In the last few weeks I have lost my mum who was my last link to my childhood. Earlier this year my brother had gone too having caught covid. I have found great comfort in listening to so many Genesis songs in the last few weeks. My love of Genesis started by hearing the music coming from my brother's bedroom door. He was 4 years older than me and way ahead in terms of his musical tastes. The first song I can clearly remember was"one for the vine" and I have such a strong memory of hearing him sing along especially from the section starting from "follow me" and I can recall him sounding so like the original Phil vocal hitting all the high notes. He had a very good voice unlike me! Eventually I plucked up the courage and asked him what band produced this piece of music. He said it was Genesis and showed me the album cover which is still my favourite. A good friend painted me a version of it and it still hangs in my bedroom. After listening to Wind and Wuthering I worked my way back through his Genesis albums and then got every album after that seeing them live as many times as I could afford.
Back in the late 1970s my brother seemed to be in a place I would never get to. He had lovely girlfriends, a sport's car, a great job and he was a very confident and popular person. In contrast I was painfully shy and lacking in any confidence in myself. Sadly over the years a demon emerged in his life in the form of gambling. It started very small but became an overwhelming presence in his life. It cost him a marriage, any relationship with his children, his job and goodness knows how much money. I tried to help him out and gave him money once when he was in a real hole. The grip of gambling took an even stronger hold leading him to stealing money from my parents who had very little. I found that hard to forgive and my angry outburst led to him and me not speaking again. He ended up going to Thailand and lived there for the last twenty years of his life earning money anyway he could to gamble away. This June he caught covid and surrendered to it after a brief but futile battle with this horrible disease. I had to tell my mum her favourite son had gone and she never really got over it. She gave up the will to live and finally went three weeks ago. I think she was truly heartbroken to lose her first son who she loved so much. When I went to clear her room there was a large photo of him by her bedside.
I spoke to my brother's son the day he went and I wanted to focus on the positive things that I remembered. That is when I told him of hearing Genesis through my brother's bedroom door and how that led to my lifetime love of their music. Every time I hear one for the vine I still hear my brother singing along sounding so happy and perfectly in tune. Sadly he did not have the courage to win his battles but I am sure he found his way back home.