“Did you hear that Genesis is touring?”
A friend called and asked me that. He knew that I’d have little interest in that. But it was good to hear from him, as the pandemic has meant that we’ve not seen one another for many, many months. He is a fan of what he, and presumably Martha Quinn, affectionately refers to as the “Big 80s,” which I suppose is a bit of nostalgia that we could all benefit from nowadays. (Nostalgia for something, not necessarily the 80s.)
“I thought Phil Collins was near dead,” he continued, not making some sort of ageist comment but being completely serious about it.
That led me, later, to a search that took me to British tabloids. As a lede in the Mirror has it in a story published earlier this year: “The master drummer has been plagued by agonising health issues for a decade, starting when he injured a vertebrae in his upper neck while performing in 2009.”
The poor bastard has suffered from all sorts of health-related issues, perhaps the most troubling for a drummer, master of otherwise, is nerve damage to his foot, which was caused by the surgery to fix his neck. This condition is called “foot drop,” which, according to the Mayo Clinic: “If you have foot drop, the front of your foot might drag on the ground when you walk. Foot drop isn’t a disease. Rather, foot drop is a sign of an underlying neurological, muscular or anatomical problem.” Collins was to have performed at the Royal Albert Hall in 2016 yet had to cancel two dates because he had gotten up at night to go to the bathroom while staying in a hotel and took a header due to the foot drop, which led to a brief hospitalization. And you might have imagined that being a rock star is glamorous. Yes, those “agonizing health issues” did lead him to do some serious drinking, which evidently he now has under control.
So while the 70 year old walks with a cane and has had one of his kids fill in for him on drums, he is apparently not “near dead,” because I suspect the tabloids would have been making that point in massive headline type.
Still, it seems as though the man going out on tour is a definition of, dare I say (prepare to groan), “against all odds.” (When is it time to quit?, I wonder.)