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Collins says hi and bye, L.A.

August 26, 2004|Geoff Boucher

Love 'em or hate 'em, you have to tip your hat to the Eagles for dubbing their 1994 reunion concerts the Hell Freezes Over Tour; instead of glossing over their internal feuds, they turned them into a sly T-shirt. A decade later, Phil Collins is getting similar chuckles for the First Final Farewell Tour.

After watching the Who, Cher and others say goodbye again and again, Collins thought the glib slogan had the right feel. "It has a bit of the Monty Python to my ear, the English humor," Collins says. "But the thing, this really is the last tour...."

We'll see about that, but Collins, 53, sounds earnest. Seven years since his last solo tour, Collins has a busy family life. And there are those infamous rigors of the musician's tour life, right? "Well, I groan when I hear people complain about that," he says. "At this level you get five-star hotels, you get limos taking you here and private planes taking you there.... It's not that bad, you know? I just don't need to do it anymore."

His 34-year career is packed with plot twists, including his unlikely ascension from Genesis drummer to lead singer (replacing Peter Gabriel), his ubiquitous solo work of the late '80s and even the history-book feat of playing Live Aid in Philadelphia and London on the same day in 1985.

The winner of eight Grammys says his fans range from towheads to graybeards. "I don't know which fans I'm going to see this time around," Collins says, "but I do know it's the last time."


Arrowhead Pond, 2695 Katella Ave., Anaheim. 8 p.m. today. $95/$50. (714) 705-2500. Also, Staples Center, 1111 S. Figueroa St. 8 p.m. Tuesday. $95/$65/$50. (877) 305-1111.

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