Sunday, April 25, 2021

Genesis jukebox slip and things that go to make up a life

So, I guess the first question that comes to mind with this old jukebox slip is "Who the heckfire played 'Second Home by the Sea' on a jukebox??" In what 1980s bar or restaurant was this a thing? (I'm sure, of course, "That's All" was played zillions of times.)

The 11-minute, two-part Genesis song "Home by the Sea" and "Second Home by the Sea," recorded in 1983, is one of my absolute favorites by the band. The five-minute first half tells the slightly spooky (think Disney's Haunted Mansion levels of spookiness) tale of an unlucky burglar and a haunted house. The six-minute second half — "Second Home by the Sea" — is almost entirely instrumental and is a revisiting of Genesis' prog-rock roots. The full song was a staple of live shows for years. I know both the album version and some of the live versions, with their slight improvs and additions, by heart. I wore out those cassette tapes while walking between classes at Penn State and, later, during my short forays into jogging or to drown out surrounding noise at work.

A Reddit poster name LordChozo wrote an insightful post — perhaps the definitive piece — about the crafting of "Home by the Sea / Second Home by the Sea" last autumn. It's full of quotes from Tony Banks, Mike Rutherford and Phil Collins on how the song was put together in the recording sessions. You should check out the whole piece, but here's a very short (and beautifully written) excerpt:
"I should point out that this is a song about reliving lives, and it was composed by literally reliving/recreating what had been previously produced spontaneously. The entire song of 'Second Home by the Sea' was written in the exact method as the stuff that it’s all about. Life, lived spontaneously. Fleeting moments of clarity and blossoming creativity bursting out of the daily fog that characterizes so much of our existence. A yearning for those moments, and memories that attempt to recreate them, with varying degrees of perfection."
Still, I can't see anyone playing "Second Home by the Sea" on a jukebox, perhaps unless it was by accident. Perhaps the point was to try to capitalize on the success of "That's All" by exposing more people to the other side of Genesis. Folks put in their quarter expecting another catchy pop single featuring Phil Collins ... and got six minutes of art rock.

What's the weirdest thing you ever played, or heard played, on a jukebox? For me, it was a bar in Spartanburg, South Carolina, that had an "Easter egg." The song didn't appeared on any of the jukebox slips, but if you knew which code to punch in, it played John Williams' "The Imperial March" from The Empire Strikes Back. 

For final funsies, here's an old advertisement for a jukebox I stumbled across online: "Psychedelic Money-Grabber"

1 comment:

  1. "Who the heckfire played 'Second Home by the Sea' on a jukebox??"

    I was going to suggest a really big fan - but then, as you write, you wouldn't have played it yourself.

    The weirdest thing I ever played on a jukebox was Bowies's "V-2 Schneider," the B-side "Heroes," in a smalltown Quebec pool hall. Well worth the two-bits!