Artist of The Month
Artist of the Month

Artist of The Month October 2021 – Mike Rutherford

Mike Rutherford – Artist of The Month

Michael John Cloete Crawford Rutherford (born 2 October 1950) is an English guitarist, bassist, songwriter, and singer who co-founded the rock band Genesis in 1967. Rutherford and keyboardist Tony Banks are the group’s two continuous members.

Initially serving as Genesis’s bass guitarist and backing vocalist, Rutherford also performed most of the band’s rhythm guitar parts—frequently on twelve-string guitar—in collaboration with successive Genesis lead guitarists Anthony Phillips and Steve Hackett. Following Hackett’s departure from Genesis in 1977, Rutherford assumed lead guitar duties for Genesis. Previously he had made occasional lead guitar contributions to Genesis music if they were best played by him (such as the electric sitar parts on Selling England by the Pound), but following the departure of Hackett and the band’s decision not to replace him with a new guitarist, Rutherford assumed all guitarist roles in the recording studio, having felt confident enough to double up on lead guitar as well as bass. 

As a lead player he has favored long, melodic tones, bending the notes into plaintive, almost vocal lines. This results in “singable” solos or the creation of sonic atmospheres rather than showy displays of technical prowess. Post-Hackett, he has also diversified his rhythm guitar approach beyond his initial twelve-string-based approach.

During breaks in Genesis, Rutherford recorded two solo albums, Smallcreep’s Day and Acting Very Strange. However, he was dissatisfied with his solo work and in 1984 he resolved to never record a solo album again, since he felt his creativity was at its peak when working in collaboration. Because of this, he formed the band Mike + The Mechanics during a break from Genesis in 1985. M&TM became a chart-topping act and significant live draw in its own right. The group earned Rutherford an Ivor Novello Award for the 1988 single “The Living Years”, as well as two Grammys.

Mike + The Mechanics’ biggest hits are “All I Need Is a Miracle”, “Word of Mouth”, “The Living Years“, “Silent Running” and “Over My Shoulder”. To help promote “The Living Years”, Rutherford and the record label perpetuated the impression that the song was inspired by Rutherford’s relationship with his father, who died during Genesis’s Invisible Touch Tour. In 2004, Rutherford confessed that the lyrics were in fact written by B. A. Robertson, and based entirely on Robertson’s relationship with his father.

Rutherford also collaborated with other artists, including associates Peter Gabriel and Phil Collins, on the Against All Odds soundtrack, offering the song “Making A Big Mistake”.

Rutherford played at the Strat Pack Concert in 2004 along with Brian May, David Gilmour, Joe Walsh and many other guitarists, in a celebration of the 50th anniversary of the Fender Stratocaster electric guitar. Rutherford performed in the closing ceremony of the 2012 Summer Olympics on 12 August 2012 as a guest member of Ed Sheeran‘s band along with Pink Floyd drummer Nick Mason, playing the Pink Floyd song “Wish You Were Here”.

He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a member of Genesis in 2010.

To celebrate his birthday on October 2nd, we are offering all our customers a 15% discount on all Mike Rutherford and Genesis hand signed memorabilia throughout October 2021. Just use the code 6XR42372 when you checkout. T&Cs apply.

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