Ten years ago, the Peter Gabriel-led lineup of Genesis met in a Glasgow hotel room to discuss the idea of a reunion tour where they’d play their 1974 prog rock masterpiece The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway straight through. “It was very interesting to see everybody 30 years on,” Phil Collins told Rolling Stone in 2007. “I was still the joker. Peter was still indecisive. Steve [Hackett] was still dark. Everybody had assumed their old positions, and I think that may have sounded a warning bell to Peter.”
The band was under the impression that Gabriel had agreed to a tour and the meeting was merely to sort through logistics, but it turned out Gabriel merely wanted to talk the idea over, and he started to freak out when he realized just doing two or three shows wasn’t feasible. “After he and Steve left,” Collins said, “I said [to Mike Rutherford and Tony Banks], ‘Do you fancy just doing the three-piece thing?”
They were indeed interested in such a tour, and in some ways it made even more business sense than a series of shows with Gabriel at the helm. Genesis became a much larger commercial force when Collins stepped out from behind the drum kit to become their singer and they hadn’t played since their attempt to tour with virtual unknown singer Ray Wilson in 1998 totally flatlined.
Phil Collins still had very young kids at this point, and he insisted on doing no more than 20 shows in America and 20 in Europe. Despite the fact that Genesis had been almost completely off the cultural radar since “I Can’t Dance” fell off the charts in 1992, the tour was a huge success. It packed soccer stadiums all over Europe, and arenas and even a few football stadiums in North America. The set list was heavy on their 1980s hits, but every night wrapped up with “Carpet Crawlers” from The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway. It was a small taste of the tour that almost happened with Gabriel.
Collins suffered serious nerve damage to his hands shortly after the tour wrapped, making it nearly impossible for him to play drums. He made it very clear he had no plans to ever record or tour again, but last year he seemed to change his mind. “I have started thinking about doing new stuff,” he told the press. “[Maybe playing] some shows again, even with Genesis. Everything is possible. We could tour in Australia and South America. We haven’t been there yet.”
It’s been six months since Collins made those statements, and so far there’s not even a tiny hint of more concerts, with or without Genesis. Mike Rutherford just announced a tour with his side project Mike and the Mechanics slated for April and May 2015, so it doesn’t seem like he’s counting on another Genesis tour anytime soon. Still, few people saw the last tour coming until shortly before it was announced, so anything can happen.