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Phil Collins (And Other Genesis Types)

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The Wikipedia page of John Mayhew, drummer with Genesis before he was replaced by Phil Collins, says he died of a heart condition on March 26th. This is a bit of a bummer for his estranged brother, who approached the media asking for help to locate him... on March 24th. sad.png

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It's always nice to bring a little ray of sunshine to the boards - Phil Collins "will never play the drums again" thanks to a spinal injury.

 

However, every silver lining has its cloud...

Collins told fans: 'Don't worry, I can still sing.'
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It's always nice to bring a little ray of sunshine to the boards - Phil Collins "will never play the drums again" thanks to a spinal injury.

 

However, every silver lining has its cloud...

Collins told fans: 'Don't worry, I can still sing.'

 

... and every cloud has a silver lining, apart from the mushroom shaped ones, which I understand have a layer of iridium and strontium.

 

Er, anyway, Phil Collins gives an exquisitely bleak interview to Rolling Stone in which he tells us how "decades of criticism have taken their toll" and that he often thinks of suicide.

 

"I wouldn't blow my head off," he says. "I'd overdose or do something that didn't hurt. But I wouldn't do that to the children. A comedian who committed suicide in the sixties left a note saying,'Too many things went wrong too often.' I often think about that."

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I read an incredibly creepy interview with Phil Collins this morning in the January 2011 issue of Classic Rock Presents: Prog Rock. I have never read this publication before, so I don't know of its reliability but, on page 37, Phil confesses he sometimes has suicidal thoughts about wanting to "write this Phil Collins character out of the story."

 

He goes on to talk in detail about how he would poison himself in a hotel room instead of blowing his head off then says he wouldn't do that for the sake of his children, then goes on to quote a 1960s comedian whose suicide note read "Too many things went wrong too often" and says that he often thinks about that. ;)

 

Later on in the interview he talks about want to "write himself out of the script that is life."

 

Okay, I have to confess I really like Phil, so I hope this is one death that doesn't come true. Yes, I agree with everyone who says that he (and Tony Banks) dumbed down Genesis after Peter Gabriel left and he is way too commercial and schmaltzy and a weak lyricist but he is still stronger than most other pop pap songwriters out there and he was obviously a great, great drummer in his heyday. I give him leeway in terms of his lyric-writing ability too because I don't think he was ever that well-educated - he went to a stage school for kids in show business, unlike the other members of Genesis who went to an elite public school. People (read: Genesis fans) who criticise him tend to forget that he just wasn't as intellectual as the other band members and didn't have the same opportunities.

 

He was obviously incredibly over-exposed in the media in the 1980s but I don't know how much attention he receives in the UK these days. Over here, he had gone very quiet until his recent Going Back album and announcement he was retiring from music.

 

Like him as a person too, when he tones down his onstage cockiness. Definitely hope he gets over this depression but the guy obviously has a lot of emotional baggage from his divorces, years in the media spotlight and so on.

 

This leads me on to think of other people associated with Genesis. So far, being (relatively) clean living types they have fared much better than most rockers from the halcyon days of the 1970s. Management types Tony Smith and Tony Stratton-Smith have both died and early manager Jonathan King spent time in jail for child abuse crimes but the only former band member to have died is early (pre-Phil) drummer John Mayhew, an alleged alcoholic who had a heart attack a few years ago.

 

The other creepy Genesis death is that of Kevin Gilbert, the guy who was the front-runner to replace Phil Collins as the lead singer. When someone went to his home to tell him of his audition, he was found dead, so Ray Wilson was hired instead.

 

 

Of the other living band members:

 

Peter Gabriel - for a clean-living Buddhist vegetarian, Peter aged dramatically between 1994 and 2000 and has grown very fat. However, his father is still alive well into his 90s and Pete is still actively touring.

 

Tony Banks - saw a series of interviews with him for the Genesis album remasters and he was compulsively rubbing his nose so either he had a cold or perhaps he picked up a cocaine habit back in the excesses of the 1980s. There has been a big backlash against this guy in recent years from many self-appointed web music critics. Once the darling of the band's fans, he is now rather disliked for driving Steve Hackett out of the group and smothering all the songs in layers of symthesisers that have dated rather badly. It is like the anger fans previously directed at Phil has now been redirected towards Banks. To be honest, I think they are right. Tony is an even worse lyricist, smothered every song in synths and kitschy effects and, unlike Phil, had enormous pretensions to go with it. He thought he was as intellectual and talented as Pete but often falls flat.

 

Mike Rutherford - nothing to say. Obviously that singer from his Mike and the Mechanics side-project died suddenly a few years ago. Guy seems to be in good health. With his long, thin face it is always really hard to tell.

 

Steve Hackett - definitely looks the healthiest and most youthful of all the band members but recently got divorced.

 

Ray Wilson - Phil's replacement for the band's last album was also suicidal for a while when things went awry: http://www.genesisfan.net/genesis-articles...nesis-superstar

 

Chris Stewart - early drummer, now a lemon farmer and author in Portugal. No health information.

 

John Silver - early drummer. Leads a quiet life. No health information.

 

Anthony Philips - early guitarist. Still productive in his low key solo career. No health information.

 

Mick Barnard - early guitarist for brief period. Seems to have disappeared off the face of the planet...

 

 

Hangers-on:

 

Chester Thompson - live drummer on many tours. Does drumming teaching now.

 

Daryl Stuermer - tour guitarist in the later years. Toured with Phil during latter's solo years.

 

Anthony Drennan - guitarist in last tour. No health info. Also played with the Corrs (in the figurative sense).

 

Nick D'Virgilio - drummer in Ray Wilson era - no health info,

 

Okay, so who will be the next band member to do a Harold the Barrel?

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I'd say those clean livers might last a while. Jonathan King, coshed whilst kerb-crawling, maybe.

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I'd say those :deathban:clean livers might last a while. Jonathan King, coshed whilst kerb-crawling, maybe.

They are clean livers with clean livers. :P

 

That Phil Collins interview is spooky though and left me with a bad feeling in my gut - it was much more morbid than anything I have ever read on this forum!

 

Jonathan King hired the band when they were in high school. Maybe he liked more about Peter Gabriel than just his musical talents. ;)

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Thanks for merging the threasds - seems like the article I was reading was a reprint of the one published in Rolling Stone.

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Interesting. I also prefer Peter Gabriel's Genesis, though some of the Phil Collins stuff I do like. Three Sides Live is one of my favourite Genesis albums actually.

I think he was way too over exposed in later years, and working with Disney did NOT help his cause. Anybody seen the South Park episode in which they take the mickey out of him? It's ruthless!

In any case, I actually went to see Genesis in Twickenham (was it two years ago?), and even though it didn't rate amongst my favourite gigs, Phil Collins vocals were amongst the best I ever heard. Very, very impressive.

He does seem awfully bitter, bless him he doesn't seem to understand why he is not in the same league as Led Zeppelin and Pink Floyd.

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Interesting. I also prefer Peter Gabriel's Genesis, though some of the Phil Collins stuff I do like. Three Sides Live is one of my favourite Genesis albums actually.

 

Yes, I love them up to and including Three Sides Live as well. The "international" version was released in Australia, which had the studio songs like Evidence of Autumn and You Might Recall on the fourth side. They are some of the best things the band did with Phil on vocals. Unfortunately, the CD rerelease is the British version with the fourth side of vintage live songs.

 

 

Of the studio albums, it seems to be after Abacab that they ran off the rails. To me Abacab itself was great with new, subversive ideas, such as the attempt to blend reggae and prog on Me and Sarah Jane. After that album, though, they just seemed to finally succumb to commercial pressure and let out the flood of synth-fests on the self-titled album, Invisible Touch and We Can't Dance. To be fair, the first two of those albums have their moments if you just want some light Phil ballads or a fun instrumental like the Brazilian but We Can't Dance is utterly irredeemable, IMHO. How such a dreary, bland concoction of utterly lifeless songs ever became one of the biggest selling albums of all time, I will never know. It made Calling All Stations seem like a veritable masterpiece by comparison.

 

As mentioned above, it was not in any way just Phil's fault either. After driving Hackett out of the band, Banks proves his "genius" with his never-ending synth noodling on stuff like Living Forever, There Must be Some Other Way and that Home by the Sea/Second Home by the Sea suite. I am sure those "songs" are ranked fairly high on the list of torture devices used by the Americans at Guatanamo Bay.

 

To be honest, I actually prefer Phil's solo stuff to a lot of the post-1981 Genesis. At least he used real instruments a lot of the time and even if a song is schmaltzy, it tends to be short unlike Banks' latter-day ten minute suites of "special effects" robot music.

 

 

I think he was way too over exposed in later years, and working with Disney did NOT help his cause.

 

It is funny that Phil gets stick over Disney but Pete was able to get away with composing that song for the Wall-E soundtrack. :D I guess it is all just about perceptions of integrity. To be honest, I think Pete was finally getting tired too with Up. It was painful to listen to such a bleak, over-produced set of songs. At least he seems to have recognised this, having now decided to go down the path of revamping older songs with symphony orchestras. Death to synths!

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If we're talking lyrics, let's talk death lyrics

Most of Peter Gabriel's ironically-titled Up album is about death, the cheery chap.

 

Some sample lyrics:

 

"the breathing stops, i don't know when

in transition once again

such a struggle getting through these changes

and it all seems so absurd

to be flying like a bird

when i do not feel I've really landed here

 

my ghost likes to travel

my ghost likes to travel "

 

***

 

"saw a group of people forming

round a figure lying down

and someone runs to make a phone call

and the man kneels on the ground

the man kneels on the ground

there's a tightening in my chest

i know that I'm drawn in

oh god let it not be - you

 

don't leave us

don't leave like this

don't leave me here again

i'm not quitting on you

no one else

you're not quitting on us

no running out

 

the colour in your shirt is darkening,

against the paleness of your skin

i remember how you held the goldfish

swimming around in a plastic bag

swimming around in a plastic bag

 

you held it up so high

in the bright lights of the fair

it slipped and fell

we looked everywhere "

 

***

 

"it was only one hour ago

it was all so different then

there's nothing yet has really sunk in

looks like it always did

this flesh and bone

it's just the way that you would tied in

now there's no-one home

 

i grieve for you

you leave me

'so hard to move on

still loving what's gone

they say life carries on

carries on and on and on and on

 

the news that truly shocks is the empty empty page

while the final rattle rocks its empty empty cage

and i can't handle this

 

i grieve for you

you leave me "

 

***

 

"notice how the city lights

are like the nerves inside the brain

one by one

they're going out"

 

I just about want to slit my wrists by the time the album reaches "My Head Sounds Like This."

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If you want something to really make you feel oppressed and the end of the world is nigh try the reworked version of "Here Comes the Flood" from Shaking the Tree. It is awesome but not very cheery.

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If you want something to really make you feel oppressed and the end of the world is nigh try the reworked version of "Here Comes the Flood" from Shaking the Tree. It is awesome but not very cheery.

 

Yes, I know it well. All the English gloom in the world condensed into four minutes of pop.

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This mention of Phil Collins and Genesis has made me think of the late Peter Gabriel which has made me strangely interested in eating a Salisbury steak in remembrance of things past, namely his tune Solsbury Hill which I thought was Salisbury until I saw it printed on a record label.

 

There was a time I liked the tunes of Genesis in their various band formations. These days they're just depressing because they are so old.

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the late Peter Gabriel

 

???

 

Peter Gabriel is alive, he's only 62.

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the late Peter Gabriel

 

???

 

Peter Gabriel is alive, he's only 62.

 

 

... and very active. IMHO, the New Blood orchestral album and tour is some of the best work he has ever done.

 

As for Genesis, though, yes they sound very dated these days, (both the Gabriel art rock and the Collins pop fluff.)

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the late Peter Gabriel

 

???

 

Peter Gabriel is alive, he's only 62.

 

I think I know who you mean, but I'm buggered if I can think of his name at the moment.

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the late Peter Gabriel

 

???

 

Peter Gabriel is alive, he's only 62.

 

I think I know who you mean, but I'm buggered if I can think of his name at the moment.

 

Gotit! Were you thinking of Robert Palmer?

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the late Peter Gabriel

 

???

 

Peter Gabriel is alive, he's only 62.

 

I think I know who you mean, but I'm buggered if I can think of his name at the moment.

 

Gotit! Were you thinking of Robert Palmer?

 

You are probably right but not sure how you get Peter Gabriel confused with Robert Palmer.

 

Not sure I would put any member of Genesis on the list just yet but considering the Deaths we have had this year and RP himself things can be surprising

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Had I discovered deadpooling earlier, Robert Palmer would certainly have been on my list. He always struck me as heart-attack material.

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the late Peter Gabriel

 

???

 

Peter Gabriel is alive, he's only 62.

 

I think I know who you mean, but I'm buggered if I can think of his name at the moment.

 

Gotit! Were you thinking of Robert Palmer?

I most assuredly was not thinking of Robert Palmer. He may have been addicted to love and found himself to be simply irresistible but I did not care much for his musical musings. Frankly his videos with those robotic looking women scared the jehosphats out of me.

 

I stay steadfast to my earlier proclamation of Mr.Gabe being late. (or at least his music is as far as I am concerned)

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I stay steadfast to my earlier proclamation of Mr.Gabe being late. (or at least his music is as far as I am concerned)

 

Like I said, give the New Blood album (and concert film) a chance. Yes, he's recycling old material but, stripped of the layers and layers of synths and ponderous drums, his music sounds MUCH better. I think it was a wise move on his behalf - it is a way of ensuring his legacy as a great songwriter and lyricist now that the original versions of his songs sound so dated. Synths may age but orchestras are timeless. Really, it is the only Gabriel album you need to own.

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I stay steadfast to my earlier proclamation of Mr.Gabe being late. (or at least his music is as far as I am concerned)

 

Like I said, give the New Blood album (and concert film) a chance. Yes, he's recycling old material but, stripped of the layers and layers of synths and ponderous drums, his music sounds MUCH better. I think it was a wise move on his behalf - it is a way of ensuring his legacy as a great songwriter and lyricist now that the original versions of his songs sound so dated. Synths may age but orchestras are timeless. Really, it is the only Gabriel album you need to own.

 

I still think So is an awesome album. Very eighties yes but a brilliant album.

 

I think this whole thread is being a bit sniffy about the musical acheivements of both PG & PC. Being successful does not always mean that you have sold out.

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"No Jacket Required" is better than "Selling England By The Pound", imho.

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"No Jacket Required" is better than "Selling England By The Pound", imho.

 

Not sure I would agree with you but I did suggest to a colleague that "No Jacket Required" was more enjoyable to listen to than "The White Album" and I have never heard the last of it!

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I still think So is an awesome album. Very eighties yes but a brilliant album.

 

And so think I.

 

I think this whole thread is being a bit sniffy about the musical acheivements of both PG & PC. Being successful does not always mean that you have sold out.

 

I'm not particularly fond of Phil Collins' solo work and Genesis albums after Abacab, although good songs can be found on most.

 

My love for Genesis remains though. Just a few days after release I got ...And Then There Were Three..., the first LP record I ever bought1. After that I've acquired almost all they've recorded. I regularly put Seconds Out on my stereo, preferably loud.

 

1I did buy a few singles before and had already shoplifted Never Mind The Bollocks, Here's The Sex Pistols

 

regards,

Hein

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