Phil Collins offers health update ahead of Genesis reunion tour: “I can barely hold a stick”

Phil Collins
(Image credit: Frank Hoensch/Getty Images))

Phil Collins is preparing to take to the road alongside Mike Rutherford and Tony Banks for the postponed Genesis The Last Domino? reunion tour next month, and has given a rare interview where he details his health issues.

Phil’s son Nicholas will be taking care of drumming duties for the tour, which was originally announced before the Covid-19 pandemic and due to commence last year.

Speaking in an interview with BBC Breakfast which aired this morning, Collins - who has suffered from damaged nerves and vertebrae for a number of years - told viewers: “I’m kind of physically challenged a bit which is very frustrating because I’d love to be playing up there with my son.”

BBC arts correspondent David Silletto then asked, ‘Are you able to do any drumming at all these days?’ To which Collins replied, “No. No, I mean I’d love to but you know…I mean, I can barely hold a stick in [my left hand]. So there are certain physical things which get in the way”

Collins had previously described the tour as a way for the band to ‘put it to bed’, which Silletto asked him about in the same interview. “Yeah, well you know, you say things. We’re all men of our age and I think, to some extent, yeah it probably is putting it to bed. But I think just generally for me, I don’t know if I want to go out on the road anymore.”

In 2016, Collins - now 70 -  spoke about the health issues that have kept him from his kit during a press conference at the Royal Albert Hall, saying that he first noticed the problem on Genesis’ 40th Anniversary reunion tour.

“I’ll never play the way I used to. Something happened on the Genesis reunion tour. At the end of each show I had a drumming duel with Chester Thompson, and one night something happened. It just went.

“I tried everything – bigger drumsticks and so on, but it just never came back. It’s a mystery what happened, I just couldn’t get it back. But I’m 65 and I played drums since I was five. I’d like to have the choice about being able to play, but I’m not going to cry myself to sleep about it.

“I had back surgery a year ago, I’d messed my hips up as well. That was a year ago and as of now I have a dropped foot, which means I have no feeling in it. I walk with a cane, but I’m hoping that gets better.”

In 2017, Collins revealed that he was a type-2 diabetic, undergoing treatment with a hyperbaric chamber after the condition caused obsesses on his foot which became infected. Later that year, he also cancelled two gigs after falling in his hotel room and hitting his head, a result of the drop foot mentioned above.

Genesis' The Last Domino? Tour begins in the UK at the Birmingham Utilita Arena, while the US leg of the tour starts 15 November at the United Center, Chicago.

Stuart Williams

I'm a freelance member of the MusicRadar team, specialising in drum news, interviews and reviews. I formerly edited Rhythm and Total Guitar here in the UK and have been playing drums for more than 25 years (my arms are very tired). When I'm not working on the site, I can be found on my electronic kit at home, or gigging and depping in function bands and the odd original project.