How many would you accept? How many band members add up to a legitimate band? These days a band that consists of all it’s original members, like U2, is an extremely rare thing. Bands like Kansas, Foreigner, Styx and Journey are the norm. Their rosters mix and match founding members, long standing members with new blood. Then there are bands like Yes. The current lineup consists of members who all have history with the band. Yet none of the members are original band members. Some fans have referred to the current Yes lineup, consisting of Steve Howe, Alan White, Geoff Downes, Billy Sherwood and Jon Davison, as a tribute band.
As a fan of Genesis how many band members would it take to accept them as Genesis? Steve Hackett has had a great run of success with his Genesis Revisited tours. I have read many comments from grateful fans. These fans feel that Hackett is keeping the 1970’s era of the band alive. I have seen Steve Hackett a few times over his last few tours. He and his highly talented band put on one of the best live shows that any progressive rock fan will encounter. Seeing the band play songs like Get ‘Em Out By Friday, Inside And Out, The Cinema Show and Dance On A Volcano is an amazing experience. Vocalist Nad Sylvan does the near impossible. He ably handles lead vocals on songs made famous by Phil Collins and Peter Gabriel. This is no easy feat, just ask Ray Wilson.
If Steve Hackett were to announce that he and his current band were going on tour billed as Genesis how many fans would be in an uproar? Many fans agree that Hackett’s band is phenomenal when it comes to playing the Genesis songs. If Hackett added Chester Thompson and Ray Wilson to his band would you accept this as Genesis? If Phil Collins opted to take his current band on the road billed as Genesis would it be acceptable? If Collins added Tony Banks to his band would it be accepted as Genesis? Is there any lineup that you would accept as Genesis that did not include Phil Collins, Peter Gabriel or Ray Wilson on vocals? Would you accept a tribute band singer stepping in?
Here are a few more examples. Of course the set lists would vary greatly depending on the configuration of the band. Which of these lineups, assisted by exceptional touring musicians, would be acceptable to you as Genesis?
Mike Rutherford, Anthony Phillips and Tony Banks
Tony Banks, Mike Rutherford and Steve Hackett
Mike Rutherford, Daryl Stuermer and Martin Levac. Levac is one of the premier Phil Collins tribute acts, he sings, plays piano and drums. Levac was also a member of the world famous Genesis tribute band The Musical Box where he played drums and sang background vocals.
Steve Hackett, Peter Gabriel and Phil Collins
Mike Rutherford, Tony Banks and David Longdon. Longdon is the current lead singer of the incredibly talented progressive rock band Big Big Train. Longdon was also the runner up to Ray Wilson as the replacement for Phil Collins. Longdon is an excellent vocalist, flautist and songwriter. His voice does process some tonal qualities similar to Peter Gabriel and Phil Collins.
Tony Banks, Steve Hackett and ex-Marilloin singer Fish. In his prime Fish had a voice that was the perfect amalgam of Peter Gabriel and Phil Collins.
Tony Banks, Daryl Stuermer, Mike Rutherford, Chester Thompson and Simon Collins. Simon Collins is the eldest son of Phil Collins. Simon Collins has already established himself as a gifted singer, songwriter and drummer.
Steve Hackett’s current touring band without vocalist Nad Sylvan, with the addition of Peter Gabriel on vocals.
Phil Collins and Steve Hackett
Phil Collins, Tony Banks and Steve Hackett
Tony Banks, Mike Rutherford and Jack Hues. Hues is a member of the band Wang Chung. He also collaborated with Tony Banks on the greatly overlooked Strictly Inc. album released in 1995. This is the line up that I would have preferred after Phil Collins left Genesis. Hues is an accomplished vocalist and guitarist.
Steve Hackett, Daryl Stuermer and Mike Rutherford. Rutherford would handle bass, Hackett would take lead guitar on the early material with Stuermer handling lead guitar on the newer songs.
Chester Thompson, Phil Collins and Peter Gabriel. This is a lineup that could perform Genesis songs from the 1970’s, 80’s and 90’s. They could even throw in a few solo songs from Phil Collins and Peter Gabriel as well.
Mike Rutherford, Anthony Drennan and Phil Collins. Drennan is a current member of Mike + The Mechanics. Drennan was also the touring guitarist/bassist on the Calling All Stations tour.
These are just a few of the possibilities. It is an interesting conversation. In recent years bands such as Judas Priest, Journey, Iron Maiden, Queensrchye, Styx, Kansas and Yes have recorded new music and toured with new vocalists. In some cases these vocalists were plucked from tribute bands. As a fan I have no issues with where a singer comes from, as long as they can deliver the goods. If Genesis choose to follow suit I would wholeheartedly support the endeavor.