Not Dead Yet: The Memoir

Book review by Deane Barker tags: music, biography

My brother gave this to me as a gift. I had forgotten how much exposure I had to Phil Collins as a teenager. Looking back, he was seemingly everywhere.

Turns out, I missed most of his career in the first incantation of Genesis (with Peter Gabriel). I only stumbled on the scene when Genesis was a threesome, and Collins was doing some solo work. There’s a lot that I never picked up on.

The book is idiosyncratic. He writes oddly, but it’s never boring. Unfortunately, Collins has had a tough go of the last decade. He divorced for the third time (then reconciled), and he’s had non-stop health problems. YouTube reveals that he performs sitting down now, as he can’t stand for long stretches. The current Collins is a shadow of what he used to be.

Still, the book is a good look at his rise from English kid to a friend of the Royal Family and globe-trotting superstar. It caused me to spend some time reminiscing in YouTube about his music, and it was just amazing how prolific his music was during my life. He was, for better or worse, a big part of the soundtrack of my teens.

Book Info

Phil Collins

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