Anthony George (Tony) Banks, born in Lewes on March 27, 1950, turns 70 today. We wish him happy birthday through videos and curiosities.
Tony Banks has been described by Armando Gallo as a silent person, of few words, ever since he was a boy. But the rare times he spoke, it was worth listening to. Gallo recalls how lucid he was in describing the band's plans over the next seven months and the album that was about to arrive: Foxtrot. And he explained how the stories that Peter Gabriel invented in concert would serve to explain the lyrics not always of the band's first impact. (from Armando Gallo, Genesis: The Evolution of a Rock Band, S&J Ed.)
Friends first of all. After the release of the second album, Trespass, the group experienced a period of crisis caused by the abandonment of Anthony Phillips; after this, Banks wanted to leave the group, but was convinced by his companions to continue their adventure with the band without the help of the guitarist.
Her iUnforgettable productions, like those of Watcher of the Skies, Firth of Fifth, The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway. His Timeless solos, among others in Supper's Ready, The Cinema Show, In The Cage, Robbery, Assault & Battery, Duke's Travels /Duke'Send.
And the Creator, among others, of White Mountain, of the texts of Seven Stones, Harlequin e The Cinema Show, In Firth of Fifth - wrote Steve Hackett's guitar solo -, Time Table, Entangled, A Trick of the Tail, Mad Man Moon, One for the Wine, Afterglow.
Tony he didn't just play keyboards in Genesis. Some of his passages with the 12 string acoustic in songs like The Musical Box, Entangled, The Cinema Show and at the beginning of Supper's Ready they are unforgettable. Banks has also been an occasional back-up vocalist and co-lead vocals in Shepherd.
Banks has been a innovator of the sound of rock, pioneer, in his career, in the use of many particular keyboards and synthesizers. Has been defined "the most refined keyboard player of prog rock." He used various types of keyboard, mastering them with a unique technique, in different songs, also resorting to artisan solutions, even during concerts, in order to obtain the results he sought. Watch Tony's video interviews about using the various effects on his solo albums.
Thanks to Tony, they entered the Genesis texts and atmospheres literary works science fiction (Watcher of The Skies, One for the Wine, Heathaze, Domino), Fantasy (A Trick of the Tail), the little Prince (Mad Man Moon), the Victorian atmosphere of Cime Tempestose (he was the one who read the novel and reported the influences in the title and inside Wind & Wuthering) and Dickens (Home By the Sea), TS Eliot, The Wasteland (The Cinema Show - in which there is also Shakespeare - Romeo and Juliet - and Ovid's Metamorphosis - Tiresias), John Keats (The Lady Lies), and then by the philosopher Protagoras (Harlequin) in Sao Paulo (Cul-de-Sac), dto White Fang by Jack London (White Mountain) to Tom & Jerry - or Sylvester the Cat - (All in a Mouse Night)
Tony turns out to be a curmudgeon, a not particularly nice guy, with little sense of humor. But in certain moments (among the public ones, obviously) it is not so. On stage Banks sometimes even wore a snorkel while performing Who Dunnit? ....
... Or as on the occasion of first video absolute Genesis: Robbery, Assault & Battery. WATCH:
"The protagonists are the same members of the group, with a bearded Phil Collins particularly comfortable in the role of the thief [...] and the other three in policeman uniform (remarkable role of Tony Banks who, while taking a bullet from the brigand, in the following scenes moves treacherously in pursuit of the swindler) ". (by Giovanni De Liso, Genesis, Behind the lines. Commented texts (1969-1998), Arcana ed.)
Banks currently he lives with his wife Margaret, in a house in south London. The couple married on July 29, 1972 and have two children: Benjamin (born in 1978) and Emily (1981). IS' one of the longest lasting relationships in rock history. They had a day's honeymoon because Banks was too busy finishing the Genesis Foxtrot album. Banks said: "The band felt sorry for me, so they paid to have her come on the next tour." (by Blake, Mark July 10, 2015 "Q&A: Tony Banks" Team Rock Retrieved 7 March 2018). The couple live near Godalming in Surrey.
He was appointed Prog God 2015 to the annuals Progressive Music Awards. Tony is ranked # 11 on the Music Radar chart greatest keyboard players of all time.
To learn more read the biography of Mario Giammetti: Tony Banks. Man of spells. CLICK HERE
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