Why Taylor Hawkins Sent A Lovely Letter Of Support To Phil Collins
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It was unfortunate for classic rock fans all around the world that the 2022 tour marked Genesis’ somber farewell. Phil Collins, who has grappled with health challenges for the past couple of decades, found himself singing from an office chair during the performances. Shortly after the tour’s conclusion, Tony Banks, Genesis’s keyboardist, confirmed the farewell.
In addition to Collins’ physical health challenges, he has recently faced a decline in mental health. In a candid interview from several years ago, Collins opened up about battling depression amid relationship troubles, admitting to feeling suicidal when asked.
The news about Collins’ mental health spread globally in the following days and weeks, lacking the expected sensitivity. Fortunately, the late and revered drummer Taylor Hawkins reached out to comfort the Genesis star.
Collins recalled receiving a supportive email from the former Foo Fighters drummer during the media storm, saying, “He wrote me a lovely email: ‘Us in the Foo Fighters, we think the world of you. Please don’t feel bad about anything.’”
End of Genesis’ Touring Era
During an interview with Vulture in March 2023, Banks provided an update on Collins’ condition, stating, “I don’t think there’s anything else left. The well is dry.”
“We can’t tour any more because of Phil’s state, so that’s the end of that,” the keyboardist sadly announced.
Around the same period, guitarist Mike Rutherford addressed Collins on BBC Breakfast, remarking, “As you know, Phil is a bit… He’s much more immobile than he used to be, which is a shame, but at the tour, he was in good spirits”.
Rutherford went on, “He’s fine now at home, enjoying life. He’s worked so hard over the years. I think he’s enjoying his time at home”.
An encouraging letter from a fellow drummer
In a 2020 interview with Louder Sound, Collins reflected on an encouraging email he received from the Hawkins during a tumultuous media period.
Describing the message, he shared, “He wrote me a lovely email: ‘Us in the Foo Fighters, we think the world of you. Please don’t feel bad about anything.’ I’d done a thing in Rolling Stone that echoed around the world, I’d spent three days with this journalist, and we started talking about things.”
Collins then revisited the conversation that initiated the media coverage, saying, “They said: ‘When three marriages have gone wrong, and you’re not living with your kids, then sometimes, it’s a dangerous word to use, but have you ever felt suicidal?’ ‘Yeah, I have.’ People rang me up and said: ‘Don’t say that! What are your kids going to say at school?’”
Alongside this, the iconic Genesis drummer and vocalist recalled that a photograph emerged featuring him with Davy Crockett’s rifle and an axe. Collins expressed appreciation for the thoughtful gesture from Hawkins, saying, “I thought it was lovely that he’d taken the time to write.”
An Iconic Drummer’s Farewell
Upon Phil Collins’ entry into Genesis in the early 1970s, he swiftly solidified his reputation as an exceptional drummer. However, a critical turning point occurred in 1974 with the departure of Peter Gabriel, prompting Collins to gradually assume additional responsibilities in singing and songwriting within the group.
This shift marked the inception of a transformative period for Collins, who, by the close of the decade, found himself brimming with creative ideas, catalyzing the launch of a concurrent and notably successful solo career.
As the 1980s unfolded, Collins’ solo endeavors began to ascend, progressively overshadowing his collaborative work with Genesis. This evolution reached its zenith when he made the decision to part ways with the band in 1996, allowing his solo career to take the forefront. Despite this divergence, a brief reunion in 2000 hinted at the enduring bond between Collins and Genesis.
Following the temporary reunion, Collins returned to his role in Genesis, embarking on three reunion tours. The most recent of these tours concluded in 2022, marking both a nostalgic revisit to the band’s legacy and a testament to Collins’ enduring connection with his Genesis roots.