Steve Hackett

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HOW I SEE HIM
 

I confess, for the longest time I secretly harbor an almost irrational resentment towards Steve.  I guess I always thought of him as the most overrated member of the band among the diehard fans.  As an unapologetic member of the "Phil camp" I felt twinges of jealousy when I see the sheer amount of adulation Steve receives from Genesis fans and thought it to be disproportional to the relatively brief period of time he spent in the band and the relatively minor contribution he made to group songwriting.  I also perceived him to be a whiner after hearing about how he complained about being mistreated by the rest of the band years after he had left the group.  However as years went by and I began to rely more on facts rather than imagination or hearsay, I find myself seeing Steve in a more positive light.  It is not easy to overcome my prejudice against Steve (because I am a big believer in instincts and first impressions), but being introduced to some of his majestic pieces of compositions with early Genesis has helped tremendously.  Immediately springs to mind are "Horizons", the solo from "Firth of Fifth", "After the Ordeal" and the intro to "Blood on the Rooftops".  In addition to increasing appreciation of Steve's musical contributions to the group, I have come to respect him as a person.  While I still do not subscribe to the notion among some fans that he was persecuted and forced out of the band, I can now better understand the source of some of his grievances.  His withdrawn personality did not gel very well with Tony's er, aggressive aspects (although I wouldn't go as far as to say they clashed).  This is a shame because if only they could work out their personal differences, together they would create such a perfect blend musically and capture so much sonic magic.  What Genesis fan wouldn't want another "Firth of Fifth" or "Entangled"?  Case closed.        

     

MUSICIANSHIP RANGE OF OUTPUT

Technically superb guitar player, but his true virtue lies in his innovative and unique playing style.  Due to his tendency to be understated and atmospheric Steve is often underrated by the uninitiated.  Also a mighty fine harmonica player. 

Steve's solo career is rather extensive and well-received, he tends to steer towards the progressive and the classical on his own.  Impressive orchestral work in "A Midsummer Night's Dream".  Also dabbled in blues.     

BEST TRAITS TRADEMARK STAGE MANNER
Can never be accused of lacking artistic integrity 
Very down-to-earth and fan-friendly
soft-spoken and non-aggressive
In Gabriel era Genesis concerts Steve was well-known for playing while seating down, i.e., he was famous for what he was not - a flashy, posturing lead guitarist.
WORST TRAITS
Not forthcoming, keeps feelings to himself
Overly sensitive to criticism
Not forgiving, tends to dwell on the past
FAVORITE SOLO SONG FAVORITE SOLO ALBUM
Again I don't own any yet, so can't comment. Sorry to say I don't own any of Steve's solo album yet, However I heard a lot of good things about them, especially "Voyage of the Acolyte".
FAVORITE LYRICS

Looking back at days of four instead of two.
Years seem so few.
Heads bent in prayer
for friends not there.

            --- from "For Absent Friends" (1971)

FAVORITE QUOTE
To be honest, I think I'm far too much of a trouble-maker ever to be asked back.  If the call came, maybe I would.  But only if I could play the harmonica. 

--- commenting on the prospects of him being invited back to Genesis
SLIP-OF-TONGUE
Whereas originally I thought that I was more drawn towards stuff that has less to do with the mating ritual, stuff that perhaps has to do with a different type of romance, a romance of people, places, sometimes narratives and sometimes stories...

--- expressing disapproval for the musical direction Genesis took around the time he left  
 

 

 

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