Deutscher Genesis Fanclub it: Startseite
Deutscher Genesis Fanclub it
Choose artist

Brand X Special: An Urorthodox History
The Musical Box live 2019 2020
Tony Banks Vaults

In Conversation with Mike Kidson

The former Genesis-roadie talks about his work with The Carpet Crawlers and of course with Genesis

For decades Mike "Kiddo" Kidson toured with Genesis and Phil Collins. Last year he helped Brian Cummins (see our interview) and his Genesis tribute band Carpet Crawlers with the preparations for their Invisible Touch Tour. We talked to him about that and of course about his work with Genesis.

GNC: When did you first start to work with Genesis? How did it come to that?

Mike Kidson: I started working for Hit and Run in 1977, for Brand X. Geoff Banks already worked for them and he comes from near my home town, we had known each other for a long time as we both played with local bands – he played bass and I played drums. When a situation came up to go to Paris with Brand X, he called to see if I was interested.

You started as a drum tech as far as we know and later also worked as stage manager. What other jobs did you have on the road over the years?

Yes, I started as a drum tech and later in 1987 I became a tour manager when I worked with Robert Plant. I met Robert when the whole Genesis organization went on tour with him when Phil had played drums on his first two solo albums. He had neither a crew nor manager and we were all enlisted for the tour. Because of the organization, I also worked with John Martyn, Rod Argent, Anni-Frid, Adam Ant and various projects involving Phil. Paul McCartney and also Mike + The Mechanics, of course, Genesis and Phil Collins solo. After Invisible Touch I became the tour manager.

What other bands did you work with?

Outside of Hit and Run, I have toured with Paul McCartney and King Crimson as drum tech. I've worked as tour manager with Plant, The Who, AC/DC, Judas Priest, TLC, UB40, Billy Ray Martin.

How did life on the road change over the years and decades?

Well, for me it was dramatic. I went from travelling on tour busses and few hotels on tour to flying everywhere and hotels every night.

Which Genesis tour production was the most complex (of the tours you worked on)?

Each Genesis tour got more and more complex as the years advanced. For me, technically Invisible Touch. After that tour I was no longer involved in production.

There must be an awful lot of stories you can tell about life on the road with Genesis. Can you share at least one or two with us?

I am struggling to remember a printable story, they were complete gentlemen. There was one gig in Canada when the trucks were held up at the border. They arrived late and the promoter held the doors and the band helped us to set up! Phil was a pain in the ass, he didn't know how to put the kit together and I had to send him to the dressing room out of my way!

What is the best or most memorable concert you remember? And what is probably the worst (and therefore most memorable) concert?

They were a very consistently performing band. I honestly cannot remember a bad show. There were occasionally technical problems, like Phil's kit failing to rise to stage level in Belgium!

Were you also involved in studio work with Genesis and/or Phil solo? If so, for which albums and/or recordings?

I was in Sweden with them when they recorded Duke and I was sometimes staying at the Farm when they were recording when I was working in London or setting up a tour.

Apart from Phil did you work with any other Genesis member on solo projects?

No, I didn't. [editor's note: obviously Mike worked for Mike + The Mechanics, too, see above]

What was your last tour with Genesis and Phil solo?

Phil's Big Band Tour, 1998. Then I went back to AC/DC for Stiff Upper Lip.

What was it like to work with Genesis? Was it just a professional relationship or did you even make friends with band members?

A little of both, but a professional mostly. Are you still in contact with other crew members or even with the band? With some, yes.

You've recently been visiting Geoff "Bison" Banks (see photo) who has also been working with Genesis & Phil for many, many years and suffered from a stroke some time ago. How is he doing?

He's making slow progress, I've been to visit probably eight times now, but his home is four hours from mine.

How did you get in touch with the Carpet Crawlers?

I watched the Security Project on YouTube, as I was watching some Gabriel tracks and I was very impressed with the vocalist. I didn't know he was English until he contacted me on Facebook with some technical questions as he was setting up their Invisible Touch Tour. I have since become great friends with him (Brian Cummins). He is an uber-talented guy whom I admire (and love) very much.

How much impact did you have in the current Invisible Touch Live At Wembley Tour?

Only advice input really – they were already there! What is it like to work with a tribute band like the Carpet Crawlers? It's wonderful to witness the work and dedication that these guys have to reproduce the music they love. They do Genesis proud.

Are you still involved in other musical projects, e. g. do you play in a band?

I currently play drums in six local and very different bands, rock to jazz.

Will you be going to one of Phil's shows next year? What do you think about his live comeback, especially regarding his health and having his 15 year old son drumming?

I'm not sure. My doubts about his return are based on recent press conferences and TV appearances. He didn't seem to be in good shape and personally, having seen him at his peak for years I was concerned seeing him now would be a little sad. But hell, he's Phil Collins - he won't produce a bad show! I will probably see him in Liverpool with my buddy Brian Cummins.

What's your favorite Genesis song?

Supper's Ready.

What other music do you prefer?

Yes, King Crimson, Gabriel, Jethro Tull, ELP, Deep Purple, Chick Corea and many more. (I'm old school!)

Can I send my best wishes to all of the Genesis fan club – thank you for supporting one of the greatest bands ever.

We thank you very much for taking your time to answer our questions!

Interview: Ulrich Klemt
Photos: Mike Kidson, Carpet Crawlers

official Carpet Crawlers website