Guitarist Steve Hackett says his first performance with Genesis was a “disaster,” partly because Phil Collins was inebriated. He expected to be fired immediately afterward.

The show took place in January 1971 after Hackett placed an ad in a music newspaper saying he wanted to work with “receptive musicians, determined to drive beyond existing stagnant music forms.”

“It was a complete disaster,” Hackett tells Guitar World. “I basically had a new fuzz box that did nothing but feed back all night and made me forget every single note I was supposed to remember to play.” At the same time, “Phil was drunk and missed a lot of the drum parts, so the show was a shambles. There was a big row after the gig and I thought they were going to sack me – but they didn’t. It was a baptism by fire, for sure.”

He also noted that alcohol sometimes had a positive effect on his shows. “The first few times I played live was as a semi-pro amateur," Hackett said, "and I generally found that whatever you played would go down like a lead balloon until the audience was completely [drunk]. Then they loved everything you’d play all night!"

He will release Surrender of Silence on Sept. 10. One of two studio projects recorded during lockdown, the album has been described as “a further exploration of Hackett’s love of world music, discovering different sounds, moods and textures to deliver a rock album of extraordinary variety, power and beauty.”

Hackett calls it a "'no holds barred' album, riding that wave, unleashing those demons, dreams and nightmares, all crashing together over the shore.”

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