Phil Collins calls time on music career

Murray Wardrop

Phil Collins, the pop star, has indicated that he intends to end his music career after learning that health problems will prevent him ever playing the drums again.

The 60-year-old said he felt it was “a good time to stop” making music, adding: “I don’t think anyone’s going to miss me.”

The former Genesis frontman is battling hearing problems, a dislocated vertebra and nerve damage in his hands – all brought on by a lifetime spent hunched behind a drum kit.

But aside from his ailing health, the songwriter claims listeners have grown “sick” of him and that there is no longer a place for him in the current music scene.

"I look at the MTV Music Awards and I think, ‘I can't be in the same business as this’,” Collins said in an interview with FHM magazine.

“I don't really belong to that world and I don't think anyone's going to miss me. I'm much happier just to write myself out of the script entirely.

“I'll go on a mysterious biking holiday and never return. That would be a great way to end the story, wouldn't it?"

Collins, who now lives alone in Switzerland after divorcing his third wife in 2007, has enjoyed huge popularity over 40 years as both a drummer and singer with Genesis and then as one of the biggest-earning solo artists of all time.

However, he claims it was this success and the overplaying of his music which made “people want to strangle” him.

“It's hardly surprising that people grew to hate me. I'm sorry that it was all so successful. I honestly didn't mean it to happen like that,” he said.

The star, who has sold more than 150 million records, says his main focus now is his two sons, Nicholas and Matthew, by his third wife Orianne Cevey.

“I'm not worried about not being able to play the drums again, I'm more worried about being able to cut a loaf of bread safely or building things for my kids,” he said.

“My doctors tell me it's a work in progress, that it'll take about a year for me to recover. They're not strong enough to play the drums. I don't think I'll ever be able to do that again."

Asked if he is officially an ex-rock star now, Collins replied: "It feels like a good time to stop for a while. David Letterman wanted me to go on his show on a Monday night recently but I said, 'No. Can't do it. I have the kids on a Monday'.

"And my label said, 'But this is Letterman!' And I was like, 'Guess what? I. Don't. Give. A. ----'."

Collins recently suggested in an interview that he had considered committing suicide due to constant criticism of his work, but had dismissed the idea because of his children.

He said a suicide note left by the comedian Tony Hancock which read "Too many things went wrong too often" had often played on his mind.

Collins, who has two other children by previous marriages, joined Genesis in 1970 as the group's drummer and later replaced Peter Gabriel as lead singer.

He found solo success in the 1980s with a string of hits such as In The Air Tonight, Against All Odds and Two Hearts, while continuing as the frontman for Genesis.

He won seven Grammys and an Oscar for his song You’ll Be in My Heart from the 1999 Disney animated film Tarzan.

However, he hasn't released any new material in a decade.

Prior to giving up the drums, he disclosed that the only way he could play was by taping the sticks to his hands.

The full interview appears in this month's FHM Magazine, on sale now.