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Getting too old to rock ’n’ roll?

Phil CollinsPhil Collins, who will be 60 in January, has admitted he may be getting too old to rock ’n’ roll. The ex-Genesis skinsman now has to tape drumsticks to his hands because his fingers are too weak to hold them properly.

Maybe it’s no surprise then he has opted to release a new album of mellow soul classics.

A year ago, you said you couldn’t play the drums anymore. How do you feel today?

My body doesn’t work like it used to. I have reached an age when the equipment is starting to wear out. I had an operation last spring and the doctors told me that maybe everything would be back to normal within a year. I’m not sure this will come true and I prepared myself for the prospect of not being to play the drums anymore.

How did you do to play the drums on your latest album ?

With the help of technological miracles such as ProTools and my sound engineer Ivan. I would tape the drumsticks to my palms because I have no strength in my fingers. We would do two or three takes to get the groove, then we would start again for the rhythm, and put everything together the best we could.

Were your musician friends of any help ?

Of course. Mike Rutherford of Genesis gave me the address of a specialist he knew, as did Bryan Adams and Eric Clapton. Larry Mullen, of U2, even offered his help, although I didn’t know him that well.

It was a great comfort. I have two main problems, my wrist and my back.

The album Going Back only contains cover versions of soul hits. Why didn’t you write new songs of your own?

What can I say? Some people will be happy with that and will be disappointed. Let’s say I decided to do what I liked. I didn’t want to create anything new, I just wanted to focus on titles I love and that I always wanted to sing.

In the ’80s, you were an easy target. Were you affected by that?

I got used to it. It wasn’t “in” to listen to Genesis or Phil Collins at the time, even though I think times are changing today. I did things I was proud of and some others that were just failures, but honestly, I’ve turned that page. Go back to acting? My sons would be horrified. I’m not interested. As I’m not interested in anything that threatens the harmony of my everyday life.

© Metro, by Guillaume B. Decherf

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