Friday, November 12, 2010

I'm Sorry, Phil Collins

De-dum de-dum de-dum de-dum-dum... here comes a moral tale for hipsters and haters.

If you're under 40, Phil Collins is probably way off your radar. Apart from that weird moment in The Hangover when Mike Tyson rocks out to the drum fill from "In The Air Tonight", he ain't much of a resonant cultural reference these days. But if you're over 40 you'll almost certainly remember how he was once impossible to avoid and how everyone either loved him or hated him. Sad to admit, but as a smug hipster, I was always in the latter camp.

Phil Collins really was the epitome of square back in the old-timey days when they showed videos on MTV and phones had cords. And his songs?! Man, they were so unapologetically commercial they gave my artsy, Talking-Heads-listenin' ears diabetes. Add to that, the poor guy was also a poster boy for premature male pattern baldness... he was an almost perfect storm of uncool.

In my formative years, shaped by scowling post-punk minimalism, it was impossible to watch happy ol' Phil Collins cranking one out on TV without cringing. I could not relate. I could not appreciate his 'ouvre' or see the skill or art in what he did... you could only do that if you were as square as him.

But now, after so many years of mocking Phil Collins, now I'm an old balding fart too, guilt has come a knocking like the past catching up...

In a recent interview with Rolling Stone, Phil Collin went dark. There's no more cheery pop buffoon, no more "Get me a piano key tie and a non-threatening R&B star... I got a video shoot." It seems he's in the grip of some depressing existential crisis brought on by decades of smack talk from smug d*ckheads like me. According to Phil,  he never just laughed off the derision and counted his money as you might assume he did. Nope. Says Rolling Stone:

"Decades of criticism have taken their toll, and Collins says he has little desire to create more music."

And it gets worse... The interview goes on to cover suicide ("I wouldn't blow my head off... I'd overdose or do something that didn't hurt. But I wouldn't do that to the children.") and a neck injury that's left him unable to play drums even if he wanted to... or even "wipe himself in the bathroom" at times.

Man, if you are, or were, a Phil Collins hater, I hope you feel as bad as I do. We deserve it. Poor guy was only trying to entertain us as best he could. And what did we do but look down our artsy, pierced noses at him? Jeez, he may have made some horribly trite pop songs... but, hey, I couldn't craft tunes like those or even hold a beat on the drums. So I apologize to the internet ether, I take back three decades of anti-Phil Collins snarkery and hope my hipster karma gets rebalanced. I'm sorry, Phil Collins!



  1. I'm not sorry. He sucks. Always has and always will.

  2. Yeh but he just sucks for being really cheesy. It's not like he Hitler sucks. Doesn't it make you feel sorry for the guy? A little at least..? C'mon!


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