My Book of Genesis by Richard Macphail (Review)

Review of the book about Genesis by their long time friend and tour manager.

The history of progressive rock pioneers Genesis is well documented with books covering the band, by the band, separate members’ autobiographies, documentaries and more.  But in the new book title My Book of Genesis we get a look at the band from a fresh and unheard angle, that of the band’s childhood friend turned tour manager, Richard Macphail.  Many by now know the tale of how Phil Collins and Steve Hackett joined the band, or how Phil became the singer after Peter Gabriel left.  But there through it all was Macphail, keeping the band together as the pseudo sixth member, convincing the band to go on after Anthony Phillips quit the band, or encouraging Hackett in the early days when he felt he was underperforming.  In this book, there are those stories and more with contributions from Genesis band members, corroborating Macphail’s accounts.

The book begins by taking the reader back to the Charterhouse school where the original lineup was formed out of two groups with friends trying to express themselves in the stifled environment.  From there, we follow Macphail to Israel, searching for his purpose, only to come back and simply start helping out his friends, eventually working his way up to their tour manager.  It is during his critical tenure with the band, that the group begin to take the path towards the mammoth entity it would eventually become.  Macphail also recants how Gabriel left the group and the turmoil within the group during this period, which eventually would lead to him helping Gabriel during his solo career.

The book is an easy read with Macphail an engaging story teller.  While some of the tales are of legend and have been told countless times, it is comforting to hear the stories confirmed from one of the only people there to really know.  Hackett perhaps offers the most insights into his feelings at the time and after with a separate interview at the end of the book.  For any Genesis fan, this is a must read.

Pick-up the book here.

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