The Ultimatum Phil Collins Received Over Genesis

The ultimate decision to pursue a professional music career has several consequences, both good and bad, and it requires artists to make some sacrifices for the sake of a successful but challenging journey. Once they get recognized by major record labels and build a fan base, traveling and performing frequently become an integral part of their lives.

Thus, this situation will likely adversely affect their social and family life since there is less time to spend with them. Besides touring, a professional music career involves a constant creating process and firm dedication. So, sometimes musicians need to make tough decisions and understand how much they are willing to sacrifice for their passion. Let’s see how far Phil Collins went to continue his Genesis career.

What Was The Difficult Decision Phil Collins Had To Make?

In 1977, Genesis went through tough times after their talented lead guitarist Steve Hackett, who had appeared in the band’s six studio albums, left the band. The musician wasn’t happy with the vibe within the band, so he chose to focus on his solo career. However, his departure left Genesis with just three members: Phil Collins, Tony Banks, and Mike Rutherford. Yet, they were determined to keep the band going.

The band’s first album recorded as a trio, ‘…And Then There Were Three…’ arrived in March 1978. They added more conventional elements to their music to reach a larger audience. Ultimately, it achieved commercial success, which increased the band’s popularity in the United States. However, the band members knew that they had to tour extensively if they wanted to establish a solid place in the American market.

While the band seemed to enjoy the success, it also left Phil Collins with a difficult decision as he had to tell his then-wife Andrea Bertorelli that they had to tour, which meant he would be away from her and the children for an extended period of time. As expected, his wife wasn’t content with the situation as they would be apart for at least a year.

Although the frontman knew that his wife didn’t like the music business or being left alone when they hit the road, he wasn’t ready to handle that kind of an ultimatum. So, he chose his career rather than marriage, hoping his wife would be there for him when he returned. He told his wife to wait for him for a year so that they could solve their problems afterward.

Here is what Phil Collins said about his wife’s reaction in an interview with Rolling Stone in 1985:

“She said to me, ‘You do that, and we won’t be together in a year.'”

He then added:

“I said to my wife, ‘Don’t be stupid. We’ll work it out. Just try to hold on for a year.’ I realize now that you can’t switch people off like that.”

Thus, Phil Collins left his family and home to embark on an extensive tour with Genesis. They visited North America, Europe, and Japan between March and December 1978. Maybe Genesis had built the reputation they wanted, but Collins’ wife was already gone. In the later months, the singer tried to reconcile with his wife, yet he couldn’t prevent the upcoming divorce.