Thursday, 10 March 2011

So, farewell Phil...

In announcing his retirement from the music business yesterday, Phil Collins was keen to dispel a number of myths. First, he isn't mad; neither is he 'past it'; he isn't sulking as a result of hostile press coverage either, nor is he going because no-one loves him anymore. He said as much on his website, in his own words. So why is he going? Well, I'll let the man tell you himself. He says, 'I am stopping so I can be a full-time father to my two young sons on a daily basis.'

There. Simple. He's going to be a stay-at-home dad. But no, surely not? Just as a sceptical press habitually scoffs at politicians who want to 'spend more time with the family', they seem to find it impossible to take Phil Collins' statement at face value. Surely, Phil, you've got a part coming up in Eastenders? Surely, you're going to pursue your somewhat flaky interest in the Alamo? Surely... surely.... surely. Oh for Heaven's sake, what's so unusual about wanting to give more time to his children? After all, he doesn't (one assumes) need the money. But the idea of a dad - be it Phil or anyone - giving up a career, lucrative or otherwise to do womens' work seems so incredible that the rumour mill starts grinding out alternatives: he couldn't hack it, lost the plot, he's not a real man, he's past his best.

Well, I hope Phil won't be put off by the nay-sayers. And somehow, I don't think he will. I can certainly recommend it, this stay-at-home dad thing. Ok, the money isn't great but I'm richer now than I've ever been, paid handsomely by the experience of being there, at home, for Sally, Charlie and now for Eloise. I've done a few jobs in my time, involving at different stages chains and chalk and cassocks. But stay-at-home dad has been the most rewarding.

Whether the highest-earning recording artist of all time will think so, of course, remains to be seen. There are those - including the NME - who seem to think his talents are going to be best-suited to changing nappies and wiping noses. But in spite of what anyone else says, I think the Phil is a legend. That 'In the Air Tonight' drum riff has got to be a classic. And he plays in a gorilla suit, as well!


  1. He sure can drum. And good for Phill in my humble opinion there is nothing more rewarding than your children.

  2. Couldn't have put it better myself, Polly. Thanks for that!

  3. I LOVE that monkey!!!! ;-)

  4. That's no way to talk about a rock legend, Yuri!

  5. There have been many times when my husband would have happily changed places with me. He thinks I am very lucky to have stayed at home with Rory and I agree with him.
    Here's to Phil, you, and all the other dads doing the same!

  6. Three cheers for Phil, I say; he's got his priorities spot on. Wish I could do the same but the money situation is a bitch at the moment. One day... who knows?

  7. You could always ask Phil for a bit, Steve... I'm sure he wouldn't miss a few grand!

    Thanks Trish! I'll drink to that.

  8. He's also 60. Many people want to retire at 60. Not so many have young children at that age, but he's been there before and wants to spend time with these two - good on him.
    My suspicion is that a gifted and talented musician can never really give it up, and quite possibly there will be further albums/tours in years to come. But why rush? Why force yourself into something when you don't need to?
    I hope he enjoys his new job!!

  9. Me too Catharine: I'm sure he will. I think you're right about never completely being able to give up when it's 'in the blood' as it must be with him. Mind you, at sixty and with two small children he's going to need all the energy he can get!

  10. Let's not forget however, that he won't be wrestling with laundry, shopping or making the tea. "Spending more time with the children" will be just that for him, otherwise I would certainly be cynical.

  11. Hmmm, suppose not Expat mum. Mind you, I'm only jealous!

  12. I love Phil! I'm more of a fan of his earlier Genesis though than his 80s stuff, especially Trick of the Tail. Before I met Elder, I associated him with slightly cheesy stuff like "I Can't Dance", as thats what my Dad played, but Elder being a Genesis fan he introduced me to that album very early on in our relationship, and I still love it now, especially Ripples, which is just beautiful.
    Poor old Phil, but at least he is bowing out now instead of allowing supposedly hip culture vultures verbally batter him for carrying on recording. Good luck to him, whatever he does!

  13. Me too Claire... And Then There Were Three is one of my all-time favourite albums evah (which of course puts me firmly in the post-Gabriel camp and therefore probably makes me a pariah to a true Genesis fan, but... It's better than all Phil's solo stuff put together!)


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