The Eighties ended and the Nineties began in a whole different mood, with Nirvana and other punk-influenced bands establishing grunge as the dominant musical force.
In many ways, grunge's threadbare, garage-rock sound was a direct reaction to the overblown, synth-heavy bombast of the previous decade — and no one typified those excesses more than Collins.
Look at Phil Collins" and "People hate fucking cunts like Phil Collins, and if they don't, they fucking should." And so it's gone, especially on the Internet, where I Hate Phil Collins sites have flourished. For his hair, for his height, for his pants (pleated khakis), for his shirts (tucks them in), for being "a shameless, smirking show hog.""I don't understand it," he says, looking pained. I only make the records once; it's the radio that plays them all the time. His neighborhood is quiet, his chalet-type house is modest, and he can often be seen ferrying his kids to school in his Range Rover. That's what freaks me out."Finally, he goes back to talking about what the clairvoyant had told him: "I don't want to sound like a weirdo. He took up drums the same year; became a professional child actor at age 14; was in a West End production of ; disappointed his dad, a London civil servant, by dropping out of acting to become a musician; played in a few small bands; answered a newspaper ad for a drummer in 1970; joined Genesis; was 19 years old; got married; had a son, adopted a daughter; became Genesis' frontman in 1976; turned it from an arty prog-rock band into a pop-song machine; was too busy to see wife or kids; was left by wife who had started affair with family's interior decorator; released pain and suffering into first solo album; didn't think much of the pivotal drum bit in "In the Air Tonight," even after his friend Eric Clapton listened to a demo version and said, "What the hell, man? " while pinned to the wall, blown away by the sound; got married again, had another kid; got divorced again; began transformation into alleged Antichrist; had his music satirized in Bret Easton Ellis' , in both the book and the movie (Collins' take: "It was funny.
You can call me Philip." So that's who he is to her, Philip, anyone but Phil, and that's who he'd like to be to the rest of the world, too.
Like he says, in his mind, the guy known as Phil Collins would be better off dead.
As a solo artist, he has sold 150 million records, which puts him right up there with the all-time greats.
He's saying that his new album, , which features only classic-soul songs, is his "best album ever," that he couldn't resist making it because it's the music he grew up with, and that it may be his last album ever, too. He'd rather spend his time in his basement, building up his collection of Alamo memorabilia, which, oddly enough, is his great consuming passion these days.
He moves softly in the room, which is spotless in the manner of a well-funded museum. And this was supposed to be Bowie's boot knife! I come down and look at it all in amazement." As it happens, Collins is liked by Alamo buffs and has been invited to speak at a meeting of Alamo descendants. ' And it's like, ' Wow, they know I exist! I often think that down here, at night or during the day, something might go on."One thing that's clearly going on is that the person speaking like this, with such bubbly enthusiasm, seems to be less Phil, probably, and more Philip, or maybe even somebody else entirely. "I'm not sure what the scientific term is, but it's paranormal energy. Now this one is at Goliad, where, after the Alamo, 400 guys were executed. Worse, to him, he can't help his youngest kids build toys. There's nothing frail about him, and a recent surgery may even improve his condition.
Aligned in glass cases, mounted on the walls, secreted away in drawers and stacked in corners are muskets and rifles, Sam Houston's Bowie knife ("Just look at that! At another Alamo gathering, he says, a clairvoyant approached him and said, "You were here before. Smith, the courier." Phil might have scoffed, but Philip thinks it's possible. But as for drumming, he says, "I was going to stop anyway. I don't miss it."Some of his inner circle, however, aren't so sure about that.Of all his songs, "In the Air Tonight" was particularly ubiquitous, propelled forward by Collins' towering drum entrance.It became the unofficial theme song for the Eighties drugs-guns-and-glamour cop show But then a curious thing happened.Photos: Drummers in the Solo Spotlightho people think Phil Collins is derives mainly from how absolutely everywhere he was in the 1980s. He released four solo albums during the decade and had 13 hit singles.As Genesis' lead singer and songwriter after Peter Gabriel quit, he was largely responsible for that band's output too, which reached a high point in 1986, with and its five hit singles.He's 59 and looks pretty much the way he's always looked: kind of small, kind of bald.