A Silent Drum - John Mayhew - April 09

With the passing of John Mayhew it seems as if the book of Genesis has all of a sudden become a slimmer volume. He and I narrowly missed working together by the space of a few months when the band line up underwent some considerable changes. John's departure from the group at that time paved the way for Phil to take the drum chair, as Anthony Phillips' decision to quit axe duty similarly allowed me to step forward. On reflection I think both guys were a hard act to follow.

I remember liking the way the round, fat tone of John's drums sounded on Trespass. Don't forget Phil and I were both new boys joining a team that had arguably been working towards something grand for the best part of a decade, if you count the lads' school days.

John Mayhew and I did meet briefly backstage once in the early seventies and I felt he was the kind of musician who was at pains to make you feel at ease. We shared a beer or two, talked about carpentry, a subject in which I was every bit his inferior, as he possessed a skill which eluded me then and still does, unless you marvel at wonky egg stands, meanwhile this guy was already making real furniture... would I like a new guitar stool? In my book this made him a Renaissance man.

We lost touch for several decades until I saw his smiling affable face once more backstage at the Astoria in Tottenham Court Road... a venue that has just closed. Iím sure many fans will be saddened by his absence. Let's raise a glass to him and have a fresh listen to Trespass. I know I will. My thoughts and love to his family and friends.