50 years of "Nursery Cryme", 6th stage: the Genesis in retreat in the "Cottage" - MEMORIES

"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.

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Luxford House, photo by Austin Gray from mansionglobal.com website

The sixth stage takes place in the summer of 1971, when the Genesis, with the new lineup, shut themselves up in the Luxford House, rented by Tony Stratton-Smith, for the composition of the album.

As we have seen in previous installments, joined Genesis Phil Collins in August - Read - e Hackett in December 1970 - Read -.

The two new elements have done theirs debut in concert with Genesis - Read -. 

And there were also the first live shows outside the UK, in Belgium, with the new lineup - Read -.

Now it's time to think seriously about the new album.

It tells Armando Gallo in Genesis: I Know What I Like - Buy it below and, in addition to the author, also help Horizons Genesis - READ HOW:

...that Luxford House by Tony Stratton-Smith is a beautiful 500th century Tudor-style building in Crowborough, East Sussex and appears on the cover of Van der Graaf Generator's "Pawn Hearts" album.

Indeed from there VDGG, Leonard Cohen and many others passed through, given the positive atmosphere for the musicians (and it is also very fashionable to isolate yourself in the countryside to compose).

Parts of the cottage, which has six bedrooms, date back to 1510. The property was extended and renovated in 1930 when it was bought by Sir Hugh Beaver, the general manager of the Ministry of Works during the Second World War, who later founded the "Guinness Book of Records".

The house also made an appearance on the cover of Neil Diamond's "Stones", with an image of the singer sitting next to the memorial of Beaver's wife in the garden.

A legend said it was haunted by ghosts and Phil Collins is among those who firmly believe in it.

"I'm sure there were ghosts - Phil remembers in the book - there were strange vibrations. There was a painting with eyes that followed you everywhere and other oddities. "

It seems to everyone the ideal place to immerse yourself in the creative process without the distractions of London and concerts. The large thatched house, known as "The Cottage"is their accommodation, while the rehearsals take place in its external building, renamed "Toad Hall"," Hall of the Toad "

«We had to learn to play together - says Tony Banks in the book of Gallo - we had to rehearse the old and new repertoire. "Nursery Cryme" was difficult to compose and we lacked a lot of material. I was adding the organ and the mellotron to the piano, with many difficulties from all points of view. "

Among the problems there is also the lack of Anthony Phillips' compositional genius, a notable change for the old band members. For newcomers, however, the challenge is getting used to different writing methods of the components. But Steve and Phil perceive the great passion that everyone puts into this venture, as well as the favorable location in the beautiful English countryside.

Says Phil Collins in his autobiography - Buy it below and, in addition to the author, also help Horizons Genesis - READ HOW:

“We eat excellent meals, drink liters of red wine, play croquet on the lawns. That antiquated, aristocratic and very English game influences the cover image of the album in gestation (...).

When it comes to choosing rooms at Luxford House, social hierarchy comes into play again. Pete, Mike and Tony are the first to choose where to sleep, the newcomers, Steve and I, make do with the leftovers. In the end I don't care that much, there are many other things to think about: this will be the debut album of the new Genesis line-up. "

Richard Macphail tells in My book of Genesis - Buy it below:

"I was again catering in a kitchen which was much better equipped of that of Christmas Cottage. The equipment was set up in a stable and there were plenty of bedrooms for everyone. (...) 

I was shopping for all or I drove to London to collect my salaries. It was fun stay in a nice place in the countryside, with Jill and the others girls from the band who sometimes joined us on weekends.»

Remember Steve Hackett in his autobiography A Genesis in my bed... - Buy it below:

“I would wake up at 3am at night, expecting to hear the comforting bell ringing loud outside Victoria Station, but instead in that cottage, there was endless silence outside the room. No traffic, no rattle of trains to rock me, to make me fall asleep and no street lights or flashing car headlights to guide the way to the bathroom.

Then suddenly there was an incessant din of birds chirping in the early morning. How could a boy sleep like that? I gave up sleep and went to get my pack of cigarettes. (...)

But at the cottage, it wasn't just the strangeness of the place and the company that made me feel alone. When we weren't rehearsing, I was aware that I was a single guy. (...)

I didn't realize how lonely I felt until one night when I was talking to Peter and Tony's girls Jill and Margaret, and Jill said, "Don't you have a girlfriend, Steve?" I burst into tears and left the room. I was too much
embarrassed to go back down and slept with my guitar.

It was different when we rehearsed. I was absorbed in the music. (...) I was thrilled to work with them. It was a very creative time and the group flourished in this environment.

It was a hot summer. Sometimes we would sit on the grass outside with twelve-string guitars.»

Photo by Jo Hackett, from the HackettSongs.com website. Read the story of those days also in Steve's blog. Click on the image.

"We took the summer off to our agent's great disapproval -  said Peter Gabriel at Sounds in 1972 and quoted in Without Frontiers: The Life and Music of Peter Gabriel by Daryl Easlea - but I think it was very necessary why it was the first album we had worked on with Steve and Phil and they were playing a very important role.»

In this context begins the creative process of "Nursery Cryme", which we will deepen, with the testimonies of Genesis, in the next stage.


The ownership of the images (reproduced for the right of the press and available on the web) belongs to the cited author. For any need, write to the email above.

The other stages of the 50 years of "Nursery Cryme":

Collector's Corner

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