Genesis

ARTICLE ABOUT Genesis FROM New Musical Express, May 15, 1976

Quite incredible to think that Phil Collins as a 25-year old was on his fifth American tour. Amazing! Personally, I didn`t even know what to do with my life at that age. But I guess it is easier when you have a lot of talent, meet the right people at the right time and live in exactly the right place. And more. Because there are a lot of stars that need to align for this to happen to anyone.
Certainly an interesting article to read, so enjoy!

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Can little people rock `n` roll?

The Great Sequel to Can Public School Boys Rock`n`roll?

With reference to GENESIS, Prof. STEVE CLARKE answers a question that`s been worrying the diminutive all the world over.

It`s all a question of size, really. Seems that almost everywhere you go in America there`s the biggest something or other. Take New Orleans for instance, the deep, deep heart of Dixie, which boasts America`s, or quite possibly the world`s, biggest indoor sports complex, the Super-dome – a building that outsizes Houston`s Astro-dome by several square-feet or whatever.
Move up several states north to St Louis (the `s` is stressed), Missouri, the very centre of America itself, where the old Mississippi (itself high in longest-river chart) seems omnipresent and you`re confronted with what is apparently the world`s largest manmade structure – an absurd arch which straddles the riverfront like the perimeter of some gargantuan disembodied spoon.
The Arch is monstrously pointless, other than being a tourist attraction and symbolic of the city`s geographical position as “Gateway To The West”.
St Louis also has the world`s largest Holiday Inn complex, a minute part of which is being occupied tonight, this Thursday in late April, by Genesis, that most English of English rock bands who`re approximately two thirds of the way through their fifth American tour and not a little knackered.
And just continuing this bit about size, brings us to Phil Collins, whose amazing transformation from Drummer With The Group to Lead Singer on their last album, “A Trick Of The Tail”, represented something of a triumph for the little guy.
Collins` physical stature cuts a radical contrast with the St Louis Arch and everything (and isn`t everything?) big in America.
Moreover he`s no punk, like the other little guys in rock, but a 25 year-old musician with an extremely endearing temperament.

I remember my first, rather uncomfortable meeting with Genesis two or so years back when I wrongly came away with the impression that the boys in the band were, with the exception of Honest Phil, somewhat coldly diffident individuals. Others in the music biz would agree, saying, “Oh Phil, yeah, he`s all right.”
When I bump into Collins in a lift (or should I say elevator?) in the world`s biggest Holiday Inn complex, he`s genuinely friendly and in the absence of an on-the-road publicist (no-one`s trying to hype Genesis, never have and never will) it`s the drummer who hospitalitises me.
But to get down to business, can Phil crack it onstage as a singer, and more pertinently, as a front-man? Like I said, he is a little guy with a likeable, if basically anonymous face. Peter Gabriel, he isn`t.
Moreover, the group`s decision to have Phil sing in front of them was more one of expedience than anything else. Going back to last autumn and the recording of “A Trick Of The Tail”, Collins was down to sing a mere two acoustic songs, and as far as singing on the heavier numbers he was an unknown quantity.
Since joining the group in `71, Collins had always sang back-up to Gabriel on album and onstage – singing along live even when his vocals weren`t miked up to the PA. On Genesis`s 1973 album, “Selling England By The Pound”, he sang lead on his pretty, acoustic song “More Fool Me” which was also featured onstage.
After some 400 applicants for the job of Gabriel`s successor brought no joy, Collins thought it was about time he had a go at singing all of the album. “It was very frustrating,” he says. “I was singing and teaching them and none of them were coming up to scratch. We even went into the studio without a singer. It got to the point where we had to do `Squonk` (the album`s heaviest cut) – and I had a go. Obviously it went okay, so we went through the rest of the album.

“At that point we felt very confident. We knew that as far as the studio went we could exist as a four-piece without any hassle.”
The stage was another thing altogether, but with the encouragement of his wife, Phil suggested to the rest of Genesis that he should take care of all the vocals live. They weren`t convinced, but two months later when there was still no sign of anyone to take over on the vocal front, Collins put it to the band again.
This time they acquiesced, and the search for a drummer was on.
Enter Bill Bruford, one of our finest players, late of Yes, Roy Harper`s excellent Trigger, Pavlov`s Dog and National Health. Bruford had first played with Collins in Brand X as a percussionist alongside Collins` drumming – Collins formed Brand X about a year or so ago to play small clubs and pubs when Genesis aren`t on the road.
It was at one of the Brand X rehearsals that Bruford asked Phil how the search for a drummer was going. When Phil told him it wasn`t going well, Bruford wanted to know why he hadn`t been invited to join.
Says Collins: “I didn`t think he`d be into the gig after playing with whom he`s played with.” But after one rehearsal with Genesis, it was obvious that Bill did fit in.
Meanwhile back in St Louis, it`s just turned six in the evening and the temperature has cooled off to the lower 80s. The local FM radio has been persistently advertising a full day`s programme of Simon and Garfunkel for the coming weekend (they don`t believe in doing anything by halves) and tracks from Peter Frampton`s live album dominate the airwaves.
For Genesis it`s sound-check time and Mike Rutherford drives the band to this evening`s gig which is just a few minutes away from the world`s biggest Holiday Inn Complex. A 3,000 seater, it`s called the Ambassador Theatre, and very English it is too, with the kind of rococco splendour I hadn`t associated with American rock gigs. Suits Genesis down to a `t`, it does. It could have been air-freighted straight from London Towne. And probably was.

Genesis are not a huge act wherever they go in the States. Their biggest following is in the North-East and over the border in Canada where, after rehearsals in Texas, they opened this 30-date tour. After four warm-up dates in the Ontario area (“They knew us there, but they didn`t know any tunes,” says Collins) the tour started with two shows at Toronto`s Maple Leaf, a 9,500 seater hockey stadium.
An average sized gig for the tour, which ended in Los Angeles earlier this month, would be 3,500 with the vast majority of gigs having been sold out or almost sold out.
Collins opines thus about why Genesis are Big In Canada: “I think it`s because they follow European taste. When you`re there you could well be in Europe. I don`t actually like playing there because it`s like playing Europe. And I don`t like playing Europe.
“As far as album sales go, their penultimate “The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway” made the top 40 and while “A Trick Of The Tail” has done better, going to number 31 on some album charts. They haven`t as yet had a hit album in America.
This tour is very much a consolidatory exercise – “putting the full stop at the end of the sentence” as Collins puts it – and when the band return in October, they`ll be playing bigger gigs in several places.
Genesis might be a popular punters group in Canada, but the gigs there this time didn`t pick up ecstatic reviews. Over to Collins: “I thought we were really good. No way did I think we were bad, but the reviews sounded as if they were written by people who prefered the other show. They called us mediocre. Actually, I had a very down period at the beginning of the tour.
“I thought I was doing right, but I wasn`t sure because the only important feedback, apart from the audience reaction, was that I was weak. They (the press) said the music was okay, but that we`d definitely lost a singer. But in one place we knew for a fact that a paper had sent a gardening expert – I`m not joking. They sent a gardening expert to cover the show because the music correspondent was ill.

“This person reviewed the gig and I kind of started to love the idea of ignoring reviews.
“In the past I`ve always been an avid reader of our reviews. `The Lamb Lies Down` had some bad ones when we started. We played our first date in Chicago and the album hadn`t even come out yet. We got some awful reviews…
“The guy who reviewed us in Montreal this time said he was into James Brown. We expected a bad review from him and we got one.”
The Ambassador apparently isn`t sold-out, but looking around the theatre you could have fooled me. The audience is predominantly white, but there are more blacks than you`d expect for a Genesis gig, and the black guy in his late teens sitting next to me is well excited at the prospect of seeing the band.
Missouri as a state is neither north or south sociologically speaking – in the Civil War they couldn`t make up their mind which side to take and ended up on the fence.
The audience are a mixed bunch, some long-hairs, some short-hairs and there`s one guy who sits over to my left who`s most definitely got it right – with the following printed on his white T-shirt; Fuck the Bicentenary. Easily the funniest thing I`ve seen all week and in welcome contrast to the patriotic banners in the world`s biggest Holiday Inn Complex`s drug store which proclaim 200 years of freedom and democracy.
There is no support act and when Genesis take the stage around 8.30 they stay there for the next two hours and more. Collins has said that Gabriel`s departure has subconsciously lifted a weight off the band`s shoulders and everybody in the band will come over as more of a personality. And no-one is pressuring him to be another Gabriel.
And that`s how it appears as the gig gets under way, even though a little of the natural reserve common to Steve Hackett, Rutherford and Tony Banks transfers itself to the stage.

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Collins, of course, is as different a front-man from Gabriel as Paul Rodgers is from Mick Jagger (no parallels intended), other than in his voice. His phrasing is almost identical to the Big G`s, but his voice lacks the breadth and power. However, the way he makes Genesis a much more human band more than makes up for it.
Phil Collins, quite simply, makes Genesis more accessible – to this writer at least. He has presence – amazingly enough, when you consider the man physically, but whereas Gabriel was always something of an awesome figure (maybe sublime is a better word) Collins is much more touchable.
Like the rest of the band (excluding Bruford, but that`s something else again), Collins is tastefully dressed. He wears sharply pressed cream pants and a tastefully coloured T shirt. Rutherford, Banks and Hackett, the latter of whom, in a loose fitting white blouse and with pants tucked into his boots, comes on like some ever-so slightly degenerate 18th century cleric, are also tastefully dressed.
Rutherford also has stage presence now – his entire visage fixed in a splendid expression of upper-middleclass suppressed sarcasm. There`s definitely something of the John Cleese about this fellow.
What`s more, Hackett no longer sits down all the time. He stands up for at least half the set. He doesn`t move much, though. You don`t expect miracles, do you? But he does come up-front to introduce his song – the very excellent, ethereal “Entangled” from the last album.
Likewise Rutherford, who introduces some song or other.
Collins is a bodyful of energy on stage. He runs, sometimes on the spot in mock keep-fit type movements and sometimes from the mike out-front to his drum-kit, larger than Bruford`s and stage left. He scampers, leaps, scurries, feigns a ballet-dance and pirouettes all over the place. He uses hand-movements and facial expressions to bring over the point of the song.

For “Robbery Assault And Battery” he puts on a cloth cap and an oversized coat and becomes the small-time working class rogue the song portrays.
His only other costume change is a white smock which he puts on for another song, the title of which I`ve unfortunately forgotten.
Visually and musically this Genesis is excellent. Throughout their lengthy set they continually demonstrate the musical and compositional skills that have made them a first division band.
Their melodic flair comes across in songs like “White Mountain”, “Supper`s Ready” (which fulfils all its promise) and so many other songs which got lost in the pure enjoyment of it all.
The dynamics of their music is quite staggering and each musician plays his chosen instrument with a rare degree of technical prowess and taste. Nothing is overplayed or under-done. Everything is constantly creative and imaginative.
Yes, I liked them.
Slides, movies, graphics and cartoons are used throughout and are always totally in sympathy with the music. They make, say, the Floyd`s attempts at similar visual presentation techniques look silly by comparison. Ocassionally the visuals are a little too obvious, but even then acceptably so.
Apart from the numbers mentioned above, Genesis`s set also included “Dance On A Volcano”, “Squonk”, and “Los Endos” from “A Trick Of The Tail”, the title cut from “The Lamb Lies Down”, plus “Carpet Crawler” and “It” from the same album.
The latter segued into “Watcher Of The Skies” for the encore. There`s also the band`s only British hit “I Know What I Like (In Your Wardrobe)”, “Cinema Show” and “Firth Of Forth”.

Those of you who`ve bought tickets for the band`s sold-out five days at Hammersmith Odeon in June are in for the proverbial treat. Really.
Apart from the back projections, actual smoke belched from the stage for the climax of “Supper`s Ready”. That might have been a little over-done, but, `struth, at least it wasn`t dry ice.
Backstage Rutherford is quite euphoric, explaining that if he seemed a little pissed off earlier it was because the lazer wasn`t working. Laser? Isn`t that old-hat from The Who and Zeppelin? Ah, he says, the Genesis laser is different, and doesn`t merely project a static beam of light (or lights) across the auditorium. It`s much more flexible, and, they say, spectacular.
Hackett is maintaining his seemingly impregnable shyness, but when I tell him I think Genesis are a much better band for Gabriel`s going, he agrees. Gabriel sent the band a well-wishing telegram for the tour`s opening night, but still hasn`t seen them.
Banks and Rutherford are with the ladies. The excellent Bruford (damn, I`ve forgot to tell you how good he was. Still, you probably guessed) is swathed in towels, as is Collins who seems remarkably fresh after such an energetic performance.
The promoter has laid on Chinese food for all and there`s no madness. Genesis are well behaved. Didn`t you know that already? Back to the world`s largest Holiday Inn complex, where each group member retires to his own room. I go and see Phil with tape in hand. His wife and baby are in the bedroom of his suite.
Apparently his biggest worry about fronting the band was being incapable of talking to the audience, but that`s okay now. He does say he`ll keep himself just a shade more together before going on, but his new role hasn`t changed things that much at all.

“I don`t actually find it more tiring,” he says. “I`ve lost a lot of weight on this tour. Actually, I`d rather go back and play the drums than go off stage and have a drink. I`m still a drummer.
“I don`t consider myself the lead singer. I feel I have more leeway to do what I want being a drummer first, because people don`t expect a supercool, super-slick guy. They expect someone who`s just a guy and that makes it a lot easier.
“It makes me feel a lot more comfortable. I`m more excited by Genesis now `cause I can get more out of it. There were always songs that I would have loved to have sung. That`s probably why I sang along with Peter onstage. Some people might think I was sitting there plotting behind the drum-kit to get rid of the lead singer so I can take over, but that`s ridiculous.”
So does he think Genesis are a better band?
He cops out by saying, “It seems to be more musical, but maybe that`s because we`ve got Bill in the group. I have an awful lot of respect for what he does.”
Although Bruford has no thoughts of joining Genesis as a full-time member, Collins hopes he`ll be with them for their October US tour.
“I think he treats us the same way he treated Roy Harper and National Health. Bill appreciates that we`re about songs rather than techniques or solos (onstage there are few solos). I`d like to keep him into it but I realise he hasn`t got much to gain out of it. I want to make sure he`s happy musically. He seems to be.”

Collins onstage definitely becomes something of an actor and it doesn`t surprise me when he tells me that much of his childhood was spent in the theatre as a child-actor. He`s played the part of the artful dodger in Oliver, which maybe accounts for his fine performance during “Robbery Assault And Battery”.
“I`ve been on the stage in one form or other from the age of six until about 16 or 17. I feel quite comfortable in a costume like that. All the other times I feel just like a singer.
“That`s all I want to do – sing. So I try and use as much of the body and face but without actually going as far as putting anything on”.
Regarding the back-projections the group are self-critical, “We get qualms every now and then about them being like French movies, a bit electric cinema.
“Some of the film sequences weren`t as good as we hoped they`d be, things like `Entangled`, which are abstract are probably better.”
It must cost a lot to organise all that, particularly as they`re specially filmed?
“I couldn`t honestly tell you. You become immune to those sort of costs. I wouldn`t know how much a hotel room is. I don`t know how much we earn tonight. When you come to think about it, it must be somewhere between five and ten thousand dollars” – he pauses to re-collect his thoughts – “I`ve no idea… This could be a cheap gig. It could be a real expensive gig. We don`t plan to make money off our live performances. This tour might make a slight profit. Up until `The Lamb` we were writing off a debt.
“No sooner are we out of debt than there`s a tax problem. There`s no inbetween, so in effect we`ll only be as well off as we were three years ago earning 90 quid a week or something.”

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Never heard of “Strapps”, but I like their promotional material.

I have personally transcribed this from the original paper. Any errors in the text from the original magazine may not have been corrected for the sake of accuracy. If you have a music-related web-page where this fits – please make a link to the article. With credits to the original writer of the article from all of us music fans!

This number of New Musical Express also contains articles/interviews with these people: Pink Floyd, David Bowie, Ramones, Ian Hunter, Erich Von Daniken, Eric Carmen, Elton John, Nils Lofgren, Stanley Clarke.

The original music paper this article came from (pictured at the top) is for sale!

1. Send me an e-mail if you are interested. Send it to: geirmykl@gmail.com
2. The offer should be 15 $ (US Dollars) to be considered. (This includes postage).
3. We conduct the transaction through my verified Paypal account for the safety of both parties.

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ARTICLE ABOUT Bill Bruford (Genesis) FROM New Musical Express, May 1, 1976

The very excellent drummer Bill Bruford gives the impression of being a very down to earth kind of guy in this interesting interview from the time when he kept the rhythm for Genesis.

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Portrait of the drummer as a seeker after truth not wearing a shirt

The shirt has nothing to do with it. The philosophical bit has. You are looking at a man who renounced BIG MONEY (i.e. Yes) for ART… and now shows cavalier disdain for all potential Solid Gold Drum Stool Awards. BILL BRUFORD, currently gigging with GENESIS, tells CHRIS SALEWICZ why.

Are you quite sure that you`re definitely not joining Genesis full-time?
“Yes.”
What if they asked you nicely? Would you join them then?
Bill Bruford shakes his head in a most positively negative way: “No. No, I couldn`t.”
Because it does sometimes happen that a new musician is brought in for a tour – as you have been for the Genesis US and European jaunt – and is then sussed out by the band and if they like him then he stays.
This is rather what those publicity shots of you and Genesis drummer-in-residence Phil Collins smack of to me.
“No. If Genesis asked me to join them full-time, I couldn`t because I would lose my sense of inquiry if I did. And it`s not the place for me. It does, however, get me to America which is what I want to do. It gets me playing on big stages, which I love doing, and so forth.
“But full-time? No.
“Not, incidentally, that they would want me to either. Because they also appreciate, I think, that I`d probably rock the boat too much and scream and shout and generally get in the way of their very concise idea of what they want to do.”
Right, it goes like this: Bill Bruford, top thinking person`s percussionist and the only King Crimson drummer seen to actually smile on stage, gets a call late last autumn from Phil Collins, Genesis drummer and vocalist now that the band is Gabriel-less.

Collins is in possession of Brand X, a weekend blowing band. (“Brand X is really the player`s kind of escape route from the songwriters, I think, in that playing behind the songs doesn`t entirely give Phil everything that he would like. So he forms Brand X which is a very loose group with not a terrific sense of direction about it so he can air his views elsewhere. And thereby feels all right in Genesis presumably.”)
Would Bill like to come out to play? Yes, please. Bill goes and percusses some four or five times whilst Phil Collins drums. Bill probably gets a certain sense of deja entendu when Collins gets underway: the Phil Collins drumming style has almost certainly had its evolution directed by a thorough earful of Bruford`s playing on assorted Yes records.
Surprise, surprise: Bill Bruford is now percussing and drumming with Genesis on their current tour, thus enabling Collins to take the vocal parts up at stage centre.
Did Collins have this planned all along, you may well ask. Did Bruford spot the footprint of a gigantic hound? Will the audiences at the Genesis concerts be able to tell Flora from Stork?
And so Bruford, aware that he is finally actually Doing Something that warrants a re-statement of his existence to the rock populace at large, gets himself interviewed.
Last summer, I`d bumped into him and suggested a quick C120`s worth. No way. Bill was not actually doing much of great copy-value. He felt it would be demeaning to do an interview of the “Well, I`m getting a band together, aren`t I?” nature. An awareness of the need for selling-points at such occasions is a healthy asset for any rock musician.

It must be said, however, that this Bruford-for-Genesis lark does seem to come close to proving that the man has probably driven himself into a corner by having played with first Yes and then King Crimson.
“Oh dear. The double-edged sword of the track record, that.”
And that this Genesis gig is almost too predictable.
“Well, it certainly covers the English branch of rock,” he nods, stretching out on an exceptionally fire-damaged goatskin rug (mine actually), and ruminates on his gigs since Robert Fripp called the cessation of existence of King Crimson in late summer, 1974:
“I mean, if you throw in Gong, the National Health and Roy Harper” – with all of whom Bruford has boardtrodden during the past 18 months – “that`s a reasonable cross-section of what`s happening here. And if I don`t have any great solutions at the end of that lot I don`t have any great solutions.
“Yeah, it`s funny, that. End of a seven-year twitch in a way.
However, I`m sure that the general conception of Genesis – general conception for the non-afficianado, that is – is that the band is very much in the shadow of Yes.
“Let me tell you,” Bruford scolds, as he presumes incorrectly that I`m speaking only of the US market, “as someone who`s been out on the front, that we tend to lump that kind of English thing together. Well, they don`t necessarily do that at all.
“Genesis get the same manic letters that every band gets – that I got in Yes and I got in King Crimson and I`ll doubtless get in Genesis, about `We think you`re the creators of the universe`. And `you`re the heaviest thing that`s ever happened` and all this nonsense.”

So you obviously don`t think that what they`re doing is Yes-ified?
“They don`t. They certainly don`t.
“But I know they use similar techniques in getting the music together. And – when I was in Yes – quite similar discussions went down about how the music should be created. Yeah, for the purpose of this conversation they`re much of a muchness.
“But the consumer doesn`t see it that way at all.”
Pinteresque pause. And then: “Genesis are actually a Song Group. And quite lightweight at that too. They don`t even like to be considered very `heavy` or anything like that, you know. Songwriters. Very much songwriters.”
As is perhaps half the rock world (sic), Bruford is more than a little amazed that Genesis have not only proved with “Trick Of The Tail” that Peter Gabriel is not necessarily regarded by the band`s devotees as having been synonymous with the band`s name but that they actually appear to be more popular now than they were a year ago when Gabriel remained still a member.
It seems, more than anything, that it`s the prospect of clearing his head of this country and its musical creative barrenness that impelled the percussionist to take the Genesis gig.
“It`ll be good to get back to America. Get re-energised and re-vibed,” he says. “There really is nothing here for musicians – apart from that little National Health axis – who want to play. Which is really what I want to do. I don`t really want to fart around with images and stuff, you know – I`d rather play. And I`m not gonna get a lot of very interesting gigs in England.”

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Bruford was “within pissing distance”, as he so quaintly puts it, of forming his own band last year, “but it got bogged down for various reasons – most of which stem from the fact that you`re 2,000 miles apart.”
Jeff Berlin, the bassist he was enlisting into the band, appears to epitomise the kind of musician he`s been so far unable to come across on the British music scene.
Bruford shrugs his shoulders resignedly. “He`s 22. Four years at Berkeley School Of Music. Plays anything standing on his head. Fantastic bass style. Fantastic bass technique. No complications at all. Where`s the amp? Where`s the gig? Plug me in. I`m away. I`m a jazz musician. I`m a rock musician. No problem at all. Doesn`t think about it. Get in and do it.
“But forming the band was a bit of an uphill struggle,” he laughs, “so rather than force it, I`ll stay loose, keep my nose clean and stay out of trouble.
“Watch, wait, observe and absorb.”
In effect, Bruford has opted out of the game of being a Rock Star. Contrary to what I`d somewhat naively assumed, he has not been coming close to the bread-line. There is obviously something amiss when his management company are very happy indeed that he decided not to form a band as that could have entailed a rather severe tightening of the purse strings.
As it is, there`s always a Pavlov`s Dog around who`ll fly him over the Atlantic so they can find a drummer for their second album.

Actually, Pavlovian kennel-minder supreme Sandy Pearlman is waxing orgasmic about Bruford`s abilities in the current issue of ZigZag. But he`d better watch out. Bruford likes to kiss and tell:
“What happens is you tend to do the thing on the idea that you thought it was anonymous. Or that you were just being hired to play. But, of course, you`re not – because you`re also being hired for your track record, because the group can benefit from your track record as well.
“And the next thing you know, there are journalists sitting about all the time and you`re tacked on to some sort of a group.
“And I don`t think it`s really fair that I should be used that way, you know, so I kinda resent that a bit.”
Having been part of it then having made a conscious decision to opt out of it Bruford is very well aware of what is going haywire with rock`n`roll big business – and thereby with rock`n`roll in general.
Rock`n`roll, you see, isn`t too far removed from the corporate non-thinking that infests most of the world`s financial institutions. And, of course, much that falls into the category of corporate thinking is born of paranoia that the individual decision maker – at all levels throughout the institution – may have his position jeopardised by threatening talent emerging below him.
Hence talent does not always out by any means. This is not profound thinking. Any trained sociologist should be able to tell you that.
Trained sociologist will probably neglect to consider, however, that this trait is as prevalent in the rock`n `roll business as in, say, the Houses Of Parliament.
Tell me, Bill, where are all the 19 to 22-year-old talented rock musicians?
“I think that`s been fixed by the wealthy rockers, you know, who`ve cut themselves a slice of the action and want to keep everybody else out of it – even if it`s only buying PA systems that kids can`t afford, you know.

“We`ve got a nice slice of the action and everybody else who didn`t make it before the gates closed… Well, it`s tough shit.
“There was a particularly sunny vibe when everybody was playing instruments in about 1968, 1969. And people were beginning to get rich and everybody had a record contract, you know. And that`s all ended.
“There was a very sunny few years when the Chris Squires of this world got rich. And they can count their chickens that they lived at that time – because in very few other times would they have been so lucky, I think.
“I expect I`ll go on doing the rounds playing on everybody`s records. I mean, yeah, it`s a career, isn`t it really?
“Perhaps when another five or ten years have elapsed we`ll all have a good second-wind of ideas of what to play among the 35 to 40-year olds. Perhaps I`ll do nothing until around my late 30s.
“I`m trying to hover, you see.”
Yet, of course, you created that problem by leaving Yes.
“Yeah. Deliberately so. Well, that was to avoid getting farmed out and believing that you`re great and that you don`t have to do another day`s work in your life.” When did you first become aware that that was a strong possibility?
“Of being farmed out and bought off? And rendered thoroughly inactive?” Bruford laughs.
“Oh, I dunno. After I joined Crimson. When I realised I would have maybe lost any sting I had in the bass players` commuter belt down the A30.
“It`s an old trick that: so much money about that you daren`t say anything against it.
“But I don`t have any solutions, though. I`m just hovering… trying to get around with some of the better musicians around. Like the National Health. And learn something. See if maybe they`ve got an answer because I haven`t really got an answer.”

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A full page ad in NME for Budgie. Nice one.

I have personally transcribed this from the original paper. Any errors in the text from the original magazine may not have been corrected for the sake of accuracy. If you have a music-related web-page where this fits – please make a link to the article. With credits to the original writer of the article from all of us music fans!

This number of New Musical Express also contains articles/interviews with these people: Buffy Sainte-Marie, Graham Parker, Louis Jordan, Jimi Hendrix, Horace Silver, Jimmy Castor, Nazareth, Rick Wakeman.

The original music paper this article came from (pictured at the top) is for sale!

1. Send me an e-mail if you are interested. Send it to: geirmykl@gmail.com
2. The offer should be 15 $ (US Dollars) to be considered. (This includes postage).
3. We conduct the transaction through my verified Paypal account for the safety of both parties.

ARTICLE ABOUT Phil Collins (Genesis) FROM SOUNDS, March 13, 1976

Just as the NME did, the music paper Sounds also had a regular column for the musicians out there. The column that Sounds did were named “Blowin`” and it is from there this article comes. One for the drummers out there, and especially those of you trying to emulate Genesis. Here you have the name and the size of Phil`s drums! Not too much tech-talk in this one, so it should be readable for other people too.
The journalist, Dave Fudger, also played bass for the punk band Snivelling Shits – a band that also had a couple of his pals from Sounds playing in it, among them a certain Mr. Pete Makowski. Great name for a band by the way!

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Which xciting, xtravagant, xtremely x-rated, xquisitely xtroverted band sends you into flights of xtasy?

By Dave Fudger

Phil Collins, not content with being the rhytmic mainstay and now vocalist/frontman with Genesis, likes to spread his talents around. While the world was chewing its nails in troubled anticipation of the future of the band after Peter Gabriel`s departure last year, Mr. Collins was busy.
From the summer up until November Phil`s wide percussive talents were being applied to eight albums including the new Argent album, Eno`s `Another Green World`, John Cale`s `Helen Of Troy`, `Peter & The Wolf`, the Tommy Bolin album as well as `Trick Of The Trail`. He also contributed to two film soundtracks – one, `Operation Daybreak`, is currently doing the ABC circuit.
On top of all this stuff, apart from rehearsing the new four-piece Genesis he has been taking out on the road an adventurous instrumental jazz-rock combo, Brand X, which demands from the man a totally different role from his part in Genesis.
Collins names influences that include Billy Cobham, Harvey Mason, Steve Gadd and Tony Williams. These influences are amply evidenced in the exciting direction that Phil`s playing and the music of Brand X are taking.
Phil explains the cause and effect of his `other` full-time musical departure:
“Well it started around Christmas `74. A friend of mine who was working at Island Records at that time said to me `Do you want to come down and have a blow with a group? They need a drummer,` and I wasn`t thinking of leaving Genesis, really. But I wasn`t pushing myself with Genesis like I wanted to and this seemed like a good idea.
“So I went down and had a blow with the guys.

“At that time it was a five-piece group and the drummer would have been the sixth guy. There was a singer who played percussion, two guitarists, and a keyboard player and myself; oh, and Percy on bass. They were basically doing songs, funky songs, and they had a deal with Island Records and I started having a blow with them and it really worked well.
“We got together quite regularly to rehearse, to do an album. They knew that I was in Genesis and they knew that nothing could really come of it.
“Anyway, we made this album and the backing tracks were great but I don`t think that Island really liked the vocalist. He`s a friend of mine and I don`t want to say too much on the hard side about him but he was probably the weak link in the group.
“Island decided not to release that album, so we decided to go back and write some more material. But at this time there was a split in the group. There was the four of us who are now in Brand X veering towards the more instrumental, adventurous things and Pete (the old second guitarist) and Phil, the singer they wanted to write songs.
“I think basically we`d like to be thought of as session musicians that come together as often as possible, but it has to be fitted in with the Genesis commitments.”

I put it to Phil that when this interview was originally mooted his publicist, to give weight to the idea, proposed that Phil was in fact playing in two full-time bands prompting visions of Mr Collins tearing from Genesis gig to Brand X gig.
“Well I am in as much as when Brand X is on the road it`s full-time. Genesis, since November when we finished the album, have been pretty inactive. We did a few weeks rehearsing, for the tour, in January but apart from that and a few press things there`s been a bit of inactivity. So at that point we decided to get a few Brand X dates in.
“We`ve done about twelve dates, I suppose. But we won`t be playing again until May. The band, God willing, will stay together. Percy, Rob and John have got things to do while I`m away with Genesis. They`ll write some new material and providing the album comes out we`ll record it, in fact we`ve got most of it already.”
Anyone fortune enough to have caught any of Brand X`s gigs will have heard this new material which for the uninitiated will come as quite a surprise as it`s just about as far from Genesis as you can get – tight, punchy jazz-rock instrumentals, leaning heavily on Percy Jones` fretless bass mastery and Phil`s high-speed precision to cue the changes in the arrangements.
Being essentially a non-vocal concept Brand X is a far more rythmically based operation than Genesis and consequently Phil utilises different technique and equipment with the band to the requirements of Genesis.

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“Well, I think with Genesis in the future I`m going to keep it as loose as I do with Brand X, in terms of what I use. I`ve got two kits – one is a Premier kit and the other is a Gretsch kit. The Premier I use for stage work with Genesis. It sounds good but the Gretsch one I feel more personal with and so feel more at home with it on music that is more experimental.
“The Premier kit is the Kenny Clare outfit which has got double shells and there`s a 20X15 bass drum, 14X5 snare drum, wooden, and 12X8, 13X9, 14X14, 16X16 tom-toms. On the Gretsch kit there`s a Gretsch 20×15 bass drum, a Premier 12X8 tom-tom and 13X9, 14X14, 16X16 Gretsch tom-toms.
“I`ve also got a custom-built perspex snare drum which is 14X6 1/2 which was built for a friend of mine. The cymbals, I`ve got a deal with Paiste and I`ve just recently got a couple of sets, but I`ve also got some old Zildjians so I kind of use what I feel like at the time. But I`ve got a range from the four-inch Chinese gong up to the 26-inch sizzle. So I`ve got a cross-section of the kinds of cymbals that I`m likely to need.
The pedals I use are Speed Kings. I`ve never used anything else. I`ve tried changing recently to something that I thought might be faster. I tried using these Japanese pedals which Percussion Services are changing to have chains on instead of the leather straps but they didn`t really suit me.
“I`ve been playing with Speed Kings since I was 15 and I changed to try and get better but I wasn`t getting any better. I`ve got Slingerland hi-hat pedals, which are the best that I`ve tried.

“The timbales that I`ve been using are Slingerland – a 13-inch and a 14-inch, and a 14-inch and a 16-inch Shaftesbury cos they`re the only ones that I could get that were that big. I`ve been trying to get someone to make 16-inch metal timbales because I reckon they`ll be incredible.
“I`ve got a lot of stuff from Premier. I`ve got a set of vibes and tubular bells – they`re very good, they`ve got a very good service. Premier had a sort of face-lift two or three years ago, and Eddie Haynes, who`s the promotions manager is very good.
“I use the Gretsch kit in the studio, and on the Eno album and all the Genesis albums. I`ve never had any damping on the kit for recording. The tom-toms are live, tuned really tight, and I`ve got the see-through heads, I used to use the black dot ones and I got hold of some that are completely clear and they sound like deep timbale which is the kind of sound I like. When you go round the kit when you do a roll they sound like a tuned instrument.
“So I just have the drums without any damping at all in the studio and that`s including the snare drum; the bass drum usually has something in it. The see-through heads are very bright and that`s the sound I like.
“I tend to throw myself around a bit more with Brand X but, with Genesis I`m more disciplined because there are things like `Reliant` where I have to do certain cues at a certain pace and it`s a different kind of game.”

With his changed role in Genesis, following the departure of Peter Gabriel, Phil will now have the responsibility of fitting another drummer into the established Genesis constitution.
“It`s hard really because some of the songs we`ve been doing for three or four years and it`s hard to imagine them in a different vein. We`re not really up-dating the old material apart from the odd rearrangement here and there. And whoever the drummer will be they`ll be left to work their own devices as long as it stays within a certain framework.
“I`m not trying to restrict anybody`s style but I want to have the feeling that I don`t want to have to get up there and do it myself and there are only a few drummers that I could let do it.
“I`m probably less bothered about playing drums all the time with Genesis now cos I do have sessions and I do have Brand X. I still want to be thought of as a drummer. I`m still going to be playing the more demanding pieces like `Cinema Show` and `Los Endos` from the new album.
“For things like that which are basically instrumental tunes I`ll be nipping back and playing my kit and whoever it is will be percussing or playing with me. I will be a front man but I want to do it in a drummer`s way not in a sort of sexy singer`s way.”

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I have personally transcribed this from the original paper. Any errors in the text from the original magazine may not have been corrected for the sake of accuracy. If you have a music-related web-page where this fits – please make a link to the article. With credits to the original writer of the article from all of us music fans!

This number of Sounds also contains articles/interviews with these people: Evelyn Thomas & Ian Levine, Shaun Cassidy, Jimmy Page, Cate Brothers, Julie Tippetts, Adam Faith, Pat Travers, Yes, Jesse Winchester, Deep Purple.

The original music paper this article came from (pictured at the top) is for sale!

1. Send me an e-mail if you are interested. Send it to: geirmykl@gmail.com
2. The offer should be 15 $ (US Dollars) to be considered. (This includes postage).
3. We conduct the transaction through my verified Paypal account for the safety of both parties.

ARTICLE ABOUT Steve Hackett from New Musical Express, October 25, 1975

It must be frustrating to release a solo album and all what the journalists wants to know is: “How about your other band?”
Such is life when you play in one of the biggest bands around – you will never be bigger than the band. Even though it may be up for debate whether Phil Collins became bigger than Genesis was for a little while there.
As a Norwegian, I often wonder what would have happened if our “own” Mr. Jahn Teigen had accepted the bands invitation for him to try out as a vocalist. We often speculate about this in Norway, as Teigen was a very theatrical minded person with a voice that could handle almost everything from ballads to rock to opera and so on… What if?
Enjoy this one.

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Are you ready for a concept LP about the Tarot?

You mean, you never heard of the Major Arcana?
Well, Steve Hackett has. Which means that
Steve Clarke has as well. Now it`s your turn.

Four hundred applications later and Genesis still haven`t found a replacement for Peter Gabriel.
Or have they? Seems the band`s guitarist – Steve Hackett, up at 128 Long Acre essentially to rap about his just-released solo album “Voyage Of The Acolyte” – is being a little, er, shall we say evasive about the whole affair…
“There could be someone,” he hedges, sipping at a papercupful of Long Acre coffee, perhaps thinking of Just How Many Beans He Should Spill. “We haven`t definitely decided on somebody but someone is under consideration. It wouldn`t be fair to him to build it up.”
Naturally therefore, Hackett refuses to give away the name of the prime contender, merely stating that the man is at present working with another band and it`s unlikely that any of us would have heard of him anyway.
It`s not Jon Anderson, if you know what I mean.
The main problem, it seems, in finding a replacement for Gabriel is in coming across a singer who displays a diversity of vocal styles the way Gabriel did. “We`re not looking for a replacement As Such. We`re not looking for a singer with the same vocal style. Peter had a number of different voices and it`s not easy to find a singer like that.”

How about 15 different singers?
Undeterred, Hackett says there won`t be an official announcement as to who is actually replacing Gabriel until the end of the year. Meantime, the four-piece band are heavily into recording the Next Genesis Album, each group member contributing to the material and to the singing. Is this L.P. a major departure?
No, says Hackett, it`s still recognisable as Genesis. “The number of people who`ve come in and heard it say it sounds very Genesis. It`s a popular misconception that Peter was entirely responsible for our material; whereas it was only on the last album that Peter wrote all the lyrics.
“Also, Peter used to pull humour out of the band. The rest of us are trying to do that now. It would be an awful drag if the band became bogged down entirely with serious music. In the past that was offset by Peter`s silliness.”
Hackett says that Gabriel`s going will have its biggest effect not in terms of Genesis`s music, but with regard to their stage show. Yes, they will continue to be a presentation-conscious band. And it`s possible that a number of people will augment the band on stage to make up for Gabriel.

On their last tour the slides which acted as a back-drop to the band were based entirely on Gabriel`s lyrics and Gabriel`s costumes were his own ideas. The slides were, however, designed by an Amsterdam-based artist, Geoffrey Shore, who`ll more than likely collaborate with Genesis for their next series of tours – which won`t be until Spring, O punters.
Hackett says the band are interested in using moving pictures on stage. “We wouldn`t want it to become dependent on one thing visually,” says Hackett. “It will go through as many changes as the music.
“We could never only get up onstage with three Marshall stacks and get on with it. We wouldn`t like to do that. There have been exceptions in the past when our equipment has broken down and we`ve had to go on and just play. It`s not that we`re entirely dependent on the props, it`s just that some of the music is difficult to digest and this is offset by the way we present it.”
So far there is no title for the next album, but as things look at the moment, one side will feature an entire piece while the other side will be made up of shorter songs. Hackett emphasises there`s no shortgage of material. We didn`t really think there was.

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Now to the official interview. Hackett`s own album was recorded over a month, includes material which dates back to pre-Genesis days and is by no means a guitar album.
“I feel no more close to the guitar than I do to any other instrument. On the album I dabbled around with keyboards. I hadn`t played keyboards before and it was almost like how you would compose a sentence in foreign language. I`d learn a chord shape that sounded nice. I wouldn`t be fluent but it would sound convincing.
“The only instrument I`m proficient in to any extent is the guitar.”
So why did he make the album? “That`s the hardest question of all. I didn`t feel obliged to make it. I really wanted to make an album. I`d written songs for various instruments. I`d written a song for a lady to sing” (Mike Oldfield`s sister Sally sings one song on the elpee), “I`d wanted to produce, I wanted to see if I could rely on myself. Every musician feels that. I got a lot of pleasure out of doing it.
“The thing started out as a gamble, but just about everything came off, except for a couple of things which didn`t.”
So is it a rock album? “I`d say the first track is a rock song with a few things thrown in which don`t fit in with rock. I wouldn`t say that the album owed any more to rock than any other form of music.
“I don`t know what rock music is. I`ve always associated it with Elvis Presley.
“It (the album) doesn`t have much to do with that – it`s too pastoral and yet…in places there`s that drive and urgency.

“I grew up on The Stones and Bach. I used to copy Keith Richard`s early solos note for note; at the time I didn`t know that the two bore any resemblance to each other. It makes perfect sense to me now, putting the two together in some numbers.
“I should think a rock audience would be able to get into it.
“I wouldn`t say `Tubular Bells` was rock music.”
Neither would a lot of us, old sport. Mind you, I wonder if Hackett subscribes to the point of view that symphonic-rock actually widens the boundaries of rock. “It`s a more eclectic music. It`s widening the boundaries of classical music more than rock. It`s got a really long way to go.”
Not unsurprisingly `Tubular Bells` dips into the conversation again. Hackett can understand why people liked it so much, “It`s a very pleasant album which doesn`t jar too much dynamically. If you`re holding a conversation, `Tubular Bells` wouldn`t interrupt it. If you take the most successful albums over the last two years, `Tubular Bells` and `Dark Side Of The Moon`, they don`t have those vast dynamic ranges. I don`t want to say it`s high class muzak but it`s approaching that.

“Me, I don`t feel happy making background music. I hope people will listen to my album at least once, really listen,” he emphasises. “You couldn`t hold an unbroken conversation while its playing. Neither could you to a Genesis album. We require more from an audience point of view than Mike Oldfield or the Pink Floyd both in terms of selectivity and why they listen.”
Finally the conversation reverts back to Hackett`s own album – which, as it turns out, was inspired to a certain extent by The Tarot, “I`m into it, but I`m not preaching the gospel, quote. There`s a track called `Star Of Sirius` on the album which is a very good card to get since it`s optimistic. Therefore the song is very poppy. Likewise `The Hermit` is introspective-sounding music. I wrote about the cards which came over strongest to me.
“I`m very possessive about the album, just like a parent is about a child. But not everyone`s going to dig it: there`s a universal spirit but there isn`t a universal music.”

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I have personally transcribed this from the original paper and you are free to use it as you like. If you use it on your own webpages – please credit me or put up a link to my blog.

This number of New Musical Express also contains articles/interviews with these people: Black Sabbath, Elton John, David Bowie, Roxy Music, I Roy, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Milt Jackson, Mason, Larry Coryell.

This edition is sold!

ARTICLE ABOUT Genesis from New Musical Express, September 13, 1975

Been a busy week and I was also laid flat for a couple of days by that very dangerous (for us men at least) disease called “Winter Cold”. I was incredibly sick for a while, but now I`m feeling better. So here we go again with a post written in a very special period of time for this band. What to do without Gabriel? The journalist didn`t seem to know that the solution to this problem sat right there in front of him. Really enjoyed reading this quite funny interview. Hope you do too!

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While shock waves of the GENESIS cataclysm still re-echo around the world, we bring you this report direct from the disaster area. And drummer PHIL COLLINS, one of the few men alive today who can fully assess the situation, offers words of assurance to the many, many people who must feel that their very raison d`etre hovers on the brink.

By TONY TYLER.

So Genesis` Peter Gabriel flitted from the popular group on the Friday and by the following Monday Genesis-watchers among the plebiscite were still unaware that The Man in the Papier-mache Mask was re-affirming, in his own published words, “my bondage to cabbages.”
At the same time – and on the same Monday – news-desks on the Music Weeklies were throbbing with speculation and we-predicted-it-first-so-we`re-not-exactly-caught-bare-assed-isms.
Inky scribes scratched armpits reflectively and murmured, in a 72 pt. trance, EXODUS FROM GENESIS. (“No – too obvious. The opposition are bound to use it.”)… GABRIEL HORNS OUT (“I like it”), finally settling for GABRIEL QUITS GENESIS (“Not exactly John Donne but the point gets across, don`t it?”).
And while Gabriel was horning out or exodising or even quitting Genesis, the other four members, who`d tended to be somewhat overlooked both before and during the Announcement (not to speak of The Letter), were coolly adjusting to their amputated state and putting into effect certain contingency plans drawn up when Gabriel had told his colleagues that, yes, it was Back To The Land For Him.

When did he tell `em? One year ago. SO, PHIL Collins – neatly-bearded and athletic drummer with Genesis, crisply austere Princeling of the Paradiddle – you mean to tell us that for a solid twelvemonth you and Michael Rutherford and Steve Hackett and Tony Banks – not to speak of your record company Top Brass and your own Manager – have been living and working under the shadow of this Departure (or even Exodus?) that during the most important year of your professional lives, cramful of U.S. tours, Eurotours, lauded albums and poll victories et al (not to speak of The Rest), you guys have had this to look forward to?
You mean you`ve been grafting away like coca-leaf-chewing Bolivian peons just waiting for your lead protagonist, ringmaster of kooky effects and composer of stuccoed lyrics to be finally seduced Away From It All by… cabbages?
“Yes.”
Actually, Phil Collins is by no means a taciturn man. Nor is he a gabbler. Sort of somewhere in the middle – but by no means inhibited from letting fly with the verbals when he`s got a ready answer to the question, which he usually – but not always – has. Bless him, he`s taken a tube ride all the way to Long Acre, canvas bag over T-shirted shoulder, just to talk about things with NME. This is absolutely unconnected with the fact that he didn`t go to Public School.

“In fact, Peter first said he was going to be leaving about a year ago, just after `Lamb Lies Down`. I don`t want to go into his reasons too much – he did that himself in the Press last week – but for several reasons he decided to stay on until now.
“Actually, I was planning to leave myself at that time. I didn`t leave either. Neither am I planning to.”
At this point it`s only fair to point out certain minor but important tensions that lie around the circumstances of this interview.
NME – with its aggrieved Gasbag punters (yours sorrowfully – Genesis Freak, Accrington) to think about – is primarily (but by no means exclusively) interested in the circumstances of The Gabriel Split, Genesis` reaction, Genesis` plans (i.e., will there still be a Genesis?) – and most of all Do they Plan To Replace Gabriel And If So How Do They Propose To Swing It?
On the other hand, Genesis` management, and the group themselves, while conceding that public attention is primarily focused on the etceteras above, are also mad keen to promote an image of Unity And Optimism In The Face Of A Long-Foreseen Setback.
So near and yet so far, and so on: Could still be a great life if we don`t weaken. And anyway there`s always the solo albums.

So Phil Collins is gamely and honestly and frankly (he even said “I dunno” when I asked him why Genesis, despite loud and consistent acclaim for their elaborate stage presentation job, had never reflected this in album sales – but more on that later) fielding the Gabriel Questions and simultaneously vibing up a good deal when the conversation swivels over to his own wide-ranging musical projects (which it isn`t going to just yet because we haven`t quite finished with Peter Gabriel).
So what are you fellers going to do? I mean, Gabriel isn`t exactly a forgettable visual experience, is he? You going to secure a replacement or you going to revibe the Act? If so, how?
“Peter`s leaving isn`t the blow that some people seem to think it is,” says Collins. “Like – the Press have always seized upon Peter and sort of pushed him more than everybody else, when really-”
But he was your front man. And he did ascend heavenwards like his demiurgic namesake…and he did address the audience between numbers in a highly idiosyncratic way… and he did write an awful lot of lyrics.
“Not all of them. People have always misunderstood that. Mike and Tony write nearly as much and very much in the same style – it`s a band style of writing, not Peter`s alone; it`s a product of all of us and the fact that we`ve been together for five – ”
Count `em.
“- years. We`ve been auditioning singers just recently, in fact.”

You have? Aha! Who?
“Well, as some of them are in name bands it wouldn`t be fair to say. We`ve tried out quite a lot though. I`ll say this: they could all sing alright; it`s more a question of finding the right combination of voice, personality and stage presence.”
And?
Silence and a deep pull of coffee.
Have you found The Man?
(Sure a lot of coffee in that cup.)
Well, will you attempt to keep The Act as it was so far as you can – and therefore in effect find another PG from the substitutes` bench?
Or will you use the different circumstances, the different mix of personalities (Headmasters` Conference Schools 3, Workies 2) in order to effect certain long-yearned-for but hitherto-unattainable revibings?
In other words, are you keeping it going – if you can – or planning a New Deal?
“We`re planning a tour of England next spring or in the New Year,” says Collins. “And what people will see, I should think, will be very close to what they saw before.”

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I see – so the opportunity to break down the Meccano and construct a new model is being passed over then? You guys are going to stick with the investment? (Which is reported to be pretty substantial, and not yet really covered by albums sales. Face it, silver is OK but gold is better – and when you have a roadshow like Genesis`, absolutely bloody essential.)
In other words, you`re looking for another Peter Gabriel?
Actually, I didn`t ask that. What I did do was light a cheap cigar and pause for thought.
Genesis have been going for about five years, maybe a bit longer. For at least three-fifths of that time they`ve been a massive crowd-puller, a Punters` Delight.
In an era of Symphonic Rock bands gone spare with theatre props and Day-glo Plaster-of-Paris footlight fittings, Genesis`ve held their own with the ELPs and the Yesses, equalled and frequently surpassed the Floyds, and totally blitzed the Barclay James Harvests.
This ferociously assiduous attention to visual detail, carefully cued in with the ornately-varnished lyrics and musical patterns, has been wowing `em in the three-and-nines (pounds, that is) so effortlessly for so long that their election to the Top Slot (Stage Bands) in most major music paper dolls has become as predictable as the 3.10 tide at Wapping Dock.
And during all this they haven`t really got much richer. In fact, if Rumour is to be believed (and the Dame can be problematic alright), the bread sunk in the band by various individuals and companies totals… a fair slice.

Normally, Sympho-rock bands With The Trimmings, expensive tho` they come, can manage to sell such an excess of long-players that with the first six-month audit period the mazuma comes rolling gleefully home to Mama. It happened with ELP, with Yes, with the Fluid, with Tull … but it hasn`t happened with Genesis, whose music is certainly no worse (to say the least) and whose presentation is vastly superior (to say the least).
This is the situation: Genesis don`t sell albums. Not in sufficient quantity, that is. Not in sufficient quantity in America, that is.
Why?
“I dunno,” says Collins, and for a second he looks almost despondent. But it doesn`t last. “I know a lot of musicians don`t get off on the presentation we have,” he says. “Even though they respect us as individual musicians.”
You mean, the sight of Peter Gabriel being hoisted up to Heaven while Tony Banks plays post-psychedelic Hosannas on Hammond doesn`t seem like rock `n` roll to these insensitive guys?
“Well, no … I can understand it to a certain extent, mind you.”
(So can I – but did Genesis ever claim to be playing rock? I don`t recall it.)
MIND YOU, Phil Collins is the last bloke to be worrying about his rock credentials. In fact, his papers are in such good order that a list of his recent sessions reads like a Who`s Who of This Year`s Thing.
I`ll mention no names.

Oh, all right – Eno (new album), John Cale (new album), Dave Hentschell (film score), Eddie Howell (album), Steve Hackett and Michael Rutherford of Genesis (new albums).
Collins himself is currently rehearsing/recording/thinking about composing for no less than three albums: the new Genesis LP, an album by his own second-string interest, a band called (for the time being) Brand X; and The Phil Collins Solo Album.
First, the Genesis album, which does not feature Peter Gabriel.
“We started writing for it right after `The Lamb Lies Down`.” says Collins. “I do most of the singing, actually – there`s just the four of us. We start recording soon… and we may feature one or two singers, as guest vocalists sort of, on a few tracks. And when we next go on the road I should think the concert will be drawn from this new LP`s material.”
Out in the Spring, folks.
“The group I`ve got… well, as soon as Genesis finish rehearsing this afternoon,” (he was en route for Trident Studios as soon as our interview finished). “I`ll be turning right round and going right back in the studio with Brand X.
“They`re all mates of mine, actually.
“We play sort of loose, funky stuff. Very loose. We sound a bit like Lifetime.”

And the solo album?
“I`ll start that later this year. It`s mainly stuff that for one reason or another didn`t make its way into Brand X Songs.”
Not “suites”, or even “movements”?
“Songs.”
Great. But say, isn`t there some danger of spreading yourself – yourselves, come to think of all those other solo LPs – too thin? I mean, shouldn`t all possible musical options be going into Genesis, which could still very definitely pay off with a hit LP? Even though, as yet, it hasn`t?
“I don`t think so. Almost everything any of us write goes to Genesis as first choice. If we all like it, then it gets in the repertoire. If it doesn`t take, it ends up on a solo album. By listening to Mike`s album you`ll be able to isolate his particular contribution to Genesis more clearly, by listening to Steve`s and mine the same.”
Time moves on and studio time don`t come cheap. Tell me, Phil, why didn`t “The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway” Do It in the US? As heavily praised as it was? With Rael and all that spooky sociological stuff? Jungian psychology an` that?

“The trouble was it was a double,” says Collins, with the air of a man who`s thrashed this particular bone of c. out many, many times in private with others more directly concerned. “That album should have been a single and our next could`ve been a double.”
You mean it was a slightly top heavy proposition for the East Coast punters – and a no-hoper for the West Coast, where the group have been far less exposed?
“Yeah.”
A bad move, eh? Tactically, I mean?
“Yeah.”
Do you regard all this as a setback?
“No… I`ve got to say, we`re all very optimistic. It`s a challenge, a different situation.”
You`re going to hang in there, right?
“Right.”
As much like before as you can make it, huh?
“That`s right.”
And in the meantime there`s Brand X, the solo album and all that prestigious and lucrative session work?
“Right.”
Do you think it`ll come to that? You know what I mean…
“Don`t know. Can`t tell. Don`t think so. Hope it won`t. I`m sure it won`t.
“We`re all really very optimistic.”

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I have personally transcribed this from the original paper and you are free to use it as you like. If you use it on your own webpages – please credit me or put up a link to my blog.

This number of New Musical Express also contains articles/interviews with these people: Procul Harum, Suzi Quatro, Andy Pratt, Uriah Heep, Buddy Holly.

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