Friday, September 11, 2009

We don't got the beat no more - Phil Collins hangs up the sticks

I haven't really dealt with Phil Collins in any of my blogs in several years. In fact, the last time that I discussed Phil Collins in detail was on April 2, 2004, when I published the transcript of an exclusive interview that I had with Collins. In fact, it was so exclusive that it's hard to be believed, if you get my drift.

The one part of the interview that was believable was a link that I made to a picture at Phil Collins' website. The picture illustrated a calendar entry from August 4, 1970 in which Collins wrote, "Got job with Genesis."

I wrote that over five years ago, and the picture is no longer online.

And Phil Collins' website no longer exists.

Ditto for his drumming career:

Phil Collins has revealed that he will never drum again because he is suffering from a painful spine injury. My response to this was instant: of course he's never going to drum again, he's 58!

That's what Paul Lester said in an article about aging rock stars. Lester sourced a Daily Mail post, in which Collins noted that he could still sing, but that the drumming position was now too painful for him.

Perhaps some think of Collins primarily as a singer, but one must not forget that he was also a drummer from the progressive school, which meant that what he did was often interesting. Listen to the juxtaposition of drumming styles in this one minute thirty second clip:

And don't forget Collins' presence on Brian Eno's "Another Green World." Here's what had to say about Collins' contribution:

"Over Fire Island" features Phil Collins's (of Genesis) unwavering drumming while Eno darts in and out with sliding synthesizer notes and a prepared tape. A tremeloed hiss quickly comes and goes, like radio static.

Ground and Sky:

There are five songs with lyrics, and all are successful to varying degrees. Among these, "Sky Saw" utilizes a well-structured build-up of processed guitars, Fender Rhodes, and open-fifth violas, all undercut by the funky interplay by Brand X's rhythm section, Phil Collins and Percy Jones....

Collins and Jones also prove to be a great fit on the tracks that they appear — a somewhat unexpected result, considering how different this music is from Brand X's jazz fusion.

But Collins has been everywhere musically, from Eno to jazz fusion to 60s covers and roll.

Now two things should be mentioned about Collins' presence that day. Collins, of course, was a half-substitute for the deceased John Bonham during the Philadelphia Live Aid show. (Considering Bonham's power, it was advisable at the time to have two drummers in Philadelphia.) And, of course, that was Collins' second performance that day, since he had played earlier in the day in London. (The Concorde was obviously still flying back in 1985.)

But Collins' music career extends well before 1985, and in fact well before 1970. His movie debut, as a matter of fact, was in "A Hard Day's Night" - as an extra.

One more clip, previously shared by Steven Hodson. I must admit that I am unfamiliar with the Peter Gabriel-era Genesis. Perhaps I should become familiar, after hearing this.

P.S. Several years ago I remember KROQ's Kevin and Bean interviewing Dave Grohl. By this time Foo Fighters had become very successful, and Kevin and/or Bean made the point of noting that Grohl had emerged from the background of Nirvana to become a singing bandleader...just like Phil Collins. I don't recall that Grohl reveled in the comparison.
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