The news dropped earlier this week that Phil Collins is bringing his Not Dead Yet tour to America for a run of arena dates that kicks off October 5th at the BB&T Center in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.
The tour began in Liverpool, England last June with a career-spanning set that emphasized his greatest hits like "In the Air Tonight," "Easy Lover," "Sussudio" and even a handful of Genesis songs, like "Invisible Touch" and "Follow You Follow Me."
It got us thinking about his First Final Farewell Tour of 2004/05. The cheeky title was ample evidence that he didn't really think it would be his last solo tour, though for quite a long time it seemed like that would indeed be the case. When it wrapped, he parted ways with his wife and developed a severe drinking problem. He also suffered significant nerve damage that made it practically impossible to play the drums, causing him to sink even further into a deep depression.
Things got so bad that he briefly had suicidal thoughts. "I wouldn't blow my head off," he told Rolling Stone in 2010. "I'd overdose or do something that didn't hurt. But I wouldn't do that to the children. A comedian who committed suicide in the Sixties left a note saying, 'Too many things went wrong too often.' I often think about that." Thankfully, he was able to kick his drinking problem and reunite with his wife and those dark days are long behind him.
Here's video of Collins performing "Take Me Home" at a 2005 show in Paris on the First Final Farewell tour. It begins with him drumming alongside Chester Thompson and Luis Conte. Sadly, nothing like that will happen at Phil's Not Dead Yet shows. He's never regained the ability to play drums and is unable to even stand at his shows. He sits in a chair for the entire night and his teenage son Nicholas handles all his drum parts with incredible precision. Phil's voice, however, remains quite strong and the shows have gotten incredible reviews.
© Rolling Stone, by Andy Greene