Tony Banks has been playing keyboards for Genesis, the progressive pop-rock band led at various times by Peter Gabriel and Phil Collins, since the late '60s.
He was born March 27, 1950, in East Hoathly, England. Banks began playing keyboards in a rock band called the Garden Wall in public school with singer Gabriel and drummer Chris Stewart. They merged with another group called the Anon, which featured guitarist Mike Rutherford.
An alumnus of their school who was working for Decca Records paid for demo recordings of the new group, which he named Genesis. After a flop LP, Genesis added new drummer/singer Collins and, later, guitarist Steve Hackett. The group became known for its theatrical stage act, featuring elaborate costumes, but its albums were commercial disappointments.
Genesis finally made the UK top 20 with Foxtrot (1972). After Gabriel's departure in 1975, Collins became lead singer on such albums as Wind and Wuthering (1976), And Then There Were Three (1978) and the smash Duke (1980).
Abacab (RealAudio excerpt of title track), highlighting Banks' keyboard and synthesizer work, made the U.S. top 10 in 1981.
From that point, the band took a back seat to Collins' solo career, but it enjoyed a #1 on the Billboard 200 albums chart with Invisible Touch (1986). After We Can't Dance (1991), Collins resigned and was replaced by Ray Wilson on Calling All Stations (1997).
In 1998 came the box set Genesis Archives Volume 1, 19671975. Last year's Turn It On Again Hits included remakes of the Genesis songs "I Know What I Like" and "The Carpet Crawlers," featuring a reunion with Gabriel.
Other birthdays Monday: Jules Broussard (Santana), 63; Andrew Farriss (INXS), 41; Kid Congo Powers (Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds), 39; and Brendan Hill (Blues Traveler), 30.