I wish Phil Collins would get out of my hair tonight
But although I am normally loathe to denigrate a fellow countryman, I am at a loss to understand America’s continued obsession with Phil Collins.
On a dull day driving through the strip malls of suburbia there are few sounds more depressing than hearing Collins droning out You Can’t Hurry Love or Sussudio. It’s enough to make you take up residence in Lowe’s as it has all the excitement of a day out shopping for bathroom fixtures.
I assume Collins’ popularity in America is down to the fact he’s so boringly mainstream which makes me want to find out if there’s anything exciting about this guy.
Certainly not his name. Rather than having an exotic or embarrassing real name, it turns out Phil Collins is short for Philip David Charles Collins. And he doesn’t seem to be related to the Irish freedom fighter/terrorist Michael Collins.
Collins was actually born in the suburbs, in Chiswick, London, where the loudest thing going on is the twitching of net curtains. There is little evidence of teenage rebellion or drug abuse.
And while Collins played a criminal in the movie Buster, he wasn’t a very bad one.
It probably says much about Collins that he moved a few years ago to Switzerland, a nation famous for cuckoo clocks, chocolate and banking institutions, but not its untamed rockers.
The rumor that Collins said he would quit England if a Labour government raised the income rate, also added to his reputation as part of the conservative establishment. He’s since said he actually emigrated to Switzerland in 1994 because of a woman who lived there.
Still it was enough to lead Noel Gallagher from Oasis to quip before the 2005 election: “Vote Labour. If you don't and the Tories get in, Phil is threatening to come back.”
Apparently Collins has been married three times but it doesn’t make him a lot more interesting. The report that all three left him because they were forced to listen to A Groovy Kind of Love and decided it wasn’t, is entirely fictitious.
I just wish my local radio station would stop thinking Phil Collins still is, or ever was, groovy.