Tony Banks of Genesis celebrates his birthday today!
Born in Sussex, England, Banks was musically savvy at a very young age. His parents encouraged him to learn piano and guitar, but Banks soon developed an appreciation for the keyboard. By age 16, Tony could play a vast array of styles as well as current music of the day.
However, in his youth, Tony wasn’t sure about making a living from music, as he was aiming to study physics before meeting Peter Gabriel at the Charterhouse School. After meeting Gabriel and forming their first band, The Garden Wall, the group merged with another local school band and formed Genesis.
In 1969, Banks and the other members of Genesis released an album that was not a commercial hit, but after a one-year hiatus, they were back in business.
The group released their 1970 LP Trespass, which heavily featured Banks’s unique style of heavily-layered keyboards and ballads, along with the use of organs, and the band began to gain a heavy following for the next decade.
Over the next decade, Banks continued to build a more immersive, compounding keyboard sound with layers upon layers of synths and tones that served as the backdrop for Genesis’s many hits. After Gabriel’s departure from Genesis in 1976, Banks began to take on new musical aspirations in solo work, as well as classical work, even going on to write scores for movies in the ‘80s.
Today, Tony lives with his wife and two kids in the south of London, where he mostly stays out of the spotlight. Best wishes to one of the founding members of Genesis on his birthday!