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Phil Collins kicks off Genesis farewell tour in Birmingham, sings from chair amid health woes

Phil Collins is soldiering on.

A frail-looking Collins finished his first show with Genesis on the group’s “The Last Domino?” tour in Birmingham Monday night, remaining seated throughout the concert.

Collins, 70, sang all of the evening’s tunes from a chair onstage, though he was not alone in that regard: The group’s guitarist Mike Rutherford also opted to play while perched on a stool at points.

The Birmingham show was the first stop on the band’s farewell tour and their first live performance in 13 years since 2007’s Turn It On Again Tour.


Phil Collins revealed that he can no longer play the drums.

Phil Collins revealed that he can no longer play the drums.
(Elena Di Vincenzo/Archivio Elena Di Vincenzo/Mondadori via Getty Images)

In the latest issue of Mojo, Collins said recently that this will be the final chance to see Genesis in concert. “This English and American tour, that will be enough for me,” he said.

Collins has struggled with his health in recent years and has been open about his physical issues heading into this tour.

Asked how he’s been prepping for months of three-hour shows, Collins told the Guardian that he hasn’t: “I don’t do anything at all,” he said. “I don’t practice singing at home, not at all. Rehearsing is the practice. These guys [his band mates] are always having a go at me for not, but I have to do it this way.”

Collins revealed prior to starting the tour that he can “barely hold” drumsticks owing to the combination of improper technique and a spinal injury he suffered in the late aughts.

“My vertebrae have been crushing my spinal cord because of the position I drum in,” he explained. “It comes from years of playing. I can’t even hold the sticks properly without it being painful; I even used to tape the sticks to my hands to get through.”

Collins’ 20-year-old son Nic has taken over the drum throne for him. Collins called his handicap “very frustrating ’cause, you know, I’d love to be playing up there with my son,” on “BBC Breakfast” earlier this month.

Asked if the current tour is putting Genesis “to bed,” Collins said, “We’re all men of our age, and I think — to some extent — yeah, it probably is putting it to bed.”

“Just, generally, for me,” he added, “I don’t know if I want to go out on the road anymore.”

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