Reunion rumors

On my local classic rock radio station, DJs are reporting rumors of at least two band reunions. After playing a song by the Cars, the DJ mentioned that a Cars reunion was in the works. Also, on the same station, a DJ mentioned rumors of a "full-on" Genesis reunion, which would include Peter Gabriel and Steve Hackett.

Hard rumors to believe, especially that second one. So I thought I'd investigate.

It turns out that a possible Cars reunion is being spearheaded by guitarist Elliott Easton. But the band's former leader Ric Ocasek -- who essentially embodied the band's persona -- has no plans to participate. (Ocasek recently released Nexterday, his first solo album in eight years). And bassist Benjamin Orr, who shared lead vocal duties with Ocasek, died in 2000 from pancreatic cancer. The Cars without Ocasek or Orr? Can't see it.

And those Genesis rumors? Former Genesis guitarist Steve Hackett, who left the band in 1977, had this to say to the Chicago Sun-Times on October 14th:

I had the phone call recently from Genesis' manager: "Do you think you guys would like to have a meeting to talk about the future?" Let's just say that there's a move afoot to put us all together again. When that will happen, I don't know, but I think it's inevitable that something that has had such a lasting effect ... I mean, the Musical Box sold out the Royal Albert Hall in London! I don't even really know those guys [in Genesis] these days; all I can really say is that I hope we do something. I doubt that we'll write something new, but that would be a gas! Just to come in and say, "We don't have to remember anything, let's do something new, just to see what we play like these days." That would be nice, but you've got people working different ways and at very different pace. But I do think something will happen -- whether it's a recreation of the past or anything new, I don't know.

This simply sounds like speculation. I'll believe it when I see it.

If all five of those guys (Gabriel, Hackett, Phil Collins, Tony Banks, Mike Rutherford) do get together, I will be stunned. It's hard to imagine what they would sound like together at this point, whether it's a recreation of the past or something new. It has now been 30 years since Gabriel left the band in 1975. If you contrast the 1974 Genesis album The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway (the last album to feature all five of those musicians) with recent works by any and all of those men, you will hear how far they have grown apart musically in the last three decades. Collins, Banks, and Rutherford apparently are on good personal terms, but how would the chemistry work with the other two? If anything does happen, it will at least be nice if the ill-fated 1997 album Calling All Stations is no longer the last work from Genesis.

This brings to mind a conversation I had with a co-worker about ten years ago. This was about 20 years after Gabriel left Genesis. We heard a Talking Heads song playing on the radio, and my co-worker said, "This is my man Peter Gabriel, ain't it?" I told him it was actually the Talking Heads. He said, "Yeah, Peter Gabriel was in the Talking Heads, right?" I told him that David Byrne was the leader of Talking Heads. Then he said, "But Peter Gabriel was in a group, wasn't he?" I replied, "Yep. He was in Genesis".

The man looked at me like I was crazy.