Chester Thompson interview in US Rolling Stone (4th Feb 2021)

  • I doubt Phil is any more racist than the average person, and possibly less. I've heard he's prone to using the F-word a lot when he's drunk or just during bad periods of his life. Chester is very religions in the Christian sense and that probably doesn't sit well with him. But I get the impression after everything that if Phil called Chester and apologised, all would be OK.


    What is interesting is how Chester was clearly never viewed as a member of Genesis by the other guys....which is part of the reason he wasn't asked to do studio work for CAS. In my view that's a big mistake artistically, the album would have been much better with a drummer involved in the writing process. But it also backs up Chester's feeling that he was always a bit of an outsider.


    Poor guy drummed on tour for them for 15 years solid and came back for their big "comeback" tour, always put in excellent performances...and was perhaps never truly appreciated by the band members themselves.


    Agree on Steve being a class act. He's the only Genesis (ex) member I've met so I cannot directly compare. To be fair they all come across as decent-ish people. But Steve is a lovely bloke and I'm not at all surprised that he and Ant Phillips have become best mates.

  • Ok, I feel the conversation is going a bit off the rails. Granted, it wasn't Phil's finest hour and yes, he was probably drinking too much and and going through some challenging things which ended up affecting his behavior. He lashed out inappropiately which can happen but suddenly there are talks of him having a temper, something never reported before and racism is being mentioned. Again, I don't know him, I feel the need to reiterate this because some of the comments I read here lead me to think that some people are close to him but the way he carried himself throughout the years would really seem to rule out that his outbursts were racially motivated or tinged. Again, Kudos to Chester for taking the higher ground and too bad, there hasn't been at least a call between the two. That said, let's be honest, we've only heard one side of the story and we really cannot know.

  • Post by vl1 ().

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  • Post by vl1 ().

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  • Count me as another eccentric. Except I am not sufficiently rich to be eccentric so I'm merely nuts. Men don't keep in touch with anyone outside immediate family? What planet are you from, and do you visit earth often? I put far more effort into maintaining friendships than I do with my family....who in most cases I tend to feel I'm stuck with. I put effort into maintaining friendships with people I hope to keep in my life. In some cases that has meant 45 year friendships in a life, thus far, of 48 years. And let me tell you, it's great for networking too.


    Chester specifically said he found the last PC tour unpleasant because Phil was not his usual jolly self and was rude. Knowing Chester's deep religious beliefs it is not a stretch to say that he was probably more upset than some would have been. Especially after 30 years working well with Phil. Chester wasn't aware of Phil's personal problems or the extent of his drinking, so found it all rather confusing and difficult.

  • Chester specifically said he found the last PC tour unpleasant because Phil was not his usual jolly self and was rude. Knowing Chester's deep religious beliefs it is not a stretch to say that he was probably more upset than some would have been.

    I don't know, personally I find that really, really, REALLY a stretch and as I said before, I find this debate is veering off course.

  • My intention wasn’t for this conversation to get off topic I simply wanted clarification on Genesis archive’s comment that Phil used “disgusting language”. To me the f word isn’t really repulsive language (then again if someone was saying that while throwing chairs at me it would probably be more threatening) so I assumed he used worse words. I also wasn’t calling Phil a racist since I had no knowledge of the situation. Tho I want to say that folks who know better could still use racial slurs in order to hurt someone else. Now it’s been confirmed that Phil didn’t use any racial slurs so everyone relax. Regardless, if the account of phil throwing chairs is true his behavior is still reprehensible. I understand he had issues with drink and drugs but it’s been 10 years. He’s overcome those issues and he owes Chester an apology. Apparently this period of Phil’s life has been blacked out for him. Given how obsessed Phil is with press coverage I bet he has been reinformed of his past behavior. To be fair tho if in the future Phil apologizes to Chester it would probably be in private and we wouldn’t know

    Edited 3 times, last by Snowbound ().

  • What is interesting is how Chester was clearly never viewed as a member of Genesis by the other guys....which is part of the reason he wasn't asked to do studio work for CAS. In my view that's a big mistake artistically, the album would have been much better with a drummer involved in the writing process. But it also backs up Chester's feeling that he was always a bit of an outsider.


    Poor guy drummed on tour for them for 15 years solid and came back for their big "comeback" tour, always put in excellent performances...and was perhaps never truly appreciated by the band members themselves.

    First off I 100% agree that they made a mistake not including Chester in CAS. He could’ve injected new energy and live drumming to their writing process. I was thinking the other day about what lineup would have revived Genesis in the late 90s then it hit me: Mike, Tony, Chester, and John Wetton on bass and vocals. Wetton’s time in King Crimson shows he’s capable of improvising meaning he could probably have fit in with genesis’s writing process and also had pop sensibilities as demonstrated by his time in Asia. This is just a fantasy as I doubt Mike would’ve been willing to just stick to the guitar. Also I’m not trying to knock Ray Wilson, who’s a great vocalist.


    Back to the Rolling Stone article, AB identifies something I’ve noticed from the article as well. Chester definitely feels unappreciated by the guys and this has resulted in him having a lot of mixed feelings of the band members. I’m sure some will say I’m wrong but my impression reading the article was that Chester thought these guys were his friends but he’s come to realize that’s not necessarily the case. Then again as other have pointed out Chester could have contributed to this divide as well

    Edited once, last by Snowbound ().

  • I don't know, personally I find that really, really, REALLY a stretch and as I said before, I find this debate is veering off course.


    I don't see why it is a stretch when it is well documented that Chester became a "born again Christian" in 1980 and due to his beliefs he doesn't indulge in the booze, women or "foul language" that tend to pervade the music scene. What he seems to be saying in the Rolling Stone interview is that Phil's behaviour on that last tour they did was unusual, in part caused by Phil's abuse of alcohol around the time, and it made Chester feel uncomfortable.


    There's nothing sinister there. I do feel sad that Chester probably played drums in more Genesis shows than any other drummer, and really hasn't always been recognised by the guys. They don't fool around and have fun with him like they do Daryl. But ultimately all it proves is that all of the guys are human, none is perfect.

  • I don't see why it is a stretch when it is well documented that Chester became a "born again Christian" in 1980 and due to his beliefs he doesn't indulge in the booze, women or "foul language" that tend to pervade the music scene. What he seems to be saying in the Rolling Stone interview is that Phil's behaviour on that last tour they did was unusual, in part caused by Phil's abuse of alcohol around the time, and it made Chester feel uncomfortable.


    There's nothing sinister there. I do feel sad that Chester probably played drums in more Genesis shows than any other drummer, and really hasn't always been recognised by the guys. They don't fool around and have fun with him like they do Daryl. But ultimately all it proves is that all of the guys are human, none is perfect.

    I could probably address your implication that religious people are more offended by indulgence in booze, foul language and women, who I'm sure would be thrilled to be lumped in this generalization, than those who are not religious, for the utter fallacy it is....Except, I don't want to and I don't think I should, it's neither here, nor there. I don't know whether Chester is religious or less, I don't know how deep his faith is, again, it's neither here, nor there. Phil, whom I trust nobody on this forum knows well or at all, had a rough period and less than stellar behaviors and suddenly we find out he always had a temper, we want to make sure he isn't a racist and that his behavior is kosher enough not to offend religious sensitivity, whatever that is. Yes, I do believe it's a stretch and we should perhaps not read too much into it. As for the guys not hanging around with Chester as much as they did with Daryl, couldn't it be just a matter of chemistry? Steve was in the band for 7 years and to this day, you can tell he didn't fit in as well as Phil. I don't see why that should be taken as a sign of imperfection on either side.

    Edited once, last by Fabrizio ().

  • Post by vl1 ().

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  • Well, I am quite excited about this career spanning, extensive interview. And also that Chester speaks about certain things the way he does. It is of course always only one view on things, but to me he doesn't "sound" like blaming one side or the other for the stuff that wasn't going too well.

    Nevertheless, it would be great to read Phil's view. It was obviously not in his book ....

    ...

  • It makes me wonder why Phil didn’t discuss this in his book. Subject to speculation of course ... but it looks to me he just didn’t want to discuss this.


    probably it will come up in an interview some time in the future

  • I could probably address your implication that religious people are more offended by indulgence in booze, foul language and women, who I'm sure would be thrilled to be lumped in this generalization, than those who are not religious, for the utter fallacy it is....Except, I don't want to and I don't think I should, it's neither here, nor there. I don't know whether Chester is religious or less, I don't know how deep his faith is, again, it's neither here, nor there. Phil, whom I trust nobody on this forum knows well or at all, had a rough period and less than stellar behaviors and suddenly we find out he always had a temper, we want to make sure he isn't a racist and that his behavior is kosher enough not to offend religious sensitivity, whatever that is. Yes, I do believe it's a stretch and we should perhaps not read too much into it. As for the guys not hanging around with Chester as much as they did with Daryl, couldn't it be just a matter of chemistry? Steve was in the band for 7 years and to this day, you can tell he didn't fit in as well as Phil. I don't see why that should be taken as a sign of imperfection on either side.


    It is well documented that Chester became a born again Christian in 1980. Chester himself, and others who know him, have said that due to his religious convictions he does not enjoy the booze, substance use, horseplay and foul language that sometimes goes with the rock music scene.


    THerefore is it a stretch to say that, after 30 years working together, when Phil was going through a tough time (unbeknown to Chester) and displaying behaviour that makes Chester uncomfortable.....that he felt....uncomfortable?


    Really I can't put it more simply.


    It is not a criticism of either man.

  • Post by vl1 ().

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  • To be clear, I fully understood you are not criticizing either Phil or Chester, I just feel you are broaching topics that simply don't belong in the debate and are in fact a stretch.

    I reckon that in every work environment, when someone starts being verbally abusive, kicking and throwing things around, EVERYBODY is bound to feel uncomfortable, particularly when it's out of character, their faith or lack thereof has nothing to do with it.

    The idea that Chester, as a born again christian should be more upset than others when confronted with this kind of behavior, is again a stretch, not only we don't know that but it seems to suggest that religious people are paragons of morals, virtue, sobriety, decency and manners and let's be frank here, we all know they are not.

    You might of course disagree with my statement, the moment we begin to discuss that though, we are increasingly veering away from the topic and that's why, as I said before, it's beside the point and neither here, nor there.

    What Chester believes in, just like his race, bears absolutely no relevance here.

    Edited 8 times, last by Fabrizio ().