Phil Collins, formerly of Genesis, has announced that he is retiring from music and from celebrity as a result of nerve damage and hearing loss. And it appears he does not think anybody will notice.
Collins, who lives in Switzerland, insists he is happy to be “written out of the script entirely” now that he has dodgy hearing and his hands are no longer able to grip a pair of drumsticks.
The singer and drummer no longer wants to be a pop star, play gigs or even be Phil Collins. “I don’t think anyone’s going to miss me,” he told FHM Magazine. “I’m much happier just to write myself out of the script entirely…”
He goes on to state that his image as a polarizing figure in rock history has indeed gotten to him.
Asked when he became ‘the pop star that nobody likes’, Phil replied: “Around the time that the music was being played so incessantly people wanted to strangle me. 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 added: “I look at the MTV Music Awards and I think, “I can’t be in the same business as this.” 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?”
Speaking about Noel Gallagher’s famous criticism of his music, Phil said: “He definitely seems to consider me the Anti-Christ of music. There’s nothing I can do to change that impression of me. I have, at times, been very down about it.”
While I am not a particular fan of the post-Peter Gabriel era Genesis, I think that the blame that is affixed to Phil Collins for their change in sound (from progressive rockers to laid back balladeers) is grossly unfair. After all, it was Tony Banks and Michael Rutherford that wrote the majority of the songs before and after their sound changed.
But as this was not meant to be an article supporting or denigrating the post-Gabriel Genesis era (one of the more popular rock and roll arguments of the past 35 years) I want to take the time to pay tribute to Phil Collins’s drumming, which was spectacular for any era.
Listen to Collins’s expert drumming in the three Genesis classics below. I was lucky enough to find a complete live version of their masterpiece “Supper’s Ready.” Do not let the 26 minute length put you off. It is a song cycle made up of 7 shorter songs which fit together to tell a bizarre dreamlike story. One of the best songs you’ve probably never heard.