Showing posts with label phil collins. Show all posts
Showing posts with label phil collins. Show all posts

Saturday, May 4, 2019

Music Autobiographies ~ A Surprisingly Good One

In my continuing quest for interesting autobiographies, I've discovered one that is surprisingly engaging. Don't get me wrong ~ I like Phil Collins as much as the next eighties MTV addict, but I wasn't sure his life story would be captivating, and more importantly, well written. I was wrong. I'm a patron of my local library Overdrive ~ sorry, Phil ~ it's not that I'm cheap; I'm just poor. I recently borrowed three autobiographies; one was semi-interesting; one was cringingly self-important, and then there was this one, Not Dead Yet.

Phil's writing style requires the reader to shift her conception of reading convention. The entire book is written in the present tense ~ "I stop in to see him"; "So I decide, what the hell". Honestly, though, it's a comfortable approach, once one adjusts to it. (I would never do it, but that's why I'm not a best-selling author, among other reasons.)

Truth be told, I skimmed through the obligatory childhood reminiscences. Rarely are those absorbing, but I understand one needs to begin somewhere. Quickly, however, the story took an interesting turn ~ Phil's pubescent career as a stage actor and his quest for a regular band gig. I learned about the early years of Genesis, of which I, admittedly knew next to nothing. I was happy to know that there never were any hard feelings between Phil and Peter Gabriel, who left the band of his own accord, which inadvertently allowed Phil to have a humongous career.

I liked reading about Phil noodling around in his home studio, sadly alone after his wife took the kids and moved to Vancouver, pouring out his feelings in scraps of songs; and not understanding that what he was writing would amount to the exact opposite of nothing. How he has no memory of not sharing "In The Air Tonight" with his Genesis band members, but maybe, subconsciously, realizing this was something special. I've written one or two like that ~ songs that are so close to my heart that I am loathe to let anyone else hear them.

And that he considered "Against All Odds" to be a "B" side.

Throughout his memoir, Phil is unceasingly modest; self-deprecating. That's refreshing. I'm used to reading artists' convenient recitations of how awesome they always were. Phil's insecurities are humanly relatable.

Unlike with many artists' memoirs, I came away liking Phil Collins a ton more than I ever did before.

Like Phil says in the book, "Ba-DUM-Ba-Da-DUM!

Sting and Peter Gabriel sang backing vocals on this one:

The "B Side":

As an MTV-watcher, none of Phil Collins' singles takes me back to the eighties as much as this next one. I remember seeing Dwight Yoakam on David Letterman's show being interviewed right after he performed "Fast As You" and Dave asked him about the last line in the song, "Ahhh, Sue-ssie!". Dwight said he'd gotten the idea from this song:

More Phil, with Genesis:

Summing up, Phil Collins is awesome....and a cutie, too.

Buy (or borrow) this memoir. You'll like it.

And, oh, by the way, Peter Gabriel didn't do too badly for himself after leaving Genesis. He did, after all, have the best music video of all time:

Friday, March 22, 2013

I Still Want My MTV

Yep, we've been feeling a bit nostalgic lately.  If you read my previous post, you were no doubt transported back in time, to those bygone days, when times were so much more innocent.

Sort of like this:

I'm just kidding, of course.

There were a lot of music videos that particularly struck my fancy (or at least my funny bone) way back in the 1980's.  Here are a few:

I heard this next song one day on my car radio, and it struck me:  this could be a country song  (seriously)!  Of course, that would just ruin it, but I'm just saying, this song is structured like a country song:

I must include two by Springsteen, because both of these videos are nostalgic for me, and one of them features Courteney Cox (because I love trivia):

And this next one just makes me feel good:

In my book, I noted that we choose to remember the '80's as the time of Springsteen and Michael Jackson; when in actuality, they were the time of Genesis and Lionel Richie.  Every time I flipped my TV on, there was Lionel.  Like this:

So, I just wanted to set the record straight on that.

Moving on, however; I don't care who says Huey Lewis and the News are kitschy.  Not to me!  I love them!

And this one was "fun":

Both the hair and the music are excellent on this one; although the split screen tends to make my head throb:

I don't even know how I forgot about this, but in addition to Genesis and Lionel Richie, the 1980's were SO all about Whitney:

BLOGGER'S NOTE:  While I love, love Prince, I definitely do NOT love his stingy ways.  Prince (a Minnesotan, alas, like me) chooses to not make his videos available to anyone.  I do not know why, but I've been down this road before, and I've yet to find an official Prince video online.  And I'm not about to risk a computer virus trying to find a bootleg copy.

Speaking of Genesis (not to change the subject), an unusual phenomenon occurred in the '80's:  Phil Collins discovered (much to his surprise!) that he was suddenly a sex symbol.  And thus, he left his bandmates (and his drum kit) behind, and stepped into the spotlight as a solo artist:

Of course, I didn't forget Michael Jackson!  I succinctly remember all the pre-video hype about Thriller; how MTV got us all worked up with regular news flashes and every-five-minute promos.  I'm not going to post all 13 or so minutes of Thriller, though.  Feel free to search it out on YouTube.  I do like this one a bunch, however (and believe it or not, it's more memorable to me than Thriller ~ maybe it was the moon walk):

I'm realizing that this post is becoming a tome, so I need to stop; although the more I think about MTV videos, the more I say, hey!  That one!  What about that one!  That one was great!

So, I will end by posting a couple that are either fun or just plain cool.  You be the judge:

And my favorite....Yea, Shania did a takeoff of this video, which was actually cool, even if derivative.  But nothing beats the original:

Bottom line, for me, is; I do love the eighties and my MTV.   My music tastes are perhaps odd.  My times were the sixties; the Beatles, the Beach Boys, and Motown; the eighties (and my MTV!), and strangely, eighties country (Dwight, George, Nitty Gritty, Rodney, et al).  I know those don't seem to go together, but I just like what I like. 

And I like reliving good times.  Those three categories reflect "good times" for me.  Maybe it was me; maybe it was the music.  Maybe it was just both.