Genesis interview: ‘We were hated’


They’re the rock pioneers who sold 130 million records. But they also spent years fighting snobby critics – and each


other. Are Genesis finally getting along?

In the mid-Seventies, when Genesis were ­reaching the heights of their theatrical pomp, singer Peter Gabriel’s outfits often threatened to steal the show. “I was always afraid that these guys would start arguing about any of the visual costumes bits that I was trying to do,” says the man famous for performing dressed as a flower, angel, begowned woman, or some combination of all three. “So I would smuggle it in as late as possible when they were so preoccupied with getting everything else sorted that I could get away with whatever s— was in my head.”

“These guys” are keyboard player Tony Banks and guitarist Mike Rutherford, his Charterhouse schoolmates with whom he formed the band in 1967; Phil Collins, the grammar school pupil and drama student from west London who joined on drums in 1970; and Steve Hackett, the guitarist who followed Collins into the line-up five months later, having placed an advertisement in Melody Maker seeking “musicians who are determined to strive beyond existing stagnant forms”.

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