Not Dead Yet

Not Dead Yet

Audiobook CD - 2016
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Phil Collins pulls no punches--about himself, his life, or the ecstasy and heartbreak that's inspired his music.

In his much-awaited memoir, Not Dead Yet , he tells the story of his epic career, with an auspicious debut at age 11 in a crowd shot from the Beatles' legendary film A Hard Day's Night. A drummer since almost before he could walk, Collins received on the job training in the seedy, thrilling bars and clubs of 1960s swinging London before finally landing the drum seat in Genesis.

Soon, he would step into the spotlight on vocals after the departure of Peter Gabriel and begin to stockpile the songs that would rocket him to international fame with the release of Face Value and "In the Air Tonight." Whether he's recalling jamming with Eric Clapton and Robert Plant, pulling together a big band fronted by Tony Bennett, or writing the music for Disney's smash-hit animated Tarzan , Collins's storytelling chops never waver. And of course he answers the pressing question on everyone's mind: just what does "Sussudio" mean?

Not Dead Yet is Phil Collins's candid, witty, unvarnished story of the songs and shows, the hits and pans, his marriages and divorces, the ascents to the top of the charts and into the tabloid headlines. As one of only three musicians to sell 100 million records both in a group and as a solo artist, Collins breathes rare air, but has never lost his touch at crafting songs from the heart that touch listeners around the globe. That same touch is on magnificent display here, especially as he unfolds his harrowing descent into darkness after his "official" retirement in 2007, and the profound, enduring love that helped save him.

This is Phil Collins as you've always known him, but also as you've never heard him before.

Publisher: New York, New York : Random House Audio, [2016]
Copyright Date: ℗2016
ISBN: 9780735208964
Branch Call Number: TB 782.42166092 COLLI
Characteristics: audio file,CD audio
10 audio discs (12 hr.) : digital ; 4 3/4 in.
Alternative Title: Memoir


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Apr 28, 2017

I'm impressed. Not Dead Yet is decidedly better than I expected. Even if partially ghost-written—I honestly have no idea—Phil Collins weaves a concise autobiography complete with all the ups and downs of celebrity. There's hardly a dull moment from beginning to end. Expect him to air his dirty laundry when the topic gets personal, and it gets very personal the farther along you get, but hearing him tell all comes across as a bit disingenuous. Just slightly, as if he's holding something back. Then again, it could be who he is. I've known plenty of self-centered people. The feelings of others aren't their strong suit. He does try though, bless him. Makes me wish I could hear both sides of Phil's story. This is especially true when it pertains to any of his wives. They all sound like nice people until the relationship gets inevitably strained, which always happens. (Weird. Just as I write this, Phil actually utters the words "dirty laundry" so there you go—I'm listening to the audiobook and he's the reader.)

Honestly, it's not all about sex and women. No, that's barely half of it. For the most part Phil Collins was a workaholic. In his own words, he feels he hit 10,000 hours of drumming before he was a teenager. And the 80's, according to him, was a blur of producing and touring. The quality and sheer quantity of his output during his prime years is in a league of its own.

I honestly don't believe one can achieve the kind of international fame Phil Collins has achieved—i.e. a successful singer/musician of two bands, a semi-successful actor and a media personality—without a critical level of narcissism. The two go together, for better or worse. I didn't know the man from his music. I also wasn't a fan until the early 90's and by then the celebrity-obsessed public was long tired of seeing his mug everywhere. Nevertheless, we wouldn't be here discussing this or that about his life if it weren't for his songs. His music (and the music of Genesis) spans decades and is irrevocably fused with the pop culture of the 80's and 90's.

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