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Daryl Stuermer and Genesis begin their tour June 11 in Helsinki. (PHOTO: DarylStuermer.com)

Daryl Stuermer: Have guitar, will travel

Three months ago, Milwaukee guitarist Daryl Stuermer traveled to New York for a family reunion.

OK, it wasn't really a family reunion.

But, it felt like one.

Stuermer met up with his former bandmates in Genesis -- Phil Collins, Tony Banks, Mike Rutherford and Chester Thompson -- and the idea was to get together, play some music and see if everyone was interested in reuniting for a tour in 2007.

"We blocked off two weeks for rehearsals to see if we wanted to do it," Stuermer said in a phone interview last week. "When you've been apart, you never know if that spark and fire are going to be there. You just don't know until you try it. So, we tried it. We got together and played and everything just clicked right away.

"During our first break, Phil and Mike and Tony kind of walked over and told the managers, 'It's OK. This is going to work. Go ahead and book the tour.' The managers were on the phone in seconds, putting things together."

"Turn it on Again -- The Tour" begins with a show June 11 at Olympic Stadium in Helsinki, Finland, and includes stops in Denmark, Switzerland, Austria, Hungary, Poland, Germany, France, Holland, the United Kingdom, Monaco and Italy.

"We're going to do all soccer stadiums in Europe through the first part of the summer," Stuermer said. "Genesis is much bigger in Europe than in the U.S., so those shows should be great.

"We're going to start rehearsals in April in Lausanne, Switzerland. We'll be there for a couple of weeks, working out what songs we want to play and what key we're going to play them in. As time passes, it can be harder to hit those high notes so we may have to lower some of the keys. We'll tweak some things and then head to Brussels for production rehearsals.

"It's going to be exciting playing in front of 40,000 to 50,000 people every night."

After closing out a 20-show run July 14 in Rome, Genesis takes some time off and regroup for an arena tour in North America.

"All I know is that we're starting Sept. 7 in Toronto," Stuermer said. "After that, I'm not really sure where we'll go."

Since the tour was announced in November, Stuermer has been asked almost daily: "Will Genesis play in Milwaukee?"

"I don't know," he said, laughing. "I'm assuming that we'll play Chicago. We've always played Chicago before. The way touring works, a lot of times bands will play Milwaukee on their way somewhere else. You play Chicago, then hit Milwaukee and go to Minneapolis. I don't know if we're going to do that this time or not."

Though he loves playing in his hometown, Stuermer knows that a Bradley Center stop could be a bit of a mixed blessing.

"I love playing here and it's always nice to get a cheer when Phil introduces me," he said. "But, I also have a guest list of about 125 people. It can get a little crazy, but it's fun. The only other place I have a lot of guests is in Los Angeles, because I used to live out there and I have a lot of friends that are still out there."

The fact that Genesis hasn't played together since 1992 should drive up the demand for tickets even farther.

"This is going to be a huge show," Stuermer said. "Genesis hasn't been on tour for 15 years. I've been on a bunch of Phil Collins tours since then, and they were all great, but it wasn't Genesis.

"With Phil, we had horn players and backup singers and keyboard players and there were about 17 people on the stage and it was a great time. But, this is just the five of us. It's more intimate in that way. I'm really looking forward to it."

While waiting for rehearsals to begin, Stuermer will work to support his latest CD, "Rewired," released last month.

"It kind of focuses on the electric side of things I've done in the past," said Stuermer, who played with Milwaukee band Sweetbottom before joining Jean Luc-Ponty, Gino Vanelli and Genesis / Phil Collins.

"This spring, I'll have a CD of all new music coming out. It's pretty much ready to go and it will more into the prog-rock and the fusion that I used to do. I'll do a few live shows. I'm playing Feb. 17 at the Village Theater in Elkhart Lake and I'll probably do a CD release party closer to March. Then in April, we'll get started with (Genesis) rehearsals.

"It's going to be an exciting year."


Talkbacks

sandstorm | Jan. 11, 2007 at 9:42 p.m. (report)

heard this guy interviewed on the radio. he somehow makes fun stories about hanging out with rock stars dull. seems nice enough, though.

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Pickin N. Grinnin | Jan. 11, 2007 at 11:27 a.m. (report)

Is he related to Joe Stuermer of The Clash?

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