Genesis and The Who Songwriting
by Regis Boff
I don’t pretend to know much about musical collaboration except that when it happens, it can be a crowning human achievement. The inherent complexity of writing of a piece of music is so high it is a wonder that things like rock bands exist at all. Those stresses were indeed there with Genesis. Steve left, and Phil Collins always felt thwarted. But if you take the time and listen and know just how smart and stubborn these creative motherfuckers were you have to be impressed with what they did.
I would have to guess when one writer is governing like Pete Townshend does with The Who things are more straightforward. From what I witnessed, Pete would write and then “teach” Roger the song. Roger then would naturally make the sound his with his voice. The others then built on that. I understand that this is no revelation but when you factor in that occasionally one member of this band would break a guitar over the head of another player the process becomes riddled with stress.