Saturday, March 5, 2011

Phil Collins: I cannot believe it's true: or, Billy lost his number after all

In an interview, he said he's trying to save what's left of his hands for "fixing my food and helping my kids make things." He finally found someone close to his age again and just started a new relationship not very long ago. He, Sir Paul and Michael Jackson are in that rare strata of 150 million plus sales. It seems to exact a tremendous personal toll, as I never expected the ubiquitious Phil Collins to express such self-reproach at the end of his career. In fact, "the Ubiquitous Phil Collins" was a big gag to him by the time of his '91-92 tour, my first big show, so he already felt somewhat self-conscious. How rare---embarrassed by super stardom. It's telling how little accolades of that size can mean to the star, who would rather find in himself just one more cutting-edge creation that brings him happiness and tells him something new. He's not going out on work he is ready to defend.

The obit for his career is something deserving of a few more words than I can give it at the moment.

I wonder things like "the words and pain were necessary to hold together his smash solo take-off; but was it just the sound, or was it those words, that created that huge connection?" I think rejection's something common to adolescent and adult alike, creating an emotional state from which expression is crucially difficult. I find it a poignant bookend to his work, that he once again feels rejection. (This may be in part why he's attracted much derision---it may be seen as his indulgence.) Also, you can be a rocker but you can never take people back, in their minds, from a plethora of safe MOR adult contemporary vehicles, from which no star can return to relevance.

There's a reason Neil Young found himself in the middle of the road "so I headed for the ditch."

I'll be back with more this afternoon.

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