CULTURE

Phil Collins to play in Athens

About to engage in a farewell tour around the world, popular pop music singer and composer Phil Collins will also make a stop in Athens on November 1 at the Peace and Friendship Stadium. The Athens concert will be part of the third leg of his First Final Farewell Tour, which will kick off in October and will include countries like Croatia, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Finland, Hungary, Israel, Lebanon, Latvia, Romania, Russia, Serbia-Montenegro, Turkey, the United Arab Emirates and more. Countries keep being added to the list and that is why Greece, along with Turkey and Ireland, do not yet appear as concert venues in many official and unofficial websites. Collins, who has performed in Europe and America, said this time he wanted to visit cities where he has never played before, or cities he has only performed in just once. His son Simon Collins will join him as a supporting act in most shows, promoting his new album «Time for Truth.» An entourage of more than 100 people will follow Collins, one of the richest artists in the world, in order to set up this large-scale production on stage. Collins said he also wanted to go to Asia and Australia, but, as he recently explained to the press, he has no such plans, at least for 2005 and 2006, because his family is now his priority, according to his manager. But he promised that at some point it will happen. «As soon as Nicholas goes to school, I will perform only during school holidays,» Collins told journalists. The Glasgow stop of his First Final Farewell Tour is already sold out. Audiences in Athens will also remember Collins as the singer and drummer for Genesis, which began in the 1960s as an art rock band fronted by Peter Gabriel and turned pop in the 1980s after Collins took over and offered songs like «Invisible Touch,» still a staple in local bars and clubs. The Grammy-award winner has also composed and produced other hits over the last 35 years, including «In the Air Tonight,» «Against All Odds» and «Another Day in Paradise,» and has written the original music for Disney films like «Tarzan» and «Brother Bear.» So far, he has sold 250 million albums. Phil Collins gets bored easily. At 45, he left Britain and went to Geneva in Switzerland, where he divorced his second wife Jill for 23-year-old Orianne and abandoned Genesis for a solo career. He is also bored of interviews. «Interviews are the most miserable and artificial way of communication between two people,» he said at a recent one. He prefers asking questions instead of answering them. Heavily criticized after he married Orianne, he was slammed as a «bad husband» by the tabloids and left his home country. He’s still the target of criticism in the US. Because of the recent bad press, people take his songs literally. «In The Air Tonight» includes the line: «If you told me you were drowning, I would not lend a hand.» People still stop him on the street and ask if he really did see someone drowning and did not help them. «I only wanted to talk about my divorce, my first divorce,» she said «Of course, there is no way to make someone who is simply listening to the song understand that… You know, a song is just like a child. You have to bring it up. And sometimes, what you thought would develop into something amazing ends up disappointing you.»