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DETROIT — Having made what he says is a musical swan song with his R&B covers album “Going Back,” Phil Collins’ next project will be in the book world — and situated deep in the heart of Texas.
Collins tells Billboard.com that he’s in the midst of writing a book about his extensive collection of Alamo and Texas Revolution artifacts, stemming from an interest in the topic that started when he saw the Walt Disney film “Davy Crockett” as a child. “It’s a huge collection of memorabilia from the Alamo and before and after it, basically the Texas Revolution in general,” explains Collins, who’s a frequent visitor to and even rents property in San Antonio, near the Alamo site. “It’s basically the history of all the things I’ve collected and putting them in the context of the revolution. It’s in progress and it’s entertaining.”
Collins’ collection includes a variety of weapons, armaments clothing from the fort, as well as receipt for nearly three dozen head of cattle signed by Alamo commander William B. Travis and another signed receipt for a horse saddle owned by Alamo survivor and early San Antonio Mayor John W. Smith.
Collins says his deadline for the book is mid-2011, with publication due in 2012.
Meanwhile he’s holding firm to his declarations that “Going Back,” which debuted at No. 1 on the U.K. and Euro charts, is likely his final musical statement as a performer due to health issues that all but prevent him from playing drums anymore. “I think if this record hadn’t happened I wouldn’t be doing anything,” says Collins, who after Genesis’ reunion tour in 2007 decided to devote more time to being at home in Switzerland with the youngest of his five children, nine-year-old Nicholas and five-year-old Matthew. “I’m not anticipating doing anything else. If I do write songs…I don’t know about putting them out on an album or anything like that. I don’t really have the desire to do that now.
“It bothers me a lot less than people think it probably would. I’m not one to go ‘If only…’ and ‘What if…?’ This is what I’m dealt with, you know? In life, one door closes and another opens. I’m certainly proud of the things I’ve done. I’ve pushed my particular envelope wider than a lot of people probably remember. There’s always going to be some things you wish you’d done differently, but in general I’m very proud of what I’ve done and there’s not a lot I haven’t tried.”
Collins will be giving fans one more musical souvenir when he releases the DVD “Going Back — Live at the Roseland Ballroom” on Nov. 2, filmed during a thee-night stand in New York City that were part of a seven-show early summer run to preview the album. Featuring members of Motown’s Funk Brothers and Genesis touring members Chester Thompson and Darryl Stuermer, the 26-song performance features several Motown songs not included on the “Going Back” album plus an interview with Collins.
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