Phil Collins is an interesting figure in popular music – he began as the talented drummer of the progressive rock group Genesis, then suddenly became the frontman when Peter Gabriel left in 1975, leaving the drummer’s throne for the microphone as Bill Bruford and later Chester Thompson filled his former role. As Genesis vaulted from experimental rock to pop superstars, Collins simultaneously launched a massively successful career as a solo artist.
At times it became hard to separate Collins from Genesis, and as his pop ballads became more and more overplayed on radio his core fans started to desert him. The result is that he is a massively successful artist who is remembered more for being overplayed like Michael Bolton than for being one of the great drummers in all of rock music and a core part of one of the great progressive rock groups.
Well … now he is hanging up his microphone and drumsticks for good, partly because he no longer feels relevant, and partly because of health issues.
Here is a quote from the Telegraph:
The 60-year-old star says he feels it is “a good time to stop” making music, adding: “I don’t think anyone’s going to miss me.”
He has hearing problems, a dislocated vertebra and nerve damage in his hands, all brought on by a lifetime spent hunched behind a drum kit.
The songwriter also claims that listeners have grown “sick” of him and that there is no longer a place for him in the current music scene.
“I look at the MTV Music Awards and I think: ‘I can’t be in the same business as this’,” Collins says in an interview with FHM magazine.
“I don’t really belong to that world and I don’t think anyone’s going to miss me. I’m much happier just to write myself out of the script entirely.
“I’ll go on a mysterious biking holiday and never return. That would be a great way to end the story, wouldn’t it?” Collins, who lives alone in Switzerland after divorcing his third wife in 2007, has enjoyed huge popularity over 40 years as both a drummer and singer with the rock band Genesis and then as one of the biggest-earning solo artists of all time.
He claims that it was this success and the overplaying of his music which made people “want to strangle” him. “It’s hardly surprising that people grew to hate me. I’m sorry that it was all so successful. I honestly didn’t mean it to happen like that,” he says.
The star, who has sold more than 150 million records, says his main focus now is his two sons, Nicholas and Matthew, by his third wife Orianne Cevey. “I’m not worried about not being able to play the drums again, I’m more worried about being able to cut a loaf of bread safely or building things for my kids,” he says.
“My doctors tell me it’s a work in progress, that it will take about a year for me to recover.”
He said he has been told his hands are not strong enough to play the drums. “I don’t think I’ll ever be able to do that again,” he said.
Collins once disclosed that the only way he could play was by taping his drumsticks to his hands.
So let’s say farewell to Phil Collins by playing a few live recordings of hits he had with Genesis and as a solo artist!
Solo: In the Air Tonight from 1994
Genesis: Abacab from the Invisible Touch 1986
Genesis: Supper’s Ready From 1976 (Bruford on Drums)
Genesis: Supper’s Ready From 1974 (Collins on Drums)
Genesis: From 1973 when he was just the drummer!
Wishing Phil Collins a happy and healthy retirement!