Genesis has always been my favourite band and Phil Collins has always been my musical hero. Being a drummer myself, I admired him from early on. His fourth solo album “…But Seriously” came out around the time I was born, “Another Day In Paradise” was my lullaby. Phil always was my hero. I caught him up two times on the “First Final Farewell Tour” in 2004 and 2005 and then again with Genesis in 2007. Boy, was I happy to see my five favourite musicians. It was one of the best concerts of my life, if not the best.
After that tour, Phil had some serious health problems. He cannot play the drums anymore and he needs a walking stick. I read his wonderful autobiography “Not Dead Yet” from 2016 and was surprised when shortly afterwards the tour of the same name was announced. Phil would only sit on a stool and sing and instead of long-time drummer Chester Thompson, Phil’s 16 year old son Nicholas would play the drums. Did I want to see this show?
In one of the many Game of Thrones online forums a member going by the nickname ‘AlbertTheSamurai’ asks the online community if they agree if “Game of Thrones is greatly inspired by Shakespeare”. He wonders
“whether George R. R. Martin coincedentally made many of his characters like those found in Shakespeare plays (especially the Othello, Macbeth and Hamlet plays) or whether he specifically drew inspiration from these plays and decided that throwing them all together would make a kick-ass fantasy.”
At last he asks:
“Is Game of Thrones perhaps one of the best creations inspired by Shakespeare’s huge and completely crazy cast of characters to ever be created, or are these connections merely coincedental, nothing more than proff that no new story is completely original anymore, but just an interesting remix of existing conventions?”
In a post in the Jack the Ripper Casebook forum dated 18 February 2008 someone going by the username Serena stated that she had heard ‘that there was an alleged connection between Jack and Oscar Wilde and that Wilde knew his identity and mentioned who he was in Dorian Gray’. Serena then asked: ‘Unless I am missing something, can anyone shed light on whether this is true or total fantasy?’
There are many rumours in Ripper literature and the Internet about this question. But, is there really some sort of connection between Jack the Ripper and Oscar Wilde? Did Wilde know who the Ripper was? Did he hint at the Ripper’s identity in his novel The Picture of Dorian Gray? Was Wilde himself the Ripper?
Genesis is one of the most successful British rock bands, hands down. And a band with a long and diverse career that was able to allow all its members to have also long and diverse solo careers (and in some cases very successful, too). Genesis always seemed to have an invisible touch on their listeners and fans. Starting off as a progressive rock band in the early 1970s with singer Peter Gabriel and his strange costumes and masks, the band changed into a pop band with single hits in the 1980s after he left and drummer Phil Collins took over the microphone. At least that is the common conception. Philipp Röttgers takes a look beyond and asks if this change even exists or if there is some kind of misunderstanding. He turns it on again and analyzes certain songs from both “eras”, takes a look at live performances, music videos, album covers and press and fan reviews. He runs through the band’s history and also includes the solo careers to find out if their image should be renewed.
Three Dudes. Heavy Riffs. Melodic Tones. PARIAHLORD is being played in radio stations in Germany, UK, Greece, Canada, Russia, Japan, Norway, Spain, Portugal, Croatia, Mexico, France, Finland, South Korea, Brazil, Argentina, Turkey, Romania, Indonesia, Austria, Singapore, Iran, Ireland, Australia, Ukraine and Poland. That means they’re being broadcasted worldwide! Read some reviews of their music here!
Philipp Röttgers, M.A., born in 1989, feels deeply connected to London, more than to any other place in the world. He is an expert in the capital’s (and Britain’s) literature and culture (he studied English literature and culture accordingly). Röttgers is also a “Ripperologist” (and was already featured in the magazine of the same name). He is an expert on the works of London-related authors such as Peter Ackroyd, Iain Sinclair, Alan Moore, Neil Gaiman and Ben Aaronovitch. Philipp is also an expert on London-related tv shows like Whitechapel und Ripper Street.
In London and Its Genius Loci, Philipp Röttgers takes the reader on a tour of London like no other. The approach is two-fold. As Röttgers explores contemporary London and muses upon her historical quirks, he also attempts to detect less corporeal influences. He speculates about how her structure and shadows are touched by the tragedies they bore witness to and reimagined by the stories invented to explain them.
Step by step, word by word, he calls up an imagined landscape that superimposes over what we know and learn of the physical London. It begins in the East End, the epi-center of Jack the Ripper’s reign of terror. There is a side order of likely suspects and other Victorian killers before we move on to the buildings of Nicholas Hawksmoor and visit the place where east meets west and the doorstep of Sherlock Holmes, among others. The quest for clues ultimately leads into the city’s fictional doppelgangers, as defined by Peter Ackroyd, Alan Moore, Neil Gaiman, and Ben Aaronovitch.
Like London itself, the vastness of the topic is overwhelming and the term genius loci itself resists definition. At times it is as ephemeral as the fog. Perhaps it is different for each individual, which is why it’s so vital that Röttgers shares his own experience of London in a series of detailed self-guided tours. The undercurrent of misogyny at the heart of so many portrayals of London could (and should) make you uncomfortable, but the author links it to a more primordial struggle – that of Mother Nature against Father Progress, of chaos against order.
By implication, London’s authors become co-creators of its psychic impact on the consciousness of mankind. Although not always an easy read, London and Its Genius Loci by Philipp Röttgers is likely to stay with you. Its reasoning will slip into your mind. It will challenge you to continue applying its conclusions to other stories of London. It will feel as if you’ve been let into a secret world which you can never again unsee.
From 2020 onwards, I also lead walks through London. Get in touch with me via mail and we can find a date and a time.
My tours include: A Jack the Ripper tour through the East End, a tour through the City and more. If you have a special interest, let me know, then I can arrange a tour including special sites and interests.
“Philipp is an expert with a lot of knowledge about this special topic and talked freely throughout the whole walk”
“It was a lot of fun. History became very real, because we went to the different crime scenes. It felt like going back in time. Phil explained everything in great detail and presented the history in a very comprehensible way.”
Last year I stumbled across the YouTube channel of Curious World on a return trip from London. Now we’ve worked together – I provided Curious World with ideas and facts about the Ratcliffe Highway murders and the result is a three-part documentary about this exciting criminal case. The documentary chronicles the horrific events that took …
It’s an honour to be featured as a guest author on Richard Jones’ website. Richard is a bestselling author (e.g. Jack the Ripper: The Casebook). He is tour guide of Jack The Ripper Tour and London Discovery Tours.
Many spectacular spirits are said to haunt 50 Berkeley Square, the “most haunted house in London”: According to legend, the house is so charged with psychic tension, you only need to touch the exterior brickwork in order to receive a tingling sensation that sends shivers down your spine.
Before Thomas Hardy became a novelist, he supervised the removal of the graveyard St Pancras Old Church in 1865, when the railway lines of St Pancras Station were laid through the site. The tombstones were placed against a great tree. Over the years its roots curled among them, they embraced them. It looks as if …