs thoughts on it.