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The Living Years Paperback – 23 Jan 2014


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Product details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Constable (23 Jan. 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1472116194
  • ISBN-13: 978-1472116192
  • Product Dimensions: 15.5 x 2 x 23.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (71 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 796,042 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

A brisk, wryly humorous trawl through his life in music... [and] a further attempt to explore the relationship between Rutherford and his late father, a high ranking naval officer who clearly loved his family but found it all but impossible to express it. Glasgow Herald As much a family saga as a rock autobiography... The result is a very different kind of rock memoir - moving and refreshing. Mail on Sunday Rutherford tells the story of his mildly subversive schooldays and the 40 years of his high-flying career in a mellow, forgiving style that celebrates love of family, loyalty to friendship, passion for music, and-in his father's tradition -devotion to duty. The Times

Book Description

THE FIRST EVER MEMOIR BY A MEMBER OF GENESIS

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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

17 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Chris James on 26 Jan. 2014
Format: Kindle Edition
For dyed-in-the-wool Genesis fans this book is a must-read: the first memoir by one of only two of the band's members who've been there since the very beginning. However, for the casual Genesis or Mike + The Mechanics fan, there really isn't much which hasn't been dealt with in more depth in other biographies. As a genre, the autobiography tends to succeed depending on how controversial it is. While there is the occasional surprising revelation in The Living Years, there are very few indiscretions.

The most entertaining aspect is of course the first-person immediacy; reading about events in Genesis's history from someone who was there, whereas until now Genesis fans have had to make do with third-person biographies (the most thorough being 2007's Chapter and Verse). But Rutherford's life is not only about the music. His father was a captain in the Royal Navy who saw action during World War Two. Interestingly, Rutherford junior draws parallels between his own career and his father's, so at the beginning of the book we get excerpts from Rutherford senior's unpublished memoirs as well.

This is a highly enjoyable literary device which, unfortunately, only lasts for around the first third of the book. Once Rutherford junior has joined Genesis, the emphasis is very much on the band, and the author proceeds chronologically through the Genesis discography until his father passes away in 1986, when Rutherford was in the middle of the Invisible Touch tour. Afterwards, he goes through Mike + The Mechanics very quickly, and 2007's Turn It On Again tour is also not dealt with in any depth.

I can't help feeling that this memoir should have been substantially longer.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Dave on 1 April 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
As a Genesis fan for 35 years I had to get this book and I enjoyed the behind the scenes info on the band and the music but there just wasn't enough of it. I enjoyed all the details about the early years but then it seemed the typical scenario occurred: deadlines loom, author gets slightly bored with the whole thing (Mike hardly needs the money) and it starts to rush, then the last 30 years are covered at a pace and whole albums get one or 2 lines. I wanted much more detail about the music but Mike seems bored with his own canon. Only Genesis fans will want this book after all, and we want detail! The premise of the book was interesting but again this peters out from about halfway through. It was as though the book started off twice as long but some editor got rid of 70% of the second half of it. This is ultimately a good review as I really enjoyed reading it but was just sad when it ended so soon and with the later years covered in a massive hurry. However for the price of 3 beers, you get great value really and I really enjoyed it, so BUY! 4 stars only because of shortness of the book. Dave
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18 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Philtrum on 2 Feb. 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
With Tony Banks (keyboards), Rutherford (bass and guitar) is one of the two musicians to have been in the (progressive) rock band Genesis since its inception in the late 1960s. There have been numerous books written about Genesis and its most high profile members (Peter Gabriel and Phil Collins) but this is the first autobiography to have been published.

The son of a Royal Navy Captain, Rutherford was born in 1950. He went to boarding school from a young age and it was at Charterhouse that he met the other founding members of Genesis. Though critically acclaimed (to a degree) and attracting a loyal fan-base, it wasn’t until after Gabriel and (guitarist) Steve Hackett left, leaving the band reduced to a three-piece (Banks, Rutherford & Collins) in 1978, that Genesis became the globe-straddling, 1980s-dominating behemoth that most people born before 1970 will know (and, often, either love or hate!)

Rutherford uses the father/son device interestingly in the book. After his father died in 1986, Rutherford found his father’s diaries, relating not just to his naval career but also reflection on his life in industry after leaving the navy and on his son’s career as a professional musician.

Rutherford had a parallel career with Mike & The Mechanics. One of their biggest hits was ‘The Living Years’ (1989) which addresses a son's regret over unresolved conflict with his now-deceased father.

Rutherford includes multiple extracts from his father’s diaries throughout the book and repeatedly expresses regret that the relationship with his father wasn’t deeper or warmer than it was.

Received wisdom over the years has been that Banks and Rutherford were typical public school boys – stiff upper lips, reserved, not in touch with their emotions.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By N. Mason VINE VOICE on 29 Jan. 2015
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
As a lifelong Genesis fan (I first saw them in 1970, just after I bought Trespass) I did enjoy reading this book. It was good to read the background behind many of the Genesis stories and get some more depth and detail of the members of the band. However, much as I enjoyed it I felt once I have finished it that an opportunity had been missed. Too many areas and times were passed over in a few sentences and every time a particular album was discussed there was just enough material to get you interested but never enough so I felt satisfied. A typical example is his comments on the album 'Genesis'; he quite rightly describes the first half of that album as being some of the best stuff they ever produced but fails to mention that the second half is some of the worst 'pop' rubbish they ever made. There are numerous examples of this throughout the book and my ultimate feeling about the book is one of dissatisfaction.
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