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My Book of Genesis - Richard MacPhail

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Squonk19 View Drop Down
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    Posted: January 22 2018 at 16:42
Just ordered Richard ('Sound Friend') MacPhail's 'My Book of Genesis" and looking forward to reading it this coming weekend. A member of the Anon, close friend of the band, tour manager and all round support mechanism through the earlier, classic albums.

Has anyone bought or read it yet? Any views? Genesis books remain thin in the ground, so hoping it gets under the 'public school' reserve from this period. Not expecting 'The Dirty Truth' though - but I bet they got through a lot of Earl Grey at times!
"...and the man in the mirror has sad eyes."
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Cosmiclawnmower Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 24 2018 at 14:42
There was a chunk reproduced in the latest copy of 'Prog' magazine..

I haven't read Mike Rutherford or Phil Collins book.. I might get MR's eventually but not in any hurry..

I am quite intrigued by Richard Macphail's book and it will probably be the most honest account of the times; not only Genesis but other bands in the Charisma stable, roadies and the various package tours.

Ive got a spare copy of 'opening the musical box' by Allen Hewitt looking for a home if youre interested?
'The straight furrow is the labourers acknowledgement in the validity of art for art's sake' John Stewart Collis, 1940
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Squonk19 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 24 2018 at 14:59
^ Many thanks for the offer, Cosmiclawnmower. I've got it somewhere in the spare room - but thanks for reminding me. I must dig it out again along with Armando's book.

It was the Prog Magazine article that prompted me to get Richard's book. I thought it came in the post today, but it was the copy of Lucky Man by Greg Lake I eventually got round to ordering this week. Looks like I've got a bit of reading to do the next few weeks!
"...and the man in the mirror has sad eyes."
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote HackettFan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 05 2018 at 21:08
The first time I tried Hackett’s website and Amazon, it was sold out. Well, I could get it electronically from Amazon, but I wanted a print copy. Anyway, I checked on Hackett’s web store today, and was able to order it. I just have to wait for it to arrive now.
A curse upon the heads of those who seek their fortunes in a lie. The truth is always waiting when there's nothing left to try. - Colin Henson, Jade Warrior (Now)
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote HackettFan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 16 2018 at 21:03
Yes! It came in the mail today.
A curse upon the heads of those who seek their fortunes in a lie. The truth is always waiting when there's nothing left to try. - Colin Henson, Jade Warrior (Now)
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Squonk19 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 30 2018 at 16:29
As I started the thread a while back, I realised I ought to contribute a few thoughts on the book, despite finishing it a while back.

The book is an enjoyable read, although not quite the essential one I was hoping for about Genesis from someone at the heart of their early period. Richard is clearly a very likeable bloke and his earlier life and his adventures after Genesis are a good read at times - especially when he recounts incidents as a tour manager on various tours with a range of artists.

He evokes that late sixties hippy culture along with the privilege bestowed on many upper-middle class teenagers attending public schools such as Charterhouse. I couldn't help but recall the film 'If' during most of those earlier chapters, along with feeling that both he and the band were very fortunate to have the opportunity, family support and even the financial freedom to pursue their musical dreams whilst others from more humble backgrounds would have struggled much more for studio and rehearsal time and even a recording contract.

The key chapters for Genesis fans are Chapters 6 to 10, where the importance of the 'Cottage' in the Genesis story and those early European tours is well described, along with the role of Charisma Records etc. I must admit I would have loved to be a fly on the wall at Christmas Cottage in late 1969 as the seeds of Trespass took shape.

However, despite enjoying Richard's ride through his eventful life - I ended up wanting to know more than he wrote, was able to remember, or even felt able to reveal, despite his honesty in much of the book. Firstly, more detail on the songs and how they evolved would have been nice - although maybe that is where a music critic or musician comes into their own when writing about bands in unauthorised biographies.

Secondly, although hinted at, the personalities and interactions between the band members remain shrouded somewhat. I feel that Richard is very diplomatic in his discussions of the band because, to be perfectly honest, he remains on good terms with most and clearly is not in the business of revealing his candid views. However, reading between the lines it is clear that Tony Banks is the most difficult member of the band to like and that Richard clearly has a lot of time for Steve Hackett and found Phil Collins the easiest going of them all - so maybe no great surprise there.

Thirdly, I remain uncertain as to why Anthony Phillips is mentioned so little after his decision to leave the band after Trespass. Richard and he were clearly close, but after his decision to leave due to stage fright, not much else is revealed.

However, maybe it's all a consequence of memories being lost in the druggy haze that Richard and others indulged in during the 60s and 70s. He certainly seems to have led a suitably ragged and charmed life in places and maybe the details have been lost in places.

Not the in-depth expose I might have hoped for, but a good enough addition to the Genesis story when you add it to the other autobiographies and unauthorised accounts over the years. Thank you Richard for your part in the Genesis story!
"...and the man in the mirror has sad eyes."
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote HackettFan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: June 01 2018 at 22:29
Due to other things competing for my time, I have not finished the last one or two chapters, but I concur with your whole assessment. A worthwhile read, though with caveats you mentioned. There was not much nitty gritty on the music, but it was interesting to hear his roadie perspective and all the practical aspects of arranging and setting up gigs. It’s best read as a companion to Mike Rutherford’s autobiography. Another recommended companion book might be the fan biography, Sketches of Hackett, not well written, but informative. I hope we’ll get a book from Tony Banks one day. I expect there we might get a little more detail about the music and creative process. Then again, I could envision him giving short shrift to everything prior to ...And Then There Were Three.


A curse upon the heads of those who seek their fortunes in a lie. The truth is always waiting when there's nothing left to try. - Colin Henson, Jade Warrior (Now)
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