No Genesis Revisited For Anthony Phillips
Former Genesis guitarist Anthony Phillips says he’d never consider reworking their music – because he still feels negative about his last six months in the band.
He co-founded Genesis in 1967 alongside Peter Gabriel, Mike Rutherford, Tony Banks and Chris Stewart. But he left following the recording of second album Trespass in 1970, after struggling with severe stage fright.
He was replaced by Steve Hackett, who recently released his second Genesis Revisited volume – and although Phillips remains pleased with some of the work he did, he couldn’t bring himself to follow Hackett’s lead.
The guitarist tells Something Else: “My experience on the road during the last terrible six months with Genesis was so traumatic that I think it would be the last thing I would do.”
Asked if his stage fright is now behind him, he says: “It’s not really being put to the test right now – but I fear not.”
However, Phillips believes the band became a much stronger musical force after hitting the road, and their experience helped them move on from the embryonic phase immortalised in debut record From Genesis To Revelation.
He says: “There was a huge, lost world of material in between, as we went from our schoolboy holiday song-based album through similar songs, but more mature, through to our first experiments with longer forms.
“We had to raise the tempo and power to get noisy crowds to listen. We went from songwriters who played a bit on an album to a fully equipped, fighting-force live band.”
Since abandoning live performance Phillips has enjoyed a bus and successful solo career. He boasts a catalogue of 27 albums to his name, including Private Parts and Pieces XI: City of Dreams, which was released earlier this month. But his Genesis work remains important to him.
“I have a lingering affection for the songs from before Trespass,” he says. “I recently came across one called Everywhere Is Here. It’s hopelessly steeped in the 1960s, but I thought: What a gas it would be to do it with Tony on piano, Mike on bass, me on guitar and Pete singing. Those, for me, were the good times.”