Shortly after each other Steve Hackett (12.2.), Peter Gabriel (13.2.) and Tony Banks (27.3.) celebrate their 70th birthday in these days, in October follows Mike Rutherford (2.10.). Together with Phil Collins, just turned 69, they form the classic 70s line-up of Genesis. While Hackett and Collins only joined the group later, the other three met at an elite boarding school, where music offered them a free space in the midst of conservative structures. eclipsed traces the band's early years, from their first musical steps to the release of "Trespass", their first prog album. Peter Gabriel in the "historical interview" of 1971, former road manager Richard Macphail and Steve Hackett about his birthday and his work with Genesis.
There were only three left. During the last tour Steve Hackett had decided to leave Genesis. He was frustrated, as he considered his share of output to be too small and his contributions to be underestimated. For Tony Banks, Phil Collins and Mike Rutherford, his decision was not as shocking as Peter Gabriel's departure two years earlier. They wanted to give the Prog battleship a new sound anyway, a more radio-ready paint job. So "...And Then There Were Three..." became the band's most pop album to date. When Phil Collins happened to meet his bandmate Steve Hackett in London's Ladbroke Grove on October 8, 1977, and spoke with him briefly, he had no idea what he was going to hear hours later. "In the evening Mike told me that Steve wasn't coming, he was out," Collins said in a band documentary on the music channel VH-1. Nobody had expected that. After all, the group was about to put the finishing touches to the live album "Seconds Out", which was released just two weeks later.
Hardly anyone has left his musical scent mark on so many well-known colleagues: Phil Collins is now gathering his collaborations with other artists in the four CD retrospective "Plays Well With Others", which covers the years 1969 to 2002.
Not every good musician makes it to a pop star. But Phil Collins combines both. Hardly any pop artist has made it further in terms of success and musical mastery - Collins is Pop XXL and Sideman deluxe. In fact, apart from Paul McCartney, there is no musician who has brought more than 100 million records to customers worldwide, both with a band and as a solo artist. And if you look at the list of those who have secured Collins' services for their own projects, even the ex-Beatle can hardly keep up. The little Englishman became one of the most coveted accomplices of pop, with his stylistic spectrum covering all conceivable varieties of pop, rock, jazz and world music.
His latest live release "ZDF @ Bauhaus" shows Ray Wilson in an intimate atmosphere at the Bauhaus Dessau. The former singer of Stiltskin and Genesis has adapted to the art-historical environment with his performance on April 17 of this year and presented a straightforward unplugged set. On the occasion of his fiftieth birthday on 8 September, the Scotsman then performed at another unusual location, the neo-Romanesque residence palace of his adopted country of Poznan, where he celebrated with fans from all over the world.
eclipsed: How did the appearance in the context of the event series "zdf @ bauhaus" come about?
Ray Wilson: I was on tour and was asked if I could fill in for another band [My Indigo by Within-Temptation singer Sharon den Adel; Note]. So we literally integrated it into the tour plan at the last minute. Everything happened at the last minute, which was part of the magic.
On the back of Genesis' first live album was this little picture of a bold looking man. Below the lines: "This album is dedicated to Richard Macphail who left April, 1973" Hardly any fan knew who it was at that time. Many believed that this man had died. Far from it, Richard Macphail, close friend and tour manager of the early Genesis, is among us. At 68 he has now written down his memories in "My book of Genesis". "Even so people know I'm still alive."
Legend has it that "Haldern Pop" was only founded to bring Peter Gabriel to the Lower Rhine. Richard Macphail is at least the former tour manager of Gabriel and Genesis at the 35th edition of the renowned festival. He is here to present his autobiography (review in this issue). He's in a very good mood. Perhaps also because the conversation takes place in the kitchen of the youth centre in Haldern. Macphail used to cook for Genesis.
eclipsed: How would you describe your role in Genesis?
As a member of Genesis, Tony Banks wrote music history. Thanks to his talent for composition and the innovative use of various keyboard instruments, he left his mark on the group. Since Genesis were only active once after 1998, the Briton increasingly focused on composing orchestral works. In February, he released his third album with classical music, mainly borrowed from the late Romantic period. According to the number of pieces it contains, it bears the simple title "5".
After Phil Collins left the band in 1996, Ray Wilson was Genesis' lead singer for the rest of the nineties. For the only album of this formation, "Calling All Stations", he wrote three songs. He has refined his songwriting qualities on several solo albums. Since then he has transformed his short membership in the band into a live sounding coin by touring with his own Genesis programs ("Genesis Classic", "Genesis Unplugged"). He also sang for Steve Hackett on his "Genesis Revisited" tour.
eclipsed: "Time & Distance is a tribute to your time with Genesis. What is your summary today of your collaboration with Banks and Rutherford?
"'Seconds Out' was a much better record than 'Genesis Live' because we took it seriously as a live album," recalls Tony Banks in the 2006 Oral History "Chapter & Verse". In fact, that first live document, released in 1973, was a child of the strategy of Genesis' label Charisma. And that was: Release a short, inexpensive live album to keep fans interested in the group up to their next studio work, and then send them on tour again with the live record. So two birds could be killed with one stone. Despite this somewhat windy business conduct, "Live" was qualitatively anything but a quick fix. The band around the theatrical frontman Peter Gabriel had deliberately focused on their more aggressive side, which opened up a new audience for them. In addition the singer had written a fascinating surreal short story, which Charisma printed on the backcover of the LP. But it was a single album, and five songs hardly represented a complete concert even with a progressive rock band.
Progressive, soulful pop at its best is what Mike Rutherford and his Mechanics present at their latest studio work "Let Me Fly". The Genesis-bassist/guitarist Rutherford (66) and singer Andrew Roachford (52) are also in a splendid mood when they talk about the current work.
eclipsed: Mechanics has been around for 32 years. The eighth album has just been released. How has this project initiated by you changed over the decades?
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eclipsed is a music magazine based in Aschaffenburg and has been on the German market since 2000. It is aimed at friends of sophisticated rock music who want to go on a new acoustic voyage of discovery month after month.
eclipsed deals in detail with the rock greats of the 60s and 70s in the areas of art rock, prog, psychedelic, blues, classic, hard rock and much more as well as with the current scene in these areas.