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Mike Rutherford in his Surrey studio

Mike Rutherford pictured at his recording studio in Surrey Mike Rutherford pictured at his recording studio in Surrey Jon Enoch
Mike Rutherford, founding member of Genesis, pictured at his recording studio in Surrey surrounded by objects that hold particular significant to him.

If I have a sense of belonging anywhere, it’s here in this recording studio in an old barn that Genesis bought in 1980. It was around the same time as my wife Angie and I moved to Surrey from London and we live nearby. I’ve made a lot of music here, with Genesis and my other band, Mike + The Mechanics. The picture on the wall is from the video for the Genesis single Land Of Confusion, made by the people who did the Spitting Image puppets – they could have made my nose a little bigger!

These trunks contain family effects handed down by my grandfather and my late father, Captain William Rutherford, who served in the Royal Navy for 36 years. I didn’t open them for years as I was scared of the emotions it might stir up, but when I finally did, it was fascinating. They contained all my dad’s war records, medals and his CBE. There were also manuscripts of his unpublished memoirs along with a publisher’s rejection letter. Reading it, I felt his disappointment.

Music industry prizes have never really meant that much to me, but an Ivor Novello is different. It is presented for your songwriting achievements, and composing has always been fundamental to Genesis. The musicians that stand the test of time are the ones who write the best songs. I’ve collected a few Novellos over the years. This is a lifetime achievement one, and I received another for the Mike + The Mechanics single The Living Years in 1989, which was about my relationship with my father.

I took up polo in 1985, and played it for 24 years. I’d finished a tour, and missed the adrenaline rush, so Angie suggested I get myself a hobby. I tried polo and got hooked. You do get a few bumps, though. I once nipped off to practice when I should have been in the studio, and told the band I had a dental appointment. Naturally, I came off my horse and knocked out my front teeth. The next day, I turned up and the guys all asked, ‘What kind of dentist did you see?’

I’ve always been active, so I took up cycling when I gave up polo. This is the bike I used for a charity ride to Paris with David Linley in 2003. He was raising money for the Stroke Association in memory of his mother, Princess Margaret. We left David’s furniture shop in Pimlico, London, at 6am on a Saturday morning and covered the 325 miles to Paris in four days. But at the first set of traffic lights, I couldn’t get my feet out of the pedal clips and the bike fell over!

I love this photograph of Angie who’s a very keen horsewoman. Her passion is  for dressage, and she has competed at international level. I’ve even written some music to accompany her dressage routines. It would have been easy for her to get bored while I was off on tour with Genesis for months and she was at home with our three children, Kate, Tom and Harry. But Angie has always been very positive, and the equestrian world was her salvation.

© Dailymail, by Adrian Thrills

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