Hackett: Gabriel and I were both in Hell
Exclusive: Former Genesis guitarist Steve on some of the reasons that led frontman Peter to quit
Former Genesis guitarist Steve Hackett has recalled how he and Peter Gabriel endured personal problems during the making of classic album The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway – and how they contributed to Gabriel’s departure the following year.
The frontman’s wife was experiencing a difficult pregnancy with daughter Anna-Marie, and problems continued after her birth. He was also attempting to write a movie with The Exorcist director William Friedkin, all while Genesis tried to create their ambitious 1974 double album.
Hackett tells Prog's Daryl Easlea: “Pete was going through his version of Hell and I was going through mine. My first marriage broke up and I had a son. There was a tremendous amount of guilt – I just wanted to get on with the music, but modern life just kept crashing in all the time.”
Gabriel eventually asked for time off in order to work on the film, but the band refused. Hackett says: “Friedkin freaked when he heard he could be responsible for breaking up the band. Pete came back to it.”
But the continuing sessions remained tense. “Sometimes they were,” recalls the guitarist. “It wasn’t easy for Pete – his ideas were really important to him for that project.”
The Lamb... was released in November 1974, and soon after the start of Genesis’ 102-date tour to support the launch, Gabriel had already told his colleagues he was leaving. The news was announced in August 1975.
Hackett – who left the band in 1977 – reflects: “Our time was up. We’d exhausted everyone’s patience by turning it into a double album.”