Rhino Factoids: Genesis Continues Its Evolution
41 years ago today, Genesis performed the first date of their first American tour with Phil Collins as the band’s lead singer.
Anyone who’s followed the career of Genesis for any significant length of time is aware that the band has gone through a few different incarnations since first coming into existence in 1967. Given that today is a fairly important date in the Genesis timeline, we thought we’d honor the occasion by giving you a quick history lesson on the various different lineups of the band.
In the Beginning…
Peter Gabriel, Tony Banks, Mike Rutherford, Anthony Phillips, and Chris Stewart all met whilst attending Charterhouse School, a private school in Surrey, England. While there, Rutherford and Phillips were in a band called Anon, and Gabriel, Banks, and Stewart were in a band called Garden Wall. By January 1967, both bands had split, but Rutherford and Phillips decided to make a demo tape, and they invited Gabriel, Banks, and Stewart to join in. The resulting five tracks were deemed strong enough by producer Jonathan King – a fellow Charterhouse alumnus – for him to assist them in signing a one-year contract with Decca Records. Thus, Genesis was born.
Lineup #2: Just as the summer of 1968 was coming to a close, Stewart, the band’s drummer, left and went back to school. His replacement, John Silver, was yet another Charterhouse alumnus. Lineup #3: In late 1969, Silver left for America to study leisure management. He was replaced behind the drum kit by John Mayhew. Lineup #4: After recording the TRESPASS album, Phillips – who, in addition to being unwell, had also begun to suffer from stage fright – left the band in July 1970. This almost proved to be the end of Genesis, but discussions between Gabriel, Banks, and Rutherford eventually led to the band’s continuation, albeit without Mayhew as their drummer. Lineup #5: After placing an advertisement in Melody Maker, Genesis held auditions and subsequently hired Phil Collins in August 1970, at which point the band began to rehearse as a four-piece. Lineup #6: In November 1970, Mick Barnard was hired as the band’s new guitarist, but his stint with the band only lasted for about two months. Lineup #7: In January 1971, Genesis found their new guitarist, Steve Hackett, when he put an ad in Melody Maker, indicating his desire to find “receptive musicians determined to drive beyond existing stagnant music forms.” Talk about a match made in heaven… Lineup #8: Feeling increasingly creatively stifled within the confines of Genesis, Hackett left the band after completing their tour behind WIND & WUTHERING, with his departure announced officially in October 1977. The core trio of Banks, Rutherford, and Collins would remain intact until March 1996, when Collins confirmed his departure. Lineup #9: Rather than wrap things up, Rutherford and Collins found themselves a new lead singer in Ray Wilson, formerly of the band Stiltskin. This incarnation lasted for one album (CALLING ALL STATIONS) and a European tour, but in 2000 Banks and Rutherford confirmed that Genesis had no further plans for recording or touring. Lineup #10: Okay, so technically it’s really just Lineup #8 again, but Collins did return to the fold for a reunion tour, and even as recently as 2017, he’s not completely closed the door on getting the band back together.
Keep the dream alive, kids. You never know: it could happen.