Guitar hero Steve Hackett in candid conversation for DMU's Cultural Exchanges

One of the giants of Britain’s progressive rock scene gave a fantastic finale to this year’s Cultural Exchanges festival, organised by De Montfort University Leicester (DMU) students.

hackett inset

Steve Hackett, who was in Genesis with Peter Gabriel for the group’s hugely influential albums Nursery Cryme, Foxtrot and Selling England by the Pound and later went on to solo success, opened up about his life and career in a candid Q&A with DMU’s Dr Paul Gosling.

A near-capacity audience at the Sue Townsend Theatre heard Steve discuss his collaborations with the likes of Chris Squire and Richie Havens as well as working with Tony Stratton-Smith in the early days of Charisma records.

He said: “He [Stratton-Smith] was very gregarious, he would work his way along the pubs and club organising interviews, signing acts.
He was a lovely guy. I thought all record companies were like that and you suddenly realise how special he was.”

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Steve discussed the difference being a musician in the album-loving 1970s and the 1980s. “The 80s were a time when record companies thought they knew what it took to get a hit single,” he said. “Every note was kind of accountable.

“I remember when one man told me, ‘That’s not a lyric that the Great American Public are going to be able to relate to’.”

DMU Dance students performed their own composition to his song Corycian Fire before Steve stayed to sign albums and have his photograph taken with fans.

Fan Peter Thompson said: “It’s been a fantastic night. I am a huge fan of Steve’s from Genesis days and to be able to hear him talk about his career has been incredible.”

Sarah Stacey added: “I saw him at De Montfort Hall when I was 15 and I still remember that concert to this day, so I had to come tonight to see him. It’s a great thing for the university to do.”
Posted on Monday 7th March 2016

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