Phil Collins' Career Is Officially History

Self confessed 'anorak' hoping to publish his first book on Texan olden times

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Phil Collins Announces His Retirement From Music Industry


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It's official, Phil Collins' career is history, American history to be precise.

After hearing problems, a dislocated vertebra, nerve damage in his hands, not to mention watching MTV Awards, forced Phil Collins to announce his retirement from the music industry last year, the Chiswick born musician is now pursuing a new career as a historian.

Collins, a longtime collector of memorabilia from the Alamo - a fascination that started with the Disney "Davy Crockett" series on TV, has written his first book and is now looking for a publisher.

Speaking at the Mojo Awards, Collins told Evening Standard: "The book has been taking up most of my time, certainly the last couple of years, but I've finished it now. It sounds very anoraky and I'm a bit embarrassed talking about it."

Born Philip David Charles Collins to insurance salesman father Greville and talent agent mother, June Collins. The Collins’ were a gifted family, with elder brother Clive going on to become a professional cartoonist, and sister Carole competing as an ice-skater.

Phil started playing the drums at age five, when he received a toy drum kit as a gift and his interest in music grew during his school years. He got his first proper drum kit at age 12 and took every available opportunity to play, often drumming to songs on records or the radio. He was quite precocious as a child and strove for perfection, entering talent contents, acting and doing some modelling, he also loved playing football.

Collins attended Chiswick Grammar School (now Chiswick Community School) and at age 13 won the role of the Artful Dodger in the West End production of “Oliver!” (1964). His headmaster said he had to leave the school if he was going to take the role and his mother said the decision was his to make. Collins promptly left Chiswick Grammar, accepted the Artful Dodger role and joined the Barbara Speake Stage School.

The school gave him his first band experience when he joined fellow students in The Real Thing. He then joined Freehold and wrote his first song, “Lying Crying Dying“. Collins was 18 when he joined an obscure rock group, Hickory, with whom he recorded a concept album, “Ark II” (1969), inspired by the moon landing.

Phil Collins released his last album, ‘Going Back’, in September 2010. The project, his first new studio album in eight years, is a personal labour of love that found him recreating the soul gems that played such an influential role in his musical life.

“It shouldn't really be a surprise to anyone that I've finally made an album of my favourite songs,” explains Collins. “These songs – along with a couple of Dusty Springfield tracks, a Phil Spector/Ronettes tune, and one by the Impressions – make up the tapestry, the backdrop, of my teenage years. I remember it as if it was yesterday, going to the Marquee Club in London's Soho and watching The Who, The Action, and many others, playing these songs. In turn I'd go out the next day to buy the original versions.”

July 25, 2011