Genesis guitarist Steve Hackett was midway through an American tour that featured a complete performance of the band’s 1973 landmark LP Selling England by the Pound when the coronavirus hit.
It forced him to postpone many of the shows until 2021, but he hasn’t let it stop him from playing for fans. He’s posted a series of acoustic guitar performances on YouTube in recent days that he filmed at his house, including the 1972 Genesis instrumental “Horizons” and the extended intro to the band’s 1976 song “Blood on the Rooftops.”
Hackett was also forced to postpone tours of Japan, Australia and New Zealand along with an appearance on the annual prog rock Cruise to the Edge. As of now, however, he is still launching an extensive European tour in September where he’ll playing the 1977 Genesis live album Seconds Out in its entirety. It’s even hitting some of the exact same venues that Genesis played on that original tour.
He plans on returning to America in April 2021 to make up for the dates he had to postpone earlier this year. “So that fans who were due to attend the 2020 shows are not disappointed,” he wrote on his website, “those rescheduled dates will feature a special setlist including both Selling England by the Pound AND Seconds Out.”
Seconds Out marked Hackett’s final appearance on a Genesis album. He quit the group while it was being mixed to concentrate fulltime on his solo career. He hasn’t played with them in any capacity since a one-off reunion gig with Peter Gabriel in 1982. The Phil Collins/Mike Rutherford/Tony Banks incarnation of the group has been completely inactive since the end of a 2007 reunion tour, but they recently announced dates for a European tour due to launch November 16th in Dublin.
It would make little sense to bring Hackett into this incarnation of Genesis since the majority of their set is drawn from albums recorded after he left. He’s always been very understanding about the situation. “Terrific news for Genesis fans!” he wrote after they announced their recent reunion. “Whilst Phil, Mike and Tony prioritise the Eighties, my show celebrates the Seventies classics, including the whole of Seconds Out late ‘20/early ‘21.”
Peter Gabriel hasn’t played a full Genesis song in concert in 37 years, meaning Hackett is the only member of the band keeping their prog-era songs alive on the road. “If people want to hear that stuff, then I won’t deny them the opportunity,” he told Rolling Stone last year. “I think it’s only sensible…People want to hear that stuff. It’s iconic. Why would you not want to do your own iconic songs? It makes no sense whatsoever.”