The Story of Genesis Part Eleven: And Then There Were Three by Peter Morton. Photographs by Alan Perry. Memorabilia: TWR Archive.
Genesis spent the summer of 1977 mixing live tracks from their previous tour for what would become the group’s second live album: Seconds Out. It was during this period that Steve Hackett told the band he was going to leave.
Steve had already enjoyed solo success with Voyage Of The Acolyte, released two years previously and had then amassed a wealth of material and musical ideas which he felt he could develop more outside the band than within it. There was, of course, other reasons, some of which he mentioned in an article written in NME on 8th October 1977, a week before Seconds Out was released.
Steve’s departure came as a second blow to the band , having already survived Peter’s departure two years previously. The question that was being asked was whether they would continue as a three piece or would they incorporate a new guitarist into the band? The answer was simple: Mike, Tony and Phil had already begun writing new material shortly after Steve had decided to leave, and by the time Seconds Out was released they had already written much of what was to appear on the next studio album, aptly titled: And Then There Were Three.
Upon the release of the album in April 1978, it was clearly visible that although they had lost Steve’s superb musical contributions, as a three piece they could still create that famous Genesis sound and even produce a number of well structured three or four minute songs, one of which: Follow You, Follow Me was to become the band’s most successful single, reaching number 7 in the UK charts and also a slot on Top Of The Pops.
The B side of the single was Ballad of Big. In Britain the single could be found in a black and white picture sleeve on the silver Charisma label (CB309) although some people may have the Irish issue on the purple label.. It is interesting to note that when the single was released in America on Atlantic Records, the A side was remixed slightly.
And Then There Were Three was the first Genesis album on which Mike Rutherford played all the guitar parts. This was quite a frightening period which he recollected to Hugh Fielder in his Book Of Genesis… “At the time I was worrying so much about playing the lead guitar that parts of the album went by without me noticing them. The minute I finished the album, I wanted to re-do all of my parts. It was as if I had taken a crash course…”
The album was a great success on both sides of the Atlantic and to promote it, Genesis undertook what was even for them a World Tour of epic proportions; three American tours, a European tour which would include their only British gig at Knebworth Park on 24th June and then a short trip to Japan in late November and early December.
To augment Tony, Mike and Phil on this tour they once again used the talents of Chester Thompson on drums as he had proven so successful on their previous tour. However, they still lacked a guitarist so once again they looked to America and a man called Daryl Stuermer to oblige. Daryl was born in Milwaukee and had already played with the likes of Jean Luc Ponty. It was however on the recommendation of Alphonso Johnson the band’s contact for musicians in America, that Daryl was asked to audition in New York for the band. The audition was a success and Daryl joined Tony, Mike, Phil and Chester on this gigantic tour which opened at the County Auditorium Rockland on 1st April.
The set list altered slightly during the tour but in the main consisted of the following tracks: Eleventh Earl Of Mar/In The Cage/Burning Rope/Ripples/Deep In The Motherlode/Fountain Of Salmacis/Down & Out/One For The Vine/Squonk/Say It’s Alright, Joe/The Lady Lies/Cinema Show-Afterglow/Follow You Follow Me/Dance On A Volcano/Los Endos/I Know What I Like.
Occasionally they slipped in Ballad Of Big at some of their shows and they had rehearsed the Apocalypse in 9/8 section from Supper’s Ready but this only appeared once at the show at the Westfalenhalle in Dortmund.
During June the group released their second single from the album: Many Too Many. This was of particular interest to collectors as the B sides were two non-album tracks: The Day The Light Went Out and Vancouver. The single reached number 43 in the UK charts and a promotional video was filmed for it. The Japanese release of the single came with a superb quality photo insert of the band as well as the A side lyrics in both English and Japanese. In addition,, Deep In The Motherlode was released as a single in Japan where it was re-titled as Go West Young Man. Scenes From A Night’s Dream was the B side to this release.
The Knebworth show was a great success for the band. Apart from playing in front of 120,000 people, Radio One recorded the show for subsequent broadcast and the BBC’s Nationwide programme made a feature on the band’s current tour called Three Dates With Genesis, in which they followed the band around a couple of shows in Europe culminating with the show at Knebworth. The Lady Lies was the only song from the concert to be screened. The BBC must have the full film of the show somewhere in their vaults and maybe one day we shall see it.
At Madison Square Garden in New York on 29th July, Peter Gabriel joined the band on stage unexpectedly to sing with Phil on the encore I Know What I Like. By the time the band’s tour finally finished in December, they had spent nearly nine months on the road, been to and from America three times and played to over a million people. Such a long period away from home had put a serious strain on Phil’s marriage to Andrea Bertorelli and this led unfortunately to their separation the following year.
1978 also saw the issue of the first and probably the best book written about the band by their friend and rock journalist, Armando Gallo.