Phil Collins, one of the highest selling singers in Rock-N-Roll, is hanging it up. He’s done, as far as he’s concerned, and he feels that with the sort of music that is popular today no one will miss him, either. He has nerve damage in his hands due to decades of playing drums, he has hearing problems, he has back troubles, and he just doesn’t even recognize the music being played these days. Worse, he thinks his fans are “sick of him.”
So, off into the sunset he intends to go. Silent in the end.
In an interview, an excerpt of which is published at the UK Telegraph, Collins admits that he just doesn’t see a place for him or his style of music 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.”
Collins says that he is ready to retire and fade away. His physical ailments are just to vexing. It got so bad at the end with the nerve damage in his fingers that the only way he could play drums was to duct tape the sticks to his hands. “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 said in the interview.
There is little doubt that Collins has enough cash to retire in style, so we shouldn’t worry about that, for sure.
If you aren’t familiar with the In The Air Tonight singer, he is the man that replaced the lead in the Brit rock group Genesis in the late 70s when the group’s former lead singer, Peter Gabriel, decided to strike out as a solo act. Many Genesis fans were not amused with the switch over as under Collins’ direction the band went from Mod Rockers with a wild, showbiz stage presence to more of a pop band. But the fact is that the Collins-led Genesis was far more successful on the international scene than the Gabriel-led iteration of the band.
Like most Americans, I did not know much about Genesis before Collins came aboard. I found the group to be fine, but not exceptional, with nice, singable pop tunes that were pleasant to listen to. I was never much aware of the pre-Collins Genesis, though I have to say I loved Gabriel’s late 70s and early 80s solo work.
In any case, you may suspect that my first reaction to Collins’ interview might be to tell him to buck up and stop all the whining. After all, he’s been made rich and famous, and at 60 he has many years to heal and enjoy his life out of the limelight.
But I have to say I approve of his decision to just fade away. In fact, I wish more bands and/or singers would decided to rest on their laurels, take their millions, and just retire. Is there anything worse than having 70-year-old rockers continuing to try and act like they did when they were 19? (Hello Rolling Stones)
Unless you intend to change your focus or style, or unless you want to try other musical endeavors that are not like what you did when you were a teenager, I say give it up (Sting has done a good job of moving on to other musical styles and experiments). Fat Elvis era was a perfect example of this. He should have just retired and let people remember what he was like in his 30s and previous.
The Beatles did it right. Once they broke up that was that. The end. Over. No umpteen reunion get-togethers.
So, I celebrate Collins’ intention to just fade away. His music will be played on classic rock stations from now until the end of time, anyway, so he won’t be forgotten entirely.
Goodbye, Phil Collins. We had some good times. Thanks for the memories.