My Phil Collins moment

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  1. I have a fondness for most things '80's. That was the decade of my childhood and early adolescence and so it's crystallized for me as a period both of comparative simplicity (compared to life now) and just being a high water mark of fun and cool. The babysitters I worshiped most   were teens of the '80's and that was  very formative for me. Also, my parents were the age I am now in the 80's, but I also have pretty clear memories of that time, so now there is an added layer of imagining being parents to kids my kids' age during that era.

    Anyway, Genesis and Phil Collins were definitely in the background of my life during that time. I don't remember my dad having any of their tapes (compared to Huey Lewis, Mike and the Mechanics, Madonna and Cyndi Lauper) but you couldn't avoid their music.

  2. Celebrity memoirs in audiobook form are my favorite thing ever. I'm not proud of this but I have never read a Jonathan Franzen book. I have, however, listened to Steven Tyler's Does The Noise In My Head Bother You?

  3.  I like underdogs. I know that Phil Collins can hardly be described as an underdog when it comes to his artistic and financial achievement but it seems like he's been a punchline for as long as I've been aware of him. Without even understanding why, I always associated Phil Collins with "lame." This makes me sympathetic to him, even though he doesn't need my sympathy.

  4. I was excited to check out Collins' new memoir Not Dead Yet because I realized I didn't know a whole lot about him aside from the songs he wrote and his general lame rep. And I'm loving it. He seems fairly clear-eyed, and if always objective about his life, he at least admits his own blind spots. He's witty without being a showoff about it--he inserts his own voice without making it a schticky peformance piece (sometimes listening to books by people trying to be funny can be exhausting.) He's got a self-deprecating British edge that I dig (he often refers to himself or his hugely famous colleagues as "musos." He's a good writer and/or he got a really good ghostwriter.

  5. This happened to me when I listened to the Keith Richards book but listening to the book has made me more interested in the music, so now I'm going back into Phil Collins/Genesis music. It's comforting to these old hits but also listening to them as pieces of music and not just "80's music" is a nice brain experience. This is by no means comprehensive, but are three Genesis/Phil Collins songs I really like right now:

    (The actual song starts around 1:25):