Thursday, 17 October 2013

Guitarist Steve Hackett: The genesis of an artistic tribute

Posted: Friday, October 11, 2013 12:00 am | Updated: 6:17 am, Fri Oct 11, 2013.

It wasn’t the commercial zenith for Genesis, but the ’70s was arguably the creative peak for the inventive prog-rock band. Guitarist Steve Hackett helped give birth to many of the dense, arty classics.

A myriad of cover bands recreate Genesis songs from its golden era. That hasn’t been lost on Hackett, 63, who is on a Genesis Revisited tour, which stops Friday and Saturday at the Keswick Theatre and Sunday at the Scottish Rite Auditorium.

“Just for this year I’m doing exclusive Genesis material,” Hackett says while calling from London. “It’s exciting going back to the vintage material. I’m doing the full-blown songs. I’m not doing a medley. Get ready for the full version of ‘Supper’s Ready’ and so many other Genesis classics.”
Twenty-three minutes of a revamped “Supper’s Ready” appear on Hackett’s “Genesis Revisted 2.” The double-disc set, which dropped last October, finds Hackett re-embracing songs that span from 1971’s “Nursery Cryme" to 1976’s “Wind & Wuthering.” Ten different vocalists, including Genesis frontman/drummer Phil Collins’ son Simon, joined Hackett in the studio.
“It was such an enjoyable project,” Hackett says. ”The singers all had a great time.” For the tour, vocalist Nad Sylvan will belt out the songs that were once the domain of Peter Gabriel. “The response has been great and I’m not surprised since there are so many Genesis cover bands that do really well,” Hackett says.
That’s no exaggeration. The Musical Box, a tribute band out of Quebec City, sells out theaters throughout North America. “I even joined Musical Box, who are very good, onstage,” Hackett says. “I love playing these songs and I see no reason why I shouldn’t go back to them. It’s not as if Genesis will pop up anytime soon.”
The members of the band did reconvene in 2005 to discuss a reunion.
“We talked but it just wasn’t something that was going to happen,” he says. “Will we ever reunite? It’s possible, but I would say that it’s highly improbable.”
Phil Collins, Tony Banks and Mike Rutherford reunited in 2007 for a Genesis tour. “I was told that they heard I wasn’t interested in a reunion with them,” Hackett says. “I thought it was disingenuous on their part. But if they’re doing their hits from the ’80s, I’m not qualified for that. I wasn’t part of that band. I was part of the ’70s Genesis. I look back at what we did then and I’m so proud of it. I really think that we made music that sounded like what no other band was doing.” The late 1960s inspired Hackett to write in an adventurous manner.
“I remember when I heard ‘Sgt. Pepper’ for the first time and I was blown away by the Beatles,” he says. “The Indian influence on the Beatles was right there and what they did with it was so extraordinary. I remember hearing ‘I Am The Walrus’ and it was just amazing.
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