Phil Collins is about to embark on what’s billed as his comeback tour, appropriately titled "Not Dead Yet," after heavy drinking several years ago nearly killed him and put him in the hospital.
But in a new interview with the Sun, the 66-year-old rock legend says he never thought he was an alcoholic. "I personally do not believe I was an alcoholic," he said. "I had a problem with alcohol."
After he stopped drinking for three years, he says he can now control his drinking and enjoy a "couple glasses of wine" from time to time.
Over the past few years, the former Genesis star had dealt with various health and family issues. He has had to overcome back and hip problems which required surgery and prevented him from playing drums.
His 2008 divorce from his third wife Orianne Cevey also put him in a place of "darkness" that led him to drink too much to deal with his boredom.
"I kind of enjoyed not having to do anything — turn on some TV, watch some sports," he said. "Then you’re turning on the TV a little earlier, having a glass of wine a little earlier. Then the wine becomes vodka, and then suddenly, you’re killing yourself."
His ended up in the hospital in 2012 at the height of his drinking, prompting fears for his well-being.
His daughter Lily, 27, from his second marriage has also spoken openly about how her father wasn’t there to support her when she battled anorexia as a teenager. But earlier this year, Lily Collins, an actress and model, said she had forgiven her father in an wrote an open letter that came with her memoir, "Unfiltered: No Shame, No Regrets, Just Me."
In January 2016, Collins said he had reunited with Cevey and they were living together in the house he had bought in Miami to be closer to her and their two sons.
With his life back on track, Collins is starting his tour, which starts Friday in Liverpool and then travels to other European cities through June. The tour takes its name from Collins’ autobiography which was published in October.
© The Mercury News, by Martha Ross