These days, a “supergroup” usually consists of a guest rap here or there. (Or Chickenfoot.) Back in the ‘70s and ‘80s, it was all the rage and ex-Genesis guitarist Steve Hackett says he had very real plans to form a band featuring ELP’s Keith Emerson, Cream’s Jack Bruce and renowned session drummer Simon Phillips (Toto, Judas Priest, Jeff Beck and more). The quartet even made demos.

Hackett has told Ultimate Classic Rock, “Keith Emerson and I were going to form a band with Jack Bruce and Simon Phillips. Of course, two of those guys have passed on now, but what talent, what drive. Irreplaceable. I have enormous respect and love for their work.

“It was the early ‘80s, before Keith reformed ELP with Cozy Powell. We had a band there for about five minutes, and it all seemed like it might be very good. But I think Keith and Jack had their differences, and afterwards Keith said to me, ‘Well, Jack’s gone now, but how would you feel about being the singer?' I said, ‘Whoa, in no way do I consider myself to be in Jack’s league as a singer.”

Steve Hackett

Although there are demos of the in-progress songs, Hackett recalls, “I think they were at a point where they didn’t have lyrics or what have you. But that stuff does indeed exist. It was a lot of work-in-progress. That's a particular baton I could be running with, but I haven’t so far. It’s what you prioritize in life, isn't it?”

If you need reminding it was all a merry-go-round of familiar faces, Hackett also reveals he was asked by Chris Squire to join Yes at one point to replace Steve Howe. Neither happened, although a few years after the aborted project with Bruce and Emerson, Hackett did form another so-called “supergroup”, GTR, with Steve Howe… of Yes! Hackett still plays GTR songs, particularly when playing the US where the GTR album of 1986 reached No. 11 on the Billboard chart.