As a middle aged person, my influential years were supposedly the 70s and 80s, but I can’t honestly say that every decade hasn’t tremendously impacted my life. And perhaps it was because I was in high school and college during them, the 80s seem to be the sounds that come quickly to mind when I think of the songs of my youth. I may not have had “mall bangs” but I did have the rest of the 80s gig down – big hair, big makeup, Keds, pegged pants, layered collars, et cetera. And, of course, I listened to what now is “classic 80s” music.
Face it people, we may have had bad attire during the 80s, but our music rocked. Even the non-rock music of the 80s was pretty damn good. And probably because it is the music of my life, my life’s soundtrack if you will, these are the songs that really stay with me. The little ear worms that show up out of nowhere and stay on loop when I’m vacuuming or cleaning up cat barf.
I can’t actually pick a favorite band from my high school and college years – each of my favorite memories from those years is attached to a particular song making up the soundtrack of my life. But one of those songs would definitely be from Phil Collins.
My junior year of college was spent in the UK. First I spent my fall semester at Trinity College in Carmarthen (now the University of Wales, Trinity Saint David), and then I lived in London and attended the London satellite branch of Central College of Iowa. My Walkman cassette player got a heck of a workout that year as I travelled about the UK and western Europe.
I took a handful of cassette tapes with me (Red Hot Chili Peppers, 4 Non Blondes, Paul Simon, and a few others) but I purchased more music there. And then Phil Collins came back to London on tour.
My flatmates and I scored tickets and went to the show. I had amazing seats.
The “Seriously, Live!” tour had a circus theme to it and there were times when it felt like my friends and I could practically reach out and touch the horn section and Phil. He put on a great show combining old Genesis favorites, earlier Collins hits, and new things from that album. It was a really great show.
Imagine my surprise to hear that Phil Collins is one of the most hated musicians from the 80s. Whaaa? How can you hate a public figure you’ve never met who has never done a thing to you?
Oh yeah, people are weird.
Anyhoodle, I was happy to come across the news last week that Phil Collins, who is somewhat retired from music, played at his sons’ school, the Miami Country Day School, for their spring concert.
Now, I don’t care what a person says about whether or not Phil Collins should be vilified over his political views or whether “Sussudio” is an awful ear worm. But when a dude does something like this because his kids ask him to sing with them? That makes me smile. And then hum 80s music all day.
There’s worse ways to spend a Monday.