Genesis tour manager Regis Boff recalls a stage stunt from the mid-70s that will remind you of something out of Spinal Tap. It no doubt contributed to the inspiration behind the film. Here’s what was supposed to happen:
A standard early-to-mid-70s Genesis show finished with Peter Gabriel dressed in his “Magog” outfit: a long velvet black cape and a giant triangular headpiece. Towards the climax of the show, Peter would throw off his hat and cape to reveal himself in a silver jumpsuit. We made him momentarily invisible by detonating controlled explosions that came from metal pods at the front of the stage. The audience was blinded and dazed so it made for an excellent finish. We filled these canisters with a martini of flash and gunpowder that would be criminally outlawed today, whereas back then it was quietly banned. We never told anyone we were going to do it. One of our roadies filled them a couple of hours before the show and set them off just at the right moment.
Someone had the inspiration to “fly” Peter into the air while the audience was blinded (it was most likely Peter himself). He’d be hoisted fifteen feet into the air by nearly invisible thin metal wires and finish the song floating in a silver jumpsuit, as the curtain closed. End of show. Nice. He’d also be concealed by the smoke machines and the intense fog that bubbled up from stage hands dumping huge blocks of dry ice into buckets of water. If the prevailing winds permitted, this vapor would fill the entire stage.
What could possibly go wrong? Oh, so many things, most of them unforeseen. The story of how it all went horribly wrong one night “either in Cleveland or Berlin” is a comedy of errors that will paint an unforgettable picture in your mind. -via Nag on the Lake
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