Genesis keyboardist Tony Banks isn’t taking his tuxedo to the dry cleaner yet. But he’s hoping that the British prog rockers, who are on the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame ballot for the first time, wind up collecting trophies at the March 15 induction ceremony in New York City.
“It’ll be great if it does happen,” Banks tells Billboard.com, “but I can’t really tell whether we’re going to be one of the ones that goes there. It would be good to happen, I think. It would be nice.”
A Genesis induction would, of course, create the potential for a reunion of the Peter Gabriel-fronted 1970-75 lineup, with Phil Collins on drums, that’s been rumored for the past five years. Collins recently announced he has a back condition from years of wear and tear that prohibits him from drumming and could complicate such a performance, but Banks says “we’ll face that particular hurdle when we get to it.” It does, however, render any other future Genesis reunion “a long shot,” according to the keyboardist. “I wouldn’t hold my breath waiting for it.”
While the Hall of Fame announcement looms, Genesis is giving fans plenty to tuck into. A new 10-disc box set, “Genesis Live 1973-2007,” comes out Sept. 29 featuring four of the group’s five concert sets, an open slot for “Live Over Europe 2007,” unreleased material from 1973 and 1975, and video footage, all remastered.
Banks, who’s been active in compiling Genesis’ series of box sets since 2007, says he “wasn’t so sure about doing the live stuff” in this fashion but is happy with the result. “I think it’s fun to hear the (music) in different versions for fans who like the stuff, anyhow,” he explains. “As a first introduction to Genesis I think the studio albums are definitely better, but it’s quite interesting to hear how we did these very complex pieces live. They take on a bit more fluency, I think.”
Genesis’ next release will be a 2010 box that compiles the group’s concert videos. There will be no duplication from the box sets, Banks says, but there will be some previously unreleased material, including 40 minutes of “home movie” footage that Collins shot during the making of the 1983 “Genesis” album. Like the new live box, it will feature an empty slot for the “When in Rome 2007” DVD.
Banks, who’s also releasing a remastered version of his 1979 solo album “A Curious Feeling,” adds that Genesis is still planning to start making individual concerts from the archives available on its web site, though no firm plan is in place yet. “At some point we will do it,” he promises. “We’ve just spent a lot of time recently doing all this other stuff, but I think it will happen. Whether any quality control goes into it, I don’t know, really. Perhaps you hang it out, dirty laundry and all. Maybe somebody can get ahold of all this stuff and make a compilation of all the worst bits and stick them together and see what it sounds like. I think it would be quite funny!”