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Mike Rutherford

Here are some interesting facts about Mike Rutherford:

(Photo: Michael Putland)


1. He was born Michael John Cloete Crawford Rutherford, on 2 October 1950 in Chertsey, Surrey.


2. Mike Rutherford received his first guitar at the age of 8 and played in his first band, "The Chesters", the following year.


3. He attended "The Leas", a preparatory school in Hoylake, Merseyside before moving to Charterhouse, a private school in Godalming, Surrey in September 1964.


4. Mike Rutherford disliked his time at "Charterhouse" and was expelled for instances of minor misconduct.


5. In 1965, he co-formed the school band "Anon" with guitarist Anthony Phillips.


6. In 1967, Rutherford, along with Tony Banks, Peter Gabriel, and Chris Stewart, formed "Genesis".


7. On March 7, 1969, the band released their debut album "From Genesis to Revelation". The album failed commercially.


8. Following the commercial failure of "From Genesis to Revelation", the band members moved on to pursue other occupations.


9. In 1970 the band members returned to work together and in June began recording their second album "Trespass".


10. In 1971 the band changed its line-up with Steve Hackett on lead guitar and Phil Collins on drums, releasing the masterpiece album "Nursery Cryme".


11. Mike played the electric sitar parts on "Selling England By The Pound" album from 1973.


12. Rutherford assumed lead guitar duties for Genesis in 1977 after Steve Hackett left the band.


13. Beginning in 1978 "...And Then There Were Three..." album, Rutherford assumed all guitarist roles in the recording studio, having felt confident enough to double up on lead guitar as well as bass.


14. Rutherford's playing style in "Genesis" was shaped by his unorthodox performance requirements, necessitating frequent shifts between instruments.


15. Rutherford's versatility extended to playing various instruments, including guitar, 4, 6, and 8 string bass guitars, bass pedal, sitar and even occasional cello parts on Genesis' early 1970s records. Mike even played drums on the live performance of the song "Who Dunnit?" From the album "Abacab".


16. From an early date, Mike Rutherford played bass pedals both live and in the studio, often playing simultaneous twelve-string guitar and bass pedal parts.


17. In concerts during the first half of the 1970s, Mike Rutherford often played a double-necked instrument, custom-built from a separate Rickenbacker hollowbody 12-string and 4001 bass.


18. However, Mike Rutherford assigned the guitar neck to the top position rather than the 4080's stock guitar on bottom.


(Photo: Andrew St.Denis)


19. In addition to his multi-instrument playing, Rutherford also sang background vocals.


20. Rutherford was one of the main "Genesis" songwriters throughout their career and also wrote the lyrics for some of the band's biggest international hits, such as "Follow You Follow Me", "Turn It On Again", "Land of Confusion" and "Throwing It All Away".


21. Together with Tony Banks Rutherford is the only "Genesis" member to play in all of the band's 15 studio albums, including "A Trick of the Tail", "Wind & Wuthering", "Duke", "Genesis", "Invisible Touch" and ending with "Calling All Stations" released in 1997 which he also produced with Tony Banks.


22. On 1975 he participated in Steve Hackett's first solo album "Voyage of the Acolyte" alongside Phil Collins.


23. Rutherford recorded two solo albums, "Smallcreep's Day" (1980) featuring Anthony Phillips and "Acting Very Strange" (1982) featuring Stewart Copeland on drums.


24. He formed the band Mike + The Mechanics during a break from Genesis in 1985 releasing their debut album "Mike + The Mechanics" the same year.


25. Since then the band released 8 more studio albums, the last "Out of the Blue" in 2019.


26. Rutherford confessed in 2004 that the lyrics of "The Living Years" were written by B.A. Robertson, based entirely on Robertson's relationship with his father.


27. Mike Rutherford collaborated with other artists, including Elton John, Paul Carrack, and Paul Young and associates Peter Gabriel and Phil Collins, on the "Against All Odds" soundtrack, offering the song "Making A Big Mistake".


28. In 2004, he performed at the "Strat Pack Concert", celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Fender Stratocaster, alongside renowned guitarists as Brian May, David Gilmour and Joe Walsh.


29. Mike Rutherford performed in the closing ceremony of the 2012 Summer Olympics on 12 August 2012 as a guest member of Ed Sheeran's band, playing the "Pink Floyd" song "Wish You Were Here".


30. Mike Rutherford was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a member of "Genesis" in 2010.


31. In 2014, Mike Rutherford published "The Living Years: The First Genesis Memoir" with Thomas Dunne Books, offering intimate insights into his life and career.


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