Ten Things You Might Not Know About Phil Collins!

The other day, a friend and I were having our usual playfully heated musical discussion when the subject of Phil Collins came up.  I was just about to rave about the "studio" side of Three Sides Live when a stranger at the next table entered the conversation.

"Fuck that guy.  He broke up with his first wife via fax machine!"

Never mind the vast catalog of work he's amassed as a member of Genesis and as a solo artist, the one thing Phil Collins will be remembered for is divorcing his wife via fax machine.

If only it were true.

So, in hopes of separating Phil Collins "Fact" from "Folklore", we have compiled a comprehensive list of TEN things about Phil Collins that are 100% true.

1. Collins has contemplated suicide.  (SOURCE)

"I wouldn't blow my head off," he says. "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."

2. He is no longer able to play drums, but has started writing songs again. (SOURCE)

Despite a chronic neck injury that makes playing drums (not to mention wiping his bum) near impossible, "I’ve got some lyrical ideas on paper that are good. I’ve started to thrash around at the piano. A lot of it is hit and miss," he said. "All you need is something to hang an idea on and you’re off."

3. Collins is a published historian specializing in artifacts from The Alamo. (SOURCE)

His book, "The Alamo And Beyond", not only shares his private collection of Alamo artifacts with stunning photographs, but also details his journey to Texas to oversee a large-scale dig to unearth even more.   His prize possession?  He owns one of Davey Crockett's rifles.

4. "I Know There's Something Going On" by Frida?  He produced it.

I've yet to meet the person who doesn't like this song, what with the incredibly singular Collins drum riff intro and Frida's vocals, which cut through everything like an Antarctic ice barge.  The best part, for us anyway, are Phil's backing vocals, which add a very "In The Air Tonight" quality to an otherwise mildly interesting Russ Ballard tune.

5. Adam Ant's second solo album, Strip?  Phil DIDN'T produce it.

Collins did, however, produce the only two good songs on it: "Puss 'n' Boots" and the title cut.  Since both songs ended up being released as the only singles in the U.S., many folks credit Collins for producing the entire album, when that dishonor belongs solely to Richard James Burgess (Spandau Ballet, Kim Wilde, New Edition, sigh).   Trivia: Frida is the spoken female voice on the song "Strip".

6. He could have been a Hollywood leading man.

Anyone who saw him in "Buster" know what I'm talking about.  Collins is every bit the screen presence that is Bob Hoskins, but with a charisma that jumps off the screen and allows him to pull off the part as a romantic lead.  If you haven't seen the film, you owe it to yourself to NetFlix it post haste.  It's also available on YouTube for free, too, if you can stand watching with the picture horizontally flipped.  Didn't bother me at all, I was watching it on my coke mirror.  I kid.

7. Collins has a major MAN-CRUSH on former Genesis bandmate Peter Gabriel. (SOURCE)

If you've read anything on Phil Collins in the last 20 years, then you're probably familiar with Collins' emphatic love and respect for the man he replaced in Genesis.  Over the years, he has all but begged to play on a Peter Gabriel session while also letting it be known that the door to a Genesis reunion is always open.  Even as late as last week, he told a German newspaper that he was open to "playing some shows again, even with Genesis."

8. The man has some serious jazz chops.  And one hell of a beard.

Fast forward to the 3:00 mark to bypass the interview and overly ambitious song intro.

9. He didn't actually divorce his first wife via fax, as often reported.

In truth, he and his first wife were simply communicating via fax while attempting to come to terms in their divorce settlement.  The smarmy British press of the time found out and reported "Collins Divorces Wife By Fax" and the rest, as they say, is history.

10. Actress Lily Collins is his daughter.

Yep, the actress best-known for roles in "The Blind Side", Abduction", "Mirror Mirror", and last year's "The Mortal Instruments: City Of Bones" is Phil's daughter by his first wife.

HONORABLE MENTION:  This Is Your Life, Phil Collins!

A segment from Phil's "roasting" on "This Is Your Life.  Fast forward to 8:00 to see the part where Peter Gabriel congratulates Phil via satellite from Montreal.

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