The Reason Roger Waters Called Phil Collins ‘Irritating’

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Because music is subjective by nature, it can have a polarizing effect on the listeners. Criticism is nowhere more apparent than in the music world. Even if the artists achieve enormous success, it is almost impossible to avoid complaints regarding their sound, character, or relationships with the people around them. While these comments often come from the audience or critics, other artists also get involved in these discussions and publicly complain about their colleagues.

Although artists tend to support each other on various occasions, they also make negative statements about each other. Despite being a highly respected drummer, singer, and songwriter, Genesis’ Phil Collins is a controversial figure in the rock scene. Though many people loved the music he made during his Genesis and solo career years, he has received some criticism over his personality and behavior. Pink Floyd icon Roger Waters was also one of the names who publicly made a negative comment about him.

Why Did Roger Waters Think Phil Collins Was Irritating?

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In 1989, the Who decided to organize a reunion tour to celebrate their 25th anniversary instead of a new studio album. They hit the road in the US over the summer and later performed in the UK during the autumn. The tour also included three charity shows featuring the band’s rock opera, ‘Tommy,’ released in 1969. Phil Collins appeared as a special guest for two shows, performing ‘Fiddle About’ and ‘Tommy’s Holiday Camp’ from the album.

Following his involvement in the Who’s reunion tour, Roger Waters spoke to Rolling Stone in 1990 and criticized Collins’ ‘ubiquitous nature.’ He generally commented on ‘Tommy’ and didn’t find Billy Idol, Patti LaBelle, and Phil Collins’ performances satisfactory. Waters implied that he felt irritated by seeing Collins everywhere in those years.

Roger Waters’ words on Phil Collins:

“Well, I thought ‘Tommy’ was reduced dramatically by including Billy Idol, Patti LaBelle, and Phil Collins. I find the ubiquitous nature of Phil Collins’ presence in my life irritating. Anyway. But having said that, the kid is a child actor, and he was very good, though I did feel it was kind of overkill to wear two different costumes. But Billy Idol and Patti LaBelle were an absolute nightmare.”

No one has doubted Phil Collins’ talent, but he mostly received criticism due to his ubiquity. It was possible to find him almost everywhere at the height of his popularity. While performing with Genesis, he also stepped into his solo career, collaborated with various artists, pursued an acting career, and appeared as a special guest at significant events. Thus, it wasn’t necessarily thrilling for some people to see him everywhere.