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Hackett Reflects On Hellish Times For Him and Peter Gabriel In Genesis

Former Genesis guitarist Steve Hackett has recalled how he and Peter Gabriel endured personal problems during the making of classic album The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway – and how they contributed to Gabriel’s departure the following year.

The frontman’s wife was experiencing a difficult pregnancy with daughter Anna-Marie, and problems continued after her birth. He was also attempting to write a movie with The Exorcist director William Friedkin, all while Genesis tried to create their ambitious 1974 double album.

Hackett tells Prog's Daryl Easlea: "Pete was going through his version of Hell and I was going through mine. My first marriage broke up and I had a son. There was a tremendous amount of guilt – I just wanted to get on with the music, but modern life just kept crashing in all the time."

Gabriel eventually asked for time off in order to work on the film, but the band refused. Hackett says: "Friedkin freaked when he heard he could be responsible for breaking up the band. Pete came back to it."

But the continuing sessions remained tense. "Sometimes they were," recalls the guitarist. "It wasn’t easy for Pete – his ideas were really important to him for that project."

The Lamb... was released in November 1974, and soon after the start of Genesis’ 102-date tour to support the launch, Gabriel had already told his colleagues he was leaving. The news was announced in August 1975.

Hackett – who left the band in 1977 – reflects: "Our time was up. We’d exhausted everyone’s patience by turning it into a double album."

© Team Rock, by Martin Kielty

1 comment

  • Shirley
    Shirley Sunday, 19 July 2015 01:09 Comment Link Report

    Guys - that was then & this is now. The Lamb Lies Down was musically brilliant - even if some of us (me) couldn't understand what it was about at the time. (Personally I like all the phases and forms Genesis' music has taken.) I think the length of the album was a plus - doesn't everyone? I guess the band might have found it quite lengthy - but the sounds were great - and when you were all composing it - how could you tell that it would become a Prog' Rock classic?. There is no doubt in my mind that Steve Hackett's guitar composition style had a profound effect on perfecting the Genesis sound. I loved the blending of Peter Gabriel and Phil Collins vocals. The contributions of Phil Collins, Mike Rutherford and Tony Banks go without saying - obviously. I guess fans look back - because we tend to assume the composing is over now. But does it have to be? Wouldn't it be great if all five of you could get together again and compose some new music? How would it sound? What would it be about?

    It's a shame Gabriel and Hackett pulled out of the 2007 tour concept but it was a great tour anyway. How about a great big concert of Genesis and lots of solo work from all band members - a Genesis Festival for 4 or 5 days. Wow!

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