It’s kind of ironic I hear this news today: Phil Collins is retiring from the music industry, mainly due to health problems. I’ve just completed getting all the box sets of the remastered and sonically-improved Genesis albums (well worth the money, by the way) and have been watching the DVD of their 2007 reunion tour. Yes, many of the songs were dropped a couple of keys to accommodate Phil’s deepening voice (age catches up to us all) but man, the guy could still play those drums. Watching him and Chester Thompson play together is like watching a rhythmic ballet.
I saw him in a very intimate concert setting a few years ago. Phil and his solo band played for a dozen or so people at a rehearsal space in Burbank in 2003. Even then he was saying he had hearing problems, losing it on one side. It appears those problems continued to worsen. In addition to issues with his vertebrae and nerve damage in his hands, I guess time was taking too much of a toll.
I could take or leave his later forays into soft-pop adult-contemporary land, but I’ll always treasure the music he made with Genesis and his earlier solo material.
The man could play!
He’ll be missed.
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.