Phil's Letter...

Phil's Letter...Hi Everybody,

It has been suggested by the Webmaster that I try to do some sort of regular contribution to the site. Something I'm willing to have a go at, until work or Fatherhood prevents me from being as regular as I should be.

The basis of these interjections by myself will be based on a variety of impulses. There'll be "NEWS" when there IS. There'll also  be a mishmash of improvised gut reactions/answers/feedback to a variety of things that have caught my eye whilst skimming through the categories of the main pages of my site and the Genesis site.

So off we go with the mishmash......

Some people have asked about my eldest son Simon, and his Website. He is currently finishing his 2nd CD and will be distributing it through his Website as he is without a Record Company at present, having asked to leave Warner's Germany. He will eventually have a link on my Website and on the Genesis Website if they are agreeable. So you should be able to access his CD through here or his own.

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COVERS.... contrary to popular belief, I don't have to give permission if someone wants to cover a song of mine. If they want to CHANGE the lyrics, as in the numerous Rap versions of "In the Air", where I have so far not had a problem with changes, all of them  being positive and not negative gestures lyrically. I never knew about Postal Service covering "Against All Odds" until a journalist told me !!! Likewise "in the Air" by NonPoint.....so the version of "Easy Lover" out there is as much of a surprise to me as it is to you. I'm sure my version of "You Can't Hurry Love" was a surprise to Holland, Dozier and Holland et al.

EVERYDAY... there are some very astute people out there. I read the very impressing unravelling of that song by a few of you. Indeed the main riff, when I wrote it, had such a strong James Taylor feel, that I called it JT so I wouldn't forget it. Plus his version of Buddy Holly's "Everyday" was so great that my harmonies were influenced by those on his song. The Hornsby influence on the piano intro was well spotted too, although my having worked with Bruce on Harbour Lights did not influence the lyric on "We Fly So Close", but his fantastic piano playing did. Throw in a bit of John Martyn and that's the songs influences.

GENESIS HAWAII... had a story about a friend of hers saying I'd badmouthed her band or something ?? This has no basis of truth. The  whole story about "the studio thing at Disneyland and badmouthing the drummer..etc" Just not true. Far too sensitive to other peoples feelings I'm afraid !! You have no idea just HOW many times I've supposed to have been in this Club or that Restaurant with this
person or that.....and each time it's untrue.

A famous case was when I played in 1985 in Oakland, and 2 ladies, a Mother and Daughter, found Mal Craggs our tour manager at the time, and asked for me. They said they'd met me in Mexico and that I'd bought them drinks and escorted them back to their room and had a wild affair with both of them. I'd apparently said that next time I was in their area they should look me up...and here they were!!! At that time I'd NEVER been to Mexico at all....ever.....so I met these ladies and said Hi and explained.

Now there was a time when a certain Welshman who bore a certain resemblance to me, and often came to my shows, dressed like me, and riding in a Limo...(wondering why people noticed him !!!)....this time as he arrived in the backstage area ( yes he'd gotten passed  the guards as me ) The ladies shouted "that's him !!! "......and we had words about it.......if only life were like that all the time. However it's an uneasy feeling that my sexual performance is possibly being judged by some bloke from Wales !!

LOUIS SATTERFIELD.....I learned via the site that Lui Lui had died, very sad. He was a dear friend for many years, in spite of trying to  sue me later in our relationship. ( another time for that story ) he was a founding member of Earth Wind and Fire and will be sadly missed.

ADMIRATION....to WhipsandChains for holding out against adversity in liking my music....thanks.

CLEAR CHANNEL..... I have to say that I mourn Local Promoters who have had to sell out to Clear Channel. In certain cities we stood by our old Promoters....Chicago, New York, Cleveland and a few others, but like the passing of the small record stores, it seems the way of progress. I don't know whether my tour in the US and Canada was promoted competently, I leave that to my manager, but the gigs sold very very well, except the Nose Bleed tickets in most places, and I can understand this. An evening out for a family or acouple, including baby sitters, gas, food, a T shirt...is staggering, and to sit up top with a lousy view is too much. At some shows I had Danny go out into the car park and give tickets away to people who looked like real fans but had lousy seats.....Plus so many key seats are now "luxury boxes" in these new venues, which I don't like as you can see some people come to the window to hear the songs they like then disappear !!!....it's their choice, but it's a bit disconcerting.

THE WAY YOU LOOK TONIGHT....now this SHOULD be the version from Montreux in 1998, but you've seen my track record is not 100% with this stuff so....!!!! Also Daryl just emailed me 'cos his Production credit was left off....so more people to shoot I guess, though inevitably the buck stops here.

IRELAND AND SCOTLAND.....it has bothered me that we didn't play any shows there. I don't know if this can be rectified this time round. Perhaps if I do something special in the future, we can include something. Sorry guys.

PITTSBURG...have to answer you on this too, though I know it doesn't do you any good now. This show was cancelled, basically due to lack of interest. Strange because we/I always did pretty good there from the Alpine Arena days onwards. Some tickets had been sold but I was just told that it was off for those reasons and that was that. I felt very bad for those who did have them, and reading the post from the lady with her South African husband, only made me feel worse. Can't change the past, all I can say is a big Sorry.

REST OF THE WORLD....this has been covered in my last post, and it will happen if all things go well domestically !!!

PARADISE PORN...know nothing about this.....or the other Advert in Italy using the same song.

SWEDE......only caught some of this lengthy back and forth. However it seems that Swede is under the impression that Anthony Phillips was involved in the writing of "The Musical Box" and "Fountain of Salmacis". Not so. The "Box" was written at the Maltings in Farnham when I joined the band, and the only layover from previous writing was the rhythm under the keyboard solo, which I believe was influenced by "The Weaver" by Family. "Salmacis" was entirely conceived at Tony Stratton-Smiths house in Crowborough at the sessions of writing for Nursery Cryme that had started at the Maltings.

PC BACKGROUND MUSIC....good idea and I'll take it up with Webmaster. The only thing that might prevent it could be the technical aspect. As to what IS the music, if it happens you'll have to leave it to my impeccable taste I guess !!

PHILDAS.....hey, lighten up with the lipstick thing on Love Songs !!! Think of it as some tart blotting her lipstick on her way out the door if it's too Romantic an idea for you. Sealed with a loving kiss also works.....either way it's quite appropriate.

TURN IT ON AGAIN THE BOOK.....beware, I know nothing of this. So it's probably a rehash of truths/semi-truths and untruths mixed with wild speculation !!! I will, one day, write my own book but don't hold your breath !! The Ray Coleman book was a bit of a disappointment to me. He came to me asking me to get involved or he'd do it on his own. I said I'd help as at least I could control somewhat any bits that would be wrong. It turned out to be one mistake after another. Of course I didn't know the poor man was dying of Cancer. I'd always liked Ray a lot from his Melody Maker days and I trusted him...but something was wrong here and I didn't know. Eventually he died and his wife finished the book. Altogether an unfortunate story. That's why I'll do it myself one day.

Also there is a DVD of the SINGLES COLLECTION coming out, this is not authorised either, though I'm waiting on Tony Smith to dosome
research on it.

TOO MUCH STUFF....it does seem there is an abundance of stuff coming out in the next few weeks and I sympathise with the financial aspect of it for you guys. I suggest buy 1 now and the rest later....mine is VERY good !!! Seriously though, I'm not particularly happy  about "competing" with myself in Genesis, but it seems that's the way it is and you'll have to decide which one to go for.

SOLO CAREER.... This was mentioned in a post, possibly from an English fan, that my solo career was on the wane and that's why I should take up again with my 2 buddies. Well, apart from speaking the bloody obvious, (of course my solo career is on the wane compared with 20 years ago) my mind could not work like that. From a POP selling standpoint my finest years are behind me for a variety of reasons, from a personal creative standpoint, I'm still at a high. However the things I'm doing are not up front and in your face anymore. But from my POV they are still creative things. More on this when I touch on Disney and my work later.....

It was strange that in England, my "farewell" gigs provoked no media attention AT ALL.....and I mean AT ALL !!! Whereas in France, Holland and Germany, things are still quite hot. Anyway, it's of no great importance in the great scheme of things.....

RAY WILSON....lovely guy, he sends me bits and pieces of he's doing all the time. I met him at a couple of my shows at Earls Court in  97, where he came with Nir....and he was great, lovely bloke. I mention this just for the record.

PAUL WHITEHEAD.....caught up with him a couple of years back with Armando Gallo in LA, but regarding some posts attaching importance to his thoughts on "who was crucial and creative" to this or that musically, Paul was NEVER in a studio or rehearsal room with us. He only ever came when he was presenting something to us. Just to clear up something that was mentioned in a couple of posts..(possibly the Swede issue ??)

CSM76.....mentioned that we (T,M and me ) were too old to change. This was in reply to the 3 piece Genesis question, and the results we'd come up with if we did "do it again". Speaking personally, my music has continued to change from album to album, project to project, my net has widened far more than most artists in fact. Of course I may have left a few behind in my choices of what I do, but that's not my deciding factor. Again Disney gets a bad rap for this a lot of the time and I'll have to address the issue. If I told you that Tony Banks would have LOVED to have done a Disney project, as his love of animation is even greater than mine, most of you would be surprised.

My take on this is as follows.... Metaphorically, if you imagine a career to be like fishing....you sit there and sometimes you catch  something you've never caught before. Some people only like to keep or eat what they know, so they throw back what they've just caught, and never find out what it would have tasted like. They just keep eating the same old fish. Now, having tasted it , you may not like it enough to taste it again, but you have learned from it. Experimented a bit. Widened your "net".

With actors for example, they are allowed to change style completely with every film. Robert Deniro for example....in Cape Fear he's a chiselled tattooed monster...in Midnight Run or Meet the Parents, he is a great comedian...nobody's surprised he changes completely, but in music, people like you to stay where they can find you..... I could go on, but I hope you get my point, which even if you still don't like the Disney stuff (for example),you can at least understand why I try different things.

It's curiosity really, and under the big umbrella of music there's a lot of things to try.....Opera, Broadway, Jazz etc. To be a COMPLETE songwriter you have to embrace ALL kinds of music and not be afraid of the odd failure. Also this crossing over and back DOES NOT pollute other areas of what I do. Tarzan and Bro' Bear didn't musically affect me adversely at all. It's all experience you can use at a later date if you need it. It's not the money, it's not for my kids, not for a new audience either...it's to LEARN. Sorry if this is coming off like a sermon, I didn't mean it that way......

LANGUAGES....this came up somewhere that someone had heard a Tarzan song in another language and that it sounded like me....well it was me. I did all the songs in French, Italian, German and Spanish....likewise Brother Bear. (even 1 in Japanese) I wasn't trying to be clever and it wasn't that hard. Most of you know that in other countries I usually have a go at the language, and this was similar. Phonetic writing and endless "dropping in" to fix it !!!

So......here endeth the lesson !!! I really hope you take all this as intended. It's worthwhile you knowing WHY I do different stuff.  Some of you DO know, some of you DON'T, now there's no excuses !!

Much love till the next time....

Phil x

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