Phil Collins is releasing his new autobiography Not Dead Yet: The Memoir tomorrow, and last week, he concluded a lengthy interview with the UK’s Sunday Times by detailing a 2002 encounter with a condescending Paul McCartney:
I’ve got to preface this by saying McCartney was one of my heroes…But he has this thing when he’s talking to you, where he makes you feel … ‘I know this must be hard for you, because I’m a Beatle. I’m Paul McCartney and it must be very hard for you to actually be holding a conversation with me.’ I met him when I was working at the Buckingham Palace party at the palace thing back in 2002. McCartney came up with Heather Mills and I had a first edition of The Beatles by Hunter Davies and I said, ‘Hey Paul, do you mind signing this for me?’ And he said, ‘Oh Heather, our little Phil’s a bit of a Beatles fan.’ And I thought, ‘You fuck, you fuck.’ Never forgot it.
Although this seems like a pretty minor incident, the media made a huge deal of the story, painting it as a pop-star blood feud for the ages. And apparently, Sir Paul wasn’t too happy about being painted as a villain. “He’s been in touch about it because he was upset,” Collins told Billboard today. “I certainly didn’t get any flowers from him; I got more of a ‘Let’s just get on with our lives.’ And I’m sorry he’s upset that I kinda said something nasty about him — well, it wasn’t really nasty. If people don’t tell people that sometimes their attitude could be a bit better then you’re not gonna get any better, y’know?”
Collins also says that he’s still tight with the rest of Genesis, and leaves the possibility of a reunion open. “Writing the book reminded me how close we were,” he tells Rolling Stone. “We’re still great pals. Tony [Banks], Mike [Rutherford] and I went out on my birthday in London. Anything can happen, really…I just want to do things carefully and think about the consequences…Never say never. But there’s no plans.”
Hopefully some more fun beefs come out of this book, at least.