- 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 (80 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,338,467 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
The Living Years Paperback – 23 Jan 2014
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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
THE FIRST EVER MEMOIR BY A MEMBER OF GENESISSee all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
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between his own career and his father's, so at the beginning of the book we get excerpts from Rutherford senior's unpublished memoirs as well.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.Read more ›
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.Read more ›
I liked the fact that Mike is comfortable sharing his foibles and preferences. He clearly enjoyed a substance or two in his day and made reference to his putting music before his band of brothers. Only to find after the fact, that someone important to him was already walking out the door. Youthful detachment he admits to and also a willingness to change that in later life.
A strength of his is that he respects people and their decisions. He mentions that it needed his wife and children to make him less of a wet fish with his feelings. Where the book falls down a little is that nothing is handled in the book with passion, pride and detail. The narrative is fairly sanitised emotionally and often I felt that there must be more to a story or anecdote and of course it wasn't revealed.
The thing that stuck out for me most in the book is that his musical abilities and his passion were never a foal point. Especially his involvement in the writing process. What did he think of his guitar playing abilities and what does he feel proud of as his contribution to the Genesis legacy? He will tell you that his singing ability is proportionately related to the amount of alcohol he drinks, yet he never reveals the essence of his success.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Essential reading for all Genesis fans with poignant references to MR's relationship with his father.Published 2 months ago by Amazon Customer
very interesting account of his life and his family as well as stuff about GenesisPublished 4 months ago by D. M. Littlejohn
Loved reading this book. A great insight into Mike's life, personally and with the band. By all accounts seems to be a lovely modest guy. Respect!!!Published 12 months ago by sg
Even though Tony Banks IS Genesis to me, and they'd have been nothing without his playing and compositional talents, I decided to buy this as nobody else in the group seems to have... Read morePublished 16 months ago by Mr. David Watson
A wonderful book. It was delivered in a timely fashion and as described.Published 16 months ago by Robert E. Pedrick