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John Mayhew on Trespass

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Intruder View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Intruder Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: John Mayhew on Trespass
    Posted: September 02 2014 at 13:40

It's hard to hear anything on early Genesis albums -  I swear they recorded everything up to the Lamb underwater.  The remasters help a little, but I'm still waiting for versions of the early albums with decent sonic fidelity. 

And, yeah, Mike Giles had great feel - he was no Bruford, but his touch really enhanced ITCOTCK.
I like to feel the suspense when you're certain you know I am there.....
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Post Options Post Options   Quote SteveG Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 19 2014 at 10:16
Originally posted by ghost_of_morphy

Originally posted by Xonty

. Sort of like Mike Giles on the King Crimson debut,

This is heresy of the rankest sort.
I have no idea why Mike Giles is so underappreciated. His timing on Scizhoid Man was simply fantastic. I feel like starting a thread just to address this.  LOL
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Post Options Post Options   Quote bucka001 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 19 2014 at 10:10
Originally posted by Greta007

As a drummer of 30 years I think the criticism of JM's drumming is over the top.  "Can't play"?  "Bad"?  Comments like that should be reserved for someone like the Shaggs's drummer when they first started out (Supreme Mistress of the oblique polyrhythm Smile).  Pro musicians are always strong players (at least before ProTools and autotune) and prog players especially so. JM was a damn good drummer, if not in the same league of Phil and Bill (very few are).

John's performance was expressive and helped create atmosphere.  Who cares about a bit of looseness and a bit of tastelessness?  What's wrong with a bit of dirt? Must everything be prissy perfect all the time?  I say this as an old tragic of the most notorious perfectionists around - Crimmo and Uncle Frank. It's not their perfection that I enjoy but their creativity, atmosphere, flair and intelligence.

Trespass has loads of character, arguably more atmospheric than other Genesis releases, and John M was part of that, warts and all. It wasn't all JM's warts either.  Peter G was pitchy at times but that didn't diminish his dynamic performance on the album to my ear either, not to mention fluid timing from the whole band. 

Stagnation is outstanding with that beautiful middle section. Looking for Someone was another great track with fun drums. I don't understand all this talk about him being circumspect either.  He laid out when he was supposed to and when he came in he sounded like he was really hammering those tubs. At times JM reminded me of Moonie (compliment) - crazy call-responses all over the place. Wasn't so keen on his overplaying in Visions of Angels - hardly circumspect - but apparently he didn't arrange the drum parts.  Of course, if we were going to shoot proggers for overreaching, it would be sorry state of affairs LOL

I love Phil's drumming - always did - and I appreciate that Genesis wanted a jazzier, more sophisticated drummer who needed less supervision.  However, I agree with those who doubted that Phil would have improved the album. It's a false assumption. Better is not always better, if you get my drift.

I agree with you that saying JM was 'bad' or 'couldn't play' is an unfair assessment. But it's not an either/or situation either. I can say that he just wasn't a very good drummer but it doesn't mean that it's because I like things to be 'perfect' or without a bit of dirt. Genesis weren't the Velvet Underground. The Trespass songs are okay the way they are (JM didn't ruin the album) but they could have been better. JM was closer to Mo Tucker than he was to Phil Collins. But Mo was perfect for the VU; Ringo was perfect for the Beatles; but for the type of music Genesis was doing, JM just didn't cut it and one can hear that. If he was cutting it, he wouldn't have been let go.
jc
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Post Options Post Options   Quote ghost_of_morphy Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 30 2014 at 16:45
Originally posted by Xonty

. Sort of like Mike Giles on the King Crimson debut,

This is heresy of the rankest sort.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Xonty Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 27 2014 at 08:26
Not as good as Collins obviously, but very few people are. Love the tone he gets on Trespass. Sort of like Mike Giles on the King Crimson debut, but less in the way of everything, so it fitted with the more airy atmosphere. Overall, glad they got rid of him (was it him or John Silver that was a slow learner/not versatile enough?) Nevertheless, very important to the album and glad this thread was made Smile
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Greta007 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 22 2014 at 05:11
As a drummer of 30 years I think the criticism of JM's drumming is over the top.  "Can't play"?  "Bad"?  Comments like that should be reserved for someone like the Shaggs's drummer when they first started out (Supreme Mistress of the oblique polyrhythm Smile).  Pro musicians are always strong players (at least before ProTools and autotune) and prog players especially so. JM was a damn good drummer, if not in the same league of Phil and Bill (very few are).

John's performance was expressive and helped create atmosphere.  Who cares about a bit of looseness and a bit of tastelessness?  What's wrong with a bit of dirt? Must everything be prissy perfect all the time?  I say this as an old tragic of the most notorious perfectionists around - Crimmo and Uncle Frank. It's not their perfection that I enjoy but their creativity, atmosphere, flair and intelligence.

Trespass has loads of character, arguably more atmospheric than other Genesis releases, and John M was part of that, warts and all. It wasn't all JM's warts either.  Peter G was pitchy at times but that didn't diminish his dynamic performance on the album to my ear either, not to mention fluid timing from the whole band. 

Stagnation is outstanding with that beautiful middle section. Looking for Someone was another great track with fun drums. I don't understand all this talk about him being circumspect either.  He laid out when he was supposed to and when he came in he sounded like he was really hammering those tubs. At times JM reminded me of Moonie (compliment) - crazy call-responses all over the place. Wasn't so keen on his overplaying in Visions of Angels - hardly circumspect - but apparently he didn't arrange the drum parts.  Of course, if we were going to shoot proggers for overreaching, it would be sorry state of affairs LOL

I love Phil's drumming - always did - and I appreciate that Genesis wanted a jazzier, more sophisticated drummer who needed less supervision.  However, I agree with those who doubted that Phil would have improved the album. It's a false assumption. Better is not always better, if you get my drift.
Eagles may soar but weasels don't get sucked into jet engines.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote bucka001 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: December 06 2013 at 10:52
Originally posted by sturoc


So unless you take a snapshot comparison right at the exact time both were active

That's what I was doing (because I thought Tom O was doing that and saying Guy and JM were similar in '70; they weren't, Guy was much better, but I might have misunderstood that Tom was referring to the way both were produced by John Anthony). 
jc
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Post Options Post Options   Quote sturoc Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: December 06 2013 at 08:59
The key difference is Guy Evans continued to play on and has not stopped, John Mayhew did not.
So unless you take a snapshot comparison right at the exact time both were active or anyone else for that matter, Comparisons will mean nothing.

I think this thread is taking on 'dead horse' status now.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Tom Ozric Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: December 06 2013 at 05:46
Originally posted by bucka001

Originally posted by Tom Ozric

John Mayhew on 'Trespass' reminds me of Guy Evans on 'The Least We Can Do Is Wave To Each Other'.


...except that Guy played great (i.e. White Hammer) JM didn't. Wink
I did forget to mention the fact that Guy is leagues ahead of Mayhew in skill and inventiveness. They both had a similar sound though. Thanks John Anthony (who didn't ruin anything btw), I hold both albums in very high regard. Pure works of art.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote bucka001 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: December 03 2013 at 16:28
Originally posted by Tom Ozric

John Anthony's rather 'raw' production doesn't help things, especially concerning the drums.......
Perhaps Mayhew was playing material beyond his capabilities, but I don't think his work dragged the album down. Would've been nice had Collins joined at this point, but he didn't. Put it this way, Mayhew was a vast improvement on Jonathan Silver.
 
I definitely agree with you, though, about John Anthony's production. I think he was a fine producer, but those early albums (Trespass, The Least...) did have a muddled murkiness about them. He even admitted years later that his production on Trespass wasn't up to snuff. About a year or so after Trespass, though, he was doing fantastic work on Pawn Hearts which still stands up today.
 
Also agree that JM's drumming didn't ruin the album (not by any stretch). His playing is serviceable. It may not add much to the music, but it doesn't kill it either (kind of like a "game manager" type of backup, 2nd string quarterback [for you U.S. football fans] who isn't going to throw for 300 yards, or make 30 - 40 yard completions, but he's not going to throw interceptions or fumble the ball away either).
jc
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Post Options Post Options   Quote bucka001 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: December 03 2013 at 16:11
Originally posted by Tom Ozric

John Mayhew on 'Trespass' reminds me of Guy Evans on 'The Least We Can Do Is Wave To Each Other'.
...except that Guy played great (i.e. White Hammer) and JM didn't. Wink

Edited by bucka001 - December 03 2013 at 16:22
jc
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Tom Ozric Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 28 2013 at 04:08
John Anthony's rather 'raw' production doesn't help things, especially concerning the drums.......
Perhaps Mayhew was playing material beyond his capabilities, but I don't think his work dragged the album down. Would've been nice had Collins joined at this point, but he didn't. Put it this way, Mayhew was a vast improvement on Jonathan Silver.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote iluvmarillion Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 28 2013 at 03:59
Originally posted by The.Crimson.King

I like Mayhew's playing just fine and think it fits the songs well...I always figured they sacked him due to personality conflicts...like maybe he was on ok guy who couldn't stand Banks arrogance LOL

Just gave Trespass another spin today. The drum roll near the end of Stagnation is terrible. The drumming on The Knife is hardly better in my opinion. Have read nothing to suggest there were any personality conflicts between Mayhew and Banks. The fortunes improved for Genesis the moment Mayhew was replaced by Collins, so if Banks was behind the move to replace Mayhew, then I would call it good judgement by Banks to replace him.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Tom Ozric Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 26 2013 at 04:29
Trespass is such a great album, I wouldn't change a thing on it.
Whenever I hear 'Stagnation', I can't help but think how spot-on the band was as a unit - every member just 'clicked'. Perfection.
Banks is outstanding on every level .
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Post Options Post Options   Quote The.Crimson.King Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 26 2013 at 00:36
I like Mayhew's playing just fine and think it fits the songs well...I always figured they sacked him due to personality conflicts...like maybe he was on ok guy who couldn't stand Banks arrogance LOL
I'm using the chicken to measure it.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Zenbadger Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 24 2013 at 17:25
Well said!

I don't think genesis were quite ready for a drummer such as Collins when they wrote trespass.

The drums work great and the album benefits from them not being too ambitious. Although I haven't listened to it in a while, I'm gonna dig it out!
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Post Options Post Options   Quote genbanks Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 24 2013 at 15:11
Yes, he didn't ruin the album, he did a good job, if I do not know nothing about Mayhew, Phil and all of this, surely I would have nothing to say about the drumming. Tresspass is a great album, with a an amazing, dark and enigmatic atmosphere.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote richardh Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 19 2013 at 15:42
BBT are a good example though. I'm sort of on the fence about them. Pleasant but borderline banal at times although there are some lovely hooks. English Electric Part One is 'accessible prog'. If radio played prog anymore then this would do well.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote M27Barney Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 19 2013 at 04:49
I just used BBT as an example - and they are possibly the biggest disappointment that I have invested in (twas my own fault - I bought their first four CD's without hearing any) - I keep intending to give them a re-spin in-case I just listened in haste...mind you I have about another 30 or so CD's that I haven't spun once yet so - I have to get through the back-log first !!! ho-hum.
Play me my song.....Here it comes again.......
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Post Options Post Options   Quote richardh Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 19 2013 at 01:36
The early seventies was a unique time for music in general not just symphonic prog. Its more difficult for bands to get their stuff taken seriously anymore and as soon as that word 'pretentious' became a byword for anything from Jethro Tull to ELP and became ingrained in the music critic dictionary forever then Houston we have a problem. It actually amazes me that band such as BBT even exist. They do what they do for love not for money.. I appreciate that fact but how much the music impresses me is another matter.

Edited by richardh - November 19 2013 at 01:36
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