HOUSTON—British Rock Legend Phil Collins was in Houston Wednesday, talking not about his music, but about The Alamo.
He was at a signing for his new book, “The Alamo and Beyond: A Collector’s Journey.”
The musician is a lifelong devotee of the famous Texas Battle. He says it all started when he started watching “Davy Crocket: King of the Wild Frontier” and later saw “The Alamo” with John Wayne, as a young boy in England. He even dressed like the TV series actor, Fess Parker, wearing coonskin cap and all.
Collins smiled saying, “Oh yeah, it’s all in the book - embarrassing picture of the author age 5.”
The lure of the Alamo was the soldier’s moral code. Collins describes it like this, “He’s there ‘cause he thinks it’s right. He’s gonna die, but he’s still standing there.”
Collins became one of the most successful musicians of his generation, first with the band “Genesis” and then as a solo artist. That allowed him to purchase an impressive collection of artifacts documented in his book. The signing was at Torch Energy in downtown Houston. The company offices house a large collection of Texas history and art. On this night, history and music fans got to visit with Collins.
Decades of drumming has taken its toll on the musician’s spine. Despite nerve damage in his hand, he graciously personalized his books. When asked if he has officially retired, Collins says, “I’m 61. I joined Genesis when I was 19. That’s an awful long time.”
“I was getting less interested in music and more interested in just writing,” he added.
Still, when we prodded him, Collins obliged us with, jokingly singing the refrain from his hit “One More Night.” Turns out though, it’s not just fans who want him to do another tour, it’s his five kids.
“The only thing, the only that makes me want to do it (is) for them,” Collin replied emphatically.
Houston is one of for Texas cities on his book tour.
The singer makes his home in Switzerland.