Not Dead Yet

Not Dead Yet

The Memoir

Book - 2016
Average Rating:
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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 :, Crown Archetype,, 2016, ©2016.
Edition: First edition.
ISBN: 9781101907481
9781101907474
Branch Call Number: 782. 42092 COL C
Characteristics: 371 pages, 16 unnumbered pages of plates : illustrations (some colour) ; 24 cm

Opinion

From Library Staff

You don't have to be a fan of Collins' music to appreciate the humor in this title.


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dionyzus
Jun 02, 2017

A lot of interesting insights into the life of Phil Collins. It's hard not to like hearing how he modestly describes practically stumbling into success as a solo artist which then bettered the fortunes of his band Genesis. And he had such a long and varied career, it's good that he seems to have covered it all. It's just a shame, as another reviewer stated, that some albums are glossed over.. perhaps he needs to write a Vol. 2 to cover the details? Also I was intrigued to find out he was an amateur historian of Alamo artifacts, amassing the largest private collection in the world. I wish he'd provided more details about that hobby of his, too!

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nannerl
Apr 08, 2017

I've had a life-long crush on Phil Collins, but after reading this my infatuation went out the window. He come across as very self-absorbed, plus striving for fame is no excuse for not being there for your kids when they're growing up, in my opinion. Frankly, I wish I'd never read this, so I could have kept my fantasies in place.

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LoganHobo78
Mar 21, 2017

I love Phil Collins music from Genesis to Brand X to his solo work, and if you're a Phil fan, you'll enjoy this journey through his career. But... this memoir suffers from the same pitfalls as other rock memoirs do.

You get a lot of early years stuff about Grandmothers and parents and siblings, and then a lot of back end stuff about his third marriage, health problems, drinking problem, and kids. But in the middle -- the only part I really care about, the part about the music -- so many of the most landmark albums of the 70's and 80's get barely more than a paragraph. There's more space devoted to his daughter's acting career than there is to the writing and recording of Invisible Touch.

That being said, there is a lot of good stuff in here, especially about the break-up of his first marriage (in my opinion, the most important event in his life), and how he channeled that pain into so many classic songs. The chapter on Band Aid was also great fun to read.

If you're a fan, you'll enjoy this book. But you might have to dig elsewhere to find out more about the albums.

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Ektorp
Feb 12, 2017

Did the publisher want 'Against All Odds' as the title? Collins really opens up in this book about his career, life and love (often lost). It's from his perspective, naturally, so we get a one-sided account but he seems to try his best to give an honest review. At times it's uncomfortable reading, especially when - after surviving in rock and roll in the 70s and 80s - he becomes a full-blown alcoholic at the end of his career. Collins was a workaholic as well, so one addiction replaced another. Overall, as these sorts of autobiographies go, it's a good read, but you probably have to be a fan to really enjoy it. There's a Vancouver connection, too.

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