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“I think my greatest achievement would be "Sussudio," hands down. Seriously. What are you laughing at?”
Philip David Charles "Whining Git" Collins (born 30 January 1951) is a British musician known for making tons of schmaltzy '80s pop music that housewives craved. Oh, and he was the lead singer of Genesis, too. Peter Gabriel? Who's that?
Collins was subjected to a battery of scientific tests upon sliding out of his artificial place of birth, and it was confirmed that his 'cool' chromosome was missing, henceforth confirming his quasi-mystical complete lack of cool. During his later career, flocks of birds flying above one of his many bloated outdoor prog rock gigs were observed to stab their own ears out with their claws rather than listen to "In the Air Tonight".
Collins made his name as the drummer of '70s prat-rock band Genesis. In 1975, when Peter Gabriel left the group to play with plasticine because a voice on a hill had told him, Collins took over lead vocals and remained there until he found a large burning cross on his front lawn with a message crudely carved into his door politely requesting they disband. During the 1980s, Bloody Collins achieved inexplicable solo success.
edit Early life and career
Phil Bloody Collins was born in Chiswick, London. During his Christening ceremony Collins' parents dropped their prematurely-bald child into the font and said, "We shall raise him in the way our God advised us - this child, this sweet, slap-headed child shall be the world's foremost middle-of-the-road musician, whose music shall be played in lifts and extremely cheap restaurants throughout the world, and we name him.... Phil Bloody Collins." During the ceremony, the Vicar tried to push the young infant's head under the water and had to be physically restrained.
A moody, introspective loner in his younger days, Collins was plagued since childhood by a dream unrealized---all he ever wanted to be was a movie star. "Ever since his first film, he's had the acting bug," his mother has said. "Ach, Calamity," she sighed. Indeed, Calamity the Cow, Collins' first and only starring role, proved to have a prophetic title. Collins argued passionately with the director of the film about the direction it should take, and some of his best, improvised scenes were cut from the final version of the film by wicked movie executives. As late as 1987, it was hard for Collins to talk about those days. "It set the course of my life," he once said. There was then a gap in Collins' career due to a short stay in prison following a bank-raid where Collins wore two pairs of used tights over his ears, and was recognized in court by the prosecution's main witness who suffered from memory loss and could not remember where he lived.
Collins' friends swept him up into the music industry to try to assuage his deep-seated disappointment after his part in the Beatles film A Hard Day's Night was cut down to one split-second scene in which he appears as the seventeenth maniacal fan from the left, in the back row.
Collins is most well-known as the famously not-working class lead singer for the upper-class progressive rock group (Oh For Fuck's Sake, It's) Genesis. Collins was originally hired as drummer for the group during a rough period in his life, when singer Peter Gabriel discovered him drumming on garbage cans on a street corner outside his favorite pub. Gabriel was then told by a trusted source that Collins had been sent from heaven to absolve all drummers. Collins, who by this time was well-known around London as a drumming messiah and a successful economist, was down on his luck. Gabriel invited Collins to come play drums and sing some vocals for his band Genesis.At this point Genesis were wearing utterly ridiculous stage outfits, to the point where John Lennon began referring to Collins as 'The ringpiece in the codpiece'. This, however, would prove to be Gabriel's biggest mistake. Collins' percussion and vocals added so much to Genesis' sound that they eventually exploded.
Initially, Genesis made tedious, pretentious prog rock songs that ran for 38 minutes and dealt with hard-hitting issues like suppertime and Puerto Rican Broadway actors. It wasn't until Peter Gabriel left the group that they reached international fame. Under Collins' rhythmic leadership the band abandoned their prog-rock leaning-on-a-bar leanings, and moved towards writing the sort of pop and rock music that is actually fairly enjoyable to listen to, which coincided with Collins' thoughts about a solo career.
edit Solo career
During the 1980s as a solo artist, Collins had a plastic bagful of hit songs. Phil later admitted that his fervent drug experimentation during this era was the inspiration for these hits and their mystical, obscure lyrics and complex, odd time signatures. His bank account reached peak popularity through the TV show Miami Vice, when he played a con man named Phil Mayhew who was found to be importing 90% of America's cocaine. He spent about a quarter of the episode burying his face in a pile of the white powder and giggling maniacally.
Phil Collins was also part of Live 8. On one day in 1985, Phil Bloody Collins flew to three different continents on a Concorde to prove once again that he is the coolest person on earth. He even sang and played drums for some people who were just standing in the parking lot, without ever being asked. The sponsors were quoted as saying that they ended up spending more money on gas for flying Collins around the globe than he actually helped raise for impoverished Africa.
The story of this hectic period in Collins' life could best be told by the trail of one-night lovers and peeved hotel managers he left in his wake. Few performers have been able to imbibe so much alcohol and still be able to function enough to (nearly) reproduce the complex drum solo of his big solo hit "In the Arse Tonight." During these years, Collins reconvened with Genesis several times to record more albums and do more tours, in a successful attempt to make sure Collins' voice and drumming were heard all over the fucking planet on radio and television as much as possible between the years 1981 and 1988. Now known at the insistence of Collins' lawyer as Phil Bloody Collins And His Genesis Three, the other members of Genesis grew weary of Collins' constant shallow prating and his irresponsible, shameless flights of uninhibition---a far cry from the old glory days when he was a moody, introspective loner. "There was never ever shutting him up, honestly," Mike Brotherhood, the band's guitarist, revealed in an interview years later. "It was always 'Let's use a drum machine for this tune,' 'Let's do another sugary three-minute pop song,' 'Let's use the drum fill from "In the Arse Tonight" in all of our songs at some point,' 'Look at that girl's bum'; at some point we all just learned never to pay any attention to him, and that was that."
It is a tribute to the other band members' compassion that they were able to keep Collins alive for so long. "I remember many a night when we had to get Phil to the hospital to have his stomach pumped," Bony Wanks, the band's keyboard player, said later. "You wouldn't believe the things that he would ingest! And sometimes not even on a dare. He once bet Chester Thompson that he could eat a whole double-neck guitar. It took him several months, and fifteen stomach pumpings, but good God, he did it!" Added Banks in an undertone, "It was really one of the only things he ever accomplished." At the time in interviews, Collins always claimed that the band were getting along well and that all three had equal participation and creative control in the group's music. Later in the same interview, Collins shared his views on the musical direction the band was currently taking and when asked what the opinion of the rest of the band was on the subject, Collins said, "Their opinion doesn't matter."
A little known fact about this period of Collins' life is that he not only worked as a vocalist and musician, but also picked up a weekly paycheck as a Physics professor at Harvard. Between Genesis gigs in 1982 he discovered the secret to cold fusion. "You can tell from his drumming how mathematical his mind is," Mike Rutherford said in a magazine article at the time. "It's all sequential and time based." As the 1980s wore on, Collins devoted more and more of his time to quantum physics, in the hope of discovering the one theory that would link together existing scientifc laws and unlock the key to the universe. "I'm also working on a new album," Collins added sheepishly in a 1986 Rolling Stone article about his scientific achievements. Collins wrote over 500 papers and claimed seven honorary degrees from seven different universities. He was quoted as saying that he hoped to some day journey through a black hole, "like in that song by Rush."
During the 1980s, there was much criticism charging that Collins was not quite as good as the other British musicians he often worked with during the 1970s, particularly singer Peter Gabirel. "If the choice is between being remembered as a bald midget who sang pop songs or as a grown man who proudly prodded all over Europe dressed in the costume of a fucking sunflower singing shit about dungeons and dragons, I'll take short, bald, and poppy any damn day of the year," said Phil Bloody Collins, responding to this criticism in a veiled reference to his former band mate's eccentric past.
edit Religious Significance
It is now quite widely known that a Phil Collins cult is in existence. Loosely based on Christianity, just as Christians believe that God is in some sense everyone's father, Collinsians believe that Phil Collins is in some sense everyone's uncle. The origins of this cult are unknown but may be a consequence of Smash Hits Magazine referring to Collins as "Uncle Phil Collins". Collinsianity is a much weaker faith system than Christianity but also has a Holy Trinity called Phil, Mike and Tony.
edit Going Back
In 2010, and despite being dead, Collins released an album of cover versions of Motown hits. Remarkably this was a hit so Collins got some attention again. When album sales began to wane, Collins claimed he was at the Alamo in a former life. This got him more attention. Collins then declared his retirement from music, a remarkable achievement because this was more than a decade after the plane crash that killed him. However this announcement did not get him any more attention.