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Phil Collins Has Got It Taped

Phil CollinsHe is the archetypal rock drummer whose signature hit In The Air Tonight encouraged a gorilla to bang skins on a Cadbury’s ad.

But sadly, Phil Collins is no longer physically able to bash away at his beloved drum kit.

Due to an injury, the former Genesis frontman, 59, cannot even hold drumsticks these days so he had to come up with an ingenious new way of keeping rhythm on his latest album Going Back.

“I have to tape the sticks to my hands now,” Phil told me. “It’s the only way I can play. It wasn’t particularly comfortable but I managed to get the right noise and the performance I wanted.”

The disability is an unfortunate side-effect of an operation to cure a spinal injury Phil sustained on the last Genesis tour.

“As far as I’m concerned I can’t play the drums anywhere near as well as I did,” he said. “It may change and get better but it may not – all I can do is wait.

“I’ve had an operation. There’s nothing more that can be done.”

Before the new album, Phil ann­ounced his retirement from music, but his love of Motown coaxed him back.

He explained: “I did the final Farewell tour in 2004-5 because I want to spend more time with the kids.

“I wasn’t even going to make another album. But then somebody suggested a Motown covers album and that’s something I’d wanted to do my entire life. When I went to see bands like The Who as a young kid, these were the songs that they’d play as well as their own material.

“I used to sing them in my school band, but in Genesis we never did other people’s material so I kind of missed out on that.

“This is my opportunity to finally sing the songs that I grew up with.”

The 19 classics have been lovingly reproduced to sound as close to the Sixties originals as possible.

Phil explained: “My way of looking at this was to pay tribute to the songs. They sound best the way they were originally recorded.

“We even brought in The Funk Brothers – three guys, now in their seventies, who played on the original recordings. It was probably the happ­iest experience I’ve ever had making an album.”

Switzerland has been Phil’s home for the past 15 years, where he plays the doting dad to two young sons.

He admitted: “Doing the school run is about as exciting as it gets. I still miss English pubs and the English sense of humour, but I live here because of the boys.”

Away from music, Phil is also busy writing a book on the Alamo.

He said: “The written word is an extension of songwriting so that makes sense but whether I’ll do anything else in music is still undecided.

“I’m not actively Phil Collins any more – I’m somebody else now.”

Going Back is out on Monday and you can see Phil performing the songs live on an ITV1 special, One Night Only, next Saturday.

© DailyStar, by Kim Dawson

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