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Tony Banks named Prog God 2015

Genesis keyboardist Tony Banks has been named the Prog God for 2015, and he’ll accept the honour at this year's Progressive Music Awards in London.

The Prog God Award, presented by Orange Amplification, is given to the greatest innovators in the genre. Rick Wakeman, Ian Anderson and Peter Gabriel are the previous recipients.

Banks says: "I’m not normally picked out for this recognition – in fact, I’ve spent my entire career trying not to be noticed. Now someone has seen through my clever disguise.

"I’m really gratified to get this award. It’s nice to know people appreciate the music I’ve helped create."

He adds: "Being in such rarified company is also something I’m delighted about – Rick, Ian and Peter are probably the first people you think of when you mention the bands they’re most associated with.

"But I see myself as representing the backroom boys of prog, who are often overlooked."

Prog editor Jerry Ewing says: "Classic rock and heavy metal have the guitarist, but for progressive music the keyboard player often fulfils the role of hero – and none come more heroic than Tony Banks.

"His keyboards have always been the bedrock of the Genesis sound. His solo career too has displayed a fine combination for his sense of pomp and grandiosity on the one hand, and delicate musical turn of phrase on the other.

"I can't think of a more fitting recipient of the Prog God Award."

Late Yes bassist Chris Squire will also be honoured at the gala night as the Virtuoso Award has been renamed in his memory. 

Orange Amplification presents the Progressive Music Awards in association with currencies.co.uk on September 3, in the Underglobe at Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre, London.

© Classicrock Teamrock, by Martin Kielty

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