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Wednesday, Jul. 23, 2014 — RUSSELL SPRINGS & JAMESTOWN, KENTUCKY —
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Thoughts from the Lower 40: 'Just Say the Word ...'
In May 2 Issue
Russell County News
By Wade Daffron, Columnist

The driving beat...

The raspy voice...

Irresistible melodies...

Those are good things, right?

Oh no, no, no, no, my friends, not good at all.

Late in the night, it’s all I hear.

During the day, I sometimes catch myself (GASP!) singing along.

I am totally convinced I have accidently suffered some kind of head injury, or unknowingly underwent some kind of metamorphosis which has left me susceptible to the music mastery (?!) and kooky charm of Phil Collins.

For those who don’t know Phil Collins, he’s the limey vocalist/drummer (left-handed, don’t you know...) who was all over the place (and I mean all over the place) in the late 1980s.

Every time you turned on the radio, you heard Phil Collins.

Every time you turned on the TV, you saw Phil Collins (in both music videos and legitimate, acting roles).

He even made headlines by performing at the original Live Aid concerts in England and America on the same day-thanks to the fast-flying Concorde.

I guess he’s a heck of a nice guy, and seems to be a prolific performer, but his music, well...

Yeah, yeah, I know, music is a "subjective" thing, and one person’s opinion is no better than another’s.

But the balding, little, British bugger is a person whose music is truly, horrendously, authentically...awful.

The other day, I was trying to do something, and found myself unable to concentrate because I had a Phil Collins song running through my head.

(Wait, OK, before we go any farther, I guess we better lump Phil’s prog-rock group, Genesis, into the mix.)

Alright, so, the other day, I was trying to do something and found myself unable to concentrate because I had a Phil Collins-dominated Genesis song running through my head.

One of the "hits" from the eponymous-titled Genesis album (that’ll date me right there) was a slow, harsh, heavy-on-the-drum machine dirge called "Mama."

Among the deep-meaning, philosophical lyrics is the oft-repeated line, "Ha-ha-ha....argh." (And if you’re familiar with the song, you’ll know what I’m talking about.)

Well, that line-with it’s psychotic delivery-must have played a continuous loop through my brain for a good two hours.

A few days before that, I found myself in a near-stupor (even worse than usual) when the Phil Collins-dominated Genesis song, "That’s All" crept into my psyche and set up camp.

Man, what an irritating song!

It can’t seem to decide if it’s an up-tempo pop song, or a sappy, country ballad.

The repetitive keyboard riff makes me want to jam a sharpened stick into by eardrums, and the guitar solo sounds like someone trying (unsuccessfully) to start a riding lawn mower.

Genesis’ "Abacab,"-that one’s not too bad, I actually saved up my chore money and bought that one.

I used to hear the title song on WKYM out of Monticello, and it was a auditory treat for a teenager with a set of Koss headphones.

It’s Phil Collins’ solo material that make me want to hurt myself and others.

Granted, back in the day, there was no cooler song than "In The Air Tonight,"-which was propelled to popularity with its connection to the Miami Vice television show. (Oh, now, c’mon, we all had at least one pastel shirt, a white sports jacket, and wore our loafers without socks because of that show.)

"In The Air Tonight" has one of the most legendary drum fills ever recorded.

I can remember riding in a car with everybody’s buddy, Philip "Syd" Stephens (himself, a legendary drummer) when that song came on the radio.

When the "duh-duh, duh-duh, duh-duh, duh-duh, DUH, DUH, DUH" drum part came around, we all screamed in horror as Syd pounded along on the passenger-side dash board.

He pounded so hard, that when he got to the "DUH-DUH-DUH" part, the air bag deployed, covering him, and all of us in the back seat, with white power and pieces of shredded plastic.

The car screeched to a halt at the side of the road, and all of us tumbled out laughing.

"I can fix that with some duct tape," Syd said.

See what Phil Collins does to people?

Now, let’s get "real."

"Real bad."

Have you ever heard a worse song than "Sussudio?"

First of all, it rips off Prince’s "1999." (Oh...never realized that, huh?)

Second, the song make no sense. (Even Phil Collins admitted he "ad-libbed" its lyrics.)

Third, it’s the sonic equivalent of having your teeth pulled...with a rusty wrench...without any anaesthesia...while hanging upside-down...from a tree...full of poisonous snakes...during a snowstorm...while "Sussudio" plays loudly in the background.

The song used to constantly be on the radio.

I was on a date one time (I didn’t have to pay the girl to go out with me), and we were driving down the road when I told her, "Hey, if I turn on the radio right now, and that stupid "Sussudio" song in have to kiss me."

"I hate that song," she said, "and I’m not going to kiss you."

I flipped on the radio, and sure enough, there was the churning, sickening-synsonic beat of "Sussudio."

I got my kiss, though.

But I derive unpleasant memories from Phil Collin’s weekly domination of my then-favorite TV show, Solid Gold ("How ‘bout them Solid Gold Dancers?!"), with his "hits" like: "You Can’t Hurry Love," (awful cover version), "One More Night," (horrible-sleep inducing), "Don’t Lose My Number," (wretched-and who’s "Billy," anyway?), "Two Hearts," (really foul-sounded like "You Can’t Hurry Love," so it's bad twice-over, "Against All Odds/Take A Look At Me Now," (more of the same, but even worse in an epic, grandiose, soundtrack sorta way), and the mother of all that's deplorable, "Separate Lives."

Whew...the computer keyboard stinks from just typing the title of that song.

And then there was the video for the song "Easy Lover" (which, by the way, is not a reference to the earlier-mentioned female who was tricked into a kiss).

This was one of the first big, "concept" videos where we, the lucky viewer, got to see Phil Collins and Philip Bailey (of Earth, Wind & Fire fame), practice and prepare for a video they were making of the we, the lucky viewer, were watching. You know, kind of a "making of the video/video inside a video" thing.

We saw wacky Phil trying on various wacky costumes, acting wacky-trying to amuse his singing partner.

At one point in the video (and I swear, I think I am the only person who ever noticed this), just past the three minute mark, during a dance rehearsal, Phil Collins does the most disturbing, mind-boggling, "spastic" movement I’ve ever seen a human do, or attempt to do.

He kinda puts his hands on his hips, juts his hips out, and starts violently shaking as if he’s about to levitate. Shoot, just "you tube" and you’ll see. (Don’t say I didn’t warn you, though...)

I cannot figure out why Phil Collins keeps popping into my head.

Having recently enjoyed a religious epiphany of sorts, I can only surmise Satan is pulling out the big guns to distract me.

I have even tried the "Peaches" trick, and it doesn’t work.

What’s that?

Oh, the "Peaches Trick" is quite simple, really.

If you ever find yourself with a song on your mind (especially one you don’t like), and you cannot get it out of your head, all you have to do is start thinking of the Presidents of the United States song, "Peaches," and it wipes the offending song out of the way.

The problem now, is, I fear I will start hearing "Peaches" performed by Phil Collins.

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