Hackett places a classified in Melody Maker seeking work with musicians who were “determined to strive beyond existing stagnant music forms”. Gabriel sees the ad and both he and Banks travel to Churchill Gardens, Pimlico, London, where they audition him. Hackett’s brother John accompanies him on the flute. Hackett joins the band a few weeks later.
I remember [Phil] saying on the very first day that I met him and we were going to be working together he said we’re bound to influence each other. I thought it really hadn’t occurred to me because I’d never worked in a band context before. It was a very different proposition working with a band that is often very competitive with each other. But we managed to cooperate sufficiently to come up with a great bunch of songs between us all… When I first joined the band it was on the premises that if you wrote a guitar part you were already part of the writing team, so I joined as a full writer from the word ‘go’ and I think it was a very healthy way to run a band. You keep everyone happy and everyone is going to end up being on an economic equilibrium. That struck me as a very good way to keep a band together and get the best out of everybody. If you just feel like you’re a hired gun you’re not necessarily going to give the best of yourself.