Today, while I loading Genesis Revisited II by legendary guitarist (who recorded the first tapping solo back in 1971, long before heavy-rockers discovered it) Steve Hackett on my iPod, I had the idea of self-organizing Halloween Vertical-K 10K for myself, while listening to the brand new album. I was looking forward to hearing it, as I had liked its predecessor Genesis Revisited when it came out in 1996.
Without further ado, as a gentle warm-up, I cycled 3K to the biggest hill in the 'hood, while the first song The Chamber of 32 Doors was blasting in my headphones. The weather was cloudy but dry +6C (43F), which felt surprisingly warm after a truly freezing weekend.
By the time I arrived at the tiny 32-meter hill, the epic 23-minute Supper's Ready was well on its way: "Today's a day to celebrate..." Phil Collins' son Simon sang, delivering it powerfully like his dad used to do in his heyday. Although running to a 9/8-beat doesn't feel natural, it was fun to try. "One-Two-THREE, Four-FIVE, Six, Seven, Eight, NINE", I counted myself up the hill.
I couldn't help reflecting how about four decades earlier I was already absolutely amazed by these progressive rock masterpieces. Genesis released their best LP's in the seventies, and all the ones with Mr. Hackett were the best in IMHO: Nursery Cryme (1971) Foxtrot (1972), Selling England by the Pound (1973), The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway (1974), A Trick of the Tail (1976) and Wind & Wuthering (1976). I'm most likely blogging a dead horse here, but this was a huge influence to me.
I was often listening to music while at home, although I'd also rush out to play and run; after all I was only 10-something. The music would play in my head, although I couldn't understand most of the lyrics. In fact I still don't: Can-Utility and the Coastliners, the story of King Canute, huh? I never even suspected him a true king, which he was.
The freeflow of memories was abruptly stopped when I noticed to my horror Dancing with a Moonlit Knight had a new intro added by Mr. Hackett. He had pre-emptied any criticism by stating: "Every time I change a solo I feel I'm in danger of messing with people's childhoods, but sometimes the muse just has to have her way with me." Fine, but we older fans might be in grave danger of a heart attack.
I kept on going up and down the same old hill. "The wind is blowing harder now, Blowing dust into my eyes. The dust settles on my skin, making a crust I cannot move in. And I'm hovering like a fly, waiting for the windshield on the freeway." The wind picked up, but it wasn't a problem at all. I won't be that Fly on a Windshield. I took a couple Clif Shot Bloks and kept ascending and descending, and listening with growing interest.
A little after half-way the heavy The Return of the Giant Hogweed kicked in. "Turn and run! Nothing can stop them..." Mr. Hackett had suggested the title as if it was from a bad horrow movie. It worked pretty well for me on this Halloween, especially when I realized the North face of the hill I presently struggled with was covered with pig-like smelling Hogweeds. I chuckled nervously but kept my distance to these scary monsters.
"The sun had been up for a couple of hours, it covered the ground with a layer of gold." The first line of the song Eleventh Earl of Mar is originally the first line of the novel The Flight of The Heron by D.K. Broster. At the same instant, the sun which had been up for a couple of hours, came out from behind the clouds and covered everything - you won't believe this - with a layer of gold.
I cycled my 3K cool-down back home, whistling to the catchy melody of the last tune on the album, Shadow of the Hierophant. I guess there is no shortage of things one could want in this world, but somehow the simplicity of music and running combined probably make me happier than anything else. A nice little Halloween hill workout for me, and a fantastic new album by Steve Hackett.