Steve Hackett Shares Phil Collins Is Not Doing Well
via Guitarist / Youtube
On March 26, 2022, the illustrious career of legendary drummer and singer Phil Collins came to a close when he, along with his fellow rock band Genesis members Mike Rutherford and Tony Banks, performed their last concert.
The 72-year-old Collins didn’t play the drums during the final show due to his persistent health issues, but he did sing with the band. Instead, his son, Nic Collins, took over the drumming duties on behalf of his father in what was likely Phil’s final appearance on stage.
Phil’s former bandmate Steve Hackett remembered how frail the drummer was even back when they were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as members of Genesis in 2010.
“I think as the evening wore on, it became more and more emotional, and I could see that Phil, who had not been well and is still not, he was up and he was clapping, and he was moving, along with whatever it was,” Hackett recalled.
A memorable night for Hackett
The night was clearly very special for the guitarist as he vividly remembered and shared the highlights of the event:
“Whether it was Carol King or it was Eric Burdon of the Animals doing something or the Ronettes or Jimmy Cliff… And the celebration of not just artists who were living but also writers who brought some of these songs to the floor and some years later, of course, they celebrated the late great Paul Butterfield and Mike Bloomfield with the Paul Butterfield Blues and all of that.”
Hackett also shared the influence of Yes on their music, as he disclosed that Phil was a devoted fan of the influential prog rockers. Hackett had collaborated with the late Chris Squire on some of his albums, and the duo even formed a one-off project called Squackett.
“So it’s a great great thing, and yes, we’re not inducted during their time, but I was working with Chris Squire at the time. He was desperate to come along that evening, and I said, ‘I could not get any ticket. I tried my best.’ And they were inducted, and I said so to the press. I said if we’re being inducted as the first progressive band to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, then it would be nice if Yes were, as well.”
“He’s definitely retired”
In a 2022 interview with Rolling Stone, Nic Collins expressed his belief that his father had retired, saying, “I think at the moment, he’s definitely retired.”
“If you ask me on a serious level, I think that show in London was my dad’s last show. But then again, he said that in 2004 and we wound up doing a tour in 2018. You can never be sure,” Phil’s son said.
However, Nic also believes that his dad is probably looking forward to the next phase in his life. Having been doing music for five decades, Collins thought that it would be a relief for his father “to step back and not have that pressure that he’s had for decades”.
However, a year later, one of Phil’s bandmates revealed that his ongoing nerve damage had left him even less mobile. The drummer had stopped playing is instruments well before the final performance due to a spinal injury he had suffered fifteen years prior.
“Don’t worry, I can still sing”
In 2007, Phil Collins started having significant health problems that started with a neck injury during a Genesis reunion tour, resulting in a dislocated vertebra. This injury led to persistent nerve damage, ultimately compelling Collins to discontinue his drumming career.
In 2009, the “In the Air Tonight” singer wrote, as reported by the Daily Mail, “After playing drums for 50 years, I’ve had to stop. My vertebrae have been crushing my spinal cord because of the position I drum in. It comes from years of playing. I can’t even hold the sticks properly without it being painful, I even used to tape the sticks to my hands to get through.”
Still he assured, “Don’t worry, I can still sing.” The legendary drummer also shared with Rolling Stone in 2010 that he has already plans to halt his drumming career before his injury, saying that he doesn’t miss it.
Recently, In 2021, he provided an update on his health, revealing that he was battling diabetes in addition to his nerve damage. Collins wistfully said, “I’m kind of physically challenged a bit, which is very frustrating because I’d love to be playing up there.