It seems like there’s a bit of bad blood between the two legendary rockers Phil Collins and Paul McCartney. Word of the tension came out last week, with Collins describing a bad experience he had with the Beatle in 2002. Meeting with McCartney and his then-wife Heather Mills, Collins asked for an autograph on a copy of a Beatles book. According to Collins, McCartney responded with a condescending quip.
“Oh, Heather, our little Phil’s a bit of a Beatles fan…”
Speaking in an interview with Billboard published online yesterday, Phil Collins insists this is true, and not merely a tabloid fabrication. He admits that McCartney’s snub still bothers him.
“I’m afraid it happened, you know, and I’m afraid it affected me the way it did and I’m afraid I wrote about it… I think maybe I should just brush it under the carpet and forget about it and move on, but it did happen.”
Since mentioning it to the press last week, Collins told Billboard he had received an email from McCartney, although he did not go into specifics about what was in the message. Despite that, Collins seems to have no regrets about making this spat public.
“He’s been in touch about it because he was upset… I certainly didn’t get any flowers from him… I got more of a ‘Let’s just get on with our lives.’ And I’m sorry he’s upset that I kinda said something nasty about him… well, it wasn’t really nasty. If people don’t tell people that sometimes their attitude could be a bit better then you’re not gonna get any better, y’know?”
McCartney himself has publicly stayed mum on the topic, choosing instead to celebrate on social media his recent performance at the Desert Trip rock music festival in California.
Paul McCartney is quite possibly the least of Phil Collins’ worries, however. Collins has been facing ongoing back problems for several years. It is believed that vertebrae damage impacted the ability for Collins’ hands to function properly, possibly due to nerve damage. Any future tours would preclude him from playing drums. However, Collins hinted to Billboard that the release of a new memoir, along with recent reissues of his old material and compilations of his hits, may provide an opportunity to tour more frequently again, along with possibly recording new music.
“… I don’t know if I’ve got any more excuses I can pull up… something which is possible that we play in London… It’s a big jump… I haven’t really written anything… well, bits and pieces… So that jump, it’s either going to pour out or it’s going to dribble. I have no idea what to expect.”
The McCartney tussle may be overshadowing what Collins is actually trying to get publicity for. His new autobiography, Not Dead Yet: The Memoir, is available as of today.
Collins mentions, however, that he aimed for a “warts-and-all” style of book, so perhaps discussing the feud is part of that honest approach.
“I didn’t see it as a kind of confession. It was meant to be just a book taking the lid off occasionally and telling people what it was really like… I’ve got a lot of things to be thankful for, but I’ve also got a lot of things to accept that maybe it was me that f—ed up. I’m just like everybody else; I have my insecurities, my foibles, my guilt. I didn’t see it as any kind of confession, but I don’t mind some of the sheen coming off so people can see it as an honest account. It’s just, ‘This is the way I am.'”
Is anyone in the right in this rock star tit-for-tat? Or is it all a bit overblown, perhaps a stunt by Collins to get attention for his book?
What do you think? Leave a comment below and weigh in.
[Featured Image by Gustavo Caballero/Getty Images]