Why Genesis 'reunion' left me out - Phillips

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Genesis co-founded Anthony Phillips says he has mixed feelings about being left out of the band's recent "reunion" news.

The BBC last week confirmed Peter Gabriel, Phil Collins, Mike Rutherford, Tony Banks and Steve Hackett would take part in a documentary to be aired later this year.

Phillips, who formed Genesis at Charterhouse school alongside Gabriel, Rutherford and Banks, has taken part in the show – but doesn’t appear as a definitive band member. He tells the Telegraph: “I suppose it becomes a bit complicated to mention the different line-ups, so I think they just go for where the band was most static.

“Calling them the original lineup is just convenient parlance, isn’t it? I’ve kind of got used to it. Occasionally one feels a little bit of a sort of footnote in history, almost airbrushed out. At other times I almost feel embarrassed about the interest shown to a time where, to be honest, some of the music was a bit rough.

“But if you’re talking about the original line-up, it was the four guys at Charterhouse.”

Phillips, who continues to work as a musician, left Genesis in 1970 after recording their second album Trespass. He’d suffering panic attacks, of which he recalls: “I was looking at my guitar and thinking, ‘How am I doing this?’ It was actually very frightening. I just hoped it would go away but it didn’t. It got worse and worse.”

In retrospect, he wonders whether he was still suffering from glandular fever, which he’d contracted before they started touring. His departure paved the way for Hackett’s arrival.

He admits: “Obviously it’s difficult being the one that left Genesis, in some respects. There’s always going to be an element of that but – of course, the reality of stardom ain’t that great a lot of the time.

“You never have any peace; everyone’s after you; the slightest thing in your private life is up for grabs. You can sign 99 autographs and then not sign one and you’re in big trouble.

“So there’s a lot to be said for actually having a quiet life.”