He has mangled many a song in his time but now Phil Collins claims that in a previous life he mangled a few Mexicans at the battle for the Alamo -
For Collins, the thrice-married Genesis percussionist and solo star, has become obsessed with the battle of the Alamo to such an extent there are mutterings he may be one drumstick short of a pair.
Collins, who is 59 and was born and raised in Hounslow, West London, believes that he is the reincarnation of an Alamo survivor — having been told this by a clairvoyant whom he met in Texas while on a trip four years ago.
The battle in 1836 saw 1,500 Mexican troops lay siege to 200 Texans — including Davy Crockett, Jim Bowie and that bald git from Genesis — at the Alamo mission, San Antonio. All but a handful of the Texans were killed.
He’s told friends his life as Phil Collins the singer is now ‘over’ (The Archive says, thank f**k for that!). Studying the history of the Alamo, and collecting artifacts from the battle, has become an all-consuming passion. ‘F*** music,’ he rather sourly told an interviewer this year.
Following his third divorce in 2007 and failing health (nerve damage to his arms makes it impossible for him to drum), Collins’ interest in the Alamo has taken over his life.
The little plump warrior
He recently secretly bought a shop next to the Alamo mission simply so that he could dig under it in search of artifacts.
He’s also spent hundreds of thousands of pounds on memorabilia (although as a hobby it’s certainly cheaper than getting married, which has cost him a staggering £42 million in alimony).
Collins spends weeks at a time in Texas, and his friends believe that he is preparing to buy a home there to add to the more usual rock-star property portfolio of a home in Switzerland, a ski chalet, and a place in New York.
He’s addressed a local historical society, is thinking of writing a book, and is coming out of semi-retirement next spring in order to do a benefit gig for a restoration fund in San Antonio.
For Collins, who says he has had suicidal thoughts and can be lonely and depressed, this other life as a reincarnated Texan hero seems to give him purpose.
Collins believed he was John W Smith, a horseback courier who left before the massacre to take a message. He went on to become mayor of San Antonio.