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Aug 18th, 2017, 05:34am



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 veryhotthread  Author  Topic: Some observations about Tony  (Read 3870 times)
CyanideWand
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xx Some observations about Tony
« Thread started on: May 17th, 2017, 09:38am »


I've been watching the reissue interviews in the box sets, as well as Songbook and Sum of the Parts.

Does it seem to anyone that Tony is somewhat of a diva? What I mean is that his pride seems to be hurt whenever he doesn't get his way or when someone leaves the band due to a disagreement.

In Sum of the Parts, you can see his discomfort whenever Peter or Steve are talking. And he clearly dislikes The Lamb because Peter wrote the lyrics. Also, he almost never compliments Steve and when he does it seems back-handed. There is one interview where Tony says that on a certain song Steve actually "sounded like a real guitarist."

He even resents Phil's success. "We didn't want to him to be THAT successful."

I'm not saying any of this to criticize Tony. I just want to understand the group dynamics. I have come to see Tony as the group leader in a certain way. Genesis is his baby for all practical purposes. The keyboard solos ARE Genesis, really. They are the best moments in my opinion. I think Tony is a charming and funny guy, but it's just very interesting watching the dynamics in the group and observing his comments.
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Kerry95
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xx Re: Some observations about Tony
« Reply #1 on: May 17th, 2017, 11:56am »

for me, genesis is like a gang of old friends whom you like just the way they are. there have been other bands that worked better because members accepted their roles. but genesis is still your favourite band, even though it wasn't the most perfect one.

queen is a good example. i can't imagine freddie mercury not wanting to sing a song because he didn't write the lyrics, or brian may feeling jealous because freddie got more attention on the live shows, or roger taylor complaining because not enough of his songs were included on the albums...

as for tony, he's very stubborn indeed. i recall phil once said "good luck with telling tony what to do!". however, i think he got on well with phil and mike, because they were kind of flexible and conciliatory.
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xx Re: Some observations about Tony
« Reply #2 on: May 17th, 2017, 1:13pm »

I don't know about 'Diva' but I think he admitted himself that he wasn't easy to deal with when he was younger.
I obviously don't know him but to me he comes across as brutally blunt, doesn't mince words, a sacastic, at time even caustic sense of humor. Says what he means and means what he says, Public school British but feet too much on the ground to be a Diva.
All Genesis members have always been clear about stuff and songs they didn't like. Phil, certainly the most agreeable and diplomatic, said once clearly in an inteview they didn't much like Steve's contribution in terms of songwriting, Peter said he didn't like the others' lyrics, so it was quite normal for them to be open about their criticism. I think you migh have misunderstood Tony's comment on Steve being a real guitarist. If I remember the bit he was talking about Steve's solo on FoF, wasn't he?
« Last Edit: May 17th, 2017, 1:15pm by Fabrizio » User IP Logged

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xx Re: Some observations about Tony
« Reply #3 on: May 17th, 2017, 1:43pm »

Yes, I think that was the song.
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xx Re: Some observations about Tony
« Reply #4 on: May 17th, 2017, 2:05pm »

on May 17th, 2017, 1:43pm, CyanideWand wrote:
Yes, I think that was the song.

I should go and look at that bit again but the way I remember it is Tony saying the FoF solo finally gave Steve the chance to showcase his playing and perhaps there might have been some level of tongue in cheeck there but the way I understood it is that the general consensus is that the guitar was always buried beneath the keyboards in Genesis and he knows that he is considered the 'villain' but again that was my interpretation.
« Last Edit: May 17th, 2017, 2:10pm by Fabrizio » User IP Logged

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xx Re: Some observations about Tony
« Reply #5 on: May 17th, 2017, 3:45pm »

In the interview accompanying the reissue of SEPTB, Tony actually credited Steve for taking the lead in making Firth of Fifth a little more bombastic (more in the vein of King Crimson) than was originally planned.
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xx Re: Some observations about Tony
« Reply #6 on: May 17th, 2017, 4:05pm »

on May 17th, 2017, 3:45pm, Witchwood wrote:
In the interview accompanying the reissue of SEPTB, Tony actually credited Steve for taking the lead in making Firth of Fifth a little more bombastic (more in the vein of King Crimson) than was originally planned.


I remember that. He was discussing how the song became something bigger than his original piano thing. I think this was a comment about Steve's guitar solo with the sustained notes. I know I heard him say that he sounded like "a real guitarist." Well, he is one, right? I might have heard it wrong.

I have definitely seen Phil make dismissive comments about Steve's work, both in interviews and in his autobiography, although I think they get along personally. I wonder to what extent his opinion on this was influenced by Mike and Tony?
« Last Edit: May 17th, 2017, 4:07pm by CyanideWand » User IP Logged

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xx Re: Some observations about Tony
« Reply #7 on: May 17th, 2017, 4:11pm »

My opinions of Tony have been well documented on here in the past. I will leave it at that....
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xx Re: Some observations about Tony
« Reply #8 on: May 17th, 2017, 5:09pm »

Whatever you think of Tony, I think it's universally acknowledged that he was the band's strongest creative force. I'm not necessarily saying he was the most creative, as all the members have gone on and done some pretty extraordinary things on their own, but rather that even in the latter three man days, Tony's influence over the band's composition and sound were enormous. I imagine to some extent that is going to make anyone a bit arrogant, though the impression I always get of him from the interviews I've seen is that more than anything else he's a bit impatient, and that will lead to a certain willfulness.

As to Tony criticizing Lamb, well I think everyone but Peter was a bit down on it to some extent, and they've all said things like "There was that bit on that track that I'm really really proud of, but..." While Peter's leaving was a pretty complex thing, I'd say the Lamb was the breaking point. Tony wasn't the only one to be critical of that record, and I know Mike has made some negative comments as well. There was a lot of tension in the band at that point, and most certainly a lot of it was directed at Peter. I can imagine Tony would have been the most brutally honest.
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xx Re: Some observations about Tony
« Reply #9 on: May 17th, 2017, 7:13pm »

I remember reading a review in Q Magazine which said that Banks was "bitter" about the commercial failure of his solo career.

I also read an interview in The Guardian which said that Phil Collins has "an unmissable undercurrent of bruised melancholy and a residual wariness from years of being derided" when you meet him.

So I suppose we can say the music industry takes its toll.
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xx Re: Some observations about Tony
« Reply #10 on: May 17th, 2017, 7:35pm »

I'd like to meet Phil.
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xx Re: Some observations about Tony
« Reply #11 on: May 17th, 2017, 9:18pm »

on May 17th, 2017, 7:35pm, CyanideWand wrote:
I'd like to meet Phil.


Wouldn't we all?
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xx Re: Some observations about Tony
« Reply #12 on: May 17th, 2017, 9:36pm »

Diva? The central heating plumbing, chicken keeping, garden tending, campervan driving, keyboard player? .. no.

Watch Come rain or shine, or the Mama documentary, 3 extraordinary guys creating great music, eating sausage and tomato on toast, drinking Mateus Rose, and having a ball.

In their younger days, they were all less mature, more prolific/creative, and there were more songwriters trying to get their bits into 40 minutes of vinyl. That's going to lead to debates.

Having good quality control is what makes a good record, if you had to choose between Octopus's garden and The long and winding road, should you choose the former because it's fairer? Should you lie about which is your favourite track 35 years later when asked? The lamb has some strong bits, some weak bits, is too long, has a crap cover, and after all these years I still haven't got a clue what the story is about.

Somehow Tony has become the whipping boy since his comments in the famous documentary have been blown out of all proportion, mostly due to the misunderstanding of English humour/irony. Friends and colleagues often have digs at each other, there is no malice behind it.

The comment about Phil is a joke. If it isn't obvious, there's a beaming smile at the end of the sentence just in case.

Tony and Mike are the backbone of the group

Peter and Steve left 4 decades ago, of their own accord - it's a little odd for fans to still be holding a grudge about it after so long.

No Tony, no Genesis, no forum.




« Last Edit: May 17th, 2017, 10:25pm by ftf » User IP Logged

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xx Re: Some observations about Tony
« Reply #13 on: May 18th, 2017, 03:20am »

Banks comes across as a stubborn (by his own admission) and strong-willed, determined person who has very clear ideas about what he wants and is prepared to dig himself in and not budge in order to achieve those things. That's had a lot to do with how he's been a major factor in driving Genesis along, together with his very distinctive writing style and strong feel for chord sequences that's given the band such a particular style.

Some of the remarks mentioned above are indeed to do with his dry English humour. Both he and Rutherford have made comments on PC's solo success that were intended as affectionately mocking, I don't see how they could be taken any other way. On his own solo work, I'm guessing that as probably the main driving force behind Genesis's music he felt he might transfer that into a successful solo career and clearly felt he came up with some good songs, which he did. Why it never took off for him is a whole other discussion, but I can see it must have been quite hard for him to watch the others have their success while his stuff made little impact.

In the Sum documentary he does come across as a bit grumpier than usual; maybe he wasn't feeling at his best. It's often hard to comment on these things as TV documentaries usually get edited to within an inch of their lives and the final product can be very unrepresentative of the actual thing. Add in that the group interview was also split into pieces and scattered across the programme, and you end up with something that could possibly come across as misleading.

In one of the solo interviews in that show, if I remember correctly, TB unfavourably compares Hackett's playing on Firth with Stuermer's and says something like, SH's playing could be "dry". Or am I imagining that?! If not, I have to completely disagree - SH's original was an economical thing of beauty whereas DS went over the top and made it way too fussy.

The Lamb is always going to be controversial in one way or another - it was a difficult album to make for various well-documented reasons so will always have certain connotations for the band. I love it, but can understand their varying feelings about it. Plus, at the time, after all the effort and trouble it briefly appeared at number10 for a week then pretty much vanished, following the previous album's good chart run and reaching number 3. I recall Rutherford saying that many people refer to it as a classic now, but at the time it "died a death". So they are going to have pretty mixed feelings about it.
« Last Edit: May 18th, 2017, 03:27am by Backdrifter » User IP Logged

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xx Re: Some observations about Tony
« Reply #14 on: May 18th, 2017, 07:10am »

on May 17th, 2017, 4:05pm, CyanideWand wrote:
I have definitely seen Phil make dismissive comments about Steve's work, both in interviews and in his autobiography, although I think they get along personally. I wonder to what extent his opinion on this was influenced by Mike and Tony?

Again, it depends on how you choose to see it, personally I hardly consider it 'dismissive'. Steve sumbmitted some songs, the others didn't like them or thought there were better songs, that's about it, hardly dismissive imo.
Incidentally I think they were right, much as I like Steve's playing I never rated him highly as songwriter, still don't, also remember that he started writing quite late and what he contributed to Genesis is imo still some of the best stuff he did but he wanted 25% of the album and that is not a great idea.
As for Phil's opinion, I think he must at least be credited with the ability to make up his own mind.
« Last Edit: May 18th, 2017, 07:32am by Fabrizio » User IP Logged

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