Former Genesis guitarist Steve Hackett believes the first thing a musician should buy is a house – and the last is a laser.
He’s recalled how his Genesis wage rose from £15 a week when he joined in 1971 to £500 a week when he left six years later, but that he’s never achieved the perceived “rock star” heights of owning “a huge country mansion along with an exclusive London apartment.”
Asked what advice he’d give to aspiring musicians, Hackett tells the Telegraph: “Try to invest in owning a roof over your head as soon as possible.
“Always plan for a rainy day – but if you work hard enough you make your own sunshine. Never leave a stone unturned, think laterally and follow up all opportunities. Remember that today’s little guy is tomorrow’s big guy.”
He adds: “Be careful to look at all contracts so you don’t get a manager who is going to rip you off or an unfair music deal. Ensure you get more than one professional opinion on all contracts.”
Despite Genesis’ success, it was his first solo outing that secured his own home. “Voyage Of The Acolyte enabled me to put a down-payment on my first house,” he recalls.
And although royalties continue to come in from his time with the band, he says “they’re not as much as you might think” but adds: “Satisfaction from music often carries its own currency. If I had wanted to make millions I would have stayed with Genesis – but for me the music came first. It’s repaid me with more than just money.”
Asked about the worst financial move he ever made, Hackett replies: “As a part of Genesis, we invested £120,000 in a laser that was supposed to function with multicolour on stage.
“It was intended to be cutting-edge, but it failed to work, and cut a large hole in the bank account.”
Hackett recently participated in a charity recording of his 1979 track Spectral Mornings, released yesterday. He launched solo album Wolflight last month and tours the UK in October.