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Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Phil Collins is an Asshat

posted by on February 12 at 10:42 AM

asshat.jpgIn a previous post, I aimed disparaging words toward the band Genesis and how much money they made on their 2007 tour. Commenter, ‘Tiktok’ did not agree with me and said:

Regardless of one’s personal opinion of the music of Genesis, to ignore their decades of albums, big big eighties hits and the fact that they hadn’t toured in any form for quite some time and have strong Boomer appeal suggests that the crack being smoked is on the other side of the keyboard in this case.

I respond to Tiktok now:

Tiktok, Genesis are a sham, a slap in the face to the world of music, and the world at large. People paying whatever the ridiculous ticket costs were for their 2007 concerts, and the $11 glasses of white wine once inside, and the $35 t-shirt, well, they might as well cut open the hull of an oil tanker or elect Bush for a 3rd term. Phil Collins needs to stop. He’s done enough damage. He needs to stop polluting the world with cartoon Tarzan soundtracks and blitzkriegingly boring schlopp.

Speaking of the 80’s, what a travesty it was when Phil Collins tried to play with Led Zeppelin at Live Aid. It was so bad, Zeppelin refused to allow the footage to be included on the Live Aid DVD.

You see, Phil refused to rehearse for Zeppelin’s Live Aid set. He refused to rehearse with the greatest band of all time for arguably one of the largest concerts of all time. Then he fucks it up big time and blames the other drummer that played. In Line Out language, I believe that is called being an ‘asshat’ or a ‘douchebag’. About his Live Aid appearance, Phil said:

They wanted me there early to rehearse the old Zeppelin songs, but I couldn’t make it and I told them, “Listen, I know the songs. I know them backward and forward.” Well, that day the tempos were all over the place, and it may have seemed like it was my fault, because I was the one who hadn’t rehearsed, but I would pledge to my dying day that it wasn’t me. In fact, it was Tony Thompson who was racing a bit; he was a bit nervous, I guess. It came off because of the magic of being Zeppelin; but I remember in the middle of the thing, I actually thought, How do I get out of here?

So he wanted out of there. But here’s Phil in a backstage interview with Zep after the Live Aid set saying he’s the one who asked Plant if he could play with them in the first place.

Here’s footage of the set. Look the 7:50 mark. Yeah, Phil you didn’t need to rehearse, it’s the other guy’s fault, right. That’s a “Whole Lotta You Can’t Hang”:

Yes, Jimmy Page is drunk. But he’s Jimmy Page. He can do whatever the hell he wants. Phil Collins is not Jimmy Page, Phil Collins wrote “Invisible Touch”.

Talk about boomers and demographics all you want, but I stand by my original assertion: Everyone that went to those Genesis concerts in 2007 was on crack.

Tell me Tiktok, did you go? What did you pay for the tickets? How was the show?

Or if anyone is out there that went to one of these concerts, please, show the me the light. Tell me how the big big eighties hits were and that you were not on crack when you paid $14 for a 3 oz. glass of Riesling and then heard Phil sing, “She has a built in ability, to take everything she sees / And now it seems I’m falling, falling for her.”

RSS icon Comments


OMG, who cares? Writing this makes you more of a douchebag than even Phil Collins.

Posted by paul | February 12, 2008 10:59 AM

Paul, this is incredibly important. People are accusing each other of crack smoking.

Posted by trent moorman | February 12, 2008 11:06 AM

Well, I didn't go to any of the concerts, but I think Phil Collins and Genesis are great... and I'm not a baby boomer.

Posted by awstep4 | February 12, 2008 11:07 AM

AND, there is an actual picture of an asshat.

Posted by trent moorman | February 12, 2008 11:10 AM

in my opinion, he was among the most influential users of the tr-808 drum machine despite being a drummer. rick rubin, marvin gaye, arthur baker, phil collins.

you can't fuck with the drum programming on 'in the air tonight'.

Posted by cosby | February 12, 2008 11:44 AM

I'm not sure that's an actual ass hat. I believe that is an ass in a hat.

However, to prove you wrong Trent, I present to you probably one of the best songs in the world.

Posted by joey | February 12, 2008 11:45 AM

I will throw him props on the 808 stuff. "In the Air Tonight" is somewhat unfuckwithable.

"I'm gonna make it right, tonight, tonight, toniiight, aaaaahhhhhooooooo."

Posted by trent moorman | February 12, 2008 12:00 PM

Trent, please lay off the crack. It's not that big of a deal. You are preaching to the choir son.

Posted by Biggie J | February 12, 2008 12:38 PM

Phil Collins is GARBAGE. Absolute garbage. Yeah I'll give him "In the Air Tonight" but that doesn't change the fact he did "Groovy Kind of Love" Are you kidding me?! Worst Pop song ever. You Can't Hurry Love?! That was a Supreme's're a grown ass man! Stop singing lady songs. He sucks, he's an asshat. Thank you.

Posted by T.L. | February 12, 2008 1:18 PM

Outside the band's own success, Genesis yielded two of the most influential solo pop acts of the 1980's. Genesis, Peter Gabriel, and Phil Collins, while at he peak of their careers, each made music which was commercially and critically successful and which you will hear for the rest of your life. So what.

Posted by john | February 12, 2008 1:28 PM

collins' worst jam: 'against all odds'.

Posted by cosby | February 12, 2008 1:35 PM

No, I've never been to a Genesis show. Somewhere out there is a band that I'd pay $150 for a ticket...provided they were taking requests in my living room.

"...Genesis are a sham, a slap in the face to the world of music, and the world at large. People paying whatever the ridiculous ticket costs were for their 2007 concerts, and the $11 glasses of white wine once inside, and the $35 t-shirt, well, they might as well cut open the hull of an oil tanker or elect Bush for a 3rd term."

The costs of the ticket, the beverages or the t-shirt have no impact on the environment, or the American political landscape. But your attempt to establish a link does lend further credence to the theory that your writings are fueled by...crack. I'd say from your viewpoint the problem with the pricing for the Genesis concert was that it was far too cheap, since hordes of your parents' friends still attended.

It doesn't matter how many Disney soundtracks Phil Collins contributes to, or bad Zep reunions he shambles through, or whatever 80's trivia you're compelled to dig up--when it comes to explaining their ticket sales and prices. Your argument (and I use the term loosely) that Phil is an "asshat" and that Genesis is really uncool and so on may explain why hipsters don't obsess over 5.1 remixes of "The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway", but has nothing to do with the entirely unsurprising box-office business they did recently. Like I said, decades of records, a period of huge hits, a fan-base with money and leisure time and market forces add up to a no-brainer of tons of money made.

I'm sure that in twenty years, some kid will be rewriting your sentiments except in regards to Soundgarden or Radiohead or some other equally undeserving target of your muddle-headed fury.

Posted by Tiktok | February 12, 2008 1:50 PM

The signature sound of In the Air Tonight, heavily gated drums and a matching gated reverb with no cymbals, was really pioneered on Peter Gabriel's third album, which Collins drummed on. The song Intruder features a nearly identical drum track.

In fact, Collins made an entire career out of distilling the complex, off-putting experiments of his bandmates' prog-rock ventures into digestible pop singles.

In his day Collins' drum chops were unimpeachable, but his career arc is a case study in dumbing down ideas to reach a wider audience. I can't actually fault him for wanting to get paid, but I sure as hell ain't gonna listen to Against All Odds if I don't have to.

Posted by flamingbanjo | February 12, 2008 1:54 PM

for all peeps who weren't BORN when Live Aid happened, here's the dilly-o.

phil flew from london to philly on the concord the day of live aid, after playing at the london show. he may have been a wee bit jet lagged and didn't have time to rehearse. anyway, it wasn't that bad a set. the audience went apeshit.

Posted by scary tyler moore | February 12, 2008 3:45 PM

um, okay, am I the only one who actually watched the video you posted? Plant sounds like shit, Page is well beyond drunk and flailing, and Jones is, well... inaudible. Collins sounds like the only one who's playing in time. Don't get me wrong, I loves me some Zeppelin, and I hates me some "Against All Odds", but clearly, Phil's not to blame THIS time.

Posted by johann | February 12, 2008 4:01 PM

Tiktok, first of all no one will EVER, EVER write about Radiohead and Soundgarden the way people write about Genesis today. Right there you prove your on crack.

And I think it was you, Tiktok, who brought up the 80's first, talking about "big big 80's hits". Then you fault Trent for bringing up the 80's?

I agree with Trent, everyone who saw Genesis in 2007 smoked crack.

Posted by BenS | February 12, 2008 4:04 PM

Scary Tyler,

You don't think Phil could have changed his schedule around to fit in a rehearsal to play with Led Zeppelin at a show like that Live Aid concert? It's a joke he didn't rehearse. Especially in light of the fact that he's the one that asked them if he could sit in.

I don't care how big Phil Collins was at the time. It's Led fucking Zeppelin and it's Live Aid, you find a way to fit a rehearsal in.

Posted by BenS | February 12, 2008 4:08 PM

what evar. phil collins will always be the butt of hipster jokes, especially those who consider zep's sloppy, uninspired and only occasionally technically interesting noise the product of the best band of all time. maybe you're just bitter that virtually nothing the living former members of zep produced during the 80s was either interesting, good music, or commercially successful. Wheras Genesis, two of its then-current members, and one of its former members all made music people wanted to buy well into the 90s. I'd have paid the money and gone to the concerts if I could have made it, genesis puts on a hell of a show.

Posted by kentankerous | February 12, 2008 4:33 PM

@5 & 7 - The drum machine on "In The Air Tonight" is a Roland CR-78, not a TR-808.

You two seem to know about as much regarding drum machines as Mr. Moorman does about.....well, any and everything, from the sound of it.

Posted by Wowza | February 12, 2008 4:42 PM

@9 - Based on the wording of your post, I'm going to go out on a limb and guess you're not aware of the fact that "Groovy Kind Of Love" was actually written by by Carole Bayer Sager, and a 60's hit for the Mindbenders.

The funniest thing about oh-so-cool "indie" types like you and Mr. Moorman who go on their little "anit-establushment" foot-stompings is that you're too stupid to just say "I don't like this", and leave it at that. Instead, you keep dribbling out your feeble, twisted little mewls, esposing the fact that you're not qualified to discuss much to begin with.

Asshats, indeed.

Posted by Wowza | February 12, 2008 4:48 PM

Oh, sorry - that WAS you, wasn't it, Mr. Moorman, giving him "props" for his "808" work.

Missed it the first time - but it sort of proves the point of my second post (apologies for the typos in there.)

Posted by Wowza | February 12, 2008 4:51 PM

sorry, wowza, neither of us said it was an 808 on 'in the air tonight'. all i said was he was one of the first major musicians to use an 808 and the drum programming on 'in the air tonight' was solid. i didn't say that the 808 programming on 'in the air tonight' was good.

Posted by cosby | February 12, 2008 4:54 PM

Well, Cosboob, you're still wrong in any case. He was in no way "one of the first major musicians" to use the 808. "One More Night" would be his most noticeable use of it - which was 1984. About three of four years after many, many people had already been using it quite extensively. (Although I wil give you "Man On The Corner" from Abacab in '81.) The CR-78, Movement, and TR-909 were machines he utilized to a much greater degree. The 808 was pretty "old school" already by the time Rubin came along, for that matter. The Arthur Baker comment is about the only thing you got right.

Don't argue drum machines - or Phil Collins - with me, my son. You will lose. Badly.

Posted by Wowza | February 12, 2008 5:07 PM

Wowza, before you call someone stupid and feeble, try to check your spelling. We all spell things wrong from time to time, but when you have "anit-establushment" in your attempted cut down, it greatly reduces your impact.

Oh, and you might try laying off the douche sauce.

Tell us, Mighty Wowza, who are the many many major musicians to use the 808 before Collins. I'm curious.

I love 808 and 909's. Absolutely. Did I say I didn't?

I likes me some Can and Shuggie Otis for early drum machine users. But I can't tell you the exact type and spec and model number, so I'm sure will jump down my throat.

There's a guy I have been talking with and studying named Dave Holden who is from right here in Seattle. His father brought a lot of jazz to the NW from Chicago. Dave toured with James Brown on the Chitlin Circuit in '60 and '61. He's got amazing stories of touring with JB and what it was like as a black man touring the south during that time. He's pretty much my hero.

He also messed with drum machines and modified a keyboard similar to that of the keytar back in the early to mid 70's. Dude was way ahead of his time.

Posted by trent moorman | February 12, 2008 6:22 PM

The drum machine on "In The Air Tonight" is a Roland TR-505. The same sounds may be on other machines.

Posted by Scott Kennedy | February 12, 2008 6:33 PM


"Big, big 80's hits" are completely relevant when explaining Genesis' huge concert gross on the last tour. The aesthetic appeal of said hits to today's 20-somethings has none. Mr. Moorman's spluttering over how such an uncool band could make so much money today suggests a complete and willful ignorance of the trend in concert grosses for the last twenty years: Classic Rock and Boomer music is Major Bank.

No band's hip-factor is unassailable over time. There was a time when Zeppelin were laughably dated, and now they're an institution. Radiohead and Soundgarden will be regarded as overrated crap by some future writer who's in elementary school right now, just because they're so highly regarded by earlier generations.

Posted by Tiktok | February 12, 2008 6:37 PM

For what it's worth, Genesis weren't that bad until the eighties, and Zeppelin kind of has been destroying their reputation since the late seventies as well. Floyd are the only true masters.

Posted by left coast | February 12, 2008 6:45 PM

Isn't it supposed to be ass-shat?

Posted by left coast | February 12, 2008 6:45 PM

Tiktok! Have you ever heard of sarcasm?

You are right, you can't argue with 57 Million.

Genesis aren't my thing, I had some fun with it. Spluttering, hell yeah. Genesis did some of that too in my opinion. (And made millions.)

When was Zeppelin ever outdated?

And thank you for thinking I'm a hipster.

Posted by trent moorman | February 12, 2008 6:51 PM

Wowza - looks like you don't know your drum machines as well as you think you do.

Posted by TR-505 | February 12, 2008 7:12 PM

I wanna hear Wowza play. I'm not being snarky. I just want to hear what someone who get so vehemently defensive about Phil Collins and drum machine history has to offer.

Posted by Paulus | February 12, 2008 7:13 PM

For Trent : "indie hipster" checklist :

1. Bash Phil Collins - check
2. Mention Can and Shuggie Otis - check
3. Completely start to drift from original point of post - which was the devastatingly penetrating and "edgy" declaration of "I don't like Phil Collins and Genesis".

I would never jump down someone's throat for not knowing the model number of a drum machine. Nor would I jump down someone's throat for having an opinion. Though for trying to pass oneself off as some kind of "writer", I might certainly point and laugh.

Look! Tee hee.

By the way - go track down a copy of Robin Gibb's "Saved By The Bell" for your collection. That'll make you look cool as hell at the next dinner party you host. And I know that means the world to you.

For Scott and TR-505 : "In The Air Tonight" was recorded in 1980 (possibly demoed as early as '79.) The TR-505 was introduced in 1986. So, uh, yeah - my ignorant self stands "corrected" on that one, I suppose...

And Paulus - if there was supposed to be some cogent point there - please try again. Your call did not go through.

Just checked for spelling errors. Hope I didn't miss one. I would so hate to look stupid in this fine company...

Posted by Wowza | February 12, 2008 7:27 PM

Apparently the call did go through, you just chose to talk into the speaker and listen to the microphone.

I wasn't trying to make any sort of point. It was an honest request. Your in-depth knowledge of arcane drum machinery leads me to believe you are drummer, or at least a musician of some sort. That coupled with your hostile defense of Phil Collins piqued my curiosity as to what sort of music you might make.

I'm genuinely curious. That is all.

You can check out some of my shit here.

(bonus points if you can name the drum machine used on my version of "Shake it Up")

Posted by Paulus | February 12, 2008 7:54 PM


you lil hipster boys are so CUTE when you're mad (chucks Bens's cheek)!

no honey, there was no time for a rehearsal. live aid was thrown together rather quickly. and so what? you're getting yer balls in a knot over NOTHING.

Posted by scary tyler moore | February 12, 2008 8:04 PM

Wowza, 'Douchebag Checklist':

- Tell people you know a drum machine type, but not really know it - check

- Think it is 'indie hipster' to like Can and Shuggie Otis - check

- Jump down people's throats, then say you would never jump down someone's throat - check

- Get pissed about gear and Phil Collins - check

- Sound like an utter and complete asshole - check

Posted by pradalover | February 12, 2008 8:18 PM

@33 - Or alternatively - especially in light of the, uh, "technology" used on your recordings - you're calling from a phone made by Hasbro.

I would not consider myself a "musician" per se, though I am capable of being such on occasion. My knowledge of things mainly comes from being an avid (and attentive) fan, listener and seeker of information. I also have this really weird, quaint, outdated habit of preferring to know something (and possibly to actually have something of worth to say) about a topic before I talk about it.

I'm also not coming to the "hostile defense" of Phil Collins. If Trent "I Would Suck Jimmy Page's Drunk Cock" Moorman would like to bash away at him, bully for him. I would term it more as annoyed head shake at people who can't quite grasp the concept of that little habit of mine I just mentioned.

And I'm sorry I can't identify your drum machine, but as I also mentioned above, the quality is of such a type that I find it hard to distinguish much of anything (except perhaps a wheezy Magnus chord organ, or some relative of same.) That Johnston-esque lo-fi bag is not one I partake in. Like, I'm sorry.

Posted by Wowza | February 12, 2008 8:24 PM

Pradalover : first of all....

Wait a minute.


Ummm - never mind. Barely seems worth it.

Posted by Wowza | February 12, 2008 8:27 PM

wow ,
Has the mighty Wowza finally been silenced

Posted by pradalover | February 12, 2008 8:38 PM

When confronted by profound levels of intelligence such as yours, PL - what can I say? You found my weak spot.

Posted by Wowza | February 12, 2008 8:45 PM

Score! I have performed with a Hasbro toy phone before. You do know your shit.

Also, nailed the Magnus.

There are other recordings of varying fidelity on the page. You might enjoy some of them.

Posted by Paulus | February 12, 2008 8:47 PM

Plus Wowza, you gotta admit Collins fucked up Whole Lotta Love pretty bad. Good thing he had a backup bonham.

Posted by Paulus | February 12, 2008 8:54 PM

Wowza, Please, don't go. Please, keep dishing out your profound establushment. Don't leave me here at this spluttering dinner party alone with my Shuggie Otis and my 808, I mean, TR-505. I think I'm falling, I'm falling for you.

Posted by trent moorman | February 12, 2008 9:06 PM

@40 - "You do know your shit."

Yes, well - I thought I'd made this clear from the outset.

@41 - Zeppelin means very little to me to begin with, so I don't really know (or care). But it was also a one-off live gig. Shit happens. Daltrey blew the entire middle eight of "Won't Get Fooled Again" that day, but it was still great. Because he's Roger Daltrey (if I may invoke the Moorman principle here.)

@42 - Listen - you know I love you. But I just cant take this.

Oh, and also - if you ever want to hear the finest example of a drummer who combined an 808 with real kit playing (and who was doing it, spectacularly, in 1981) - the man you want is Yukihiro Takahashi.

You're welcome.

Posted by Wowza | February 12, 2008 9:43 PM

Wow, this thread recalls one of those "Dozens"-style tracks by Schoolly D or the Pharcyde. You know, "Ya mama's got a peg leg with a kickstand," et al. I agree with @13. Collins did some impressive session work in the early days. I mean, he appears on several Eno albums, including Another Green World. Collins, Robert Wyatt, and Jaki Leibezeit were all playing similar gigs for awhile there. Except for his production on Frida's "I Know There's Something's Going On," he lost me in the 1980s, but the '70s are worth a second look. Also, Mary Harron gets a lot of mileage out of the execrable "Sussudio" in American Psycho.

Posted by Kathy Fennessy | February 12, 2008 10:22 PM

@44 - "Collins, Robert Wyatt, and Jaki Leibezeit (sic) were all playing similar gigs for awhile there."

Explain this sentence.

Posted by Wowza | February 12, 2008 11:23 PM

granted, phil shoulda rehearsed. but you, trent, should pick a less-easy target. making fun of phil collins (*yawn*). such typical snotty indie muso bullshit to rip on 80s pop. well-plowed ground already, methinks.

Posted by Art Rhiet | February 13, 2008 11:44 AM

They all played with Eno--and on some of the same albums, i.e. Collins and Wyatt both appear on Taking Tiger Mountain, while Collins and Liebezeit both appear on Before and After Science. Was he also hanging out with other Eno/Wyatt collaborators, like Phil Manzanera and Fred Frith? Maybe, maybe not. And I apologize for misspelling Jaki's name; the on-line sources I checked steered me wrong. I should've gone straight to my record collection.

Posted by Kathy Fennessy | February 13, 2008 12:28 PM

Yes - I was aware of all that. "Similar gigs" just seemed a rather odd way of putting it.

Another notable LP PC was on in that period was Fripp's Exposure.

And Wyatt is on Before And After Science, too. "Shirley Williams" is him.

Posted by Wowza | February 13, 2008 12:37 PM

Remember: You can smoke crack; and you can blow smoke out of your ass. But you can't smoke ass crack.

Posted by Big Bro | February 13, 2008 4:06 PM

@49 - Jimmy Page can. He can do whatever the hell he wants.

Posted by Little Bro | February 13, 2008 4:18 PM

@48 I knew I wasn't telling you anything you didn't already know, but you asked. I reserve the right to use "odd" phrasing on occasion. My original draft read: "similar sorts of gigs." (Yes! A rough draft of a blog post--how pathetic can you get?) For the record, my favorite Phil is Philip Paris Lynott.

Posted by Kathy Fennessy | February 13, 2008 4:29 PM

@ 51 - "Attack...attack...attack...attack...attack...attack...attack...that's what we lack..."

Posted by Wowza | February 13, 2008 4:58 PM

Weird to think that song ("Yellow Pearl") ended up as the theme to Top of the Pops. Personally, I prefer "Talk in '79" and "Ode to a Black Man"--the Dirtbombs do an incredible version of the latter. Time for a Lynott thread!

Posted by Kathy Fennessy | February 13, 2008 8:06 PM

Why is it weird? It has "heroic theme" written all over it. (Or did once Midge and Billy pumped it up from the original, at least.)

Posted by Wowza | February 13, 2008 9:25 PM

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