Performer: Phil Collins
Songwriter: Phil Collins
Original Release: No Jacket Required
Definitive Version: None
Everyone back? OK, my first concert was Pure Prairie League, as I mentioned. Scott’s first concert was a little better. It was Phil Collins on the No Jacket Required tour in 1985 at the Richfield Coliseum. It was the first show I saw at the late, great historic venue.
It wasn’t Genesis, but at the time, no one knew when or even if we’d see Genesis again. It was close enough. Besides we were plenty into Phil’s solo stuff at the time, like a lot of people were.
Almost everyone in my crew went. I bought tickets for myself, Scott, Beth, Erin, Beth’s sister, Jin, Mike and his girlfriend, Susie. Back then, it was either by phone or spend the night in front of the Buzzard’s Nest. I used the phone, and predictably we were stuck up in nose-bleed city.
Steve, his girlfriend and another couple Mike and Steve knew through their fraternity at OSU were a few rows in front of us, and it led to a rather comedic moment at the start of the show. Mike had been going up and down the stairs almost as soon as we arrived to chat with Steve for a bit then come back to our seats. He did this several times. (Mike was on the aisle, so he could get away with this.)
He started down the stairs once more right when they turned the house lights off. I’ve never seen anyone make a faster U-turn than Mike, who made a three-steps-at-a-time beeline back for his seat. Whatever he wanted to say apparently could wait.
The concert was all right, although I wanted to hear more stuff from the first two albums, like on the RKO radio play that I had heard on Q-FM that summer. Scott, though, was loving it, air drumming, singing all the words.
A few random memories:
* Scott had a Genesis bootleg from the Abacab tour called the Hottest Ticket, which he unfortunately mislabeled as the Hotest (pronounced ho-test) Ticket as I reminded him for, oh, the next decade. Anyway, if you aren’t aware of it, during Man on the Corner, someone away from the bootlegger’s mic yells “Peter Gabriel” to light applause, whereupon someone right next to the mic shrieks “PHIL COL-LINS!”
I promised Scott beforehand that I would pay similar tribute during a similarly inappropriate moment. I chose Against All Odds, yelling out in the exact same exaggerated voice as the guy on the tape: “PHIL COL-LINS!” I thought Scott was going to lose it after he realized no one was coming to beat us up.
* After opening with I Don’t Care Anymore, the pace was mixed, and the mood was pretty chilly as Phil wound up If Leaving Me Is Easy, which Steve dubbed a wrist-slasher for its depressing lyrics, and I’d had enough. As it wrapped up, I turned to Beth loud enough for everyone around me to hear, “That’s enough of that. OK, here comes Sussudio.”
Sure enough, Phil promptly went right into Sussudio, his biggest hit at the time, which woke up the crowd. Scott looked at me, like … what? I had no idea it was coming; it just seemed like the appropriate time. Apparently Phil was ready to dial it up, too.
* Phil played this song early in the show. At the time it was Mike’s favorite PC song, and he said on the drive up he hoped Phil would play it.
When Phil launched into it, Mike was overjoyed, standing at once and “conducting” the band for one bar before sitting down again. Thereafter, whenever Scott and I heard this song together, we would look at each other and say “conduct” while making the same gesticulations at the same point as when Mike took the steering wheel.