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The story of when Phil Collins confronted a Genesis critic

Phil Collins


The story of when Phil Collins confronted a Genesis critic

It doesn’t matter who you are and what you do, there will always be someone to criticize your work, that’s just how people are. When it comes to music that is even a bigger thing to deal with, since in the end it is all a matter of taste, which is really a subjective thing. So if you are a musician, there will be a lot of people that might like or hate you. That happened with Phil Collins and Genesis, who were criticized not only by many music fans but also by music critics.


The singer and drummer had some difficulty dealing with those critics back then and really got mad when they described things that really didn’t happen at their concerts. Once a music critic listed songs Collins didn’t play and mentioned people who didn’t play that night, so that made Collins phone him up and confront him.

The story of when Phil Collins confronted a Genesis critic

He recalled that in an interview with Radio back in 2016, noting that it was important to do that because he was giving people the wrong information about what happened that night. Because the people who were there in the concert knew he was mentioning things that didn’t happen but the other thousands of people who were reading the newspaper would get the wrong idea with what was reported.

“I’m much better nowadays. I used to phone people up. Or write a letter. I wrote a letter to a guy that did a really scathing article on me in San Francisco. And in Indianapolis, I remember we did a Genesis show. Just before we left town the paper was put under my door. I read it, and I saw the review. It listed songs that we didn’t play, and it listed people in the band that weren’t there.”

“And I rang the guy up. And I said, ‘Can I speak to so-and-so?’ I said, ‘It’s Phil Collins,’ and he said, ‘What, really? The Phil Collins?’ I said, ‘Yeah, listen. I just read your review. You’re not very good at this, are you?’ And I laid into him, ’cause 15,000 people were there, but 250,000 people that buy the newspaper weren’t there.”

He continued:

“They think (the show was) crap. ‘Oh, good thing we saved our money, ’cause the gig was crap.’ And that’s what I always think. It’s not like it’s ever gotten to me personally, it’s just sending out a message that this was rubbish. And so I kinda used to get much more bothered about it. Now I know… I know what’s gonna happen; I know what they’re gonna say. So I don’t get surprised by it anymore,” Phil Collins said.

He is one of the few artists who were able to sell more than 100 million records worldwide both as a member of a band (Genesis) and as a solo act. Only Paul McCartney and Michael Jackson also were able to do such a thing.

Collins joined Genesis in 1970 and in 1975 after Peter Gabriel decided to leave he also became the band’s vocalist. In the following years the group changed their sound and made it more commercial. Something that was crucial to make them one of the best-selling bands of all time. Collins also started his successful solo career in 1981 with the release of the debut album “Face Value” (1981).

He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a member of Genesis in 2010. However, he still wasn’t inducted as a solo artist.

I'm a Brazilian journalist who always loved Classic Rock and Heavy Metal music. That passion inspired me to create Rock and Roll Garage over 6 years ago. Music has always been a part of my life, helping me through tough times and being a support to celebrate the good ones. When I became a journalist, I knew I wanted to write about my passions. After graduating in journalism from the Pontifical Catholic University of Minas Gerais, I pursued a postgraduate degree in digital communication at the same institution. The studies and experience in the field helped me improve the website and always bring the best of classic rock to the world! MTB: 0021377/MG

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