On 14 January 1971, Steve Hackett played his first gig with Genesis at University College, London. It was not the best start for the guitarist. In this blog post we take a look at this day in Genesis history!
When Steve joined the band in late 1970, Phil Collins had already been in the band for a few months. Up to that point, Genesis had performed as four piece for some time: Tony Banks on keyboards, Mike Rutherford on guitar and bass, Phil Collins on drums and Peter Gabriel on vocals. They were used to playing live. Phil had established his role as the drummer and thefore as the backbone of the band.
So Steve was quite nervous when the first gig with him came. On 14 January 1971 the band played at University College in London. The guys came in the afternoon. The stage was set up, they did a soundcheck and had something to eat and a few drinks.
Phil decided to test the rule of how many Newcastle Brown Ales you could drink and still play the drums
Unfortunately on this evening, Phil decided to test the rule of how many Newcastle Brown Ales you could drink and still play the drums. He remembers in his autobiography Not Dead Yet: The Memoir*: “Our stage time is later than advertised so I pass the time by sinking a few Newcastle Browns. By the time we’re onstage, I’m all over the place, literally. I do all the right fills but do them in three inches to the right of each drum. Forget air-guitar, this is air-drums” (p. 102).
For nervous Steve, the whole gig was a nightmare. Not only because of Phil, but also because the usual equipment problems of the early Genesis days kicked in, when his fuzzbox did not work properly.
The usual equipment problems of the early Genesis days kicked in
After the show he thought that he had failed and the others did not want him in the group. He heard Tony Banks and Mike Rutherford arguing with Phil backstage and thought it was about him. Of course they gave Phil a hard time because of his performance!
Although this certainly was not the best first gig for Steve, the audiences were happy with the gig and the band wanted him to stay. They liked his contribution and played more gigs throughout the year and recorded their first album together, “Nursery Cryme“*. But that’s another story in Genesis history.
Title photo: Wikimedia Commons, Jeff Wurstner / CC BY (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0)
About Philipp Röttgers
Philipp Röttgers is a music journalist and an absolute expert on the band. He released a book “Two eras of Genesis?: The development of a rock band” in 2015 and interviewed band members and people connected to the band.
Find out everything about Philipp’s favourite group. Genesis is a British rock band and one of the most successful groups in the world. Their hits include “That’s All”, “Invisible Touch” and “I Can’t Dance”. The group consists of Phil Collins (vocals, drums), Mike Rutherford (guitars, bass) and Tony Banks (keyboards). This blog contains news, reviews and glimpses into Genesis’ history.
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