Phil Collins has something in common with Paul McCartney and Michael Jackson. They’re the only three musicians to have sold over 100 million albums as both a solo artist and prominent member of a band.
Collins has a more interesting connection to Paul McCartney. In the 1964 movie “A Hard Day’s Night”....Collins, as a young boy, can be seen as an extra.
He’s long been a huge Beatles fan and recently, it was revealed that he hasn’t spoken to Sir Paul in over 14 years. You know why? BECAUSE OF AN AUTOGRAPH REQUEST!!!!!
Yep. All of us autograph collectors have been there. I waited awhile for Tom Petty at San Diego State, and he showed up looking stoned out of his mind. Me and a few other fans were waiting, and when we asked for his autograph, he just smiled and walked by us. It was more disturbing when his guitarist Mike Campbell got out of the van. Nobody knew who it was. I said, “Hey Mike...can you sign my Torpedoes album?” (I was even wearing my Damn the Torpedoes shirt). He just walked right by, not even smiling.
So, it’s nice to know things like this happen to celebrities.
When I originally heard this story, I thought it happened at Lindsey Buckingham’s place. It was at a bit nicer venue. It was Buckingham Palace. Phil Collins asked McCartney to sign his 1st edition book “The Beatles” by Hunter Davies. He approached and said, “Hey Paul, do you mind signing this for me?”
Paul looked at wife Heather Mills and sarcastically said “Oh Heather, our little Phil’s a bit of a Beatles fan.”
In an interview with The Sunday Times, Collins said “And I thought, ‘You fu**, you fu**. Never forgot it.”
Collins said he still resents him for mocking his autograph request, and added “McCartney was one of my heroes. But he has this thing when he’s talking to you, where he makes you feel…’I know this must be hard for you because I’m a Beatle. I’m Paul McCartney and it must be very hard for you to actually be holding a conversation with me.”
[side note: I can’t figure out if Paul said that and refused to sign the book, or if Phil still got his signature]
I was recently invited to a movie screening and dinner with his actress daughter Lily, and Warren Beatty -- who are in the new Howard Hughes movie “Rules Don’t Apply.” I ended up not going.
I’d love to someday get Collins to sign one of the album covers I got from the early Genesis days (Foxtrot and Nursery Cryme); because I was once dating a woman who was friends with artist Paul Whitehead, who painted the album covers (of course, at the first dinner party I met him at in L.A., I had him sign the covers).
Anyway, I’m anxiously waiting to hear what McCartney has to say on this topic. Most people that have met him say he’s a classy guy. I have Collins beat. When I first met McCartney at a benefit in Beverly Hills (that cost me $500 to get in), he was walking with Heather Mills. I handed him a Sgt. Pepper album to sign. He stuck his finger in my face and snapped, “No autographs tonight!!!”