There should be no progressive rock fan forum without an IQ - Thread. So here we go.
Many years ago in the spring of 1989 I went to Mainz to see Mike and The Mechanics. A friend of mine lived there and we went to the venue in the afternoon. I had my Book Of Genesis by Hugh Fielder at hand, in case I should have the occasion to meet Mike and get an autograph. We were quite lucky, because while we were lurking around the venue, the band came over from the hotel and I got the chance to talk to Mike and ask him for the autograph, which he gave me. I was completely out of my head, because at that time Genesis were the incarnation of God for me.
When the venue opened, I saw a lot of folks in the crowd, who were wearing an IQ - shirt. Some had Lush Attic - shirts, some had Wake - shirts. I didn't have a clue, who IQ were or why there were so many fans of them around. As a matter of fact, IQ opened for the Mechanics that night, and seeing them for the first time completely unexpected was a revelation. I thought, that they were extremely good and that Genesis probably would have sounded like that at that time, in case Gabriel and Hackett wouldn't have left. The only song from their set, I actually knew, was Promises, which had been quite a hit in Germany. But I had always thought, that it was by Duran Duran. I must confess, that most of the Mechanics show escaped me mentally, because I didn't get over this tremendous IQ show.
In the following months, I tried to get albums from IQ, which was a major drag, because no record store, I went to, had any albums in their stock. It wasn't until 1990, that I happened to find a cd in a store. It was Are You Sitting Comfortably? That was my first IQ album, and I played it to death. Two years later, I met the woman, who is now my wife, and one day, we went into a record store in Bonn, where she lived, and there I found a copy of The Wake. This was my second IQ album. Quite different from AYSC but really great of course. These two albums were my only albums by the band for a couple of years. In the year 2000, things developed further, because I went online and signed to amazon. I learned a lot about IQ. It wasn't until then, that I realized, that Paul Menel was just an intermezzo and Peter Nichols was the "real" singer. I bought all their albums in 2000 and 2001 and joined their forum, which was sort of my internet-home for many years (meanwhile It died the Facebook-death). My first proper IQ gig was in 2002 in Aschaffenburg. I went there together with the same friend, who had gone to the Mechanics gig, years before. Another revelation. I got autographs from all band members on the sleeve of my copy of Subterranea. This concert was later released as the first one of the archive collections. I can be heard on the album. (but I won't tell you were ) In the next ten years, I happened to see the band at least one time every year, which was always a thrill, because there was always a fan and band meeting, which is something not many bands do . This of course glued me very tightly to the band up to this day. Around four years ago, I even happened to see Paul Menel. He was supporting Arena on their Seventh Degree Tour.
IQ are definitely one of the finest progressive rock acts around from the beginning up to this very day.