Steve Hackett brings ‘early Genesis’ to New Jersey
In March 2010, the 1970–1975 line-up of Genesis was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame by Phish guitarist Trey Anastasio. Hackett called me on New Jersey 101.5 to talk about the upcoming event.
"We're doing the whole of seconds out, which originally was my last album with Genesis in 77. But of course, it covers so many albums out of that date. So we have a new drummer with us this time. And it's Nick D. Virgilio, both working with him, which has been rehearsing with his module. In the last couple of days, we do our first show with him tomorrow. But it's going very well, he plays amazingly well and the band is in fine form. It's been going very, very, very, very well."
What are your best memories of Genesis?
"Well, I think of it as a time of classic Genesis that originally involved Peter Gabriel, "We were a five-piece from 71 until 75 with Pete and then I was around for two more albums with the band and the live album."
"So we were a four-piece at that point. And then, of course, Genesis became a three-piece that it kind of marked the change, in the music. For them, it became poppier, whereas I think earlier on we did music that engaged musicians, it was more experimental, I think, romantic in a different kind of way."
"In a pre-MTV-inspired era, where, you know, we weren't doing music that was let's put it this way, people started to make albums that sounded more like they were collections of potential hit singles. And then you had the idea of what albums offered was kind of thrown away at that point, So it was he was throwing away a certain amount of ideas, a bit like the baby was being thrown away with the bathwater."
"Whereas when I joined up with the emphasis on the stuff that I was really interested in was albums-based stuff. So I was thrilled to what albums could do from the mid-60s through to the 70s. In that sort of pre-video era, the songs themselves had to be very visual, and they were very storyteller based. And they were journeying songs, and sometimes they were very long and very un-radio or TV friendly. But they had their adherence fans who liked the fact that they could lose themselves in these longer musical workouts."
John Lennon was a big fan of Genesis, says Steve Hackett.
"When I originally teamed up with Genesis in 1971, I know this sounds like 1000 years ago for many of your listeners, but it was a different time. And John Lennon got very interested in Genesis and, and said famously that he considered this to be sons of the Beatles, true sons of the Beatles."
"And I was hugely impressed to receive that compliment from somebody Let's put it this way. There is no greater musical brain than the Lennon's, The stuff that they did. I think, in that era from 66 through to the end of that band as we know it, you know, by the time 1970 had happened, they would do extraordinary stuff, the blueprint for not just psychedelia and world music, but also progressive stuff. And I know we mentioned this word storyteller rather a lot. But the Beatles were able to do that. In a way that was awe-inspiring to be able to tell the story of the end of an old woman's life and do it in less than two and a half minutes. Wow. Yeah. That was the challenge. So we were always trying to get narrative into, into song. And I think a lot of those, those Genesis tunes from that early, early era, you know, had that aspect you had to get the point across? And if it was social comment, get that if it was delving into sci-fi to get that across, as well. You weren't making singles you were, maybe sometimes you were firing over the heads of the audience, but there were people who got it."
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Opinions expressed in the post above are those of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Steve Trevelise only. Follow him on Twitter @realstevetrev.