The brilliant keyboardist of Genesis, Tony Banks, was born on this day, 27th of March.
He was born in East Sussex, England, as the youngest of five children. His mother, a pianist herself, was particularly into music and this helped Banks to experience music from a very early age. Though it was mostly classical music; thanks to his elder brother, Banks also encountered some country songs too. He even said in an interview: “By 1961, and for the next five to six years, I was music mad!”
At the age of eight, he started taking piano lessons at school, from the headmaster’s wife, but couldn’t exactly enjoy it as he was feeling “quite forced into it”. He commented that he was “an average piano student at school, playing Rachmaninoff and Ravel”. What separated him was that he was very keen on playing by ear, which in most cases leads to writing original pieces. At around 13, his new piano teacher sparked his interest in classical compositions and became an important deciding factor for Banks to pursue a career in music.
In the September of 1963, he enrolled at Charterhouse School, a private school in Surrey. He studied classical piano at there as an extracurricular subject. And shortly after, he befriended a fellow pupil, Peter Gabriel, whom you’ve surely heard about.
His contributions to the genre are truly immeasurable and we wish him a very happy birthday.