The Word According to Genesis

If you are a fan of the legendary band Genesis, you will no doubt know of and be a fan of one of the bands founding members… Steve Hackett. Steve played alongside Tony Banks, Mike Rutherford, Phil Collins, and Peter Gabriel from 1970-1977. Wow! In the music business, this would be called a Dream Team. Every one of these musicians has contributed on a large scale to the music and sound of the 20th and 21st century.

I have been listening to some of Steve’s solo music recently in preparation for my interview with him, and I will sum it by saying, to me, it’s a mix between Queen meets Pink Floyd meets Led Zeppelin. Steve’s guitar mastery is unique and his show during his Genesis Revisited Tour will feature Steve and his band playing the entire Genesis Live Album from 1977 and more. The tour will feature a couple of Canadian dates, but they are in Western Canada only. If you want to see Steve and live in Ontario, it’s a possibility as he will be playing the Filmore in Detroit on March 4. That show is only a quick drive across the Windsor/Detroit bridge and if you are in the Northern Algoma region; a short 5-hour drive on cruise control for this legend is well worth it departing from Sault Ste Marie.

Aside from contributing to 6 Genesis albums, Steve has an extensive solo career and was inducted into the Rock And Roll Hall of Fame in 2010. Regarding his guitar playing and style; Canadian Alex Lifeson is among many that Steve points to as being a major influence in his playing and musical career. His style knows no boundaries and you will hear everything from melodic and relaxing chord progressions to sweep picking and classical arpeggios. If you are near one of his stops, don’t miss this theatrical and musically magic show that runs about two and a have hours.

I spoke with this the former Genesis elite the other day when he called from London… England. Hey Chip, I want a few pounds added on to my cheque for long-distance; 😜📞☎ 💲 Anyway, we had a really good conversation regarding his interests in world travel, music, guitar, and his tour.

Canadian guitar slinger, Joni Mitchell

Guitar influences for the English slinger include The Shadows, Segovia, Jeff Beck, Danny Kirwin, Eric Clapton, and amazingly, Canuck Joni Mitchell. ” Joni Mitchell was a huge influence for me and especially on the guitar work of Genesis. A lot of us used to listen to her acoustic guitar work which was very fine indeed with the tunings she was using. That may sound like an unlikely source. (but it’s true)” Steve still has the same passion for guitar as he did when he started playing whether its’ classical, blues, acoustic, 12 string, electric etc. he tells me ” the guitar still intrigues me, and the things you can do with it… all aspects intrigue me”

When Steve is not touring or making music, for leisure he likes to travel and is an avid reader. ” My wife and I just got back from Egypt where we travelled down the Nile and visited temples and tombs and it was the most extraordinary visit….and so much of it is intact….it’s mindblowing,” I told him that I love to travel and ancient history as well. It turned out to be an aha moment when we chatted as I discovered that we both have both been to the pyramids of Teotihuacan north of Mexico City and the ruins of Machu Picchu in Peru. It is like we were are twin brothers; the only difference being that in respect to our guitar playing. Steve’s coming along pretty good with that these days.😜🎸

Anyway, being serious again, aside from globetrotting, ” I love to read; I’ve read some fascinating books in recent times… Shantaram by Gregory David Roberts, an Australian writer who was an escaped convict who spent time in India… it’s the most extraordinary, eloquent and thrilling book…” he told me.

Before the operator jumped on the line to ask me to insert a few more shillings, I asked Steve who he likes currently musically …currently musically? …Yeah, it sounds good to me; anyway his answer was literally all over the map; most likely due to the fact of my brothers’ passion for travel. “well, I really enjoy the blues playing of Joe Bonamassa… I think he’s very very good. I particularly like his work with Beth Hart. I think she’s a fine singer and I think they make an interesting duo. I’ve also worked with some phenomenal musicians recently such as Indian sitar player Sheema Mukherjee, she’s fantastic; and I’ve also worked with a man called Malik Mansurov who is from Azerbaijan and plays a small stringed instrument called the tar. He plays terrifyingly wonderful.

Steve tells me his bags are packed and he can’t wait to get back over to North America and play for us. His cast accompanying him on stage will include Craig Blundell (Drums), Jonas Reingold (Bass), Roger King (Keyboards), Rob Townsend (Sax/Flute), and Nad Sylvan (Vocals).

I did my own research and I must say, Nad is quite a charismatic dude, and this show will be something you don’t want to miss. He is a show in himself; he has a David Bowie kind of aura about him in my humble opinion.

Anyway, check out Steve Hackett’s website for a show near you.

Ernest Skinner