Who was the genius that said “A rolling stone gathers no moss?” Some say it was Erasmus in the 16th century. A sure way to prevent moss from growing is to shake it about, whatever “it” is because moss cannot thrive amid the rolling turbulence. Well, have any of the Phil Collins critics stopped to think that he would like to thrive in his golden years?
He announced his “retirement” from the music business last week and you would think the world was coming to an end. However, let’s face facts, the man has not released an album of original music in eleven years, nor has his band Genesis in 14 years. So, retirement? It seems that happened awhile back and old Phil just got around to making it “official.”
Phil is a very good drummer and writer of pop songs. His musical legacy will endure. However, if you ever attended a Phil Collins concert, moss could grow easily. He was not a mover and shaker as a front man, along the likes of his non-stop contemporary Mick Jagger.
Phil took it slow and steady and did win the race financially (a turn on another well-worn phrase). However, take it from this former rock correspondent and insider to that “glamorous” world (she says tongue in cheek). The life of a rock star is not easy. Guitarists and drummers suffer incredible pain from repetitive strain injury and it gets worse with age. (Phil just turned 60) Life on the road is still life out of a suitcase, whether you are traveling by bus or private jet. It wreaks havoc on your physical and emotional well-being.
I applaud all of the musicians who have shared their joy with me throughout the years and I thank those who continue to rock into their 60s like Aerosmith, AC/DC and The Stones. I look forward to each of the tours and pray for a next one. As to Phil, let him enjoy retirement and to this day I will forever thank him, Mike and Tony for telling MTV to go screw and allow this radio journalist to finish her interview without being cut off by a television crew. Rock on!