Tag Archives: Mike Rutherford

Excerpt from “The Living Years” by Mike Rutherford ~~Phil Collins~~

picture-LivingYears-RutherfordIn 1970 Phil Collins was a face on the scene in Soho: a friend of Strat, a regular at Le Chasse and a drummer in a band called Flaming Youth. Given that we were in Surrey not Soho, that didn’t really mean a lot to us.
Phil didn’t know much about Genesis either, although when he’d seen our adverts for a drummer in Melody Maker he’d tried to fast-track he way into the band via Strat. However, Strat had told him that we were pretty fussy and he’d have to go down to Chobham for an audition, so that’s what happened. Phil arrived from Hounslow and Mrs Gabriel – We called her Mrs G – served tea.
It was summer so we’d pulled back the rug in the living room, set up on the parquet floor and opened the French windows to let the breeze in. Phil always reckoned that I was wearing a dressing gown when he first saw me and I might well have been: I don’t think I was trying to be ostentatious but we were all in relaxed mode. Anyway, Phil had arrived a bit early so while the drummer before him was finishing, we sent him off for a swim in the pool.
By the time it came to Phil’s turn, he’d already heard and memorized the part we were using for the audition and, when he sat down at the kit, you just knew. He had confidence. All the other guys had fiddled around, moved the cymbals, shifted their seat about a bit, but Phil simply changed the snare round because he was left-handed and got on with it.
You never felt anything was a big deal with Phil. Because most drummers don’t write, they live to play. As a breed, they’re never into the intense, emotional stuff: they just want to get a good groove. Being very much English folk-rock at this point, a groove wasn’t something Genesis had until Phil came along. For a start, apart from Pete, we all played sitting down.

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