How Phil Collins ‘Cheated’ at Genesis Audition
Phil Collins recalled how he had gained an added advantage ahead of his 1970 audition to become the drummer with Genesis. He was an old hand at trying out for bands by the time Peter Gabriel’s group was looking for its fourth drummer ahead of recording its third album Nursery Cryme, as he told Uncle Joe Benson on the Ultimate Classic Rock Nights radio show.
“I’d never heard the band Genesis, I’d heard of them,” Collins said. “I went for the audition the same way I went for thousands of other auditions – and most of them I didn’t get. But when I went for this audition, it was a Peter Gabriel’s parents’ farm. … It was a beautiful day; they were auditioning out on the patio.”
Collins recalled that they had a swimming pool. "Peter said, ‘Why don’t you go and have a swim while we’re auditioning the guys before you?’" he remembered. "So I went and had a swim. … I could hear anything that was going down – I knew the tunes before I actually auditioned. So when I came up to play, of course I walked straight into it. I knew all the things, so I got the job!”
“Something definitely changed when Phil joined the band," Gabriel later said. "He was a real drummer – something I had never been too convinced of with [earlier members] Chris Stewart and John Mayhew.”
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