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Money: Steve Hackett

Easy come, easy go.

What’s your attitude to money?

Several times in my life I’ve had money and lost it, and reinvested it. Money is something that comes and goes and is a means to an end. 


Did it change when you became successful?

Once I started to make money, yes. One thing I started to get into in the seventies is ActionAid, the charity that was giving kids around the world a chance to get a bit of education. But I haven’t given up a career to feed the starving. I’m not a saint.


Were you minted in Genesis?

No. I didn’t start making any money until I started doing my solo work. Here’s an example. Having done a year’s work of promoting The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway in 1974-75, we owed a quarter-of-a-million quid. That’s not the reason I started doing solo work, it was because I had ideas I wanted to express.


You underwent a huge financial and personal crisis about five years ago.

I went through a divorce, and there’s a gagging order so I can’t discuss the details. I’m very pleased that I divorced, because it left me free to work, but there was a certain price for that. I nearly had to sell my dream guitar at some point, my Les Paul. 


What was your biggest extravagance?

The very Les Paul I was talking about. A 1957 Gold Top, costing all of eight-hundred dollars in 1973. 


What’s the best use for your earnings now?

I’ve got two places – one where I live and another that’s a place to work – and I’m trying to save up to centralise them. That could be anywhere in the world. But as a musician you should be on the move, taking your music to the people.


If you could advise the eighteen-year-old you, what would you say?

Do it all again, but be a tad more careful.


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