"Nursery Cryme" turns 50. We are approaching the birthday through the stages that led to this turning album in the history of Genesis, with audio, video, documents and much more.
Our third stage takes place on December 14, 1970: the new lead guitarist arrives in Genesis: Steve Hackett.
That day, in fact, scrolling the Melody Maker, Peter Gabriel is intrigued by the unusual announcement of a certain Steve. There he is:
As we have seen in the previous stages - Read -, la band was very close to melting, because Anthony Phillips left his fellow adventurers and they also decided to replace John Mayhew, the current drummer.
I Genesis have already hired Phil Collins on drums - Read -, now they have to find a good replacement on the guitar.
Both Ronnie Caryl have rehearsed in concert, a great friend of Phil's (he auditioned with him) and guitarist of the Flaming Youth, and Mick barnard, member of Farm, but both did not convince the demanding members of the band.
After the farewell of Anthony Phillips - READ and then with the arrival of Phil, the Genesis have then continued as a quartet, with Tony playing all guitar parts on an electric piano Hohner filtered with a fuzz box. The search now seems over.
Remember Tony Banks in Genesis. The river of constant change, by Mario Giammetti, Editori gathered - Buy it below (also in English version) and, in addition to the author, also help Horizons Genesis - READ HOW:
“Mike had auditioned for a long time, but Peter and I convinced ourselves that he was trying to find someone who sounded just like Ant, which was obviously impossible. So the two of us went to see Steve. He was really smart, looking at him he seemed one of many, instead he knew how to compose, experiment, he wasn't the classic mad guitarist ».
E remembers Steve in the same precious book by Giammetti:
«I played a little Jimmy Page, with fast solos that did not go well with delicacy of thetheir songs. The first times were really difficult ».
... Steve states that that announcement suggested high expectations of him, but he must have had the right tone, because he attracted the attention of another idealist who thought like him:
“It was one of those gray days in late autumn, I was back in my bedroom practicing the guitar, after helping Mom carry the garbage in the yard, and dreaming of a bright distant future, when the phone rang. "Hi, my name is Peter Gabriel. I just read your ad ...". "
Steve remembers the audition with Peter and Tony. He plays some tunes by himself and with his brother John, even some blues on the harmonica while John accompanies him. One of them, The Hermit, would appear later in "Voyage of the Acolyte. "Steve again:
"I played both electric and acoustic guitar, and the fact that I also played the twelve strings helped me. Minelove for all three types of guitar put me in good light with guys. I think they liked mine eclectic approach and my interest in all styles
music. If I realized I was competing with about forty other guitarists I would have been a lot more more nervous. It was probably good that I was in blissful ignorance. Pete did the whole talk and Tony just sat there in silence, with a blank expression. Not before you are months later Tony said to me, "I really liked what you played that day. ”I never would have understood! But I appreciated the comment.»
Having overcome the stumbling block represented by Peter and Tony, Steve has need to make sure the support of Mike Rutherford, "our other guitarist", who is not with them because he is convalescing.
“When Pete and Tony took Steve to my house I think they already decided to let him join the group, they just didn't want to give the impression that they were bypassing me. (...)
Steve didn't look like one of us. He looked like an art student. (...) And the least predictable thing was that he liked the acoustic guitar. (...) It immediately seemed to me that there was an understanding between us. "
Immediately the two begin to exchange chords and play together. They go all right, they go in immediately in tune and Mike invites Steve to spend the night with him. This gave them the chance to play a lot and get to know each other better.
Phil Collins likes him right away, he's the kind of person who can defuse atmospheres with a quick joke during tense rehearsal sessions. They share a love of movies and often go to the movies together.
But one of the hardest obstacles to his arrival in Genesis is represented by feeling Anthony Phillips' successor. Remember Steve:
«I greatly admired his way of playing and composing.
His twelve-string work was exquisite. I was worried that I wouldn't be able to match him in the eyes of others. Ant has always been a lovely guy with a great sense of humor as well as a fabulous musician and composer. Even though we were never in the band together, he and I became friends and still are today. (...)
But in those early days of Genesis I was constantly feeling nervous, and it took a while to get over that sense of social differences. "
The first rehearsal together is in West Hampstead:
“I realized that I needed to learn not only the songs but also the jargon of Genesis. They had weird words for several things like "type" for a form of agreement. "This is a nice guy," said Mike. They had their own language and shared experiences that seemed foreign to me. They had an aura of mystery and I surprised myself wondering what they were thinking. They were patient with me and Richard MacPhail, who was always on hand to support us as a close friend, roadie and internal therapist was very reassuring. "
Then it's time to get serious and start rehearsals for the new album, "Nursery Cryme", precisely. The Genesis move to "Cottage" in Sussex, a property of Tony Stratton-Smith. From the popular and familiar Pimlico to the noble and silent English countryside, the step is great for Steve.
Furthermore, Steve is the only one in the group who is single. Various girlfriends roam the cottage. He has no one, not even a friend, to take there.
Luckily there is music to focus on and a masterpiece to be born. Another stop that will take us to the release of "Nursery Cryme".
Further details, Steve told them in his blog:
The other stages of the 50 years of "Nursery Cryme":
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