Why I could never be a real songwriter…

With my May 22 wedding date fast approaching and spare time at a minimum these days, I decided to take advantage of some personal time yesterday and spent a couple of hours with my keyboard and MacBook to see if I could get the creative juices flowing again.

I am a big fan of the group Keane and love their new single “Stop for a Minute” (featuring K’naan). Since that song has been in my head lately, the song I tried writing yesterday started off with a Keane-like feel. However, what transpired over the next couple of hours showed why I could never be a real songwriter.

The song started with a simple piano part and a lyrical hook of “hit the ground running” immediately popped into my mind…so that became the working title. The rest of the foundation came quite easily — especially since I borrowed some bits from some aborted musical ideas from my past — and it did actually have a bit of that Keane flavor to it.

But then I decided to add a drum intro and it wound up being a nod to the intro to the song “Hold On” by Yes…so that introduced bit of my prog-rock influences.

And then I thought, “You know what? This needs horns.” So that brought my Phil Collins influence into the mix.

Finally, and this is really my big weakness as a songwriter/arranger, I decided to add some strings…because most of my songs inevitably end up with strings to cover up my lack of skill as a keyboard player.

And guess what my simple, little Keane-like pop tune ended up sounding like…the theme song to an action TV series from the 80s. Just take a listen and tell me you don’t envision cheesy title cards and graphics over actors and actresses with big hair and poofy clothes with forced smiles in ridiculous situations.

I really need to learn how to self-edit.

Hit the Ground Running (4:43)

It’s official: Genesis “trio” to tour in 2007

As I said in the previous post, Genesis had announced it would hold a press conference today to make an announcement (yep…one of those “let’s announce we’re going to announce something” press conferences…love those).

Well, today, Phil Collins, Mike Rutherford and Tony Banks announced they are indeed reuniting for a tour of Europe and select U.S. cities next year.

The promising thing is that Tony Banks mentioned that one of the reasons for the reunion is that Genesis is usually only mentioned in the mainstream press for its more commercial material of the 1980s and ’90s, and that the band wants to remind people that there is another side to the band…

“Genesis has a rather more complex side of music to it,” said Banks. “One side gets slightly more attention than the other. We are trying to reacquaint people. Genesis is not particularly a group that is mentioned very much these days in the papers I read anyhow and I just like to remind people we did do a lot of things.”

This article from E! Online also includes this paragraph…

The three musicians have already spent two weeks rehearsing in New York for the tour, which will see Collins also get behind the drum kit at various points during a show that will draw on all eras of the band, particularly songs and instrumentals dating back to 1973, delighting hardcore fans of their early sound.

Hey…as long as I don’t hear “I Can’t Dance” or “Jesus He Knows Me,” I’ll be OK with that.

Also, as I said in my earlier post on the Genesis reunion, I’m still holding out hope that Peter Gabriel and guitarist Steve Hackett get on the bandwagon and join Phil, Mike and Tony on the road in 2008. This whole reunion talk started with the five members getting together in a series of meetings to discuss going out and restaging the “Lamb” tour. But Peter backed out because he wants to finish his solo CD and tour on his own next year (which, in itself, is awesome news) while reserving the right to change his mind after 2007.

Once Peter passed on the reunion, Steve would have been the odd man out because he had only been with Genesis for two albums after PG left the group. So it was just decided that Phil, Mike and Tony would get back together.

However, the other part of all this Genesis reunion news is that EMI is reissuing 14 Genesis studio albums…but note the release schedule…

To coincide with the Genesis tour, EMI Records will be re-issuing 14 Genesis studio albums in three stages during 2007. All the releases will be SACD/DVD double disc sets featuring newly re-mastered 5.1 surround sound and stereo mixes. The release schedule is as follows:

March 2007: A Trick Of The Tail (1976), Wind & Wuthering (1977), …And Then There Were Three…(1978), Duke (1980) Abacab (1981)

June/July 2007: Genesis(1983), Invisible Touch(1986), We Can’t Dance (1991), Calling All Stations(1997)

Late 2007/Early 2008: Trespass (1970), Nursery Cryme (1971), Foxtrot (1972 ), Selling England By The Pound (1973), The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway(1974)

Hmm? I wonder why the early 1970s stuff including Peter Gabriel and Steve Hackett would be released in late 2007 and early 2008. I really think there is a good chance of the classic, five-man version of Genesis reuniting and touring in 2008.

Fingers crossed.

(Photo and “Turn It On Again Tour” graphic courtesy of Genesis-Music.com.)

Genesis to reunite in ’07…sort of

Well, the long-awaited Genesis reunion will be taking place in 2007. An official announcement is expected Nov. 7 on the band’s official Web site regarding what will be reportedly (and, if correct, appropriately) called the “Turn It On Again” Tour.

Right now, though, it looks like the lineup will consist of the modern version of Genesis with Phil Collins on lead vocals and drums, Mike Rutherford on bass/guitar and Tony Banks on keyboards.

According to this BBC report, Peter Gabriel has sadly said no to joining the reunion…for now. In true PG doublespeak, he throws this out there…

“It’s not that I’ve ruled it out, but I’ve got some new material that I’ll be working on.”

So he hasn’t ruled it out. Ugh…why must PG be so frustrating. He will always be my favorite artist, but he really needs to do this. There are a bunch of people out there like me who were born too late to witness the greatness of Genesis with PG at the helm…and I really want to see that once in my life.

I haven’t checked out PG’s site in a few weeks, but he supposedly posted something there saying that Phil (who is getting over his latest marital breakup), organized a jam session earlier this month with Mike and Tony.

Anyway, another site tracking Genesis reunion news and rumors going around cyberspace says guitarist Steve Hackett also will not be participating.

So instead of getting a tour of “Lamb Lies Down on Broadway,” “Back in NYC,” or “Supper’s Ready,” we’re going to get two hours of “Invisible Touch” and “Jesus He Knows Me.” Yeah!


UPDATE: This is just my speculation, but maybe–just maybe–there is hope for a “classic” Genesis reunion. I was looking further down that reunion news and rumor page I mentioned above and there are a couple of interesting tidbits…

22nd May 2006: Yet another new information from the Collins Tarzan-Interview-Marathon: Phil told the Chicago Broadway World that the first plan would still be to reunite the classic line-up in a couple of years, which might be hard to realise due to all commitments of the five guys. But Phil also said that he could imagine doing something with Tony Banks and Mike Rutherford instead, in case Peter is unavailable. Also, Phil revealed that the “Genesis Trio” has scheduled studio time in October for jam sessions. No further plans are made, though. >> Discuss this in our FORUM

13th May 2006: Once more a statement from Phil Collins. In a recent statement at 6Music in New York City (USA), Phil explained that a reunion is still likely. Nevertheless, due to other commitments Peter has until the end of 2007, a Reunion won’t happen before 2008. Collins told the Toronto Star, that the five original members of Genesis are “moving toward the possibility”.

20th April 2006: Alan Hewitt has recently interviewed Steve Hackett and this is what Steve replied being asked about the SACDs and a possible reunion: Unfortunately I’m not in a position to…I comment on things and I think that masses of the stuff has had a fantastically good job done on it and one or two things are still in a state of conjecture but I have no idea when that stuff is to be released……and of course the ideal time would be if there was a band reformation but I don’t think anyone is any the wiser. The band isn’t any the wiser than the fans are and so with regards to that we have all given our pitch and let’s just say that most of us are hoping it is going to come off. I would love to be able to say ‘Yes, I’ll be there on Thursday!’ It is the question on everyone’s lips, including mine. If it doesn’t happen, I won’t be to blame.

18th April 2006: Good news again: Phil Collins revealed in a recent radio broadcast on KGO NewsTalk that the band met in November 2005 and that they have discussed a reproduction of the live show of The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway. This would be “for a limited run of shows” and these shows would be “recorded and filmed”. Collins also said that the band is “very enthusiastic about the idea” and that they will try to find the time to realise it. Go to the Downloads-Section to download the snippet.

OK…piecing this together, it is quite possible that because of PG’s commitments through 2007, Phil, Mike and Tony will do their “Turn It On Again Tour” in 2007…with PG and Steve Hackett joining them in 2008 for a “classic” Genesis tour reproducing the “Lamb” live show.

I would like for the official announcement on Nov. 7 to include some hope of that happening…but I guess it won’t.

Still…there is hope…and Phil, Mike and Tony in 2007 are better than nothing.

(Image from Genesis-Music.com)