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Mike Rutherford – Genesis and the Mechanics

Next in our series of member bios in #ProgLoopGenesisWeek is: the co-founder of Genesis, bassist and guitarist Mike Rutherford! Rutherford was born on the 2nd of October in 1950 in Guildford, England. He received his first guitar at the age of 8 and started to play in a band at the same age. After entering school, which was the same school several other Genesis members were in at the time, he formed a band of his own. Later this band merged with Garden Wall, the band of Tony Banks and Peter Gabriel. Though this new band was a source of joy to him, he wasn’t enjoying the school life and was soon expelled from school.

As the collaboration of these two young bands developed over time, Genesis was formed and Mike became the bass player and backing guitarist, but his interest grew more and more in the 12 string guitar over the years. The double-neck bass also became a signature of his. In fact, the tuning required for his bass was one of the reasons why Gabriel had to tell stories to the audience to keep them occupied.

While still playing with Genesis, when the band started to follow a more pop-oriented approach, he started his solo career. Though his first efforts weren’t commercial successes, his next project in 1985, Mike and the Mechanics, was huge. He “had never thought it would be anything more than a sort of side project really,” but the band ended up selling over 10 million records world-wide. The release of The Living Years specifically was a landmark, becoming an international hit. Although the band had split up in 2007, following the departure of several members and the unfortunate loss of Paul Young, near 2010 Rutherford formed a band with the same name which continues to produce today.

It’s said that when Rutherford first got his guitar at the age of 8, his neighbours were constantly complaining and that Rutherford’s father had a hard time deciding if he should let him continue on playing. We are thankful that he did.

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