«We crossed the Channel, taking a ferry from Dover to Ostend from Dover to Ostend. It was the middle of winter and there was hardly anyone on board. (...)
still just the seven of us on the road together, which when you
look at the armies of crew that bands employ nowadays seems
It was a four hour crossing and we were bored to death because there was nothing to do there. I found this box with life vests in it,, and so we all put on our vests and posed for what has now become a famous Genesis photo, all of us with our hair down on our shoulders, Mike drinking from a bottle of Mateus Rosé because that's what we drank in those days, that or Liebfraumilch.
(...) Today when you go abroad you have satellite navigation that tells you exactly where to go and cell phones or maps, but I really had no idea where we were headed in Belgium. I didn't even have a folding map.
(...) The place, a club called Ferme V, was packed to the roof, but fans knew every note. It was amazing. While in England it was a very slow process, in Belgium it happened suddenly.
Another thing I remember is that we stayed in a very comfortable three-star hotel and that Peter shared a room with me because he could not bear to share her with Tony ever again, not after his experiences at the cottage. "
THU Genesis already perform the most representative song of the future "Nursery Cryme": The Musical Box. The masterpiece had already been almost completely composed by the band together with Anthony Phillips (with the compositional intervention of Farm guitarist Mick Barnard who, as we have seen, did some gigs with Genesis after the departure of Ant).
Exists a 1969 recording in which Ant and Mike play parts of it, albeit with the title "F Sharp".
And there is one recording of the concert at Ferme and therefore also the first essay of the immature performances of Genesis of "The Musical Box". Although at this stage the central section is still arranged differently and the text is provisional.
A similar "pre-Nursery" version is recorded in the BBC studios for the Bob Harris program "Sound of the Seventies" on May 10, 1971 and aired on the 31st.
«For some reason the Genesis have a fair number of followers in Belgium. After being in the Netherlands with Flaming Youth, I only need a few demonstrations of love from Luxembourg to be able to say with confidence that I am famous in the Benelux.
And so in March 1971 the Genesis played their first concert abroad, in a small place in Charleroi called Ferme Cinq.
We cross the channel by ferry and, upon arrival, our excitement for being an international group does not diminish even when we see that the stage is made of crates of beer. We have to arrange them very carefully so that they do not wobble and do not tip over, perhaps in the middle of one of the weird neo-fantasy monologues.
Somehow we manage to keep upright and have a blockbuster. All six concerts are like this: all packed, all fantastic. Finally the Genesis have taken off. At least in Belgium. "
The fourth stage takes place on January 14, 1971, when Steve Hackett makes his concert debut with Genesis at University College London. Here is the story of those eventful days.
As we have seen in previous installments -Read-, la band was very close to melting, because Anthony Phillips left his fellow adventurers and they also decided to replace John Mayhew, the 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 concertPhil's great friend (auditioned with him - Read) and guitarist of 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 Banks playing all guitar parts on an electric piano Hohner filtered with a fuzz box. The research continues.
On December 14th, scrolling the Melody Maker, Peter is intrigued by the unusual announcement of a certain Steve, who is auditioned. Hackett joins Genesis - Read -.
And so we come to that January 14, 1971, when at University College London, Steve Hackett makes his debut in concert with Genesis. But it won't be an easy time.
«The first concert was a disaster for me. Until then I had used a borrowed fuzzbox or Tony's Marshall Superfuzz. So everything worked fine, but that night they gave me a Shaftesbury Duo Fuzz which is a great fuzzbox. I couldn't get a Marshall Superfuzz and thought, 'Oh, that sounds good.'
And when we did the sound check it seemed all right, but obviously when everyone was playing, it was much louder and the return was a disaster. I got discouraged and forgot all my parts. I remember a heated argument after the show and thought it was all my fault.
In hindsight, it wasn't. That was my most embarrassing moment on stage, being on stage with deeply arranged music and with the total inability to remember a note, because I couldn't control my sound. It's not a good start, I thought. "
“As we would discover over the years, Phil had the great ability to drink a lot without showing it. At Steve's first concert - University College London, January 1971 - there was an exception. We had had a few pints but no one noticed that Phil had downed a few more than the others and was drunk. Phil was such a good drummer he could do just about anything, but that night he got ready for one of his big rolls and nothing happened. Silence. He had done it perfectly, too bad it was off twenty centimeters from each drum piece.
Poor Steve: it was his first gig, he was nervous and we had a drunk drummer. At the end of the night, Tony and I gave Phil a hard time, which didn't bother Phil, but unfortunately Steve thought we were fighting over him - we hated him and wanted to throw him out. As always, it never occurred to anyone to let the newcomer know how things were. "
«For the most part the concerts are conducted in a rather professional way: we arrive, play and go home. We smoke a few joints, but no exaggerated revelry. The only time that happens is at a concert at City University in London, Steve's first with Genesis. We play later than expected, so I spend my time downing some Newcastle Brown beers. When we go on stage, I am completely disoriented. I do all the right fills, but eight centimeters to the right of where I should. Other than air-guitar, this is air-drums. And then I repented: «What will the new guitarist think? His first concert and the drummer is dead drunk ». It's the first time I've played drunk, and it'll be the last too. "
Ma Stevedespite his concerns, pass the exam. And the confirmation comes from Peter Gabriel, who declares, reported in the aforementioned Giammetti book:
"We have had two guitarists in the last few months but I hope this is the definitive one, we found it through the Melody Maker and it seems to have adapted very well." (Peter Gabriei, Zig Zag n. 19, 5 / 71, "Genesis", anonymous). "
Here's what Anthony Phillips thinks today:
Steve will become a column of the Genesis, in the formation that many consider "the real one" and beyond. Until the sensational farewell.
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.
“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".
On August 24, Peter, Mike and Tony return from vacation. Rehearsals can begin and therefore Phil's new employment, although the band has yet to honor some dates in the old lineup, such as the legendary Marquee Club.
Since they all live in the parts of Surrey and Collins in the west suburbs of London, Mike invites him to stay at his home in Farnham. Phil tells:
"It's another great house, albeit with a very warm and easy-going atmosphere. I happily take my leave of London and move to Mike (...) I like to live at Mike's parents' house. At breakfast there are hard-boiled eggs and there is always something that cooks on cheap cooking ".
"The rest of my life begins with the first rehearsals of the new Genesis formation in September 1970, in the environment covered with pigeon guano of Maltings, an old agricultural complex in Farnham. We assemble the equipment and start playing with what I would describe a confused enthusiasm: various friends of Peter, Tony and Mike come to visit us from the private school, I discover new exotic foods such as Marmite and tahina, and often everything is wrapped in the sweet smell of the grass ".
In addition to the various friends of the Charterhouse, who come to see them, hit Phil is lwith constant presence of Richard MacPhail.Remember Phil:
"He had been the lead singer of Anon, one of the pre-Genesis bands at the Charterhouse. He's the road manager and sound engineer, as well as a heavy joint smoker. Perhaps he has no other choice, as he sleeps in Maltings, sharing his bunk with the pigeons and their guano, and supervising the instruments. He is the one who introduces me to the pleasure of listening to smoking headphones. "Déjà Vu" by Crosby, Stills & Nash has just come out and Richard brings the record, prepares a gigantic joint and urges me and Mike to immerse ourselves in the majestic sonic harmonies of Carry On. It's not quite like kicking open the doors of perception, but at least I knock on it gently. "
Maltings is a very comfortable old barn here the new Genesis are comfortable playing, improvising. And here they prepare future concerts with the new lineup. The atmosphere is apparently relaxed, though in its own autobiography, The Living Years, Mike Rutherford underlines the differences between them:
"We and Phil didn't live on the same planet. He always had the carefree kid-next-door attitude: let's go to the bar for a drink, tell a joke, smoke a cigarette or a joint. Life is good. And I think that. one of the reasons why Pete liked him was that Phil didn't have our background, he didn't come from a narrow and limited world like us. Pete was less rigid than me and Tony, much more prone to emotions and feelings; much more curious towards the world in general. "
"In any case, the customs learned at school are hard to die, and the social hierarchy is soon evident. No wonder: I am the last."
Even if it is not only to "contrast" with the three, because with them there is another guitarist, Mick Barnard. We have seen that after the farewell of Anthony Phillips and then with the arrival of Phil, the Genesis have continued as a quartet, without guitarist, with Tony playing all the guitar parts on an electric piano Hohner filtered with a fuzz box. Then they found Mick, but he is not the right person and the search for a guitarist continues.
One time, scrolling the Melody Maker,find the announcement of Steve Hackett.
But this is another stage in the history of the masterpiece "Nursery Cryme".
The first stage takes place on August 8, 1970 when a phone call extends the life of the Genesis.
After the departure of Anthony Phillips, the band seems to be close to the end, after only two albums under their belt. Here is the story of those pivotal days in the life of Genesis and their fans.
The phone rings at 453 on Hanworth Road, Hounslow neighborhood, the western suburb of London. A voice says, "Hello Phil? I'm Peter Gabriel. That of Genesis. The place is yours, if you want it ».
It is August 8, 1970. In the previous days, Phil Collins had an "audition" with Genesis. The band was very close to breaking up and is still in a very unstable equilibrium. The creative symmetry is gone, since Anthony Phillips left his fellow adventurers. Previously, Genesis had two pairs of writers, Mike Rutherford and Ant on one side, Tony Banks and Peter Gabriel on the other. But above all they were friends. Now one of them leaves.
The stage phobia turned out to be much more than just fear, it's terror. Ant is very thin and appears destroyed, but the band does not have the time to notice what is happening in the soul of his friend. It is a time when things seem to move. They just registeredTrespass (will be released in the fall) and I'm on tour in England.
The music that Ant loves so much is becoming the cause of unhappiness. Rutherford is the first to know his intentions. Just before a previous concert, they went away and the revelation arrived like a cold shower. Rutherford knows that his friend is afraid of the stage, but there was no time to deepen the speech and Phillips has no longer mentioned his phobia.
Genesis played in front of 18 people on July 25th at Haywards Heath.The journey home Mike and Peter do it in Gabriel's new car, one Hillman Imp. Together they take the situation into consideration. Anthony seems irreplaceable, the Genesis appear as indivisible, the urge to quit is about to take over.
Yet during that trip something different matures, the idea of being able to do it even without a friend. Must go on.
And so the Genesis take advantage of it to operate a small revolution. With Anthony the umpteenth drummer is also released from the band: John Mayhew.
That's why the three left are grappling with the hearings, that summer of 1970. It is urgent to find a new drummer, but you are also looking for a guitarist, obviously, even if at the moment the parts of Phillips are entrusted to the piano Hohner and fuzzbox by Tony, with Rutherford on guitar and pedal bass. In the post-Ant the Genesis are in fact making several dates in quartet, also important, like this one, at Marquee Club from London:
The atmosphere is therefore very tense. At stake is survival and it may not be easy to find someone up to expectations.
To the announcement on Melody MakerPhil Collins replies among others.
Phil has just been to Abbey Road to record With gas in the song All Things Must Pass by George Harrison, even if in the credits there is not his name and in the recording his percussions are not noticed at all. LISTEN:
And his current group, Flaming Youth, falters. The album Ark 2 did not give the expected sales results. Collins desperately needs to work.
He buys all the music magazines every Thursday, and the announcement "Tony Stratton-Smith is looking for twelve-string guitarist and drummer sensitive to acoustic music" attracts his attention. Phil doesn't know much the Genesis, but often sees them in the commercials of the concerts in the newspapers. A good sign - he thinks - means that they make many.
instead Collins has already known Strat since the days of the gods Freehold, a band in which he played for a short time. THE Freehold they lived in a hotel on Russell Square in Bloomsbury. That hotel is also where Phil first met Tony Stratton-Smith. They become friends, they like each other, according to him. So he thinks he can have a fast track, a good word, to get into Genesis, without going through the auditions. Track Stratton-Smith al Marquee Club. It offers you a drink and talks to him about the announcement.
«No, no, no, my boy, - Strat replies - they are demanding types. You have to call them back. You have to go audition. "
Also to be strong, Phil invites his friend Ronnie Caryl, also looking for an escape from the Flaming Youth and aspiring to the role that was Ant. The appointment is at the home of Peter's parents in Chobham, Surrey, the following week. A middle-aged lady opens the door. It's Ms. Gabriel.
«Come in, come in. - he says - You are a little early. Take a swim while you wait. "
Even the swimming pool! - Phil thinks - Things in his life are just getting better. If only he had thought of bringing his bathing suit. However he decides to take a dip. Over the past two years he has learned to seize any opportunity. Who knows - he wonders - if they'll ever offer him a dip in a private heated pool again. She takes off her jeans and is left with only her briefs, then dives. It is a first class luxury that he is not at all used to.
While splashing around in the pool, Phil hears the rehearsals of his two rival drummers. The standard is acceptable and by listening to them he understands who he has to contend with for the place. But meanwhile, continue enjoying the pool, to calm your nerves. Then it's his turn. Peter arrives, holding the unedited anchor in his hand Trespass.
It makes him feel three pieces: Stagnation, Looking for Someone, The Knife. But when he sits on drums, Collins has already memorized the part that they are using in the auditions and shows a security that affects everyone. And at the end of the test, he is sure he did well.
He is also the last drummer of the day and therefore, between a chat and another, he tries to understand how his audition went. But in vain. All that can receive is a classic "we'll let you know".
He hardly thinks about it when the phone rings 8 on Hanworth Road on August 453th. Phil made it. Later he will discover that Peter has quickly realized that he is the right type for Genesis, Mike is less convinced. Tony confident, but reserved.
He tries to be indifferent, but inside he makes leaps of joy. He finally found a group. Ronnie instead does not pass the "exam". For the new guitarist the research continues.
But this is another stage in history that will lead to "Nursery Cryme".
"I think it's the right time"Banks said. "We are all good friends, we are all mature and ... here we are".
"I will do my best to play some parts of the tour", Phil Collins explained. "I have to start thinking about it seriously, but I've already calculated what I'm going to do and what songs to play."
"We all thought, 'Why not?', Collins said. "It seems a somewhat pathetic reason, but we like mutual company, we like playing together."
Banks added that the trio did not ask Gabriel to participate in the reunion tour, Because "Most of the songs people know came after he left. Peter left the band 45 years ago and has lived as he wanted since then."
"There is a Genesis sound that is still present", said Mike Rutherford. "I missed it, it's nice to play it again."
"It's a good feeling, it's the right time, we can't wait to do it", continued Mike Rutherford. Many of our contemporaries have played a lot, we've done two shows in the UK in the past 28 years. "
On eighteen year old son Nicholas, who will play the drums in ShowPhil Collins said: "He sounds like me and has the same attitude. So it's a good place to start."
On the potential lineup, Collins said: "There are songs that you feel you have to play because the audience would feel cheated if you didn't, then it's about putting together the rest of the material with songs that we haven't played for a long time. But there are some old dogs that won't run." .
The voices of one reunion they have been around since Collins and Rutherford performed together in Berlin last June.
Collins then hinted at the possibility of one reunion: "We remain close friends, so you never know."
Earlier this week, a photograph of the three members appeared on theaccount Genesis official Instagram with the caption: "And then there were three."
The last Genesis concert dates back to 2007, when the British group played at the Circus Maximus in Rome, in a free concert, in front of over 500 thousand spectators.
On April 30, in a new interview, Nic Collins talked about the upcoming Genesis tour and also about his band, Better Strangers. Listen:
On April 18, Mike Ruthrford teased in a conversation with Gary Kemp and Guy Pratt in the Rockonteurs podcast that the news, later confirmed on September 29, of the North American shows of the Genesis tour. Listen to his interview:
On April 3, Genesis released the new tour teaser. There he is:
On January 22, Genesis had released a first teaser. A taste of the stage, the arrangement of the instruments and the scenic effects.
Here's in detail what Nic Collins' drums will look like. From a Facebook post by Gretsch Drums on January 12:
Nic Collins with his new kit for the next Genesis Tour. #Gretschdrums