“Famous Five and other stories” - Tony Banks in coversation with TWR about his latest album. Interview conducted at the Riding House Café, London on Saturday 3rd March 2018. Photographs by Emily Banks, Frank Rogers, Stuart Barnes and Tadlow Music.

TWR: Well first of all, Tony, congratulations on getting to the number one spot in the Classical charts.

TB: Thank you, I am very pleased with that.

TWR: What software and computer(s) do you use for compositional purposes?

TB: I use various kinds of sampling sounds and I still use one or two I have had over the years and I still use a couple of the Emulator sounds but most of it I now do with computer based things. I use a lot of the Philharmonic Miroslav and I use a certain amount of Vienna Orchestra particularly they have a fantastic oboe and a fantastic cornet and the strings are great as well. But most of the other stuff tends to come from the Philharmonic. To some extent I am not trying to produce a hundred per cent result from that because I can get what I am after from them but the main instruments, the lead instruments such as the cornet for example, which features very heavily on this one particularly on Reveille really came from the fact that I had a really fantastic cornet sample to play with and as I was going along I thought, this sounds really good and then you have to try and think like a trumpeter and play trumpet parts and that was quite fun to do.

So there is no doubt that the technical stuff does lead you in certain directions which is good. Cubase is also fantastic for the tempo track which is the thing I fiddle with all the time to get the tempos right over all and you can do it in real time and then you think I want to change it and you can do what you like and some bits you record timeless and it is a very musical thing to do. The demos sounded pretty close in some cases and University is very similar but they don’t have the orchestral sounds and also Nick Ingam says areas that I am very lazy on or that I don’t feel very positive about, orchestral percussion particularly, he was great at that and so all of that pretty much comes from him and orchestrators can do things you don’t think about and I was using the Philharmonic thing and he was doing it differently.

Sometimes it is not that obvious and we did a lot of backwards and forwards so he would try things and I would try things and originally we were going to replace a lot more of the piano than we did things like piano parts and in the end we kept those and some of the moving parts as well it was just a question of doing things which I did, which were probably not orchestral thinking. The result is closer to my demos than either of the other two have been over all. A couple of pieces on the previous one were very close to the demos particularly Black Down from the first album which was very close to the demo but whereas on the second one both the solo led pieces, particularly Blade and the other one, Siren I think Paul Englishby had quite a big input input into the way they sounded like they did and I think it worked really well on the sax piece and it almost worked on the violin piece butwhen I hear my old demo there is something about that, there is something about that that is really good and it is a lot faster that is the other thing, maybe too fast for a violinist to play. There are people out there who can do it and it would be very exciting, but the version we have is pretty good so I am not really complaining. I think the ones I was really disappointed with were the final piece on the first album, Spirit Of Gravity the orchestra were totally wrong in so many aspects of it and in the end we had to cobble together something that was vaguely OK and the parts were half speed and I just couldn’t get the trumpets and the strings to play in time and problems I never thought I would ever have. For me it is a surprisingly happy album and it is in a major key and here I am more normally known for my misery and here I am! (laughs) and I am not normally known for that.
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TWR: How long after the Cheltenham Festival did you start work on the new album?

TB: The only piece I had… I had two pieces I was working on towards possibly using at Cheltenham and the other piece ended up on this, called Ebb And Flow and it was either or and I thought the other which ended up as Prelude was a more exciting piece but it was more complicated on many ways and the orchestra also played it better but I got nowhere near what I was finally doing. I always thought hat once I had done the Cheltenham piece I was going to do another of these things at some point. I didn’t know when, I didn’t want to rush it and it was when ideas came I suppose. This has been around for almost a year now and it was finished a year ago and for one reason or another it has ended up, it was originally supposed to come out in October and BMG wanted more time and to avoid Christmas and all the usual stuff and so it came whenever it did and I don’t really mind, I am glad to get it out of my system and I haven’t really written anything else since.

TWR: How long did it take to write?

TB: It evolved over a period of time, some of the pieces had been around for a bit and if you look at your notes, it will say something slightly inaccurately about the final piece which started off as an idea in the late Nineties I think when I was trying to get back into film music and I did a few demos and this was something I recorded and I wanted a drone, something slightly sort of strange at intervals and then it was a very simple theme and so the first minute of the final piece (Renaissance) came from that and I developed it and one of the reasons I developed it was because Nick Ingman was quite keen on the idea of using a choir on both Ebb And Flow and Reveille and I thought that sounded like a nice idea to have a piece which really uses the choir and so Ohad this piece which sort of evolved and so that was why I did that and I am glad I did, I think it is my favourite piece really. In a way really before early Prog Rock the final part was very much like a song structure and it is a very strong kind of theme and very up and optimistic and when people get there on the record I think it is an uplifting ending from a slightly sinister start and it slowly evolves into this sort of optimistic piece. So it was all about timing and a little bit was written twenty years ago but the rest of it came pretty quickly.

TWR: How do you marry these bits up together?

TB: Well, it wasn’t sort of marrying them up I just developed them and everything in the end came from that piece and there were elements of that final theme that were there before but all the other bits were kind of like leading on from that first bit and all of that came quite quickly and going back the likes of A Curious Feeling and From The Undertow, all the big swells and stuff and that isn’t really done that much in Classical music, it can be done, all the instruments are quite capable of it, and I have always liked that and particularly the opening of From The Undertow because with the Polymoog in those days not only could it go louder but because of the filters you could get a brash sound and I was trying to get something of that effect just using the choir and the orchestra I suppose with the strings and lots of other things playing at the same time trying to get that as well with the choir. I do try to avoid repeating myself and I do love it when I find something different though. There are a couple of changes in that one in particular that just really appealed to me. And it was a slightly weird chord sequence and I emphasised it by making the flute play the two weird notes in it as a melody line and I really liked that. It was nothing new, you can’t really do anything really new and if I have discovered something then others probably have too. One thing I have always done throughout my career is change keys between sections and I always think it gives a lift and if you take Reveille for example, where the body of the first part is all in C or C flat for the quiet part and it is the key changes as originally you are more sort of serene and the nature of those two keys to each other has a sort of softness to it and so that keeps you going through the bit and when you come back to the original again you have the brashness of the C Major. I don’t consciously find myself doing it but I do it and I do go round the keys a bit and my music is quite difficult When Nick Ingman was doing the scoring, first of all you have the tempo stuff which is quite tricky and then you get he introduction to Reveille which is timeless and so it is quite difficult to write any bars in three or five and the tempo changes on it but he got it absolutely right.

TWR: Tell us a little about each of the tracks on the album…

TB: OK, well Prelude To A Million Years which is a slightly interpretative title, and I borrowed it from an American graphic artist who did a series of books, stories without words, a guy called Lind Wall and I have always admired his stuff and one of his books was called Wild Pilgrimage and I used that title on the last album and another is called Prelude To A Million Years and it is slightly pretentious title I know and I thought of changing it to a thousand years but decided to just go for it. I did it as a kind of prelude to the album. This was the piece I wrote for Cheltenham and I had what was the opening bit, that bit I had written on its own and I had this idea of… I really wanted to use the arpeggio and those first four chords were something I just loved the bluesy chords in the middle of what was a very orchestral and almost Vaughan Williams kind of thing but it had that chord in it and it was a bit like going back to Watcher of The Skies the two chords, there was just something about it which was great and I had the same feeling about those three or four chords in this.

So, I had that and the rest of it I had and it wasn’t originally connected but I originally wanted to write a piece where the arpeggio kept going throughout the piece and I had had a problem on previous ones where the orchestrators kind of… they were thinking classically and they stop you using arpeggios because its too much and it becomes too much John Barry or something else and I am like… I like John Barry, I want more of that…So, I wrote the piece and called it Arpeggio at the time so that everyone would know what I was trying to do and the original arrangement was with Paul Englishby and we redid it when we did this but I said we want to keep the arpeggios throughout this, none of this getting rid of it. So we sort of did it like that So the arpeggios flit between the piano, harp and the flute were going all the way through and the different themes are based around that arpeggio pattern and the central theme is the one that occurs in the middle and is repeated a few times. I liked the idea of the sort of motor that an arpeggio produces. I mean, a lot of the Classical, the modern so-called minimalist composers like Philip Glass and so on do this kind of thing a lot and they use arpeggios and I wanted to see how far I could go and it works so well in Classical music because you have strings playing all over things and it sounds great. And I like the attacking cellos and things like Eleanor Rigby and that is a great sound and it isn’t done enough in Classical music. So the nature of being sort of crossover if you like, I can do a whole section doing that rather than doing something else. So that was that one.
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The second piece, Reveille and as I mentioned before, that had a great trumpet sound and a cornet sample on my computer but I didn’t know what to do with it and I had one of these things where I was playing fast parts like on The Lamb…with two hands playing it alternately which produces a very fast thing and I got the idea of trying to do as much as I could of that on marimba and that had a good little theme going on its own and it needed a top line and I just started exploring and it was a great sound and it really worked. And then the second part where the key change happens was a variation on a theme that had been created on the first part done slow and serene. So I wanted the contrast and I tried to.. I loved the excitement of the first part but I couldn’t keep it going and I actually added a whole sort of extra circuit as I was enjoying it too much I didn’t want to get away from it. But I couldn’t do the whole thing at that pace, I had to stop and so that is what the middle bit is and then you can come back and rebuild the pace and I think that is very effective. Again, another key change and the marimba comes in and everything which is very exciting I think. And with Reveille being the wake up call for the army, so the trumpet and that acts as sort of prelude and then you have got the trumpet at the start.

That is followed by Ebb And Flow which was the other piece I sort of had around at the time I was writing for Cheltenham. It has been adapted and changed a lot since then. I had this very simple little idea at the beginning, just a sort of two note thing really and I thought it sounded very nice just playing on one chord and it sounded great but I thought it could also sound great if you made the chords bigger. So it kind of, it recurs about three or four times and by the end it is played with all the chord changes so it is all kind of built up and up to the final moment when I play it in its entirety and only do it once, then I come back down again and it was quite satisfying but in between the other sections and in particular I had these two chords over a riff I was playing which I thought was nice and I thought it would be a basis for a solo of some kind. And I did the original solo on an oboe because again, there was a great oboe sample that I had but the idea was that it would probably end up on saxophone and so I got Martin Robertson who is someone I have worked with many times, to come in and play that. So that was the contrast between the quite fast breezy sot of bit with a more thematic section which slowly develops throughout the piece.

Autumn Sonata, its original working title was New And Old and that was a marriage of two bits so what you might call the first part, was something that I was going to try and write on just two chords and I had this little phrase which I thought was very nice and I tried to keep it to two chords and I just about managed it and I just couldn’t stop myself and so I played the same theme again with more romantic chords and that was a thematic thing and that was a very recent piece of writing. I knew it wanted to go somewhere else but I didn’t know where and I had this other section which I hadn’t used at all which involved this.. It was two parts one was a sort of trumpet led melody and then this kind of slow build up starting off again with marimbas, celeste and everything which was almost like using an old rock and roll chord sequence. Slightly subtle and then just going away from that and slightly odd notes in the thing so the whole thing is sort of sinister and waiting, you know something is pending, something is going to happen, you don’t know what and it is brooding and then it goes bigger and bugger as all the instruments come in and it goes through the brass line with lines on top as a sort of climax and then at the end it comes back to the first melody and then a reprise of what was the final part of it. So it was a more conventional piece of writing in a sense such as Abacab…AB..AC AB… and autumn being the next stage in life if you like..

Then you have got Renaissance which is kind of a rebirth and I had already used that title so I couldn’t use it again and so I thought, Renaissance, I can get away with that. It is a good word anyway and it has connotations of high art which is quite funny! (laughs) And I told you how that came about from a piece I had in the past which the first part was almost like very spontaneous kind of writing coming out and then I had to organise it a bit and make it develop. And then, unusually for me, I had a moment of about a second of complete silence. I normally fill everything up and this was unusual, I need more silence in my pieces (laughs) and I hadn’t joined them up because the key thing was just not working and so I thought lt’s just try a gap and see what happens and it was like oh, you’ve ended and then it comes in with the same chord with the oboe on top of the orchestra like that and what is a very optimistic theme and it is a piece I am quite proud of in terms of the writing. It would make a great song and the chords are like, they have all got that extra note in them which makes them a bit wistful and you think it sounds straight but it’s not. Some people like what I do and some people don’t like what I do and if all I did was play C, F and G and I look at it, I have got ten fingers and I am going to use all of them…

TWR: So, Optimistic, Nostalgic, wistful, is this a new Tony Banks we are seeing here?

TB: Yeah, maybe at the moment and in major chords as well none of this sort of nasty minor key and not resolving and that final chord on From The Undertow which could go either way, and oh, he’s gone back to a minor. There is something about it and I seem to have ended up in a major key but there was no master plan for what I write, you just do it and try to put it into some sort of shape and what you get is what you get.. There is nothing in triplet form on this one whereas the last one had a couple and it is nice to have one as it changes the feel but nothing occurred so they are all, they aren’t all 4/4 obviously but they are all in more sort of normal tempos.

TWR: Has your compositional style changed in any way since Six?

TB: Writing or recording, or both? Well I probably well… you see I don’t write all the time, I do stuff every day but that might be going out to weed the garden, you know )laughs) and I do a lot more of that than I do playing music sometimes but once I got the ideas down because I can pool ideas from a year or two and then when you start working on it and I probably worked on it for a couple of months and then got Nick Ingman involved and Nick Davis as well, obviously. Nick Davis was great actually because he had a couple of ideas which I took on board. Once that was done the process was another two or three months and then we did the actual recording, the piano was done already and then we did the soloists were recorded, the saxophone and the Doudouk which Martin also played, and then the percussion and the harp and we did all of those in London over a period of about two or three days at Angel Studios and then we went to Prague where we spent five days doing it, two days with the strings and one day with the woodwind, one day with the brass and one day with the choir and then we came back and put it all together which didn’t take all that long, two or three days because it was all sort of there. I learned a lot and in fact the engineer I worked with Simon Rose, because you are putting bits and pieces together and he was very good at that and kind of did it on the go and made notes and did it although we kept all the other versions of everything as well.
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When we got go the studio there were one or two moments where we felt that we really hadn’t got it and we went back to the originals and we could find a better version. The most noticeable ones were those in that final theme that I was talking about in Renaissance because it breaks down to just solo violin for the last time and the version we had was a bit tame and what I wanted was kind of Hollywood movie, that moment when it all suddenly comes right you know and he had done this one version which was lovely and so we used that. So that was why it took so long, that part of it and the recording actually took no longer than if we had done it the old way because by the time you get in there you spend half your time correcting the scores when you are doing the whole orchestras together. Ten minute’s worth of music takes three hours and it is quite difficult as they have never heard the piece and don’t know what you are going for. And I found it quite difficult I have to say at times, particularly when I did the one in London and I don’t know if I told you before, but I originally did three of the pieces at Abbey Road and came back and they were shit, and at that point I was going to give up but then I got in contact with Nick Davis who at that point hadn’t been involved and he was very encouraging. He originally found me Simon Dale who was a good arranger and so I decided to go into it and make certain I had more people on my side of the fence, as it was just me against everybody. So I had Nick and I had other people and we went in and got a different conductor, Mike Dixon who was more used to crossover music and stuff and he worked as the MD on “We Will Rock You” and so he understood what I wanted but could communicate with the orchestra as well and it was much better as a result of that. That taught me a little bit about how you have got to do it and make sure you have the confidence from your side of the studio window. And that made the second one much better with Paul Englishby who is a fantastic writer and composer himself. I felt with Paul, he does a lot of work on his own and although he was great and gave me a lot of time I just felt it was a bit of a rush.

Also I felt that someone like Nick Ingman would be better because he is more used to working with this idea of recording in bits and pieces as he has done a lot of work with film and TV stuff and he is so experienced, he has worked with loads of rock musicians as well so he understands us all. And we found a really good way of working and he was very into the music too which always helps. It wasn’t just a job to him, he really got involved.

TWR: What are the main challenges of composing for an orchestra as opposed to for a band?

TB: There are a lot of things, you have to realise an orchestra is like an orchestra itself and they have certain personalities and it is a bit like trying to herd cattle into one sort of place and that is why you have to divide them up into smaller groups. I don’t think when I did the London Philharmonic I didn’t feel that there was any respect for me at all. I don’t think anybody in that orchestra had any respect for anything I had done in the past or any real interest in what it was I was doing. They could do the job, they were great players and on the main it was tough and that was one of the ain reasons why I decided to go to Prague as I was told I would find a completely different way to the way they work.

The other problem is, in London it is very expensive hiring an orchestra and to get rehearsal time is just as expensive as recording time and I wanted more time and with Prague it is cheaper all round. You get twice as much time for not as much money and there were people there who knew Genesis and loved Genesis and even if they weren’t, they do a lot of film work and stuff so they are very open to a lot of the stuff and they understand me rhythmically. I mean, a lot of Classical musicians really can’t get certain rhythms and if they try to play with any kind of swing it starts to sound like the Boston Pops and it's really awful and you have the version that David Palmer did of some of our music (We Know What We Like) and there are some awful moments on that and an orchestra trying to play rock music just doesn’t work. And since this is crossover, there are moments of that and I did find particularly on the first piece, to try and get the orchestra and I have mentioned The Spirit Of Gravity before but there was one little piece that the strings had to play and they couldn’t get it. Fortunately the leader of the orchestra got it and he told the rest of them but it was obviously something very unnatural to them. I don’t know why, it seemed easy to me. And they don’t really understand the differences and if you are going to record orchestral music as a rock musician, you need to make sire that the musicians you have, have some sympathy with that genre of music. Because these guys can play fantastically rhythmically… look at The Rite Of Spring, they can all play it because they have heard it, so they know how it goes and they are so tight and everything is absolutely on the nose and that was all I was looking for and so I felt with the Prague orchestra they understood that. And of course, make sure that what you write is suitable for an orchestra and that’s why on the first two albums I lent quite heavily on the orchestrators because they could make sense of what I was doing so on this one I had a pretty good idea of what I could get away with although I wasn’t going to write what you would call “Classical” Classical music, I could get a sound in the orchestra that would work for me.
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In a sense it is more like film music in the way it is done but a lot of people love that kind of music and I would rather listen to, and there are many pieces of film music by people like Ennio Morricone and I would rather listen to what he has done than to any living Classical composer, to be honest. It is a strange sort of world we live in where Classical music is kind of a small, niche kind of thing. Not the stuff like Elgar and Vaughan Williams and it is like the question that gets asked: who is the most famous living Classical composer? And it is a difficult question to answer, isn’t it?

TWR: Have you thought about getting back into film music?

TB: I did for a period in the late Eighties try to get into film music and it was such an uphill struggle and people always want to use what they have used before and they don’t really know what they want and they don’t trust the fact that I haven’t done stuff recently. There are two things: having worked on my own doing what I want it might be quite difficult. If I had someone who really wants me because they like what I have done then maybe. The one big advantage of film over Classical is that I don’t have to do any of the promotion! (laughs) and it isn’t all depending on me. With this I feel that I have to go out and talk to people and half the people I talk to don’t want to talk to me and it doesn’t really make any difference, you know. You do know that if you appear on something like Breakfast TV, that will have a big effect and if you talk very deeply for hours and hours about Prog Rock or something it has no effect at all. It is a weird thing really. All I am trying to do with this is let people know that it is out and let people know what I have done in the past and then you have got to move on if you can because I think it has a much wider appeal than that. Serious Classical boys aren’t going to listen to it because of where it comes from and the rest of them… there is simply too much stuff out there and you have to be led to stuff, somebody has to play it to you and because I am not really doing anything live that doesn’t help either.

TWR: Do you have any intention to perform any of this music on the concert stage and if so, what would be your dream conductor/orchestra to perform it?

TB: I would love a piece.. I would really.. Almost the best thing would be if someone played one of the pieces as a sort of introductory piece as they do in concerts sometimes. To make a record is one thing, to do a concert would be quite another and to get the orchestra to play everything how you want it would be quite hard I think. I don’t say never. If there was suddenly a great deal of interest, then of course I would do it but trying to push again, hire a hall, get an orchestra and get the whole thing going and get a hall somewhere I don’t know that I want to do that.I don’t have enough desire to do that and if I did one it might lead to another.

TWR: With his work in the same field, have you ever considered working with Steve or Ant on an orchestral project?

TB: I don’t particularly know, I don’t say no either. I mean Ant has got his own thing going and to do all this stuff and he has done all this wonderful stuff and nobody knows who you are and he was the original one who wanted to be a star back in the early days. He wanted to be out front with his red guitar doing it and then he couldn’t and it is strange that he has ended up doing that.

Steve and I? Well, Steve and I were both into Classical when we were in the group together and we used to swap ideas sometimes on odd things and we introduced people and it sounds quite strange now but the first time either of us became acquainted with Mahler was through the film Death In Venice and we were both trying to search out a record with this music on! And we couldn’t find it. But at the time Mahler was just not popular and then there was the Albinoni piece which is now used at every funeral virtually and then there was the likes of Erik Satie and stuff and people we came across together in a way and he was probably more in there than I was in many ways. So he was quite an ally in that zone at the time. The problem is with writers is you are depleting yourself, do you need another person? I know that when we worked in Genesis we sort of had a modus operandi, the three of us in a room together and making this big horrible din (laughs) but something started emerging which was great fun to do but all the other collaborations I have done outside of Genesis have always been a case of the singer probably writing lyrics and then maybe contributing to some extent to the melody line when we recorded it. So, I am not a terribly good collaborator. I don’t rule anything out.
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TWR: Speaking of soundtracks, are there any plans for the rest of your own back catalogue to be reissued after the excellent start with the A Cord Too Far box set and A Curious Feeling/The Fugitive reissues? Any chance of the remaining pieces from the 2010 and The Shout soundtracks seeing the light of day?

TB: I don’t know. I think poor old Esoteric go their fingers burned with the first two and maybe they expected to sell more records, I don’t know and also at the time I said, I am very happy to do this but I don’t know if anyone out there wants to hear this stuff. We did 5.1 versions of those albums and also all the pieces that ended up on A Chord Too Far. So we have quite a lot of Bankstatement and Soundtracks done because they are quite short and nothing from the later two albums in terms of 5.1 and they are not available as albums I don’t think anymore. I would love to do them and I did A Chord Too Far and that was what I thought was the best stuff that was out there. I Haven’t talked to them recently about this, the other two would be… I mean they said they would pay for the mixing to do them which I said, fine, great, but they are not going to make their money back, its as simple as that really. But I think with Bankstatement and Soundtracks it would be quite easy and maybe that will happen. The later two … I mean 5.1 is not so important now and you could just put them out again as they were and the mixes, we were pretty happy with the mixes and so it would be nice to have these things available. I would like everything to be out there but there are many great records that aren’t out there, there is too much Ed Sheeran and there’s no room for anybody else! (laughs).
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TWR: It is the fiftieth anniversary of Genesis this year. Any plans to celebrate that event?

TB: Well, we have nothing planned at all, no. I remember there were all these plans about the fortieth anniversary of The Lamb… and that never happened and we had abig meeting about it all and Peter was quite up for something and then we had this marvellous statement when we had this meeting to discuss what we might do and he said “this is a meeting about having a meeting” (laughs) and it was after that that Mike, Phil and I went, hey let’s do it, let’s get together and do the revival tour which we did. Peter is very difficult to tie down and he is a stubborn chap and he is slow anyhow and when did he do his last piece of original music? Years ago which is a shame because he writes great stuff and so I don’t know with all that. We did the R Kive thing and the rather dodgy documentary which we rather regret I think. So, no, there is nothing planned for that and it is actually the fiftieth anniversary of The Silent Sun isn’t it? And we are a year on from the Beat concert which was 2017 and Silent Sun was released in February 1968 and some guy said to me that the original release date for this album was the same and is that why you are doing it? And I didn’t know! (laughs) Fifty years, it's quite a long time. So, that’s the first question fielded, what’s the next one…

TWR: Mike and Phil have written their autobiographies, Steve is currently writing his, will we ever see yours?

TB: That’s a good enough reason not to do it. I don’t approve of these books really. I thought we wrote the… Chapter And Verse one and I thought that was done with the idea of putting these biographies to rest and then of course, Mike does his and as I have said before, I didn’t like his book, I thought he was … especially in relation to what he said about me, I didn’t think it was fair and it is so irritating because you are kind of like … and this is the trouble with these books, everybody tends to push up their role and push down the others’ role which he did a lot in that book. The relationship with his father was great and I thought there should have been much more of that which originally was how the book started and once he got into the Genesis stuff I didn’t like it. As for Phil, I haven’t read Phil’s book but Phil tends to be nice about most people and Richard Macphail’s book, I haven’t read that either and no, I have no intention of writing my own book. I might wait until everybody else is dead (laughs) and I am the last one left alive and then I will say I did it all and they watched me which I sort of the truth anyhow (laughs) and I managed to sack you all ! (laughs). If I wrote one I would be very nice about everybody actually, about all ex members of the group because, and it sounds very twee but I have been very lucky to work with all of them and well together and everyone had their plusses and stuff and John Mayhew a was perhaps a bit weak but he came in as a drummer when we needed one and you have Ant and Steve and they are all good at what they do particularly within the context of Genesis and I think that is the thing and I think I would be very nice about everybody really. I have to get a couple of digs in about Mike for his book (laughs) but I don’t want to write a book but I can’t say I will never write one but I don’t think I will.

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And with that, our time with Tony came to an end. Our thanks to Jo Greenwood and Ben Pester for arranging things for us this time round.

NOTE: What you can't see in the photos taken in the café is just how busy it was. It was bustling and full of people. Yes, using the flash in the camera would have reduced the overbrightness of the window behind Tony, but it's not the sort of thing you do whilst other people are eating their lunch. How very British... SB.