Phil Collins has performed his last concert ever after struggling with serious health issues for the past several years. The 71-year-old, who has enjoyed an incredibly successful 55-year carer in the music industry, performed with Genesis at the O2 Arena in London on Saturday, where he said goodbye to his fans and joked that he would now need to get a “real job.” Hopefully, he will now be able to focus on his well-being and perhaps find some rest and relaxation in his later years.
Genesis was due to go on tour last year. The group, in which Tony Banks plays keyboard and Mike Rutherford plays guitar and bass, had to cancel their 2021 tour due to Covid-related restrictions. Since resuming this year, Collins has regularly appeared frail and has had to sit down throughout the show in order to make it through the performances.
Collins’ health has been declining for years. Most pressingly, he suffers from nerve damage that makes him unable to hold a drum strick without it being taped to his hand. He has to walk with a cane and suffers from pancreatitis and Type 2 diabetes. An injured vertebra in his upper neck is what led to the nerve damage in his hands. “Somehow, during the last Genesis tour, I dislocated some vertebrae in my upper neck and that affected my hands,” he said in a message on the Genesis website. “After a successful operation on my neck, my hands still can’t function normally. Maybe in a year or so it will change, but for now it is impossible for me to play drums or piano.” Following the collapse of his marriage to his third wife, he began suffering from alcoholism as well.
Genesis has had to change the format of their shows due to Collins’ limitations. As the “Easy Lover” singer explained in an interview with The Guardian: “I don’t do anything at all. I don’t practice singing at home, not at all. Rehearsing is the practice. These guys are always having a go at me for not, but I have to do it this way.” He added: “Of course, my health does change things, doing the show seated changes things.” However, he insisted it hasn’t affected the quality of the performances.
We’ll always love and remember Phil Collins and Genesis. Both the band and the soloist will be cherished by music lovers forever. Here’s hoping Collins can relax a bit now and perhaps get some more treatment for the things that ail him.
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