The first thing that struck me about this autobiography by ex-Genesis guitarist Steve Hackett was its length – or rather lack of it. A mere 167 pages, of which about a third is devoted to his childhood – I confess I was anticipating or hoping for something at least twice as long, perhaps with appendices detailing the equipment he’s used over the years and a comprehensive discography. Anyway, what we do get is an interesting and entertaining read as far as it goes, although there is a tendency to rather skate over the contentious areas you really wanted to know more about, a trait not uncommon in this type of book to be fair. In the course of the narrative there are useful reminders of some of his lesser-known works, such as the acoustic A Midsummer Night’s Dream and the orchestral Metamorpheus, but I suppose it’s the story of his tenure with and departure from Genesis that fans will be awaiting most keenly. He does seem to remain on good terms with the other members, particularly Peter Gabriel, but does subtly point the finger at Mike Rutherford for vetoing his plan for a joint band/solo career in the late seventies, and for his less than flattering portrayal in the TV documentary from a few years ago. Hackett does seem a genuinely nice unassuming sort of guy (indeed it came as something of a surprise to learn he’s been married three times), and this is a good, enjoyable but all too brief read aimed really at fans of ‘classic era’ Genesis and his solo work, who will certainly find much to appeciate here – and by the way, if you’ve not attended one of his Genesis Revisited shows by now then you really should make the effort the next time he comes around.
Length of Read:Short
Might appeal to people who enjoyed…
Genesis and Hackett’s music. rock autobiographies in general.
One thing you’ve learned
His preferred instrument of choice was originally the harmonica, before receiving an acoustic guitar as a twelve year old.