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Byline: Steve Hendry

Desperate, outnumbered and putting up a heroic but doomed stand against the guns of enemy forces, the names Davy Crockett, Jim Bowie and the other defenders of The Alamo would become myths and legends for centuries to follow.

For Phil Collins, growing up in post-war west London, the Disney version of the 13-day siege at San Antonio, Texas, in 1836 sparked what would become a life-long passion.

The singer donated his $100million memorabilia collection, including Crockett's rifle and an original Bowie knife carried during the battle between Texas settlers and the Mexican Army, to a tourist museum at the historic site.

He said: "Disney triggered it - King of the Wild Frontier starring Fess Parker in the early 50s.

"I read everything about it and I saw all the movies. As soon as I realised there were things you could collect, I collected them.

proud dad With and daughter Lily, "That was about 20 years ago and I have been told it is the largest private collection.

"I had lots of Crockett letters, musket balls and cannon balls. I am proud they went to The Alamo."

Phil still collects and will be adding more when the museum completes what he describes as an extensive "re-imaging".

He's gone through the same kind of thing himself. The 66-year-old is a legend in his own right but if The Alamo fired his imagination, his success in the 80s taught him all about siege mentality.

His combined role as drummer and frontman of Genesis and prolific solo artist spawned hit after hit and songs such as In The Air Tonight and Against All Odds became a soundtrack to the decade. His solo album No Jacket Required won three Grammy Awards in 1986.

He was a global superstar, enjoying seven US No1s, one of only three musicians ever to sell 100million albums both as a solo act and as a member of a band (Paul McCartney and Michael Jackson are the others). His awards include multiple Grammys, Brits, Golden Globes and even an Oscar.

But there was, inevitably, a backlash as he was derided by music critics and wrongly accused of both divorcing his wife by fax and being an arch Tory.

It was perhaps summed up by Oasis star Noel Gallagher who in 2005 urged the public to vote Labour because "if you don't and the Tories get in, Phil is threatening to come back", referring to his supposed tax exile status in Switzerland.

He's been quiet for the last 10 years and announced his retirement in 2011 but he has returned to the stage with his comeback tour, named after his autobiography Not Dead Yet. And he has just added new UK dates including Glasgow's SSE Hydro on December 1. He admits to having been taken aback by the warmth which has greeted him, although it has been brewing for some time with artists including Adele, Pharrell, Lorde, Kanye West and Beyonce vocal in their respect for Phil and his music.

Nicholas who is an actress He said: "Some of usarecocky andsome are insecure. I come more from the latter.

"Seeing people love one song and then another, you are gently reminded what you are doing, or what you have done, is pretty good. I was away from it all for a considerable time - 2007 was the last time I played and that was with Genesis.

"It gave people an opportunity, not that they were looking for it, but it maybe reminded them it wasn't as bad as we all thought.

"I was ubiquitous and, you know, how can I miss you if you don't go away? I think that worked out, that was good for me.

"People are suspicious of anything which does very well and I did very well. I just wrote what I wanted to write and people seemed to like it. That led to a bit of suspicion from certain critics but I don't think about it any more. I'm over it."

Phil, who has five children - actress Lily, 28,Simon, 41, Joely, 45, Nicholas, 16, and Matthew, 12 - has relocated to Miami where he has rekindled his relationship with ex-wife Orianne Cevey.

The Not Dead Yet tour is a family affair with Nicholas on drums.

Phil said: "He learnt to play from listening to me but also to people such as Chaz Smith of Red Hot Chilli Peppers and Led Zeppelin's John Bonham. He has an edge to him."

Nicholas is stepping in to play drums primarily because Phil can't. Nerve damage was compounded by a back operation two years ago which has left him with foot drop. He walks with a cane and had to postpone gigs earlier this year when he tripped and fell. Now back to health, he performs sitting down.

He said: "I thought it was going to be a bit of a problem and we started out in rehearsals with me standing up but the back began to ache and I couldn't really concentrate on what I was doing so we decided to go with me sitting on a stool.

"Nobody complained. It still worked and that was very gratifying. I got an email from Roger Daltrey who said it was brave and that we'll all end up on stools soon.

"I didn't do it for any medals, it was the only way I could do it. I have a great band around me and they have worked with it, so we have some fun with it. The drums I can let go. It would be nice to have a choice but I don't feel a yearning, no."

He feels much the same about acting, having performed as a kid including playing the Artful Dodger in the West End production of Oliver! and as Great Train Robber Buster Edwards in 1988 film Buster alongside Julie Walters.

He said: "I wouldn't say I'm not interested but anything I do now would have to be a slightly older Englishman with a limp. There aren't that many parts."

Music is his focus. And The Alamo, which, as well as American heroes, was peopled with Irish and Scots. In Glasgow, then, he will be among friends.

He said: "There were quite a few Scots. There were only about 200 defenders but there were groups of Irish and Scots and they had a piper playing - all that is true. Glasgow has always been fantastic. We used to play Green's Playhouse - I remember it used to say 'As Good As Green's' on the carpet there.

"That was a fantastic gig and the audience have always been very loyal and very vocal.

"If they like it, they will let you know - and if they don't, they let you know."

Remember The Alamo. Don't forget Phil Collins, either.

Some of us are cocky, some are insecure. I'm more the latter


proud dad With son Nicholas and daughter Lily, who is an actress

passion Phil at The Alamo in Texas and, left, with his prized Davy Crockett rifle at his home in Switzerland

hit Playing at Wembley in 1987. Below, with ex-wife Orianne and kids in 2003
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Publication:Sunday Mail (Glasgow, Scotland)
Geographic Code:1U9CA
Date:Oct 22, 2017
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