“In the Air Tonight”

17 Aug

Great interview with 59-year-old Phil Collins from Spinner today. When Collins was 14 he began his professional training at Barbara Speake Stage School in London. He played the artful dodger in a London production of “Oliver” and he even served as an extra in The Beatles’ “A Hard Day’s Night.” Obviously, music attracted him more (specifically drums) than acting and after answering a classified ad for a drummer, “sensitive to acoustic music,” he won an audition and became the new drummer for Genesis. And, we know where he went from there. Yes, eventually into the ears of Mike Tyson.

Here are my favorite two questions from John Sellers’ interview:

1.) Who would win in a battle of singing drummers — you or Don Henley?
Well, like Don Henley, I can sing from behind the drums, but it just looks so shitty. That’s why you don’t get many singing drummers now. And, you know, I never wanted to be a singer. When Peter left Genesis and we couldn’t find another singer, I drew the short straw. So, in many ways, my career happened by accident. I just wanted to be a drummer.

Comment: I guess it’s a good thing that Peter Gabriel left. Collins has a great voice that would have been rather untapped if it wasn’t for Gabriel’s departure.

2.) Are you ever amazed that you got to play drums with Led Zeppelin?
It wasn’t amazing to be there, I have to say. They weren’t very good. And I was made to feel a little uncomfortable by the dribbling Jimmy Page. If I could have walked off, I would have — but then we’d be talking about why Phil Collins walked off from Led Zeppelin. So I just stayed there and bit my tongue.

Comment: Yeah, I know Phil, Zeppelin is just not very good. Most Overrated Band Ever to take a line from comic book guy. I prefer not to get completely into my stance on Zeppelin (at least not now), but, I am not their biggest fan.

Check out the rest of the interview: http://www.spin.com/articles/tough-questions-phil-collins

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