Not that he needs it, but I’m here to defend Phil Collins.
Yes, that Phil Collins (or, as my husband refers to him: Phil’s Colon.)
I am here to defend his right to make beautiful music or complete dreck if he wants to.
In my news feed today, I saw about a zillion stories about the petition asking that Phil Collins stop making music –or at least stop sharing it. I get that it was a joke. Honestly, I do. And I might have even said, in the past, that the world doesn’t need another (insert name of any multitude of bands here) album. I might have said that we didn’t need to see Mick Jagger after 1983. But I was wrong.
If I don’t want to hear those albums, I don’t have to listen. If I don’t want to see Old Mick, or the Old Monkees, or Old Madonna, or Old Morris Day, or Old Butthole Surfers, or the Old Replacements (who were great by the way), I don’t have to watch. But as I age up, there is something comforting about knowing these guys are still strutting around a stage. There is something comforting about knowing that Jeff Lynne can put out a new album (in stores Nov. 13th in case you were wondering) and someone out there will buy it.
Artists need to create. It’s what they do. Maybe it’s all they can do. And there’s no reason for them to stop when they get old, just because when we see them, with their leathered skin and post-menopausal physiques, we feel old, too.
Closer to home for me is JK Rowling, who clearly doesn’t need me to defend her, either, but here goes: It’s true that she will probably never achieve what she did with Harry Potter, no matter how much longer she writes. But just because she peaked early doesn’t mean she should disappear and never write again. Personally, I’ve liked the other stuff she’s created. It’s still art. And for me – maybe not for you but for me – it’s still well worth the read.
I am hoping that I have not yet peaked in my own writing career. And I’m lucky that nobody’s yet said (publicly) that I’m a wanker and that I should go crawl into a Dumpster. I’m lucky that nobody is trying to save the world from me. Should that happen, I hope there will be someone out there to tell everyone else to leave me alone because I’ve still got something to say. Apparently, Phil Collins still has something to say, too. So go ahead, Phil: Do what you need to do. We don’t all have to listen, but we hear you.