On this day (8/4) in 1970, Phil Collins replaced John Mayhew in Genesis. It all started with an ad the band placed in a magazine. Here’s the full story.
The guys in Genesis placed an ad in Melody Maker looking for “…a drummer sensitive to acoustic music, and 12-string acoustic guitarist”. Phil Collins decided to audition. He showed up early, memorized all of the songs on ‘Trespass’ while other hopefuls tried out. When it came time for Phil to play, he blew Tony Banks, Mark Bernard, Peter Gabriel, Mike Rutherford away and landed the gig.
Collins joined the band before ‘Nursery Cryme’ was released. Between 1970 and 1975 the band maintained a reputation as prog rock innovators. They combined impeccable musician ship with the fantastical stories and presentation that came out of lead singer Peter Gabriel’s creative mind. Here’s a taste of that era of Genesis. Man do these guys look young.
Gabriel left the band in 1975 to pursue a solo career and Phil Collins was auditioning yet again. This time Phil had to compete against 400 other singers who were auditioning to take over Gabriel’s role. Once again, Phil won the job and assumed lead vocalist duties.
From that period further the band began moving in a more commercial direction. This direction didn’t agree with guitarist Steve Hackett. After Hackett left the band, Genesis took their song writing in a new direction, landing their first big hit with ‘Follow You, Follow Me’ in 1978. Each album the band released from 1978 forward went platinum. They sold 20 million records between 1981 and 1991. Here’s vintage ‘Abacab’ Genesis.
Collins has ended his retirement from touring and did a string of dates in the UK recently. After injurying himself during a fall in his hotel room during that tour, Collins cancelled a few dates, rescheduled them and added a few extra UK shows to his November and December 2017 schedule. We’re hoping he does a few dates in the US and that Philly is on his itinerary.