I wonder just how tired Tony Bennett gets of having to do those dumb duet things at every awards show—having to get out there and pretend he knows who the hell Carrie Underwood or whoever is, having his partner pretend they know who the hell he is, having to be the last Old Showbiz Guy around, having to drag their asses through some old standard they’ve never heard, being a classy old dude who’s like “Sure, I’d love to sing “That Old Black Magic” with…Fergie—she’s great, really great.”
I could be a dick and say “the real REM broke up in 1996,” but I already did that on Facebook, and I was wrong—Bill Berry actually left the band in late 1997.
It would also be unfair, because the Berry/Buck/Stipe version of the band managed, with Up, their first post-Berry release, to eke out one more good album—one I freely admit to hating when I first heard it.
Their next albums—Reveal, Around The Sun, Accelerate, Collapse Into Now—are not great. Around The Sun is objectively awful. The others vary in quality, but are overall pretty minor additions to the catalog; you wouldn’t miss much if you never heard them.
But that’s not the point. REM were my favorite band when I was younger, and no band was more important to me, and I can’t imagine any band ever will be. They were around a long time, and were consistently good—how many bands put out their first genuinely terrible album 20+years into their career? How many bands’ tenth album—New Adventures In Hi-Fi—is one of their best? How many bands even put out ten good albums? Before Reveal, their worst record was probably Out Of Time, and even that has “Country Feedback” and “Losing My Religion” and “Belong.”
Whatever. REM meant a lot to me. They made music that was good more often than it was not, and I’m sorry they won’t be making any more.
What he said. Like, almost exactly. Except I think Accelerate is a pretty good record. #comeatmebro
He’s told friends his life as Phil Collins the singer is now ‘over’. Studying the history of the Alamo, and collecting artifacts from the battle, has become an all-consuming passion. ‘F*** music,’ he rather sourly told an interviewer this year.
It all started, according to Collins, when he was a young boy. He’s said in interviews he would watch transfixed as the actor Fess Parker portrayed king of the wild frontier Davy Crockett in the Disney TV series of the same name. Collins says: ‘It was on every week. It just got me, and never left me.’ He would ask his parents to buy him raccoon-skin hats and toy rifles as birthday presents.
…for the past 15 years, since around the time of his bitter break-up with second wife Jill Taverman, his main hobby has been pursuing anything and everything related to the battle of the Alamo.
…Collins has even gone so far as to have a painting made of him in military uniform alongside the rest of the Texan garrison at the Alamo.
Additionally, Collins now believes that he is the reincarnated spirit of one of the defenders:
Admittedly, Collins remains a little defensive about his reincarnation, telling Rolling Stone magazine he was not a ‘weirdo’ for believing it was possible, and producing pictures showing orbs of light, claiming that it was paranormal energy.
I’m still not totally convinced that this isn’t an Onion article that somehow made its way out into the wider world.