The man who started a petition calling for the United Nations to stop Phil Collins from coming out of retirement has abandoned his efforts, clarifying that the petition was simply a “silly joke” and an attempt at “lowbrow satire”.
Collins recently announced that he is “no longer officially retired”, telling Rolling Stone that he’s working on a solo album ahead of a comeback tour.
The petition – titled ‘Phil Collins must be stopped’ – was set up by an individual named Brian Pee, who wrote in the petition: “Phil Collins has announced he is ‘no longer in retirement’. There is far too much suffering in the world as it is. This must be stopped.”
The petition attracted 4,352 signatures before it was closed over the weekend, with its creator explaining: “People who signed this get that it was a joke. Some others didn’t. It very obviously wasn’t a serious petition. Surely no one could think this was going to be sent to the UN?”
He continued: “It was lowbrow satire, a farcical jest that I shared with some friends. It would have remained that way, and been forgotten about very quickly, as all silly jokes are, had someone in the news media not seen it and thought it newsworthy. That anyone saw it as newsworthy is puzzling. How so many saw it as newsworthy is far more puzzling. It must have been a very slow news week.”
“I doubt very much that Phil Collins would give a damn about my musical taste, and nor do I think anyone else should be bothered by something that was easy to see had no serious intent. It’s gone now, so people who were annoyed about it and gave their attention to it, and people who reported it and directed so many other people’s attention towards it may direct their attentions to something of real importance.
This petition wasn’t that.”
“It was a silly joke, that is all, no more than that,” Pee added.
In the Rolling Stone interview, Collins, who announced his short-lived retirement in 2011, said he wanted to show his children “what their dad does”. He said: “My kids are now 10 and 14 and they want to see what their dad does. They were in nappies when I was last on the road. They love my music and I’d like to take them out so they can enjoy it.”
Of his tour plans, Collins continued: “I don’t think I want a very long tour. But I would like to play the stadiums in Australia and the Far East, and that’s the only way to do that. But there’s a part of me that just wants to do theatres, so we’ll see.”
When asked if a return to music could signal a Genesis reunion, Collins replied: “Let’s start with this [solo] bit first. I love the guys. I would just prefer to do this first. For now, let’s just see how this goes.”