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 stickylock  Author  Topic: PC's Forum Messages 2004 to 2006  (Read 6990 times)
Capt. Cabbage
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xx Re: under construction
« Reply #15 on: Jul 4th, 2011, 07:41am »

NOVEMBER 2004

Hi to you all out there, finally got to look at the new batch of queries and here are the thoughts of the singing drummer in no particular order.

GENESIS AND YOUR PART IN ITS DOWNFALL....there seems to be quite a few people out there who are beating themselves up about the improbability of a reunion following my last post. Rest assured it wasn't due to any other peoples inputs that the idea fell apart, at least that day or for the foreseeable future. Some times "going back is harder"....and the anticipation is impossible to satisfy, for us and for all of you too.....but as I said, never say never. Though I have to admit that Pete's recent quotes seem to imply a "nice but no" as far as he's concerned. It certainly would not be decided by money or the critical reaction to the idea....although in fact, if anything there is a possibility that we'd be reassessed by a lot of critics favourably if we did have a crack judging by some of the reviews for the Platinum Collection. Anyway for now the subject is dormant.

SUN REVIEW OF LIVE AID.....I took a brief glance at the threads on show and jumped in where I hadn't been for a while.....always a risky thing to do as you find things that you'd be better off not knowing about.....the LIVE AID DVD and the reviews of it, are such a thing. It should go without saying I suppose that looked at through British Media Eyes circa 2004, my appearance ANYWHERE on ANYTHING will be open to ridicule and instant dismissal....so the LIVE AID DVD reviews should come as no surprise. Yet I find my mood swings from shock to dented pride to anger to vengeance when I read things like the piece in the Sun. Please don't get me wrong...I really don't expect everyone to like what I do, but it's the sheer predictability of it all. I just don't understand why suddenly there is this tidal wave of abuse !! It seems it's impossible to open a newspaper without reading some crap or other. I know too that it shouldn't all be believed but.... I keep out of the way and am good with children, I play well with others !!! I know I've never been hip, and most critics have had trouble with the music, but now it seems EVERYONE out there who writes for a journal actively HATES what I do !!! Quite disturbing and mystifying and it's PISSING ME OFF...sorry about that..... It's also quite ironic that at the time, in 1984 with the Band Aid song, and then in 1985 with the concert, Bob Geldoff said my involvement gave a "credible" presence to the whole thing. Me being there meant that it was cool, OK and happening. My God, how times have changed !!! Obviously it IS possible to skip "Phil Collins" if you want...the DVD must have Chapters !!! I also can only imagine that Mr Jones, (who like all Music Gossip Journalists with the Sun will go on to be an Editor of a tabloid blockbuster) is too young to remember that I had played with all the artists prior to that show, and that they were my friends.... and that "gate crashing" was not at all an accurate description. He wouldn't know that we all played together for the fun and for the cause. He's much too young for that.

GUIDO....I keep reading that people are still unhappy with the waiting, and I sympathise. He's not my OFFICIAL photographer, he's someone that takes very good live shots and we agreed to help him furnish fans with his photos with the leaflet that appeared as an insert in the programme. After that he's on his own. I hope he gets his act together.

COME WITH ME...it makes me sooooo happy to know that this song has somehow seeped into peoples heads, and they see the beauty in it. Sometimes you have to go digging......

I LIKE THE WAY.....this is a dodgy piece of work. I was listening to a bit of the Jackson Bros.....and wrote this song. Haven't heard it for ages but am prepared to go along with whoever wrote that it was the least favourite song of mine !!! Likewise "Man With The Horn", which with different lyrics became "Easy Money" the title song for a Rodney Dangerfield film. No emotional attachment to either of those songs.

REVIEWS OF FFFT.....our first review in LA suggested that the tide might turn. After that, they were still better than usual. Then we hit the usual crap to which I wrote my infamous response to Dallas. In Europe the reviews and style of reviewing were more "reverent" to my retiring from the touring stage. In France, for example, my whole career was reviewed on the same page as the concert. Yet in England ......nothing. I read everything I was given and by and large it was pretty good. Some countries have their own way of treating me. Some are cynical and pretty awful, some are surprisingly kind. I expect the worse and I hope for the best........

SOUND CHECK RITUAL....there is a bunch of things t hat usually surface during early sound checks that satisfy the sound engineer out front and our monitor demands as well. There are a lot of things to check for the band as everyone wears in-ear monitors (except Leland Sklar) and this alone is a can of worms. A good gig can be decided by the comfort zone of the musicians and the balance they receive in their ears. We are blessed with a great guy called Alain who is actually the boss of a sound company in Switzerland, but found himself on my big band tour doing monitors for me as a favour. He never left. It has to be said that doing monitors is a soul destroying business If it's a fantastic night nobody rushes to thank the monitor mixer.... if it's a bad night then EVERYONE goes and bad mouths the poor guy. There's been a few posts mentioning Pete Buesse who did the in-ear monitors on the DITL tour. He too was brilliant, in fact he came to one of the shows on the FFFT, but there is a tendency to work with the people who have been doing the most recent gigs and know what you're doing NOW. Anyway, our ritual at sound checks was the usual individual instrument check, followed by "Billy", "True Colours" for the singers, a bit of the Drum Thing, and then "Heaven" as it was the first thing in the show with the full band.

TONY BANKS....Tony's songs have always needed a bit of commitment from the listener. They take time to infiltrate the soul. When they get there, they roll off the tongue. Having had to learn his melodies for the best part of 25 years, I can promise this is the case. This was one of the reasons why the final incarnation of the band didn't catch fire as quickly as it might. As, in my opinion, Mike has some of the same symptoms, the music created needs a bit of time to sink in. This is not meant as a criticism AT ALL. In fact in makes for longevity of enjoyment...in the end you may get more out of it. However in these days of "in your face" music....all the above minimises the chances of a hit record. With a few exceptions, you have to be able to hum it before it finishes when you first hear it. Tony's music demands more than that, and some people don't have the time for it. The 3 of us together was a successful bit of chemistry really. I have a knack (or did !!) for the immediate reaction, which put with Tony's long term commitment thing and Mike swinging between the 2 of us, we covered a lot of ground.

JAZZ.....someone asked if I was disappointed at the audience turn out in Berlin for my Big Band tour. In short...no. I'd rather play to people who think they MIGHT like the jazz thing, rather than play to a full house of mildly disinterested people. Jazz has always been more of a minority music than pop. I knew I was going to confuse a few people , even piss a few people off by not singing....at least till the end of the show. In Detroit, we didn't even do an encore, where I usually DID sing, because a lot of people had been heckling me to sing and worse, shouting at Oleta Adams during her set for me to sing !!! In LA Quincy Jones got up on stage and lectured the audience who had been a bit loud about me not singing, saying they should be ashamed of themselves !!! It was quite funny actually....but am I surprised by the slight indifference...no.

THE WAY YOU LOOK...the previous comment about QJ leads me to the next answer about the style of singing with "Teach me Tonight" and "The Way You Look..." I've always loved "The Way.." and decided to sing it even before the Big Band became a reality. I sang it at a Benefit in LA, and the Hollywood audience included Quincy. After the show he came backstage and said that he didn't know I could sing that kind of material. I was very flattered...this guy arranged and conducted for Sinatra !!! He said he was making an album of that kind of material and would send me a tape for me to choose something to sing. I chose "Do Nothing Till You Hear From Me", an old Duke Ellington tune. This turned out to be far more difficult to sing than I had imagined...which is another story....however I ended up doing it in my garden shed studio, and sent him the tapes. With this came an invitation from him offering his services if ever I got my Big Band Dream together. I did in the end, and being a man of his word he conducted us on the first tour. Tony Bennett also came along and was our "featured singer".....a great poster and a tour I'll never forget. This has all led to me singing with some friends out here in Geneva called the Silvano Bazan Trio. I've sat in on drums with them, they've played at my house, my birthday, and I sang "Teach Me Tonight" on their last CD.

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xx Re: under construction
« Reply #16 on: Jul 4th, 2011, 07:43am »

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PIANO PLAYING...my piano playing has improved over the years, but I can only write at the piano. I can't sit in with other musicians at all. There used to be a time when if I took my hands off the keys to wipe some sweat off my nose or something....then I'd not know where to put them down again. This happened at Hammersmith Odeon on the first tour (I think)...I was playing Why Can't it Wait Till Morning as an encore, and I wiped some sweat with one hand and didn't know where to put it back....apologising to the audience I restarted the song from the beginning, which got a few laughs.... Trouble is that sometimes it's the motion of the hands, the symmetry of them, and if that's "destroyed"...I'm lost !!! Pretty pathetic eh ?? It's not so bad now, I can actually look up from the piano sometimes...!!!

FLAMING YOUTH....won't say too much about this cos it's years and years ago...but we did play in Spain, in Madrid. We had the only van in history that broke down while it was stationary !!! We got on the Ferry OK, then when we got in the van to drive off, it wouldn't start. So we had to push it off....fully loaded. We eventually got it going, but we only had 2 gears...2nd and 4th. Not very useful on the mountains of Bilbao !!! Eventually we limped into Madrid. Flaming Youth was like that. We were a good band for the time. My old friend Ronnie Caryl was our bass player, who of course has been in the band since the DITL tour, and my friend since were 13/14.

RIO..... Was on for the Both Sides tour, then cancelled as the sponsorship fell through. Gigs there are usually funded like that by the promoter and his money fell out. Also in this same question was "do I get to read letters sent", A lot, but not all, I couldn't possibly. Annie Callingham, who a lot of you know at least by name, has been "doing my stuff " for a great many years now, and she reads them and replies or sends them to me to read and reply. As much as humanly possible, they get dealt with. The Mosaic in question....if it's too much to send it, hold on till I get there, hopefully on the final leg of the final tour !!!

I HAVE TO DISAGREE....with mcfreddy, though only in fun. I think computers have enhanced my music. Certainly from a composing side. I couldn't have done the Brother Bear stuff or the Tarzan Musical stuff without one. There are more chances taken on Testify than most people realise....lots of new things for me. Regarding the Horn section and why I don't use the EW and F section anymore. Well for one thing 2 of them are no longer with us. Don Myrick was shot by the LA Police a few years back in a "drug related incident". Lui-Lui died just recently. Michael Harris who played trumpet and did the stratospheric notes, was a loose cannon I'm afraid. He had his own problems back in the early days, and he had to go. Harry Kim was brought in by the guys themselves to replace him. That quartet, the one that was on the Serious Tour, were great. However as time went on it got a little sloppy. When the tour ended I started to write what was to become Both Sides. This album didn't have horns at all. By the time the tour for that record was starting the Phenix Horns had wound down...and Harry had formed a new section called "the Vine Street Horns" including Andrew Woolfolk from EW and F on sax ( he was in the EWF band proper, as opposed to the horn section ). This is the section I've used, even in amongst the Big Band players, ever since. After the DITL tour Andrew left, and we are now blessed with the wonderful Gerald Albright.

TOMMYTWOTONE....the Gentleman you ask about is George Martin. He produced the Beatles which is a good thing to have on a CV !!! Before that he produced The Goons and others. I'd known George for many years and during an interview with him for a TV series he was doing, he mentioned that he was going to put the Beatles stuff on CD, and it would be the last time those tapes would be heard as they were. I couldn't resist asking if I could come and have a listen....so I went to AIR studios, above Oxford Circus, and heard their multi-tracks for the first and last time. Yesterday, Ticket to Ride, Help.....paradise. When he put each fader up separately (and there was only 4 of them !!!)...each track had one or two instruments on them and you could hear the guys coughing etc. Anyway to get back to the point, he was making what was to be his last album. His hearing has suffered over the years and this was to be the last one. He asked the people he liked to pick songs of the Beatles to perform. I chose, after discussing it with him, Golden Slumbers, which has the little drum solo in it. He came out to France where we were recording DITL, and we did it all in a day. He'd say..."this is what George sang..." and "this is what Paul did.." it was quite magical. The album is called "IN MY LIFE" and there was a documentary made...don't know if that is available, though I have a copy. When I think of these things I've been able to do in my career, I'm very touched that I've managed to work with some of the greatest musicians, writers, producers of our time. I never forget how lucky I am.

ITS YOURSELF....will not be on the Platinum Collection. I believe there was an executive decision to leave it off. The idea of radically remixing tracks is a hot topic as a lot of fans don't want it messed with....I quite like the idea of re-recording some things....maybe one day.

JACK LANCASTER.... I got to know him through Robin Lumley from Brand X. That's the reason I played on the various odd albums by him like Peter and the Wolf etc.......

JOHN MAYER....the wife likes him....I like him for a bit then I get a bit bored of it....he creates a good mood in his music though.

BILL BRUFORD.....haven't heard any of Bills music for ages, though we've seen each other to talk. He was a big hero of mine with the very early YES. I used to go to the Marquee Club EVERY time they played there. I almost went for the audition as drummer when Bill went back to Leeds University....but I didn't call Jon Anderson back....who knows where I'd be if I'd gone !!!

PERKINS PALACE....no plans to release this on DVD.

STAGE ACTING....there's something about this that appeals to me. Maybe one day. Imagine the reviews !!!!

UEFA...I did write the Logo music for the last European Championships. I was told it would be used at the next one as well, but I won't hold my breath. It was a lot more difficult pleasing them than pleasing Disney !!! Sometimes I wonder how they manage to organise a football match. I did make a couple of great friends doing it, who work at HQ. Not only do you have to write something that exists as a stand alone 2 minute piece, but you have to then make it work as a 1sec.... 2sec.... 3sec... 5sec... 10sec.... 15sec... 20sec.... 30sec.... 40sec.... 45 sec..... 60sec... 90sec.... piece as well !!!

TARZAN/DITL....it was lucky coincidence that both things happened around the same time. I had been listening to Yousou a lot, and that can be heard on the album. Much more him than Paul Simon whose Graceland I really didn't know that well. Though I loved Ladysmith. Anyway some of that African/Senegalese influence made it into the Tarzan stuff, but only a bit.

UK DOWNER....I don't have a downer on the people in the UK, just the media in general. I think it's a natural reaction to the things that are written and said about you in the media. Enough of that though, otherwise I'll be off on another tantrum !!! I always felt that as a member of Genesis I could criticise us if I wanted to, but if it came from outside I could take offence.....therefore as an Englishman I can fault the English way if I feel like it, but if say, a Bulgarian did it I might jump to the defence....

FATHER TO SON....never did this song live. Too intimate, at least for that time. I used to have in my possession ALL the board tapes from ALL the Genesis shows from way, way back. Ditto my tours. They are now in storage. A strange thing happened a while ago. I was doing an interview with Record Collector magazine about Genesis, and the subject of Bootlegs came up. Now, throughout all the Genesis rehearsals from Selling England onwards, I was the tape man. I taped every rehearsal we did...every writing session on cassette. Amongst these recordings were obviously the Headley Grange Lamb writing sessions. They all were at my house. Then I got divorced and didn't at that time take everything that I really wanted with me...an impossible task anyway. However the only copies of these tapes were in my studio at my house. The Record Collector interviewer then said had I heard the Headley Bootlegs....I said it was impossible as I had the only copies.....he sent me one which featured the Evil Jam (later the Waiting Room)..an afternoon session I remember like it was yesterday. My point with all this is HOW do people get stuff so difficult to get !!! This was MY house and unless my ex-wife did it........wait a second..... No seriously how do they do it huhhuh

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xx Re: under construction
« Reply #17 on: Jul 4th, 2011, 07:44am »

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DRINKING ON A GIG DAY.....never do, never have. After... You bet !!! We used to have a group "tipple" in Genesis just before we went on, but as a singer it wasn't the best idea. So I stopped that. Reading is the way to pass the time now....or doing this !!!! In the old days we'd just talk and get on each others nerves. It's difficult to imagine but the Genesis with Pete, used to drive to gigs in his Hillman Imp...5 of us....drove us crazy. He'd often forget, while he was talking and the poor car would be straining in 3rd gear at 90mph !! Then when that packed up we used Mikes Mini Estate. Every time we went through bad rain, the engine would stall as the plugs would get wet. One day the windscreen smashed and we did a couple of hundred miles with the wind roaring round our heads. The almost final straw came when we broke down 3 times on the way to Aberystwyth and 2 times on the way back, having arrived too late to play anyway...!!! ...I'm starting to sound like an old soldier reminiscing....sorry. I'll leave it there.

STORIES TO NIC....he gets stories every night. His Mum reads to him in French and English occasionally , I read to him in English (!) The stories obviously vary, but one of his favourites is Hectors New Sneakers. It's actually about peer pressure at school, though he doesn't know that yet !!! I think school uniforms are a great idea. Every one is the same...no expensive shoes or designer bags, everyone with the same outfit and therefore no class difference. Still it's probably never going to happen again now.

COVERS....the slow version of Heaven is by Deborah Cox, and I think it's fantastic. I liked a lot of Urban Renewal. She Loves You was just one Beatle song I've mentioned over the years that sounds great slowed down.

THIN LIZZY...I used to know Phil Lynott, and he asked me to play congas (I think) on Johnny the Fox. That was all I did.

SCANDINAVIA...has always been a place where people start tours for some reason. It can be quite a reserved place, crowd wise. I've always enjoyed playing there, but people do tend to sit down, and applaud politely because of that. The Globe in Stockholm is a great venue, but it's seated, at least it always is when I play there, and it does alter the way people react.

SILENT BOB....

ALL THE SPORTS PEOPLE....found this very funny, as it reminded me of the Life Of Brian. Near the beginning, at the Sermon on the Mount. Someone can't hear Jesus and asks what he's saying, his neighbour says " I think he said blessed are the cheese makers, or manufacturers of any dairy produce"....when of course it was "peace makers". (This would be a lot easier if I was SAYING it rather than WRITING it.) Anyway, I actually said ..."all the small people at the back..."...not "sports people".....I guess the acoustics in that new arena in Amsterdam leave a lot to be desired. Though I did hear that we sounded good in there compared to most.....obviously not my chat though !!!!

AMBITIONS... None left really that I've thought of....though plenty that I haven't thought of yet.

THE 3 BEARS...this will probably never happen. Although there are scripts in Hollywood that have been around forever and then someone finally gets the idea and makes the movie. All we need is the script. DeVito always asks when it's going to happen, Hoskins is ready to do it.....we just need a script. At one point Robert Zemeckis was going to direct it...but even he couldn't come up with the right script.

YOU'LL BE IN MY HEART VIDEO...this was made by Kevin Godley, and though I like Kevin a lot, this video was rotten. It was a neat idea but for another song. Unfortunately it was also an idea that you couldn't tell was not going to work till it was too late. The song is a warm hearted love song, but I was strapped to a chair so the green screen SFX could work. Not fun. Not good. Disney tried to salvage it but there wasn't enough "up" footage to bring it back to life !!!

NAMINAMU....a bit like Wot Gorilla, in as much as it was based on a drum pattern. In both cases Weather Report inspired.

LAMB....the Lamb album was a mixture of individual songs from different people and some old things that had been around since before I joined the band. Plus of course, and most importantly, the group written material. It was written at a place called Headley Grange in Surrey, which was also the place where Led Zeppelin lived for a while and recorded some of Physical Graffiti. The drums for When The Levee Breaks were recorded in the stairwell. What a sound. Anyway this place was overrun by rats....hundred of them. As you passed them in the hallway they'd stop and look at you then carry on doing what they were doing !!!! It was an interesting time and some good music was written there.

DEEP WATER TOWN...again I scratch my head and ask how did someone get it... I don't think it was ever released, or am I going slowly senile. It was a pretty song about a disaster at sea, and the families left behind. Obviously one of my more cheerful pre-divorce moments. Circa Both Sides....

LIFE AFTER TOURING...no big difference for me. The family is with me on tour, so that's not a shock. No Room Service, but frankly, that gets old quite quickly on the road, and you long for beans on toast.

People I got to go.....the wife and son probably think I'm drunk in the wine cellar...
Till the next time...see you.
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xx Re: under construction
« Reply #18 on: Jul 4th, 2011, 07:45am »

NOVEMBER 2004

News from the front.....a few questions answered to the best of my ability.

DRUMS...what drums did I use on WCD and other recordings ?? A little difficult to answer as I have an Aladdin's Cave of gear that I've accumulated over the years. I did have a white Gretsch kit, but didn't use it in the studio. Normally it would have been a set of black Pearl concert toms that "barked" nicely, or a similar set of black Gretsch. I always used a 20" Gretsch bass drum whatever, with a Nobel and Cooley piccolo snare drum. I have to stress for the train spotters out there that I always used whatever I felt was right for the song. So the "Phil Collins" sound is a bit of a myth really. My personality comes through, but the kit changes as does the sound. Padgham and me changed everything for every track. We never stayed with the sound we had for the previous song. I also used a double headed old Premier kit for the warmer songs, which had a 22" bass drum. In addition to this, I collect antique snare drums, so they get used as and when.

SISTER IN BUSTER.....it was lovely working with her in the film. She did lots of acting anyway and she auditioned for the part. It was great fun on the day. The man who owned that house just died actually. I wrote to him just before he passed away with my reminiscences of the day at the request of his daughter.

DIVORCE AND WRITING.....life and all that happens in it all add to the dictionary you have of emotions. I can be very happy but if the feel of the music pulls me in a direction, I go with it on memories and experiences evoked by the music.

ZERMATT BY RAILWAY...we used to go to Tasch and park, wait for the train, lug all the luggage (no assistants there, just family) get off the train, lug all the luggage...and get an electric taxi to the Hotel. THEN I found out you could park at a garage, get a regular taxi to Zermatt and be met by a Hotel taxi !!!! All my love of trains went out the window I'm afraid !!! Picturesque but with a load of bags........

DON'T LOSE MY NUMBER....this was mostly written at the time of Face Value. The lyrics were improvised, so I don't really know what they mean. The video was more of the same. I didn't have a "concept", so Jim, Paul and I decided to make a video about me not knowing what video to make !!! So you have a series of Directors pitching me their ideas for what THEY feel the video should be. Lots of famous Directors of the day were lampooned. Michael Jackson's clips, David Lee Roth's, Elton John's, the Cars, Police, Mad Max, the Samurai movies....pretty much everything.

STORYTELLERS...this show was great to do, and the performance on the day lived up to it. No plans to release it as yet.

DISNEY REJECTS....the songs that sometimes fall behind on these projects are sometimes best left there. There may be a bit here or there that survives, but usually they lay mortally wounded !!! Plus they remain "property" of Disney in case there is a sequel !!!

LOCO IN ACCAPULCO....we rehearsed this, like many others, for fun and to see if it stood up to repetitive playing. This one didn't, plus a lot of people wouldn't know it. Personally it was a highlight of my career. Writing with Lamont Dozier,recording the Four Tops, what could top that ?? Very proud of the song.

STAGE DESIGNERS....usually there is an "audition" of ideas, where the designers show me their ideas. This time out it was Vince Foster who has designed shows for Simply Red, Kylie and many others. He'd operated the lights on previous tours, and had grown into a designer. Whatever you see on paper changes the day you see it built. Day one in Neuchatel we discovered the stairs were too steep and not deep enough to run up and down. We changed that, made the top runway wider for safety. Stuff like that. Arnold arrived with the singers for the last 10 days of rehearsals only to stumble following me in the last verse of Wear My Hat at the end of the first day, pulling his ligaments BIGTIME. Doctors gave him 6 months to recover. He returned to LA the day after he'd arrived. Very depressed we said goodbye, wondering if he'd take part AT ALL in this last tour. It says a lot for his determination that he returned to Paris within 3 weeks. However he could sing but wasn't mobile, so I decided he wouldn't participate in the DVD. He slowly rejoined us the day after.

BEATLES REFERENCES...as mentioned by the postee, on All of my Life I did sing She Loves You in the B/V's....it seemed to sum up an era although I lost my Dad in the 70's. I try to stress to my kids that they should enjoy the time they have their Grandparents, Parents even....nothing lasts forever no matter what we hope for. Likewise Long Long Long's Ringo shout..."I've got blisters on my fingers".

SILENT BOB...

SILENT BOB...no seriously, I just think it's funny. You wanting the clip from Manchester....me just typing the name....stupid really. Sorry to tease. I feel my best albums are Both Sides, Testify and bits of Face Value. There are SO many songs on BS that are the best I've written. Even in Q in a rare nice moment said that in that years to come perhaps that album would be considered my best. It's a whole chapter talking about that album. Every song has a story, a reason. I don't think I can enter into an "interview" thing with you all.....I'm just getting by doing this !! And regarding the snare sound on Survivors....nothing is ever the best it can be. It's just a snapshot in time, a moment when you think" that's great".

SOUNDS....on Come With Me I thought of using Toots Thielman on harmonica. We'd met and hit it off, and that instrument played well is so great. Anyway the time and place decided I would do it myself.....no patience....and it was a sampled harmonica. On You Touch My Heart I used a very good Soprano sax sample, which reminded me of Wayne Shorter.

THAT'S THE WAY IT IS....this song was written after watching All Quiet on the Western Front, a B/W film, very famous about the futility of war. Men killing each other because they're told to, not because they themselves feel it. Absolutely and completely senseless killing. It is about the enormity of that, and while admitting there was the "Hun" to deal with, the First World War progressed to be a macabre plaything for the Generals. You hear that during that during that War during periods of armistice, Xmas for example, the two rivalling armies would play soccer and be quite friendly. Completely at odds with the day before and what would be the day after. Blackadder 4 has lots of that brilliant stupidity. So the songs lyrics listened to with that in mind, should make more sense.

FOR ABSENT FRIENDS...I can't really remember who led who in this. I think the guys felt comfortable with me singing a song (remember Ringo always had a song !!!). Likewise More Fool Me, though I do remember writing it with Mike on the stairs at Island studios where we were recording Selling England. This studio later was bought by Trevor Horn, and we did "Do They Know It's Christmas" there.

BATES RADIO ONE STAND IN.....I always used to enjoy doing this kind of thing as it gave me an opportunity to expose to a big group of people, artists that they may have missed. I never felt comfortable with the "links"..."stay tuned, we'll be right back for Phil Collins' top 30...". A radio voice is quite important, and if you saw some of the faces behind the big voices you'd be quite surprised.

BREAD BIN...for it was he who posed the previous question, made me think about singing those very words. In rock'n'roll lyrics, there has never been a more difficult pair of words to put emotion into than "Bread Bin" from All In A Mouse's Night. (Wind and Wuthering for the uninitiated). I had to put up with these kind of lyrics for years !!! That's why I have a soft spot for the later years of Genesis, when I could at least sing other peoples words, by then a little more personal, with some kind of emotion.

ITAT REMIXES.....when I went to NYC to master the first album, Ahmet Ertegun, who was the founder of Atlantic Records with his brother Neshui, came to the session. Remember that by this time we'd finished the mixing and were putting the album "to bed". While listening to ITAT (a track he had championed from the start), he asked me..."where's the downbeat ??"...I showed him, though he knew anyway, as it was a rhetorical question really...he said "you know that...I know that...but a lot of kids out there WON'T know that...you gotta show them...lay it out..." So as I was not going back to remix that song, Hugh and I decided to go into a studio and add to the mix. We booked 10CC's studio and overdubbed some tom-toms in their workshop as it was quite a live sounding room. One take. That's the version that was out as a single.

SNOWBOARDING...I regard snowboarders as the Mountain equivalent of Hells Angels.....they generally have no regard for other peoples safety or feelings. They jump queues, and generally cause havoc on the slopes. I personally prefer at my time of life, as a man of my age, 2 bits of wood. The idea of being strapped to 1 bit of wood terrifies me. I'm sure there are some honest and decent snowboarders out there who value other peoples feelings...but I've yet to meet them.

KNEBWORTH....I helicoptered in and drove home. A nightmare gig for the audience after the show.....there are probably still some people in the car park....I can only apologise.

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xx Re: under construction
« Reply #19 on: Jul 4th, 2011, 07:46am »

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UNCLE ERNIE...what a blessing, to be able to participate in my heroes work. I've always loved The Who, so when the offer came to participate in Tommy Live in LA, I couldn't say no. We rehearsed in the afternoon in normal clothes, but when the performance came I had given it a lot of thought. As I came on stage I remember Pete and Roger looking at me thinking.."oh no, we've got another Loony here..." To be a pervert now of course is not funny at all....then it was, if you put a tongue in your cheek. I'm very proud to have been a part of that and to have played, in some shape or form, with The Who. We did it again in London. I wouldn't have missed it.

VIENNA...Orianne has always been interested with the story of Sissy. She is almost the Viennese equivalent of Diana. We've spent time there going to the Palace, the Musical (!), everywhere that there's a trace of Sissy. In the same question I think there was something to do with the Two Rooms tribute CD to Elton. I was asked to participate, and I did. I chose a song that I really liked from an early album. We recorded it during the But Seriously sessions, and Steve Winwood played organ...what a great musician he is. Overlooked by people in this MTV driven world, but a great voice and a great musician and writer.

HEROES TO DINE WITH...Miles and Zawinul....both of these guys are unique. I've met both, and before it's too late I'd like to play with Joe Zawinul. We talk about it...but I need to REALLY practise for him...he's a giant. Miles likewise, but of course he's no longer with us.

BRITNEY...unfortunate choice of words..."stripping away"...seriously though, I don't listen that much to music. I am more interested in what I'm doing than what other people are doing. The music business today is related to the "reality...quick feed .....frenzy.....overkill....chew it up, spit it out..." temperature of our lives today. There are good artists out there of course, but as live acts I'm not so sure. They don't have a big repertoire to fall back on. Robbie Williams....Eminem...these are clever, deep artists.

SWING LO.....the ITAT quote was after hearing Eminem quoting me in "Stan". I thought that if he could do it so could I. I think "Stan" was the best "fan" song I've heard. Without offending anyone I hope, there are some extremists out there who write a glowing letter hoping for a reply...then when one is not forthcoming they start to turn....eventually getting to outrageous proportions. Ultimately this leads to a "Stan" scenario.

FOR A FRIEND....this was written about someone I knew. Very brave person. Also might have been written around the time of "And the Band Played On.." which I had a cameo in and which was of course about the origin of AIDS.

DON'T GET ME STARTED....the ITAT drum fill is really a variation of something I've always done in different shapes or forms throughout my career. It's a triplet fill involving toms and bass drum in various permutations.

BOTH SIDES BOOTS...some of the titles I don't remember at all....Cannot Believe It's True (slower)....I'd love to hear that.....

NO REPLY ETC LIVE....never thought of doing this or Paper Late in my shows. They're not mine enough for me to do.

I have replied to stuff up till ABACAB 1....be patient.... Have to go now...personal stuff. Will let you know of the arrival, which of course is very soon...till then I remain...the Singer xxx
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xx Re: under construction
« Reply #20 on: Jul 4th, 2011, 07:47am »

DECEMBER 2004

Dear Friends....I said I'd keep you posted of the new arrival so here is the lowdown. Mathew Thomas Clemence arrived safely Dec1st....at 13.53pm....3k 210..... Mother and baby doing great, and Father over the moon..... I know a lot of you will wish him and his Mum well, so I'll pass on your best wishes to them.

Love Phil the singer.
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xx Re: under construction
« Reply #21 on: Jul 4th, 2011, 07:49am »

DECEMBER 2004

Hi everybody, firstly can I say how touched I was by your words of congratulations and good wishes to me and my family on the birth of Mathew. I was strangely moved by all the things said from people that I don't really know but have somehow touched through the songs...thank you . As I'm here without the new guy and the wife (Nic is in bed), I figured I'd try to get to some more questions and in doing so improve my typing....

ABACAB1...thanks for the info for the Harrison bit on Anthology. I almost certainly would have missed it. At the time of Gary Brooker's album, I hadn't really met George apart from that one session for "All Things...." where I didn't really MEET him at all. In later years I knew him better, he was a mutual friend of Jackie Stewart and his family, plus the Princes Trust things..... He was my favourite Beatle really....he didn't take it all too seriously and really was interested in the music. He seemed to try to blow away any myths.

ROBERT PLANT...I don't remember him being on TIYL...he has a great sense of humour though, and possibly I was being too sensitive about his Live Aid comments....sometimes we think we can say things about friends without intending to actually hurt them in the process.

THE PRINCES TRUST CONCERTS... were great fun. It's quite amazing the people we'd get to come and play. We would rehearse for a few days...all together like a "real" band...Elton, Eric C, Sting, Knopfler, Bryan Adams, Howard Jones, Ray Cooper, Midge Ure....then the "real" stars would come in. Rod Stewart, Paul Mc, Cocker, Bee Gee's.....too many to mention....a great period and one that had to end at some point. No one could do it every year, except for me as I was a Trustee and it was my role. I am still an honorary Member and am still as active as I can be.

HUGH PADGHAM.... indeed was a great producer/engineer. We worked together on many of my and Genesis albums as you know. We both wanted change whenever we could justify it. Like using different musicians more. It's hard though when you know musicians that you only have to hint an idea to, and they finish your thought for you. Dominic Millar was playing with Sting and Hugh had just finished working with him. He suggested him as a different taste/sound to have on the album we were working on at the time...But Seriously. Dom is great and we still see each other whenever Sting and I bump into each other on a TV show...which is quite often as he works more than even I do !!!

TOM TOM84....at first I thought it was a name for a computer, such were the horn arrangements for EWF. Only when I started to work with the guys and meet him did I realise he was a real person.... We used to sit together round a tape player and I'd sing ideas...whatever I wanted to hear, into another tape recorder. I sang ANYTHING..no matter how complicated it was. He'd then go away and make sense of my ideas and add to them. We had our ups and downs....he once got a little drunk and combined with jet lag actually made Hugh cry !!!...you'll have to wait for the book for the rest of that story.

WEAR MY HAT....this is in part about fans. I do sometimes wonder where those little scraps of paper that I sign end up !! So many times I get asked to sign something and the person doesn't have a pen or a bit of paper....then they tear off a bit of a cigarette packet..and you know they'll forget about it in the morning. Their Mum will wash their trousers and it'll be history..... Though the words were completely improvised, and it just popped out, I can't say it was founded on any thoughts specifically. I also think that another interpretation of it was me saying "you wear my hat, you be me....if you think this is easy...you do it.." This was at the same time as the divorce/fax/hell in the tabloids, where I didn't think anything that I had was worth what I was going through. The lies and misrepresentations that so many people read and probably believed....

GENESIS AND MY COMMENTS ON OLDER RECORDINGS...I've dealt with this before... but briefly for those that missed it...as I was there when we wrote it, played it over and over...I know that most of the recordings were pale imitations of what we were capable of. For various reasons, studio time, and the cost of it, nerves etc. for me, we never really cut it in the early days. Maybe except for The Lamb...where we recorded it on a mobile in Wales, and occasionally forgot we WERE recording. Also as I listen back now (in the car) to the Platinum Collection...Nicholas is just realising that I have a past that he never knew about !! Invisible Touch is a current favourite, I don't like the way I sing on some of the earlier stuff either...too polite...even the Invisible Touch CD sounds too strained...don't know why and I probably am the only one to be bothered by it. Although I sometimes wonder if reviewers were right on the odd occasion !!

GOD IF I SAW HER NOW...remember the song...Ant wrote lovely songs...I really like the man.

THIS LOVE THIS HEART...was very influenced by French songs that I was hearing on the radio. There's a writer called Jean Jacques Goldman who writes a lot of Celine Dion's material plus he has a career of his own. Also some songs from the French stage hits "Romeo and Juliet' and "the Ten Commandments"...have great, great melodies and key changes. I wanted to try that and came up with "This Love.." You know it occurs to me that slowly the songs that I consider to be my best WILL rise to the surface and be reassessed. It seems that a lot of you discover the odd overlooked track every now and then.

FLOYD BORING....this'll end up on their web site I'm sure.....I may have said that I think their music was boring at a time when I was into more "active" music !!! I don't find them particularly boring now, though I never really sit down and listen to them.....when I do come across them "by accident"...I like what I hear. Roger Waters once said (or at least I read that he did) that he was always too busy writing his stuff to listen to other peoples music, and that it didn't really interest him what other people wrote...I tend to agree with him. Gilmore is a lovely, lovely guy...Waters a bit of a grouch.....

MISSED AGAIN REGGAE...happened during rehearsals for Both Sides. The song seemed a little inconclusive as a live song, so we mucked about a bit. Nathan and I had done Knockin' on Heavens Door with EC, and we put a bit of that in it....

GOLF....I have amongst my friends Nick Faldo. He comes to shows and he's a great guy. He's always said that if I gave him drum lessons, he'd give me golf lessons.....as I've just started to play, I'm going to take him up on the offer. I'll never be that good at it...I don't think you ever can be as good as you want to with a game like that...but the satisfaction of hitting a ball and hearing that sound, is like hitting a drum and hearing that sound....

CLOSEST BIOGRAPHY ON GENESIS....would have to be "Opening the Musical Box" by Alan Hewitt simply because it is a factual look at the life of the band as seen through the daily gigs.....although it does have a few holes in it, as I pointed out to Alan. There's also "I Know What I Like" by Armando Gallo which is pretty much "the Bible" for Genesis fans, and should be too as he spent so much time with us on the road in the 70's. He's now with the Hollywood Foreign Press, the group who are responsible for the Golden Globes, so I see him on the odd occasion. We both had tea and biscuits with Paul Whitehead in LA not long ago.

RIPPLES....no reason for playing or dropping this song on various G tours. Sometimes it's the amount of ballads in the show, sometimes boredom...certainly there's no relevance to Steve leaving as to whether we played it or not.

STAR ACADEMY STYLE SHOWS....I have a big soft spot for the French version. It is a well intentioned show and a good Variety show with guest stars who, if they choose to, can get involved more than just the performing of their "hit". I've performed in the last 3 series and am a bit of a team Mascot !!! The teachers are well meaning and don't have a Simon Callow amongst them fortunately. It's all quite positive. I find that the culture of the country comes through in the way the show (including the Pop Idol's) is produced. England's is quite cruel and cynical...likewise Germany's which is clinical....USA which is aggressive...

THE WHO....one of my favourite bands ever. I worked with Pete Townsend a while back about the time Keith Moon died, on a Raphael Rudd project for his Oceanic Label. I had no reservations about offering my help as drummer....if that meant leaving Genesis then so be it. He told me that Roger, John and he had already asked Kenney Jones, as it was he who had played on a few of the songs when Moon was too "tired and emotional". Too late....too bad. I did finally get to be a part of their story when I played Uncle Ernie in the LA and London shows of Tommy. I also played with him on a session for the McCartney album "Press to Play"....grins were exchanged. I have no recollection of a Hall and Oates thing, we met but nothing else as far as I can remember. Haven't heard from EC for a while....I live where I live, he lives where he lives....both of us have new families...although I have to say that I miss him very much. We were the best of friends....every day we used to hang out...don't know why it ground to a halt except for the distance aspect. Whenever we do bump into each other...the Jubilee concert for example...it's like it always was...but we don't connect in the way we used to. I think I know why and it's not serious...just painful maybe.

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xx Re: under construction
« Reply #22 on: Jul 4th, 2011, 07:50am »

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LELAND AND ARNOLD....have known each other for 30 years at least. This must mean I have a very old band !!! I could find a younger and, dare I say it, cheaper, band...but in the end these people are amongst the best and they're my friends too, and they know the songs better than I do, which means that we can rehearse for a one off show in record time. There wasn't much chat in the last tour as the language thing slows it down a bit.....though you may have noticed that in America I did have more to say than in Europe..... I think Laura Pausini is an incredible talent. She has a fantastic range. The song she did of mine was a song that I had for But Seriously, but never finished. Dusty Springfield was going to record it but only if I produced it, which I couldn't do at the time. Now SHE was a singer..... HOUCINE....is a big talent that I met through Star Academy France....we sang Easy Lover....he's a great talent and will get there sometime if he hangs in there.

ASHLEY....is NOT Football related Rad !! It came from the "well actually.." joke....."don't call me actually/ashley"..... Radical Dude was a term that didn't really mean that much if you analysed it, though Simon often used it !! John Cleese said that the Americans have quite a few sayings or words like that...."a bunch of us did..."..."a whole bunch of..."...things that mean nothing if you actually think about it. 80 Presets....was a play on Around the World in 80 Days.....the famous film, I thought most people knew that, or maybe everybody's just too young !!!!

MUSIC FOR BOTH SIDES TOUR....there was a label called Recycle or Die distributed by Warners. It was an ambient label produced in the main by a group of guys collectively called Schallbau. They went on to produce Simons first CD. I used a mellow piece that I found on the way to rehearsal one day. It fitted the Urban Jungle feel of the set. We may have played Let it Be at sound check, as it's something I know on the piano......I've listed previously what tunes from Both Sides we attempted during the tour.

RAT RACE...of course you're completely right again with this....NOT easy money (though I think I was asked)....but Yes for the Miami Vice bit.."Life is a Rat Race chasing easy money"....my limbs are weak etc.......

DOESN'T ANYBODY STAY....not written prior to NJR. Ironically I sang this at the Prince of Wales' 40th Birthday party with their separation just around the corner unbeknownst to me.... Pick Up The Pieces was the same version 12 or 24 minutes. Just edited.

BRUSHES....this is difficult stuff. The next time you're in a bar or a lounge and the drummer is playing with these things....give him some credit !!!

DUKE SONGS LIVE.....we didn't play some songs as they were a little inconsequential live...in the 80's, everything had to have a climax !!!

NO STUDIES.....I wish now that I had studied and paid attention more at school. The trouble was that they didn't appear to make it very interesting....the pop world was starting and everyone wanted to be a Beatle or a Stone....but Music Education was still in the dark ages. Not so now I think. I went back to study later...a bit !!! By then I had "big ears"...meaning that once I'd heard it, I didn't need to
read it as I remembered it.

DVD FROM PARIS....bluntly, it was to get the thing out for Xmas. Though that backfired in the States and Canada for reasons already mentioned last time. Also we were 3 nights in the same place, which makes sense for cameras and editing between performances. If you look at the old Genesis film from 76/77, you'll see some audience shots cut in by the director from a Yes concert... open-air and 120,000 people strong (so we were told)....completely fake !!! Oh the shame !!!!

BOTH SIDES....didn't want anybody to "meddle" with it, so I did everything myself....far too personal to be interpreted by someone else.

DR EVIL LOOK ALIKE....of course, though completely by chance !!!

GENESIS MUSIC....before I joined I'd never heard any Genesis music. A complete virgin......

VANCOUVER....it may have been Simon and Joely, as in the mid/late 70's they flew home together....I wouldn't do it now, but then there was not much choice.

AL DIMEOLA....I did a track with him recorded at Caribou in Denver. Never heard it, but I did it because Dennis Mackay was producing it. He of Brand X fame.

MONTY PYTHON.....played 5 a side football with them !!!! Cleese was actually a GREAT football player, he could weave amazingly well despite his height. Charisma had them signed as an act, so we bumped into them quite a lot. In later years I saw John Cleese a bit as I was involved with his partner Michael Shamburg (also Danny DeVitos partner) trying to put the 3 Bears together. Cleese was very nice and, of course not the ball of fun you'd hope for or expect. Comedians are usually like that, it's the Undertakers that usually have the great natural sense of humour. Cleese always tended to study what made you laugh, as most comedians do and did. Comedy is probably THE most difficult thing for an actor, which is probably why there are so few good comedies on TV or the Cinema.

So friends, we reach the end of another "Question Time".....I'll be on here again albeit a little less often maybe for a while. I thank you again for your best wishes for the missus and Mathew.

Until then I remain....the singer xxx
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xx Re: under construction
« Reply #23 on: Jul 4th, 2011, 07:51am »

DECEMBER 2004

ASHLEY....the saga continues. Rad is correct in that there was a player called Ashley, who resembled me somewhat. I got a letter from the Chairman of Accrington Stanley FC, who told me about him and asked me that as they were strapped for cash, would I pay for his kit for a season. I said yes and did it for a few seasons. I've always had a soft spot for ASFC, Jon Anderson came from there, Brian Chatton (Flaming Youth) was born very close by....plus it was on the Wembley board game that I cherished as a boy. If anyone wants to see what money has done to the Football League, find an old Wembley game and see what teams are on the board !!!! It's a terrible shame that most of the clubs have either disappeared or are in the non-league Divisions....mainly due to GREED and BIG BUSINESS. I love to see Real Madrid and Manchester United play as much as anyone else, they are a joy to watch, but the money now involved puts the game completely out of whack for most clubs.

Remember originally football clubs were formed by the people LIVING in that area. Now most of the Chelsea team don't even speak English !!! I remember the golden days of Jimmy Greaves.....75 quid a week.... Anyway I shall not go on like my Father might......or even Alf Garnet, it just annoys me rather.

ERIC AND ME....I read this thread with interest as I'd not seen the things he'd said. We were great friends before he asked me to produce him, not the other way round. The producing came much later. Of course I admit the EC that I produced and played with was a different EC than you see now, although we did do a lot of laughing. He's very happy now and he deserves it all.

I've never really loved a guy like I did Eric, we were the best of friends, seeing each other almost every day. I helped him make the records HE wanted to make. I didn't guide him musically, and it's a little unfair for him to blame me for leading him away from the Blues. He wrote the material for Behind the Sun, and as his friend I helped him record those songs. I didn't PRODUCE... I DIRECTED AND ASSISTED his wishes. He had written very little on records immediately prior to us working together, they were mainly covers.

Suddenly he started writing songs on a synth and doing home demos....albeit with my encouragement. Ray Coleman's book on him deals with that period quite well.... I do understand that his being associated with me has hurt his credibility in some quarters, but I would have thought that he'd have seen through that stuff. I still think about him everyday, and I consider him to be one of my greatest friends...whether he feels the same...I don't know.

LINCOLN IN A WHEELCHAIR....yes, we did play a gig there with PG in a chair, I think it was a layover from the Friars gig where he jumped off stage and twisted his ankle huh The Bread Van was before my time, but I do believe there was a "Bread Van" period.

THE NEXT ALBUM...will be whatever it'll be. I more than likely will have scanned the site pages for expectations, but I've never thought it wise to write to order, so never have done...ever. Except for the script restrictions of a film of course. Reading what you guys want.....and I already know you want more drums !!!...will only take time away from me doing this stuff. It'll be OK, I'll try very hard to write something that'll make us all happy !!!!

POWER CUTS IN MY LIFE TIME....Nimes was one. I don't get angry with my Crew, they work harder than anyone I know to make sure the Boss's show goes OK. Sometimes a place like Nimes cannot handle the required power, and Alain Lahanna the French Promoter, who is a great friend of mine, does everything in his power to make sure it all goes without a hitch, However, you can't "rehearse" a show from a power POV, there are so many unknown factors. If everyone in Nimes decides to boil a kettle and have a cup of tea at the same time in one of our "BIG MOMENTS"...we're up the creek.

Same goes for RF (radio frequencies) there are so many wireless things on stage, mic's, head sets etc....at sound check it all goes swimmingly well. Then the security guys and the Police and the Building guys, all arrive and turn on THEIR wireless gear, the Walkie Talkie's and it becomes a nightmare !! Fortunately it only happens sometimes.

We had a few interesting Genesis power cuts in Dallas, which was unfortunate as Dallas based Showco, who were our Sound and Lights Company in the old days, always invited key business people to the shows. On a few occasions, just at the end of the set...the ORGASMIC moment (I hope that word gets through Bill !!!) in Los Endos, all the power went off leaving me and Chester. Now that alone is not a bad thing but only for a few minutes.....eventually after an eternity the power was restored and we finished the show. Mike Rutherford, I remember, came in the dressing room and trashed the wine and cheese table....more of that in "the Book"

WORKING THROUGH THE 80'S....I don't know how or even why I did it...too many great chances to play with my heroes I suppose. "Only Your Love"...don't recall that song.

THE RIGHT WRIST...is still broken. It happened somehow during the Both Sides tour, and I left the throbbing pain every night till it was far too late. If it hurt I just played harder to go through the pain barrier. (I don't suggest you try this at home !!!)

The Doctor I eventually saw, told me I'd broken a bone in my wrist....I had no recollection of that at all (a rare Ozzy moment ??)...but in Geneva after the tour, I was advised to operate only if I was in pain. It never hurt again.

JESUS HE KNOWS ME......this song was touch and go in some parts of the South of the USA. I was treading on dodgy ground. Many Bible belters there. There was an Evangelist called Ernest Angley (I'm not sure now how you spell his name)...he was priceless. Whenever, on a Sunday I'd surf the TV, if EVER I found him I'd watch for as long as he was on. He had the worst wig I've ever seen, and his accent was THE most outrageous thing you'll ever hear. A complete character and I loved him. It was he who I impersonated on the video. The figure of 18,000,000 dollars was drawn from another guy who went on TV saying that God had told him to get that much by the weekend !!! The strangest stories are usually founded on truth. No 666 thing.

STUDIO RIG....OK, I'll be as exact as I can be but I don't want to get into "trainspotting" mode with it. The desk is an automated Sony, can't remember the number of it, I use a Cubase music programme and will shortly be upgrading to the new one. 2 Giga Studios, Korg keyboards including 01WD, Triton, Trinity, Karma. Roland D50 which I really only use now for a couple of sounds, but I use them on nearly everything !!! A Yamaha CP78 that triggers all the above. I have a SP1200 drum machine, but haven't used it for ages. I also have the original ITAT Roland drum machine, which was last used on "We Fly So Close"....plus the original 808 machine from the "One More Night" days. I use a Brauner microphone with an Avalon preamp. I never touch it !!! I have loads of stuff like the 909 and the 707...SP12 and others from the past. Various outboard gear, though painfully outdated now. Reverbs like the Yamaha Rev 7....the famous AMS Digital Reverb with the gated non lin FX created after ITAT and Intruder......HAVE I LOST ANYONE YET huh

I also have a very sophisticated Video Conference system where I can send music to Disney (or whoever) digitally, and receive the same. I did the Steve Wright show from there recently. I really don't have to go outside my door to make a record if I chose. Live Drums are the only major problem, so I always opt for finishing the project somewhere else, and of course the mixing. Not having a complete pair of ears means I need someone to help me there, though I still Police the balance if not the sonic quality. Most of the singing you hear on most of my records comes from the home studio, Disney included. I sometimes have to pick up a line if there's a lyric change but otherwise....

DEMOES ON THE SITE...I have nudged Bill to remind me to have a conversation in the new year about this....I think it's a great idea. I need to find the stuff but I have a zero on it all. Just need the time.

NICKY HORNE....great guy, we used to see each other a lot...dinners and suchlike. I enjoyed his shows....he was never sycophantic, if he didn't like something he'd tell you, which made for a change. Where is he now ??

AUDIENCE APPLAUSE AND RESPONSE....some countries are LOUD and some are quiet. The French are really loud when they join in.....Germans too. The English can be LOUD as well.....the Scandinavians are usually a little quiet...but I won't give you a world tour of audience reactions here. There are some songs where the audience always jump in too early to clap. Sep. Lives a classic example.....anything where there's a quiet or dramatic ending usually does it. Does it annoy me, No.

ANANDA COLLINS....I found your post very touching, thanks. I remember all of Oscar day, but I'm afraid I can't remember who I waved to !!!

EDDIE VAN HALEN....never met Ed, and have not heard the rumour that he was thinking of me to replace D.L.Roth. I don't think I would have been a good choice really.....I'm not really a belter.

THE MUSICAL BOX....I've written the notes for their Lamb programme on this current tour. I was due to see them in Geneva as well, but I now have to be away. We were talking of me joining them for something....maybe another time. They're supposed to be very good, I've only seen snippets but it's uncanny how "right" they've got it.

GENESIS PRESSURE....we never felt or responded to what was expected of us when we made an album.....so if we did do something now it would be whatever we felt like anyway.

PRODUCING OTHERS....no time for this in the foreseeable future I'm afraid, for some of the obvious reasons.

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« Reply #24 on: Jul 4th, 2011, 07:52am »

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FAN LETTERS AND ME....I read as much as I can. Annie is great at MAKING me do certain things, and when people respond to those things, she sends me their response and then I get all emotional..... watery eyed...

SILENT BOB...we can't go on meeting like this, people are starting to get suspicious !!! I'm glad you have some kind of souvenir of our Duet....

THE WRONG CHOICES...as SB suggests, I have made some corkers in my time. "Another Time"....yes I'd have put that on, not sure what I'd have taken off....."It's Everywhere"....possibly too. "Take Me With You" definitely should have been on Both Sides....I wanted to make that record have a mood, like a Blue Nile record...and "We Wait and we Wonder" spoilt that mood, though I like the song and believe in the lyrics completely. Which is why I decided to put it on probably.

ALAN HULL....another band I don't recall being asked to join....but as I always say "my bones are weak, my eyes frail etc......" I got on very well with the Lindisfarne guys, please give them my love when you see them next, though Alan's dead now, as I'm sure you know......

THE PUMP ROOM CHICAGO....this was the birthplace of the title of NJR...to get the full story, you'll have to buy "the book" !!! It's quite long.....but in brief, I was turned away with Robert Plant when we went to the Pump Room, which was the bar of the Hotel we were staying at on one of his tours. The Ambassador East in Chicago. I was wearing a jacket but I wasn't wearing the CORRECT kind of jacket !!! Even though he was wearing a very loud check suit, they said he could go in. My conservative black leather jacket did not meet their standards. So whenever I did a TV show like Carson or Letterman, I'd tell this story.

Eventually the Hotel sent me a plaque announcing that I could wear whatever I wanted in their Bar if I just SHUT UP telling people about their crappy dress code...plus they later sent me a paint splattered jacket to wear if I wanted. At least they had a sense of humour if not dress.

SIMON....his CD is finished, I've heard it and it's great. I'm not just saying that because he's my Son, but his voice is sounding better than ever and at last he's playing REAL DRUMS on it and he is a fantastic drummer. There'll be a link on this site and the Genesis site too when he's ready to do so. It will be available to download and to buy (I believe) with sleeve through his site. Stay tuned..... I don't try to give him advice unless he asks...it's a bit like trying to teach your wife to drive, it doesn't work....even if you ARE a driving instructor !! I also appreciate the irony of me saying "he's playing real drums at last" !!....so no letters please.

PAUL CARRACK....what a lovely man and what an incredible voice. Haven't heard Rewired.....I must try to.

AUSTRALIAN MUSICIAN UNION RULES....insist on the touring band employing at least the same number of local musicians as there are in the touring unit. So with my tour and Genesis tours we decided to use real string players instead of a support act. These guys and ladies became friends, as we usually used the same people whenever possible. Sue Chaplin, a violinist, we see whenever we play in NYC as she lives there now. On the Genesis compilation there is a live version of "Your Own Special Way" that I believe was from such a tour.

REGRETS....no, not really.

PHARELL....I read this and went right up in Lily's estimation !! I'm happy to collaborate with people if it falls together.

TESTIFY....it does seem strange to do a short promo tour for an album, and then only do a couple of songs from it I agree. The problem was rehearsal time, and the bands familiarity with the songs. I'm very precious about the new songs and don't like putting them through rough handling !! On the FFFT we carefully played around with "Come With Me" and "It's Not Too Late" and really, really found how to play them. Amongst the highlights of the show for me. Maybe on the NEXT TOUR we could.......just kidding !!!

XMAS TRADITIONS.... A few. I always like to watch "it's a Wonderful Life" and "A Christmas Carol" with Alistair Sim. They both remind me of my Dad, and we watched them together with the whole Family. I tried to do the same with my kids but the trouble is that they're in Black and White !!!!....I remember sitting Simon and Joely down after dinner for this ritual and as soon as it started Simon said "aaaawww it's in black and white !!!". So off it came....he's a lot older now and appreciates these things much more I'm happy to say. I just saw POLAR EXPRESS with my family as I receive the years films from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences for viewing, so I can vote in the Oscar race. (no I didn't vote for myself, if I'd done so and won, I'd never know if it was by one vote !!!) Anyway back to POLAR EXPRESS...THIS IS A GREAT FILM. IT IS A BEAUTIFUL XMAS MOVIE. I'm sure it got panned in the States and I'm sure it'll get panned in a cynical England by J. Ross....but IT IS A LOVELY FILM....let yourself go with the idea and you'll love it. I believe it's a modern day equivalent of "Wonderful Life" which is in itself a phenomenal movie.

So with that subject it is appropriate that I leave you. I'd like to say again a Huge thank you to you guys for your best wishes to my Family. I'm genuinely touched that you say such nice things about my lot !! I may not be back on before Xmas, don't know....I know you'll be patient.

HAPPY CHRISTMAS AND A SAFE NEW YEAR...DRIVE SAFELY, WE NEED YOU !!
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« Reply #25 on: Jul 8th, 2011, 6:30pm »

JANUARY 2005

Hi all.... hope you all had a great festive period..... ere are a few answers to your questions...

CROSBY.... someone mentioned that they liked Hero, so I thought I'd give the background story to that. I'd always been a fan of David, in the Byrds it was his harmonies (he arranged a lot of them) and McGuinns 12 string Rickenbacker that captivated me. When it came to FV, I made a list of who I wanted to try to get to participate. His name was high on the list. I got most people, but not him. He claims that I wouldn't have liked him back then as he was a wreck.

I finally met him years later at the Atlantic Records 40th Anniversary gig at Madison Square Garden, after his jail term and rehab. I'd read about when he was arrested and wanted to help in some way, and it was at the gig that we vowed to do something together. I suggested he send me lyrics he had kicking around, which he finally did. I suggested also that he try recording Helpless Heart, which he did.... The lyrics he sent me were about a mythical figure (probably him !!), I started playing piano and the main riff came quickly. I demoed it and sent it to him, and both he and Nash loved it. We set a date for him to come to England, to the Genesis Studio, and I lined up the musicians. He was still quite fragile, big but fragile. The record was great, I love the song.

He then got very sick and the IRS in the States were knocking on his door for everything he had he hadn't already sold. I gave him the money to get his operation, and to pay his back taxes..... I felt I owed him for all the great music he'd given me. Still love him, and in fact he sent me some lyrics the other day......

HOOK.... a mutual friend of Crosby and I is the screenwriter James Hart. He wrote the screenplays for Dracula and Frankenstein amongst others. He also did Hook. I guess somehow I was suggested for the role of the English policeman. The scene originally was quite long and funny, but like all good things in movies it had to be edited. I pleaded with Spielberg to leave the long version in but it didn't happen. Over shooting inevitably leads to severe cuts. My goal was to try to look as unlike me as possible, I succeeded I guess because when Spielberg called me to the set, I stood beside him for a good minute or two before he recognised me.

ME AND VIRGIL.... I'm responsible for the lyrics I'm afraid.... I've said before that it's inevitable in a career as long as mine and Genesis' that there will be a few dogs, and this is one. I think I was trying to see if we could do something like the Band..... we couldn't.

BEARS FILM..... this involves Jim Hart again..... he was suggested to me by Danny DeVitos partner (who I mentioned before in a Cleese story). Everyone it seemed liked the premise of a film with Me, Hoskins and DeVito as the 3 Bears. The original idea came from me being compared physically to them in concert reviews on the NJR tour in 85. I started joking in interviews about the fact that the 3 of us could do Goldilocks and the 3 Bears.... DeVito, who had in the meantime asked me to write a song for his film "War of the Roses" (a great film for those who've not seen it) mentioned that he'd read about the idea and started the ball rolling. (The song was "Heaven" for anyone interested.... the lyrics are about the 2 people in the film. Danny D didn't go for the song though.) So I sat with Hart for many months reading up on Bears, and trying to get a story together based on the Goldilocks original.....

Robert Zemeckis was brought in to try to make it happen on the recommendation of Hoskins, and we sat every week or so with HIS writers..... anyway the short version of this story is that we all gave up !!!

I reminded Zemeckis recently about the idea, and he responded favourably, but said our problem is still the script. Hoskins and DeVito are both still keen so.....

MY DEMOES AND THE FINISHED ARTICLE... someone said that they thought that the demos sounded different from the songs on the CD's. I usually use the demos so that's odd. Occasionally a song will change and Heaven is an example, but even that is pretty close. Everyday WAS the demo !!! They are always the template I use to overdub on, so maybe sometimes the real instruments rather than my samples, can fool you into thinking it's more different than it actually is

AFTER FFFT .... I think that the way to go is to do Intimate shows that aren't trying to be "big" shows. Not saying "when" but "IF" something happens, it's more likely to be that.

MEDITATION AND DRUMMING... don't know about this, never tried meditation. I do get "lost" in it all... but that's Jazz !!!!

THE ALAMO AND ME.... I cannot fully explain this so you'll understand my fixation with that story.... I collect hand written documents from that period by Crockett, Bowie, Travis and Houston and others... I have a huge collection. I correspond with people at the Alamo who've become my friends.... I've always been obsessed with the story and the bravery, even the music of the Wayne film, always searching for the truth... which is close to the newer Disney film as it happens, and although it got bad reviews, because I suppose, people expect the story they know and for it to be "action packed".

Anyway my obsession is a book in itself....

FOR A FRIEND.... it was written about the time I knew someone who had died of AIDS, I didn't really know her very well.... I'd just come in contact with her through Annie... met her a few times before she died... very sad. The song has a lot of the elements in it lyrically that you'd expect.... sadness, anger, love, resentment at being the one left behind.

KUMARS... I had been a fan of this show since GOODNESS GRACIOUS ME, and had asked why I'd never been given an opp. to be on it. It seems that they had been trying me, and we'd missed each other.... We managed to get in touch through a mutual friend of Danny (my trusty steed) and did the Xmas show. It turned out that Sanjeev was from the same place as me, Hounslow, and that we had similar backgrounds, though years apart. As it was a Xmas show, I bought them real presents, which surprised them..... for me it was a special occasion. Sanj and I have stayed in touch and I call him a friend.

THE ACTION... I mention this great band here as I have just received from them a new double CD of their Radio show appearances. Some of them were recorded by me when I was 16 by holding my Mums mic up to the TV or radio.... and they're on the CD !!! The guys, who are now great friends of mine, are re-releasing various things that become available. I'm going to re-mix a gig we did together at the 100 Club a couple of years ago when I sat in with them playing their whole set, so they can release it via their website. They were a fantastic band, and Roger Powell was the biggest influence on my drumming... (see the FFFT Prog).

NJR.... I have demos from every album and in the New Year I will be looking for things to put on the site. The videos for One More Night and Sussudio, were done at a Pub owned by Richard Branson on the Uxbridge Road in Shepherds Bush in London.

HACKETT AND GENESIS.... there seems to be a strange "vibe" surrounding his relationship with the band from you guys out there. As far as I'm concerned there is nothing funny here. It seems that sometimes you find yourself in a band with someone who's only tie with you is the fact that you play in the same band together. When that is over.... so is your relationship. We see each other... don't avoid each other... but there is not the "pull" that makes you stay in touch with others.... nothing personal, no grudges.

HOLLAND... LEIDEN... it's true that this town did Boo us when we played material from Abacab on its release.... I now consider this a completely honest reaction to what they were listening to, and wish that other people were as honest !!!! This was obviously a glitch in the "scheme of things" as now my records still do extremely well in the Netherlands.

MY SINGING... I have always been very attentive to the Mid Atlantic pronunciations of lyrics with G and me. There is an acceptable way and an affected way.... but when you sing a phrase involving "BREAD BIN"... you have to be ready for anything !!!

NEW ZEALAND AND MY VOICE.... jet lag.... that's the main reason for this kind of thing..... Sometimes you are obliged to sing when it's actually the middle of the night in the time zone you left. However you have an obligation to go on and perform the best you can.....

ALAMO AGAIN AND ME... as Crockett..... fantastic photoshop assembly.

FAVE CYMBAL... too many to be specific. I have a set of RUDE cymbals that I used on Easy Lover that are perfect for those big crashes at the end of big fills. Also there is an old 20" Zildjian ride that served me well in Genesis way back.

OTHER PEOPLES DEMOS.... as you can imagine I get sent hundreds and get very little time to listen... so please don't send me more... with the LDF stuff as well to listen to, my time is well used up.

BIG GIGS/LITTLE GIGS... no real preference here. Certainly the smaller gigs give you an opportunity to be more talkative, and it becomes like a small club. Even the bigger rooms in Australia are like this.

SURVIVING.... my Mum definitely was the one that kept me afloat when I started. She bought my band a van so we could work.... so much help. Everyone talks of how much money I have now, but for the first 20 years I didn't have anything. Not until the 2nd, 3rd album did the money start to role my way. She made endless trays of Bread Pudding, Coleslaw..... to keep me going. Doesn't sound appetising but at the time.....

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« Reply #26 on: Jul 8th, 2011, 6:31pm »

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PEART AND BUDDY... I don't remember being asked to participate in Burning for Buddy.. perhaps I was.... I eventually played with the BR Big Band, and the evidence is available on Video. I thought Kenny Aronoff was the stand out player on that DVD.

MY OWN LABEL.... last thing I need at this point in my life !!! LDF fills that side of my life.... too much business anyway. My ear is the same now as when it happened... Mighty Wind ( the film !!!)I have but haven't seen yet.

MUSICAL CHALLENGES... I'm up for anything that comes my way. Writing new songs actually presents those kind of challenges every day.

LISTEN TO .... I used to feel bad about saying that I don't listen to much music at home. Then I read Roger Waters say that he was too busy doing HIS thing to listen. And I have to say that he hit the nail on the head. Linzie, our Nanny remarked that I didn't listen to music much, and I was never that conscious of it.... till now.

BEE GEES.... played You Win Again with them at a PT gig. Nice guys, great writers, much underrated in the big scheme of things.

OLD GEAR... I keep nearly everything from the past, stuff quickly becomes redundant and the sounds are irreplaceable.

ROCK VERSION OF ROOF... I have versions of this from rehearsals at soundchecks....watch the site for this kind of stuff.

OK...... I've been a bit slow getting back to you on this batch and I'm afraid it might be this way for a while, so choose the questions wisely.

Happy New Year to you all and be careful out there !!!

Love, The Singing Drummer.
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« Reply #27 on: Jul 8th, 2011, 6:34pm »

FEBRUARY 2005

Hi Everybody..... I'm back for a few answers.

Sitting here in the mountains but unable to ski due to the weather, I thought I'd get to your Q's before I go off on Tarzan business......

First.... many thanks to you for your Birthday Greetings. It was a quiet one, dinner with friends.... very nice. Secondly.... before the Q thread was opened, I had a look at a few different subjects and saw a few things of interest. However, please remember that you cannot rely on me prowling round the site. The questions that get posted take up my time allotted, so any real grudges/grumbles/tributes/worries/grievances etc. put them all in the Q site when it's opened.

Bill has been trying to keep everyone happy with the way it's handled, but as you observe, some of you work and miss it, others live on the opposite side of the globe, so there's no one way to keep everyone happy.....

Someone mentioned me and Paul McCartney and Pete Townsend playing together on Press To Play.... I believe that person implied they had photos of that session. I do have some by Linda McCartney that she gave me in an album, but if there are any others I'd like them.

I'd say the chances of me and EC performing together again is slim, purely from a domestic POV as well as a musical POV. I also think we can drop this subject before it gets out of hand, it's starting to sound like a "lost loves" TV soap !!!

The saga of the Love Songs/DVD rip off.... well... I was contacted by the French record company to see if I'd mind them putting together something for a St Valentines Day "push" of Love Songs. It is/was only intended for France. Obviously it can be bought as an Import, but it was not intended for anywhere else. I thought it was relatively harmless, I can't quite believe that people will buy the CD again just to get the clips, it's more of a temptation to those that were thinking about it, but hadn't yet !!!

Originally they wanted to put on clips that were already on the FFFT DVD !!! I said NO to that as I thought THAT was a rip off.... I chose the clips that were on the existing DVD based on them being hard to find, rarely seen etc. therefore worth it for those considering buying it.... however I've obviously shot myself in the foot because now everyone WANTS those harder to find clips. I assure you this was not my intention... you know my feelings on recycling material, from previous replies of mine. I do believe that at some point in the future there will be a definitive collection of DVD quality clips... everything that exists to that date. However some of those will already have been on the FFFT DVD, so be prepared for that !!! There are no plans, but I feel sure it will come. Also the reason for only some of the clips being on the retrospective-type FFFT DVD, was because of them corresponding to the live show song choice.

I hope I've defended myself sufficiently here, as no rip off was intended... please DON'T BUY IT if you feel you are being ripped off. Wait for the "complete" thing. It'll be out before one of us dies !!!!

Phildas mentioned something about me and Ringo, I can't now remember the context, but I will say that he is an incredible drummer. His playing with "the guys" was fantastic, and all real drummers know that. Having done a lot of listening recently to the complete BBC recordings, he was incredible live AND on record.

The "help me I'm starting to like Testify" saga..... amusing this one. Well done Tricky. I am not surprised that it is now sinking in more as a record. There is such a lot of anticipation when an album's about to come out. Everyone wants it to be exactly what they've been waiting and hoping for. It's only after the dust has settled that the reality, rather than the anticipation, makes itself clear. Some people don't go for it no matter what.... I can't help that really... somebody in the thread was going through it track by track and dissing most of it.... I had to turn away. My songs being treated as second class citizens !!!! I couldn't read any more, though everybody is welcome to their opinion. I say this with my tongue firmly in my cheek, before I sound too sensitive.

Likewise the reaction to Both Sides.... I know it will be looked back on with much more affection than it received on release, and it was lovely to read posts that said exactly that. Mat C's recollections of his reaction, then seeing it in a different light after a "heartache" hit the nail on the head. Thanks.

Sarah Jane said that I miss my friends, and I miss my horns... well I don't actually... at all. I make the music I want to make... FULL STOP. I may well go back to having more horns at some point, it all depends what happens when I put my hands on the keyboards. Sarah didn't go for Tarzan either, but I do realise that with so much music from so many places, no one can like all the things I do.... so no grumbling on my part.

Sorry about all of this... we haven't even gotten to the questions yet !!!

I couldn't believe the post about the success of Don't Let Him Steal Your Heart.... in the USA.
NOBODY had told me it was still doing that well... I slapped my managers wrist and he came round and beat me after school.

OK... NEW QUESTIONS......

HALL AND OATES.... did I play with them !? I remember meeting them in the 80's, and they were nice people. John particularly. I must be getting old.... if I DID play on something, please remind me of what it is and I'll get it for my collection. I keep a copy of nearly everything I've played on... it's a BIG cupboard.

VIDEO CHOICES AND IDEAS... over the years I've worked with a few different people. In the early Genesis days there was Bruce Gowers, who did the Queen Bohemian video... then there was Stuart Orme, who did ITAT-Thru These Walls-Hurry Love-Illegal Alien-Mama and a few more possibly... then Jim Yukich and Paul Flattery, who did everything else pretty much, except for a couple that Kevin Godley did. For more details, you'd best go somewhere else...!!!

The No Way Out clip was directed by Norman Watson, who also is a photographer. He took the photo on the Home Page for example.... It was a clip made more for the song than the movie. Look Through My Eyes was made as a movie promo as it was the first song out for the film. Jim and Paul did that one. There are 2 versions of it. One with the film in the background, and the other with a great career retro assembly in the background, that Jim had put together. I approve it all, though with the movie related things, the panel is quite large !!!

Quite a lot of the ideas over the years have started with me, though I must not take away anything from the teams I've worked with. Each video has a story, and I guess it's down to waiting for either "the book" or the complete DVD (the one I referred to earlier) for the stories.

CHESTERS STICKS.... he dropped more sticks this tour than ever before... don't know why !!! Only modesty prevents me from mentioning that I didn't drop any.....

HALL OF FAME.... Dan NYC, I have no idea what's going on there. We are starting to be conspicuous by our absence. The longer it goes on, the more likely it is that we'll tell them to shove it if and when it happens !!! It reminds me of the Groucho remark "I wouldn't want to be a member of a club that would have me as a member" !!! I'm not in the habit of blowing my own trumpet, but there was an article in Music Week, the UK's Billboard type magazine, where they mentioned that at the time (this was mid 90's) me and Genesis had had the most top ten albums/singles outside the Beatles. I found it hard to believe then, and now too as I write it here... I kept the article for posterity.... anyway the reason I bring it up, is that it makes the whole Hall of Fame thing even stranger....

RIVANOV......... Annie keeps everything, and I can't vouch for having seen it or not, I'm sorry about that. Sometimes, if I'm really busy or away, she'll keep stuff and it'll get overlooked in the rush that follows me being back "on".

DVD OF BOTH SIDES TOUR... I've mentioned this before, but soon as I get an opportunity to look through the cupboards, I will. Same goes for the on-site bonus stuff. I owe Bill a call to check this stuff out with me, it's my fault, but with family and now Tarzan again.... I'll get to it.

BRUCE.... I like Bruce S, especially the Secret Garden/Philadelphia stuff.... I think he'd been out with PG on an Amnesty tour, and it seemed to influence his songs for a bit. His gigs were a little overlong for me, but for a real fan I'm sure it was great. Nicholas does a great version of his Santa Claus Is Coming to Town.....

THE ABACAB SUITE.... there never was an Abacab suite... if anything we were going in a totally opposite direction from anything with the word "suite" in it !!! .... your files you left in your post didn't work for me, I couldn't open them. Naminanu was, like Wot Gorilla, a rhythm based piece. My Zawinul influence again. There may have been a couple of melodic cross threads but nothing more. No sight of a suite anywhere.... although as I'm now older, I could be forgetting a vital piece of info that I'm sure someone will tell me.

TV IN THE UK.... I've tried to get on shows when the records come out, but with very little success. To say "nobody wants me" would be over stating it a bit, but it seems that the "Lad" culture has affected my being a guest on the usual suspect shows. Even Parky, once an ally, seems a closed shop. Thank God for the Kumars..... they said I can go back there any time !!! Actually at the same time as that I was offered to be on Have I Got News For You, but the timing with Mathews arrival didn't work. I'd like to do that show.....

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« Reply #28 on: Jul 8th, 2011, 6:35pm »

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FACE VALUE SPECIAL EDITION... nice idea, but there's that rip off facet again. If I put together the official live versions and demos... and clips, it could be rather nice. I'd have to go searching again....
Not sure when the Anniversary is, anyone know I'll put it to the management.

Silent Bob how can you just change your name.... is it a ploy to get your video clip under an assumed name !?! From now on I want to be called Loretta and have babies.....

GOT BLISTERS ON MY FINGERS... was in fact a nod to Long Long Long by the Beatles, you're correct. Not so Sunshine though.

SANCHEZ.... I made a note about "the debate", which I now assume is the Love Songs DVD debate.... I've dealt with it earlier, but will say again, it's meant for French people who haven't got the first CD. Don't buy it, save your money for something worthwhile....

FAVE G SONG NOT WRITTEN BY ME... there are only a couple of G songs written entirely by me, Please Don't Ask, Misunderstanding and Man on the Corner.... I guess most of WCD album, where ever I wrote the lyrics but not the music..... Spike or Hold On My Heart or No Son... for example...

YES ETIENNE84.... it was Ricky Lawson on drums. He's played with many groovy people MJ amongst them.

NO SON OF MINE DRUMS.... this would have been one of my usual recording kits, either the old Premier or the newer Gretsch. Lots of compression in the Genesis live room. One of the best sounding drum tracks I think.... plus I hit them VERY hard. Cymbals were my usual recording set, though I do mix it up a bit.....

SIMMONS ON G TWWW TOUR.... I did use them as triggers, on Home By the Sea for one thing.... I used them as punctuation really.....

IN THE ROUND.... it worked great on the DITL tour, but I wanted it to be different again for the FFFT. It certainly was great being in the middle of the audience, though I did get feedback from some that they didn't like not having me the whole time. It also made the band work a lot harder and the live DVD from Paris shows that.... along with the FFFT DVD it's the one I'm most proud of.

WHAT I DID IN THE 80'S.... I didn't listen to too much music really... I suppose it would have been the usual suspects.....

SUPERBOWL.... I did it for Tarzan when the record came out. It is an extraordinary event, you're almost better off watching it on TV it's so huge. You feel microscopic on the pitch and there's so much other activity that you wonder if anyone's actually watching your performance.

TRUE COLOURS.... the idea of an accapella version was mine really. I wanted to feature the voices, and originally tried Groovy, to try to give it a different look, but that ended up being far too sweet. I then suggested Colours to Brad and Amy, and they went off to do a demo. It was my idea and their arrangement.

EDISON AWARD.... yes this was lovely. I did an acceptance speech as I'll be in the States when the show is recorded. Good old Holland !!!

RECORD VERSUS LIVE.... there are a few songs that were captured at just the right time in the studio. Mama, No Son, ITAT...but they've also grown on stage too, so it doesn't always mean that they can't be beaten. There are some songs though that it is impossible to attempt live as they lose all the subtleties.... I know you'll ask which ones, but I'll wait till you do.....

THINGS THAT HAPPEN ON TOUR TO PISS ME OFF... technical stuff, drum riser not working, lights failing, rogue cameramen going where they said they wouldn't but unable to resist..... audiences clapping on the downbeat in the slow subtle songs !!!!

SONGS LEFT OUT.... I can't really give a good reason to satisfy the question of why there was no Both Sides songs in the last show. I guess because it became a greatest hits tour, and I really didn't know that they'd be missed that much !!! There'll always be songs left out... Don't Care Anymore.... quite a few..... can't play everything.

FRANCESCJOE... don't know what's ahead of me... haven't read Mario's book, though I have a copy.

SEPT 11TH, WHAT WAS I DOING..... I was writing in my studio when Joely called me to see if I was watching the TV, while she was on the phone the 2nd plane went in. I didn't really get the enormity of it till later after work when I came back to the house and turned on the TV. Not much more to say about it that hasn't already been said. Sad day for us all.... human beings everywhere. The mentality of being able to actually DO THAT to other human beings is beyond my comprehension. AND of course, it is impossible to threaten someone who is not afraid of dying for their beliefs so I can't see a way out..... don't get me started....

RUPERT HINE.... an excellent chap, and we worked together a lot in the 80's. Nick Rhodes and John Taylor were early Genesis fans.... what happened to the recent dissing of me by them ?? Was any more said on the subject They were always nice to me in person, I quite often bumped into Simon at PT things... film premiers etc. Funny business.

BRAD LENTZ.... an old dear friend of mine from Kansas City. I helped him out with a couple of good ideas of his, and he "ran" an info site from his home FOR NOTHING AND AT NO CHARGE.... still people complained..... go knock on his door and say I say Hi and send my love to his beautiful wife and children.

ENCORES.... strange things.... they are now widely considered by the audience as part of the show. Of course they started off as the audience responding to an extremely good show, and as some shows were better than others, encores didn't necessarily occur every night. I remember in Japan in the 70's, when rock music was still fairly new there, that the rituals of how to behave were quite frightening if you'd just come off an American tour. People would applaud lightly and stop after a few seconds. You'd leave the stage after the applause had stopped... no sign of the ritual encore there !!! They've learned the rules now so it's the same as everywhere else !!!

I WROTE "FULL BLOWN ROSE... LIKE A COPY OF ITAT".... no idea why I wrote that, if it means something to someone please reply....

VERSIONS OF SONGS.... Aside from Urban Renewal, John Martyn has done Can't Turn Back The Years.... sounds lovely too... it'll be out sometime soon I guess. I like most cover versions, though the more different they are the better for me.

BRANSON AND ME.... I like Richard, we always have fun together, I've known him since 73. Virgin and I were very close. They were doing a surprise TV show on him and asked me if I'd play the cab driver going to pick him up from his office to take him to the TV Studios. I disguised myself and did my best cabbie accent. He totally fell for it. I asked him if we could pass by my Mums as she was a fan of his.... he was very polite but gritting his teeth underneath.... I dropped him off and he was still in the dark. I then did a reveal which they played him at the TV show. He was stunned. I just saw this in fact as I am transferring archive stuff to DVD, and this was on a recent tape. Good fun.....

Ok, that's yer lot.......

I have some Tarzan Music to write in the upcoming weeks, so Bill may or may not open up for a bit. I'll let him know when I'm "free". The prospective opening keeps shifting which affects the work load. Also script changes have a knock on effect of songs falling beside the roadside and new songs needing to be written....

Anyway it'll take you a while to get through this little lot !!! Thanks again for your good will. I hope my earlier words in this post come off the way I meant them, as criticism is always/usually constructive, and I don't want to come over as the whinger that I did on the first few posts I wrote.

Till the next time I remain....

The Singer xxx
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xx Re: under construction (locked thread)
« Reply #29 on: Jul 8th, 2011, 6:39pm »

MARCH 2005

Before I answer the new questions, and there are a lot of new questions... I did my usual bit of surfing round the site. Here are a few quick replies to things that caught my eye... though don't rely on me doing this, it's just how the whim takes me.

THAT'S WHAT YOU SAID... I love this song because it's not easy to write a good 60's song, with a great middle 8 and chorus... and this is a good 60's song. For every edgy-prog song, I have an urge to do what "they" did... just write good songs. Likewise "It's In You Eyes", "No Matter Who" and "Love
Police"

DRUM MACHINE ON HAND IN HAND.... Can't remember why I made a note of this... it was the Roland CR78... played manually with things fading in and out.

I'VE BEEN TRYING... I used Hot Rods on this (also "Can't Find My Way")... Simon didn't introduce me to these as it happens.

SPINAL TAP MEMORIES... quite a few with the Lamb. Things that were supposed to inflate, go up, go down, explode... one thing that made me smile was at the Drury Lane Theatre in 73. We were doing Suppers Ready and at the end Peter was rigged to "fly"... throwing off the black cloak, he was dressed like an Angel and hurtled upwards on a cable. Unfortunately the cable kept him turning in a circle... and he was trying to right himself so he could face towards the audience... this carried on till
the end of the song... Spinal Tap... it could've been written about Genesis. Another nasty moment occurred in Kingston Ontario. I'd had some clothes made, always a bad idea... as the new singer I had to look OK right Well this jumpsuit arrived, and I wore it for the show in Kingston. BIG MISTAKE. I've NEVER felt so awkward, uncomfortable, dopey in an outfit EVER. Don't try this at home kids.

STUFF IN MY DRAWERS... in time I will get to it and we shall share.

FULL BLOWN ROSE... whatever it is you've got I'd like to hear it.

LEFT OVERS... there are always songs or bits left over when you're writing for an album. The songs that don't make it on to the CD are sometimes unfairly thought of as second class citizens. Sometimes they are of course... but sometimes they've just slipped through the net. Who knows what would have changed an albums feel if High Flying Angel or Take Me With You or Hello Goodbye had been on instead of off

SILENT BOB.... I'm starting to have a soft spot for you Bob... but like Loretta, you can't go round changing such basic things like a name and a gender.... Come With Me's riff was written when Lily was a baby... but not fully realised till Nicholas was born. When I say Second Class Citizens... I'M JOKING TOO. I'll let you know when I take offence. What is special to me, I fully expect to be not so special to anyone else... I know why I wrote it, and I don't expect anyone else to be in that same space. Don't worry... be happy.

BC... the Police are on their way... Bootlegs, and my thoughts on them. My only beef at them would be when there is deception involved. People who sell illegally made CD's at Markets etc. Sound checks... gigs etc aren't a threat to me.

BOGEYGIRL... are you Cinderella ... I'm trying to keep up but.... and I don't mind intelligent questions.

RAY WILSONS LETTER TO ME... I replied to him, so I know he wrote to me... how did YOU know !!! The Mechanics had already been booked for the opening act when he wrote to me. On the next leg, I'm hoping for Simon and his Band to open for us. As this is my last BIG PUSH, we both thought it would be great if he played with us... so, hopefully.

SEATTLE... well, it doesn't look good for those in that neck of the woods... no more US dates are expected, having finished the tour there.

TARZAN MUSICAL... I do realise this is for me than for most of you out there, but it is THE most interesting thing I've done for a while and as a writer, that's what makes the juices flow.

DRUM CLINICS... never have done them. I find it difficult (I think) to talk about something I do so naturally. If it were a technical thing, it might be easier... "you play this with this hand, and this with the other hand and ..." I've been playing for 50 years now... 50 YEARS... God that's along time... I
should be better.....

THE MUSICAL BOX IN GENEVA..... there were many questions about this, so I'll try to put it all in perspective..... Originally the Band asked me to write the programme notes for them. I said this was no problem. I suggested that if they were coming to a town near me, that I'd come to see them. When it turned out that they were playing in Geneva, I suggested that I might play with them. It ended up that we decided that I would play their encore of The Musical Box. I left it till the day of the show... a dangerous thing to do !!! I went downstairs to my basement where my drums are, and I tried to play along to the Genesis version.... DISASTER. What would have been a problem for some drummers, the fast bass drum parts for example, were no problem for me... but everything else.... WHOA !!! I realised that I was trying to play things that I'd played 30 years ago. This was not going to happen.

I arrived at the sound check and we played through the tune... I sounded like a complete amateur !!! Likewise the second , third and fourth try. I had to play Martin's kit. This was something I had not taken into account. Not only was I trying to play like the "me" of 30 years ago, but on someone else's drum kit. He had "my kit" alright, but everything 6 inches closer to him than I had.... even when I changed things, it was like wearing someone else's shoes. The Band and their crew could not have been more helpful and supportive... it was ME that was the problem. Eventually we all agreed that it was "OK"... that made me suspicious... they should have been saying "wow... that sounds great..." Inside I knew I'd bitten off more than I could chew.

When it came to the gig... I watched and listened. They played that stuff better than we ever did... we wrote it, which is a big point of course. Recreating something that exists is easier than the creation of it... but they DID play it better than us. Especially Martin, who caught ALL of my personal nuances, vocally and drumming wise. All the Timbale fills... so much that I'd forgotten but he'd remembered.
It reminded me that I WAS GOOD !!! Well it came to my "moment" and having changed into my lucky Converse and into a shirt made for me by them, I took the stage to warm applause. Then the reality... I dropped 2 sticks in crucial places... generally missed everything I went for.. and emerged sweating and pissed off that I hadn't lived up to the occasion. Well... you asked me what happened.....

My wife, who hadn't lived through the Lamb experience, thought the songs challenging and interesting. She thought I played great... but I knew.... I realised that I didn't look like that soldier anymore, I wasn't that soldier anymore... it was an interesting experience. The Musical Box were fantastic... they are all fabulous musicians that have a love for what they are doing. They do it wonderfully. The problem was with me.

SOUNDCHECKS... they are a place where you can stretch and try things, for fun, and for the show....

UNPLUGGED... I saw some of it the other day and it has its moments. Whether it stands up to being released... I'll look again. I think that broadly speaking, everything that I've done and that I have
control over (own) will be released in time.

YOU DON'T KNOW LIKE I KNOW... always loved the Sam and Dave song... did it with Eric Clapton, did it with Leo Sayer on his TV Show..and I did it with Sam a couple of times and on a TV show in the States.

MARINES.... I am aware they played my music going into battle, as did the UK troops... flattered by that, but it doesn't mean I endorse their war.

BASS PEDAL ON ITAT... Brad Cole is the culprit for the nose bleeds.....

BRIAN BENNETT... he was a big influence on me in the early 60's with The Shadows. When I did the Queens Jubilee gig, he wrote to me afterwards saying that he'd never seen someone enjoy himself that much as he did with me... I shall treasure the letter.

THE BBC LOVE SONGS SHOW... it's difficult to mime songs that were recorded over 20 years ago, and there is the problem. To rerecord the track is too expensive for them, I don't have a band on call... so you end up miming.

2005 FFFT... don't know what is happening at the present time... you'll know when I know. Likewise the 5.1 mixes of the CD's.....

CHESTER PLAYING LEFT HANDED... ask him... he's always done it. I guess it's simple enough for him to treat it as an exercise !!!

LOVE POLICE... the words are about what was going on in my life at the time... "how do I get out of here..."..the Press Hell. I think DITL has some great songs on it... not prog songs but good songs.

GLASGOW... it's true that Greens Playhouse in Glasgow was one of the best UK gigs you could do. I would also list many of the big Cities City/Town Halls as well.

GET 'EM OUT BY FRIDAY... I heard this the other day while prepping for the Musical Box gig... I'd resorted to listening to how I'd played the song on the Genesis Live CD..... bit of a shock. It's strange when you hear a song that you THINK you know, and there are whole section missing in the memory.... a period piece I think.

RUSSIA... coming at you before years end.

THIS MESSAGE CONTINUED BELOW
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