"Opening the Boxed Set" Anthony Phillips interviewed about his involvement in the recent Genesis Boxed set. Interview conducted by Alan Hewitt on Sunday 23rd August 1998.

TWR: The Archive Collection satisfied the demand from your own fans for your own material and it begs the question what was your involvement with the Box Set and when did you first get involved with it?

AP: Well, minimal really. As Jonathan (Dann) has just said, the coincidence of finding these tapes of "From Genesis To Revelation" and passing them on and obviously they wanted to use those and getting their hands on stuff from that period was obviously a boon. And finding the alternative mix of "In Hiding" was again helpful because it was a slightly superior recording of that again it was all down to Jon being persistent and being dogged and yourself of course, and forcing me to go into the attic and forcing me to...but no, I had a very minimal involvement with the Box set really apart from that to be honest. I mean, I never really asked and there was never any question of being sent tapes to approve, although I think if I had objected to anything really strongly although I wasn't going to, though I wasn’t too happy about "Build Me A Mountain" with three different guitars never in tune at any one stage (laughter) other people didn't seem to mind, so...

TWR: Out of the tracks, obviously your involvement would be exclusively with CD 4. Out of those, are there any that you were, shall we say; MORE involved in the composition, or any that you were particularly happy with your contribution or...?

AP: Well, a lot of the piano demos were... that chunk of piano demos were Tony Banks sort of based with everybody throwing stuff in and ideas and writing lyrics and so that probably represents more his area of stuff and some of the live stuff like "Let Us Now Make Love" and "Pacidy" is obviously different stuff and X amount and obviously my involvement on those was substantial and it is well known that "In Hiding" - the original basis of "In Hiding" - "Patricia" was my thing, so sort of up and down. I didn't really instigate many of the piano things, there would have been the odd one.

Ant and Mike in 1969

There were a number of other tapes that got lost actually, there was a demo of "Visions Of Angels" and another one of mine called "Everybody's Here" which was very good but they have disappeared, so there were quite a few others. There are also demos of "Dusk" aren't there? Less so the piano ones although I did all the demos and played guitar but I think it was a co-operative and that was always the way it was; you know; one person started it off but THAT era; the piano era was more Tony. I was involved on the writing of a couple of the other things on CD three; things like "Twilight Alehouse".

TWR: The great link I think, if people have commented on it so far they haven't realised that it was unintentional because it WAS and the connection between this and Archive Collection Volume One was F#1 which shows the link between you and the very early stage Genesis which was your era and what happened afterwards, it bridges that gap...

AP: Well, there was no plan for them to come together of course, and we thought the Boxed Set was going to be put off indefinitely and then it wasn't going to come out until October.

TWR: There was a rumour going round that the delays on the Boxed Set were due to legal problems? Is that true, and if so, what were those legal problems?

AP: Not as far as I am aware. There were clearances and it may well have been that there were some clearances with Jonathan King's company but I don't know too much about it. The last year or so the deal was that they didn't want it to clash, being a retrospective thing, they didn't want that at the same time as they were very much trying to forge a new path which was understandable and in fact, they pulled the TV programme they were going to do the "Rock Family Trees" thing and it was pulled and I was interviewed for that down at the local pizza place and got a free pizza! (laughter) So that was the reason in the last year or so that it got put back and I think it was mainly getting clearances and things like that. There were no high profile legal problems that I am aware of.

Session list from "From Genesis to Revelation", 1968

TWR: TWR: The two remaining questions are about the recent "Reunions". First of all, how did it feel to be back with these guys again for a brief time?

AP: Both of them? Heathrow was windy! (Laughs) it was fun. I mean, Heathrow was a sort of breezy experience really because I had made it clear that I had to get back because I was desperately trying to get on with these piano pieces recorded before I went on holiday so I wanted to check out by lunch time. And basically it was a case of going from room to room doing all these interviews and suddenly we were all in this room together with John Silver and all these... and photos were being taken and it was surreal. Pleasant but surreal and everyone was cracking jokes. I wouldn't say it was tense; but it wasn't exactly relaxed and you wouldn't expect it to be either, it was surprisingly cordial if you like.

The dinner was great; I think each person had their own favourites who they wanted to catch up with and have the chance to talk to properly. I mean, for me Chris Stewart who I hadn't seen in 25 years and he was a very close friend of mine at school - just because we were the same age, whereas I wasn't with some of the others and we did an awful lot of things together so that was great and it was very nice and we decided to do the concerts as well! (laughter).

TWR: Yes, of course, if the time and the idea was mooted, of a get together, either for a show or maybe for a series of shows, for a charity and they approached you to do it. Would you actually consider playing with the guys on stage?

AP: It depends on the situation frankly. I couldn't give you a blank yes or no. I think to get an equivalent from me you would have to ask Chris or John Silver because I have never done anything remotely on the level that Steve did, and it has obviously been well chronicled that my main reason for leaving the band was not doing live work so... obviously it would be a much different situation for me to look at than for Steve but I think if there was a specific charity involved; if there was charitable status, then it would make me think again. I don't think it would happen while the current band are still going. I could imagine the others who played together MIGHT do it but I doubt it somehow.

Tony, Steve, Pete, Ant, Mike, John, Phil -
"Anyone remember the chords to 'The Conqueror'?"