Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Phil Collins Might Not Be Satan

I wanted to wallow, big time, deeply, and with the least amount of perspective possible.
-- Starlee Kine

I just listened to the most recent podcast from This American Life. It had a story that, in addition to having the best quote about breakups, ever, in the entire history of breakups, contained a bit where the narrator sort of serendipitously got a chance to talk to Phil Collins about how to write a breakup song.

While I listened, I realized something. While Phil Collins does write mediocre, treacley pop music, he probably isn't a horrible guy; he's just not Peter Gabriel. If he hadn't gotten a divorce at just the wrong time, he'd probably be a jazz drummer somewhere getting free drinks from aging Genesis fans, and we'd all have been spared decades of cheese. I blame his ex-wife.

The weird thing is, I actually think I dislike him less now. Don't get me wrong, his music still sucks, but I enjoyed the fact that he looks down upon the music of Michael Bolton, and I liked the way he said "ugh, nice..." in a sort of exasperated way when he heard about a jerky thing her boyfriend had done. He was a strangely realistic simulacrum of a human being when he was talking to a stranger on the phone. I'm willing to entertain the possibility that he is not actually evil.


BeckEye said...

The devil can't write a love song.

vikkitikkitavi said...

I had the exact same reaction when I heard that story last weekend. Phil Collins is not the devil. He merely performed the devil's work.

A Ghost's Story said...

really? I never thought PC wrote bad music. Not my favourite, mind, I don't own his albums, but I always turn up "in the air 2-nite" when it comes on.

"treachly"... I thought treachle was really salty? Is the adjective to describe saccarine or salt?

Writeprocrastinator said...

Don't be fooled. He might not be Satan, but he certainly is a demon. He owes me big time for every crappy song he's inflicted on my ears after "Abacab" and he won't be able to make that up within his next ten lives.

deadspot said...

Could he write any other kind, Becks? Could he?

Good point, Vikki. I feel so much better now. My world makes sense again.

Treacle is like molasses, so it's pretty sweet stuff.

Yeah, like "Sussudio"... What made people listen to that?

Writeprocrastinator said...

"Yeah, like "Sussudio"... What made people listen to that?"

Beats me and allegedly, Collins doesn't even know what that word means (sussudio means "whisper" in Italian). I remember the first time I heard that, I was wondering how long it would take Prince to put a high-heeled boot up Phil's keister.

Dale said...

Sussudio means whisper? That's one blaring whisper! There will be a special place in hell for latter day Phil.

pistols at dawn said...

I felt similarly after listening to Mr. Collins (and posted a similar reaction to the episode. Plus, I've been realizing how many people love Phil Collins (hip hop dudes LOVE him for some reason, and everywhere I go in Europe, there's a Phil song or two following me), and well...I think the guy's kind of hilarious. Or maybe awesome. I don't even know anymore.

lulu said...

find a copy of the detholz singing "Sussudio", you'll change your mind as to it's craptacularity.