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Kevin Hagerman
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Posted: 13 March 2007 at 8:03pm | IP Logged | 1 post reply

I miss Steve Hackett a lot when I listen to post-Hackett Genesis.  I think Mike Rutherford, a very good guitarist, didn't assert himself often.  Genesis by 1978 were three people doing five jobs, which meant Phil had two instruments, Mike two, and Tony one - but in implementation, Mike was basically using two instruments but still had only one voice.

I don't think Tony Banks was a domineering type at all - I know he and Hackett had conflicting personalities, but musically I think Hackett was quite content to be subtle.  And that worked for him, because when he DID flex his guitar muscles the impact was more pronounced.  But Mike had trouble rising to the occasion on guitar - and when you're almost always subtle, a better term for it is weak.  He was a major WRITER, of course (damn, it's time to listen to "Man of Our Times" again), and from his solo work I think he was responsible for a lot of the vocal arrangements (the a capella singing at the end of the "Invisible Touch" video?  That was Mike's doing or I'll be damned.).  And his solo stuff shows he can play a mean guitar (after "Man of Our Times" I'll segue into "Hopelessly Waiting in Line" - one of the best musical moments for any Genesis member, whether solo or in the group - it's Mike's equivalent of Phil's drums on "In The Air Tonight")

When I saw the credits for Invisible Touch and Tony was credited with synth bass, I remember thinking Jaysus, Mike's running out of things to do.  Fortunately, it was just for "Land of Confusion", one of the guitar highlights for that album.

 

As for Chester, I think Mike and Tony didn't want at that point to have a third full member.  It was a business decision.  Or I'm wrong and full of poo.

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Gene Best
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Posted: 14 March 2007 at 1:56am | IP Logged | 2 post reply

The one thing I alway noticed post-Duke was the lack of a real guitarist. After Steve left there was no-one there to push the band forward into a musical direction. All the other elements were there, but there was no distinctive, driving guitar voice to bring it all together.

**

Actually, I think Rutherford had a very distinct guitar style/sound - it was just lame.

That wasn't always the case - I found his work on And Then There Were Three (see: Burning Rope, Down and Out) , Duke (Behind the Lines, Man of Our Times, Duke's Travels/Duke's End) and Abacab (title track, Dodo, Like It or Not) actually quite good. 

For the last three albums, however, his sound was this weak and tinny, and his parts were predictable and uninspired (muted arpeggios, finger picking a chord and letting it sustain, etc.)   Having said that, there are some nice guitar moments here and there, but nothing that gives me chills like the guitar solo on Firth of Fifth.

 

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Kevin Hagerman
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Posted: 14 March 2007 at 2:28am | IP Logged | 3 post reply

Lame?  Ooh, that's too harsh.  I need to walk that one off.

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Kevin Hagerman
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Posted: 14 March 2007 at 9:03am | IP Logged | 4 post reply

Favorite Hackett moments

  • The end of "Musical Box"
  • The end of "Fountain of Salmacis"
  • "Ikhnaton and Itsacon and Their Band of Merry Men"
  • The end of "Supper's ready" (especially live, although the ending on the box set is a HORRID overdub that I cannot listen to, preferring the boot I have of the same show)
  • "The Firth of Fifth" solo
  • "The Battle of Epping Forest", especially the end (no one ends a song like Steve!)
  • "Fly on a Windshield"
  • Whatever the hell he is doing during the "..wasted wings..." lyric of "In the Cage"
  • "Hairless Heart"
  • The muscular parts of "Counting Out Time".  But other parts?  I dunno sometimes... (Is that a banjo?)
  • "Squonk"
  • "In That Quiet Earth"
  • "Inside and Out" (How the hell do you cut this song?)


Edited by Kevin Hagerman on 26 March 2008 at 7:00am
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Gene Best
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Posted: 14 March 2007 at 11:51am | IP Logged | 5 post reply

Great stuff, Kevin!

If you can, catch some footage from 72-74.  It's a revelation to see what Hackett was actually playing during some of those songs - truly, I thought Banks was doing some of that atmospheric stuff on keys.

(I'll see if I can locate some on YouTube.)

Re: the "lame" comment ... sorry, I just think Rutherford's sound and style from Genesis (1983) on didn't have any balls.  (And, as I said, was sadly predictable.)

BTW, as a bassist, I think Rutherford has always been profoundly underrated - he had an incredible ear for creating inspired bass lines that held down the bottom end while being wonderfully melodic.  Examples:  Blood on the Rooftops, Please Don't Ask, Get'em Out By Friday, Firth of Fifth ......... I could on and on and on ....

 

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Kevin Hagerman
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Posted: 14 March 2007 at 12:22pm | IP Logged | 6 post reply

Yeah - I'm working on a similar post about Rutherford and it has a lot of bass stuff on it, like "Can-Utility and the Coastliners".  Breathtaking.
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Brian Tait
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Posted: 14 March 2007 at 7:02pm | IP Logged | 7 post reply

Gotta agree about Rutherford.
Not so great when it comes to the guitar, but underated when it comes to the bass.
But how about the use of the bass pedals.
Almost anything on Trick of the Tail, Firth of Fifth, Afterglow, Cinema Show, Supper's Ready, The Musical Box intro, and Dukes Travels.

Those damn pedals can make the whole house vibrate if you give it enough volume.
I had the family wondering if it was thundering out. They couldn't figure out what the rumbling was.
They couldn't hear the music but they could feel the bass pedals.
Fantastic.
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Brian Tait
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Posted: 14 March 2007 at 7:08pm | IP Logged | 8 post reply

Actually, I think Rutherford had a very distinct guitar style/sound - it was just lame.

That wasn't always the case - I found his work on And Then There Were Three (see: Burning Rope, Down and Out) , Duke (Behind the Lines, Man of Our Times, Duke's Travels/Duke's End) and Abacab (title track, Dodo, Like It or Not) actually quite good. 

************************************************************ *************************************

I think his work on ATTWT and Duke were still very much Hackett influenced. I've often wondered if any of the tracks on those albums may have originated from earlier albums. Especially the Duke suite. After Duke any distinctive guitar sounds were gone. As I said, I think that is the sound we old timers miss.

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Kevin Hagerman
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Posted: 14 March 2007 at 7:39pm | IP Logged | 9 post reply

Favorite Rutherford bass moments:

  • "Harold The Barrel" - The bass really makes the tune
  • That kinda rolling bass line through "Fountain of Salmacis"
  • The instrumental section of "Can-Utility and the Coastliners" - actually, everybody is grooving SO well there.  I never could understand why Gabriel got all the credit for dressing up, singing a couple of lines, and then letting that awesome band do the heavy lifting.
  • "Apocalypse in 9/8".  Say no more.
  • "The Knife" from the first live album
  • (How pathetic is it I'm editing posts no one is ever gonna go back and read?)"The Chamber of 32 Doors"


Edited by Kevin Hagerman on 26 March 2008 at 7:03am
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Gene Best
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Posted: 15 March 2007 at 6:59am | IP Logged | 10 post reply

Brian -

Ah yes ... the never-to-be-duplicated Moog Taurus Bass Pedals ... a moment of silence, everyone ...

The last verse of Squonk inspired me to finally buy a set ... ironically, I bought them from Duane Steurmer ... Daryl's brother!

To this day, the sound of Taurus pedals gives me chills!  :)

And totally agree with you re: guitar sounds, except that I really did enjoy some of Rutherford's guitar work on Abacab.

Kevin -

I believe that on Apocolypse in 9/8, Rutherford is playing mostly guitar throughout, kicking in the bass pedals when the big organ chords come in after the main solo (just before the breakdown).  I watched some 74 footage of Supper's Ready the other day, and seem to recall that ... although, he may have changed that up a bit by Genesis in Concert and Seconds Out

I could be totally wrong on both counts, though.

BTW, another great Rutherford bass track(and I hear the groans already) is No Reply At All.  Say what you want about the song, but it's possibly the last GREAT track by MR the bassist.

 

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Gene Best
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Posted: 15 March 2007 at 7:09am | IP Logged | 11 post reply

Okay, I just went back and reviewed some of the other Abacab-era sessions (including the studio tracks that appeared on the US-version of Three Sides Live), and I need to give honorable mention to the bass lines in Paperlate and You Might Recall ... great choices by MR that really served the songs.

As an aside, I remember how commercial these songs sounded like a complete sell-out back in 1982, but now, the harmonic structures are deceptively complex ... quite good.

 



Edited by Gene Best on 15 March 2007 at 7:10am
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Kevin Hagerman
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Posted: 15 March 2007 at 7:41am | IP Logged | 12 post reply

Gene said:

Kevin -

I believe that on Apocolypse in 9/8, Rutherford is playing mostly guitar throughout, kicking in the bass pedals when the big organ chords come in after the main solo (just before the breakdown).  I watched some 74 footage of Supper's Ready the other day, and seem to recall that ... although, he may have changed that up a bit by Genesis in Concert and Seconds Out

I could be totally wrong on both counts, though.

Then I said: In the studio there seems to be a bass line starting immediately after Gabriel sings "...did he not compromise it won't be easy" that I just adore.  It's not present on the 74 Montreal boot but it is on Seconds Out.  Now, in the studio they could have done overdubs (or on Seconds Out, for that matter) so I have no idea if it's a)overdubs, b) bass pedals, c) on the Montreal boot but lost due to poor sound quality, or d) Hackett doing something ungodly as usual.  Whatever it is, I love it - but I can barely tell a Hi-hat from a harmonica, and I think a Mellotron is what you get when you cast Bruce Boxlietner as The Dude.

 

Then GENE said (I'm too sleepy to html today nyah nyah): BTW, another great Rutherford bass track(and I hear the groans already) is No Reply At All.  Say what you want about the song, but it's possibly the last GREAT track by MR the bassist.

So then *I* said: And when you hear that sound live, they used a guitar for the horn parts, because a) they had no horns, and b) the song had no guitar(!)

For any non-Genesis fans peeking in: we love Mike.  We just wish we had more of him.

And some of us want Hackett back.

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Kevin Hagerman
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Posted: 15 March 2007 at 8:09am | IP Logged | 13 post reply

Small breakthrough: http://youtube.com/watch?v=jZ2Gpu1Z8Ug

He is indeed on guitar at the beginning and the pedals for the big organ chords.  I don't quite hear that studio/Seconds Out bass part but when Pete starts singing in the new costume he's DEFINITELY tapping it out.

Damn Pete looks like a god in this clip.  He sang that song like he was wrestling Galactus.

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Kevin Hagerman
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Posted: 15 March 2007 at 12:25pm | IP Logged | 14 post reply

More Mike goodness:

  • "I Know What I Like"  Just lovely.  Carried the song when they did it live, too.  The part that starts "Sunday night Mr. Farmer called" is a highlight.
  • "The Battle of Epping Forest" but then, I love every second of this song.  I believe he does a lot of rhythm guitar work here too.
  • "In The Cage" - that wonderful, insistent, dare-I-say paranoid bass thump
  • "The Chamber of 32 Doors"
  • "Squonk"  I could listen to a 45-minute version of Squonk and be hungry for more.
  • The bass solo in "Los Endos"
  • "Eleventh Earl of Mar"
  • Everything on Spot The Pigeon

Now we enter the Mike "Two-Job" Rutherford years, and I'll save that for later.



Edited by Kevin Hagerman on 15 March 2007 at 12:54pm
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Gene Best
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Posted: 15 March 2007 at 4:26pm | IP Logged | 15 post reply

Kevin made me applaud with:

For any non-Genesis fans peeking in: we love Mike.  We just wish we had more of him.

And some of us want Hackett back.

And then I said:  Indeed!  In fact, when other G-fans have asked me if I'm a fan of the "Gabriel Era" or the "Collins Era", I respond with, "Actually, I'm a fan of the Hackett Era."  (with respect to Ant!)

And then Kevin made me laugh out loud with: 

Now we enter the Mike "Two-Job" Rutherford years, and I'll save that for later.

 



Edited by Gene Best on 15 March 2007 at 4:26pm
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Brian Tait
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Posted: 15 March 2007 at 6:09pm | IP Logged | 16 post reply

And then I said:  Indeed!  In fact, when other G-fans have asked me if I'm a fan of the "Gabriel Era" or the "Collins Era", I respond with, "Actually, I'm a fan of the Hackett Era."  (with respect to Ant!)
************************************************************ ************************************

Gene, I've always responded the same way.
Hackett era.

The loss of Hackett was (and is) the hardest musical obsticle to overcome.
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Kevin Hagerman
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Posted: 15 March 2007 at 8:29pm | IP Logged | 17 post reply

Externally.  Internally, it was like "Well, call the printers; we're going to need new stationary."

It was ANT leaving that almost broke the band, of course.  They were so green and he was such a big writing influence.  I can think of no crueler injustice than to be one of the writers of  "Musical Box" and to be too nervous to perform it onstage.  That sucks.

edited to add: Musically speaking.  Obviously, what happened to Marie Curie was a cruler injustice.  And when a Momma animal gets killed and her children starve, that sucks too.  I would say "That goes without saying", but this IS the internet...



Edited by Kevin Hagerman on 16 March 2007 at 1:53am
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Gene Best
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Posted: 16 March 2007 at 12:24am | IP Logged | 18 post reply

Externally.  Internally, it was like "Well, call the printers; we're going to need new stationary."

Indeed.  I was watching VH-1 Behind the Music: Genesis the other day, and noticed how cool the boys were with carrying on as a three piece; basically they felt if they could survive Gabriel's departure, they could certainly continue after Hackett's.  They seemed pretty unfazed.

I can think of no crueler injustice than to be one of the writers of  "Musical Box" and to be too nervous to perform it onstage.  That sucks.

Indeed again - during the same special, they interviewed Ant; listening to him describing his stage fright was really sad.  Poor guy.

 

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Brian Tait
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Posted: 17 March 2007 at 5:51pm | IP Logged | 19 post reply

I had no idea Ant had anything to do with "Musical Box".  I do remember reading an interview with him where he discussed his stage fright, as I recall, for him it was a paralyzing fear.
I have his first few solo albums (on vinyl) and they still had a very "Genesis-y" sound to them.
Certainly would have been interesting to see what direction the band would have gone in had he stayed.

I've never had the luck to see that Behind the Music special. Sounds like it might have been interesting.
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Kevin Hagerman
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Posted: 18 March 2007 at 7:37am | IP Logged | 20 post reply

It was, Brian.  Sorry you missed it.

Yeah, "Musical Box" has its genesis (see what I did there?) between Trespass and Ant's departure.  Steve is largely playing Ant's parts, I'm told.  Some parts Tony plays were written on guitar and I was told Tony actually played them through a guitar amp to get the sound right (is that possible?  I'm so naive.)

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Brian Tait
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Posted: 19 March 2007 at 2:02pm | IP Logged | 21 post reply

Some parts Tony plays were written on guitar and I was told Tony actually played them through a guitar amp to get the sound right (is that possible?  I'm so naive.)
************************************************************ ***********************************
Do you mean live or on the album?
Tony does play 12 string on the album.
Not sure how they might have gotten around that on tour though. Depending on the keyboard he was playing, and how it was amplified back then he might have been able to do it.

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Kevin Hagerman
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Posted: 19 March 2007 at 3:43pm | IP Logged | 22 post reply

If memory serves, they did a few live shows with a guitarist whose name is lost to history (Steve went to one of these shows) and they did a VERY few with NO guitarist.  This is where Tony began playing some guitar-ish chords on keys that made their way onto the final product.  As Gene said above, Steve's playing, god bless him, often sounds so keyboardy that if Tony tried to sound guitary it could drive a listener mad!

http://youtube.com/watch?v=eEq8S-WjSdE

An excellent video of the boys live (the boot I have of this claims it is Belgian TV).  The keyboards after "and I touch... the wall" sound very guitarish to me.  But I may just be an inept listener.

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Brian Tait
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Posted: 22 March 2007 at 6:32pm | IP Logged | 23 post reply

Kevin, you got me curious so I dug out my copy of Armando Gallos' book "I Know What I Like" to refresh my mind on some stuff.

Both "Musical Box" and "Fountain of Salmacis" came from Ants days with the band.

Tony had to take over all the guitar parts on the electric piano. He played it through a fuzz box to make it sound like an electric guitar.

The unknown guitarist (at least one of them anyway) was Mick Barnard. He joined the band until they found Steve.

It's great book. If you haven't read it it's worth trying to find.
I have the edition published in 1980. Gallo was (is) the bands photographer and there are some great inside stories and pictures of the band.

The book ends with a tease of the "new" album. The band had entered the studio to record six songs and a twenty five minute piece of music which would form the new album to be released in March 1980.

That would be "Duke" and after that everything changed.
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Kevin Hagerman
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Posted: 22 March 2007 at 6:42pm | IP Logged | 24 post reply

Fuzz box!  I was "sorta" right.  Didn't remember the bit about "The Fountain of Salmacis" - I do know that Steve came up with the soaring guitar solo over the ending portion.

I do have that book.  Haven't read it in years; maybe it's time.  The story of Phil's audition is one of my favorite music anecdotes.

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Brian Tait
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Posted: 22 March 2007 at 7:25pm | IP Logged | 25 post reply

I hadn't read it in years either.
 
What was fun to read (besides Phils audition) was that Steve was not a professional when he joined the band. It wasn't until Foxtrot that he started to feel comfortable within the band. Selling England was the album where he felt like he was starting to really contribute.

The thing that impressed the band the most though, was the way Steve played the guitar. He didn't so much follow along with the melody, but would go off on little solos that complimented what the others were doing.

His "soaring" guitar and the way he seems to "squeeze" the notes out, are for me what define his sound.

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