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Not Dead Yet: The Memoir

4.03  ·  Rating details ·  4,519 ratings  ·  661 reviews
Phil Collins pulls no punches—about himself, his life, or the ecstasy and heartbreak that’s inspired his music. In his much-awaited memoir, Not Dead Yet, he tells the story of his epic career, with an auspicious debut at age 11 in a crowd shot from the Beatles’ legendary film A Hard Day’s Night. A drummer since almost before he could walk, Collins received on the job ...more
Hardcover, 371 pages
Published October 25th 2016 by Crown Archetype
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Not Dead Yet by Phil Collins is a 2016 Crown Archetype publication.

My luck with rock memoirs this year has been lukewarm at best. I’ve been disappointed, or unimpressed or bored to tears for the most part, with only one or two exceptions.

So, being a huge fan of Genesis and Phil Collins, I was a little wary about reading this one, but noticed the book has had a very favorable response from readers, so I decided to give it a try.

Well, this one wins best rock/music memoir of 2016 award from me!
Jennifer ~ TarHeelReader
Apr 28, 2018 marked it as put-aside
I’ll come back to this one...I was listening to the audio and found myself avoiding it, so I’ll wait for a different time.
Angel Gelique
Be it known by one and all that I'm a HUGE fan!!! :-)

"Music made me, but it also unmade me."

Santa Claus gives a three-year-old Phillip David Charles Collins (better known as the amazingly talented Phil Collins) a toy drum set. The rest is history!

This book offers a nice glimpse of Phil Collins' life from childhood through the present day. The legendary musician reveals plenty of details from both his personal and professional life. It is very well-written and makes you feel as though you've
Steve Aldous
Oct 31, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Phil Collins tells his life story as he would put it, “warts and all”. It is a fascintating, touching, funny and sad read showing how his dedication to his career resulted in domestic disharmony and ultimately psychological issues, alcoholism and failing health. A man who could do no wrong in the 1980s became pilloried in the 1990s, following what he terms as “Faxgate” – for which he puts the record straight here, and ultimately retreated into a form of semi-seclusion following his so-called “ ...more
Dec 02, 2016 rated it really liked it
Full review at:

Phil Collins came out with his memoir, Not Dead Yet, this fall, joining a crop of rock bios that have been getting a lot of attention recently. I was a big Genesis/Phil Collins fan back in the 80s, so I was excited to get my hands on Not Dead Yet.

It opens with his early days in suburban London and tracks his family life and his childhood/early adulthood obsession with music. From there, the juggernaut of Collins’ career kicks in: joining Genesis, touring larger and larger venues,
James Hartley
Jan 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This is a great read by a musician and actor whos seen it all over the course of his career. The story is nicely told - streaked, like the man himself, with self-doubt and insecurity. It goes to prove that were all prisoners of our personalities, which is both sad and comforting.
Phil Collins has, obviously, long become a whipping boy for coolio music journalists and their followers - but, like it or not, hes played with John Martyn, Eric Clapton, Earth, Wind and Fire, Led Zeppelin,
Dec 31, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ppl, rock-music
Insightful read and cautionary tale with a healthy dose of humor

This struck me as a very insightful and honest memoir. I learned a great deal about Mr. Collins, his birth family, his wives, kids, friends and/or peers.

Mr. Collins has some great gifts for writing. I especially appreciated his consistent narrative and tongue-in-cheek "Phython-esque" sense of humor. Throughout the text, I felt like I was having long late night discussions with a friend, and occasionally that I was in the
Scott Wilson
Dec 09, 2016 rated it really liked it
By now, I've lost track of any simple explanation for how PC got to be my all-time No. 1 — how Genesis (both eras) and Collins as a solo act have dominated my listening for more than 30 years. And it isn't as though the rest of my Nick Hornby daybook of lists is, like, Chris DeBurgh and Night Ranger; there's a rich lode of unimpeachable, loved-by-all-thinking-persons stuff in my 4,000 albums, some expected and much obscure.

The "picnic, lightning" version: school bus trip, my Walkman, friend
Laurie • The Baking Bookworm
I was a big fan of Phil Collins' in the 80's and 90's, even seeing him perform in Toronto three times (an awesome performer, in case you're wondering). I still enjoy his older music but I admit that I had lost track of what he'd been up to over the past decade or so.

With Not Dead Yet Collins' has written a no holds barred look at his life. He starts with his beginnings in England with his family and goes into great detail about his early connections with some famous stars (which totally shocked
Jonathan Kent
Feb 08, 2017 rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Hugh Mullan
Oct 26, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I'm a Genesis fanatic; I absolutely love them in all their iterations. I also liked Phil's solo work and thought the movie Buster was great. So I had very high expectations for this book and thankfully I wasn't let down. I highly recommend this book.

As expected, he addresses all the famous and infamous moments of his career. As he was omnipresent (as he admits) during the 80's and 90's I thought I knew all the stories but here we get Collins' perspective. And fair play to him, he's brutally
Doug Phillips
Nov 18, 2018 rated it really liked it
This review begins with a disclaimer: Like millions of other people, I've been a fan of Phil Collins since his early Genesis days. That being stated, I found it interesting how Collins opens a door into his entire personal history to date.

"My name is Phil Collins and I'm a drummer, and I know I'm not destructible. This is my story."

Without being a tell-all that relies on salacious stories of embarrassing antics, the author stays true to reveal a personality that seems to shine through on his
Colin Murtagh
Dec 10, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I was never a huge fan of Collins, although I enjoyed his work with Genesis, his solo work never really did much for me. Along with that, he was so ubiquitous in the 80s that it did sort of turn me off him
This book changed my mind entirely. Starting with his first drum kit, made for him at 3 year old, through up to his final retirement, this is a searingly honest look at his life. He admits his faults, is honest about his issues, yet at the same time his love for music comes shining through.
Mar 01, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
My review should be read with the understanding that I'm not Phil Collins fan. I don't dislike him, but I'm definitely not an enthusiast. While I found some of the stories Collins told interesting; I found that this memoir was quite a superficial narrative. It reads as a chronicle of events; lacking the reflection and deeper analysis which might have made it more engaging. I often found myself skimming. Interesting but not well executed.
Jeff Wetherington
Nov 12, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Thoroughly enjoyed the story of Phil Collins' life thus far. While extremely talented in the musical arts he was less so in the area of romantic relationships, something he admits with regret and honesty. That's something a lot of us can probably identify with. He takes you through all the highs and the lows of his life and the near-death experience that would seem to have given him a new lease on life at the age of 65.

Something I did that made this a unique reading was that I did not confine
Jan 16, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Very well balanced look at Phil Collins professional and personal life. My favorite stories were: how Phil became the singer of Genesis, Phil making the albums he wanted to make with seemingly little label pressure and having tons of hits in the 1980's, Phil's loyalty to Genesis and workaholic personality, his Live Aid story, Phil Collins shocking bout with alcoholism and the severity and recency of it (hard to believe and relieving that this occurred at the height of social media and he was ...more
Brett Rohlwing
Nov 18, 2016 rated it really liked it
It's good to see Phil's not dead yet. You may be surprised, however, by how many times he came close to it. As a singer generally relegated to yer mom's CD collection, the man who appears as a smirking, affable chap in his music videos has suffered some major ups and downs in his personal life. Not so much in his professional life, though, as his career grew far beyond the band where his career truly took off, Genesis. Mr. Collins gives us a rough-and-tumble tour of his insanely successful music ...more
Sylvester Kuo
Jan 11, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: memoir, music
Probably one of the most genuine biography I've read. I've always adored Phil Collins, but reading his autobiography has opened my eyes to see who he really is. Not Dead Yet is a funny recollection of important events in his life, from when he was a child to the present. I really enjoyed knowing what he thought of his own music and various ventures he had, although I am mildly annoyed at how dysfunctional his personal life is. Nevertheless, reading this book made me appreciate his work even ...more
Jonas Saul
Jul 30, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This was a fantastic look into the life and times of the man behind so many chart topping hits. During my high school days, Phil Collins' music played a big role. During my early twenties, Phil was on my stereo. I saw him in concert in 1986 in Toronto. Then saw Peter Gabriel at the Amnesty International concert in Toronto in 1987 with Bruce Springsteen. To be able to learn the history of the band Genesis and how Phil Collins embarked on his solo career was a pleasure. Recommended.
Jeffrey Debris
Sep 26, 2017 rated it really liked it
My love for Phil Collins and his music comes from my mother who raised me with some great classic rock influences. We had a good stereo installation at home and she always used to play music. It was never quiet in our house, and that's probably why I love music so much in general. One of her favourites was Phil Collins. A love we shared for quite some time. When I found out Phil had written a memoir, I was anxious to get my hands on it. I mean, I knew quite a bit about him, but to actually read ...more
Sam Klein
May 17, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: audible, library
I really liked this listen on audiobook from my library through OneDrive. I wasn't a particular fan of Phil or Genesis but this real tale moved me along because it had great pace, overlapped with an era of music that I wasn't very familiar and how it chronologically happened. It wasn't a book about Rock and Roll excess so much as a story about how a driven, likable and talented man rode a wave and made history. But also his honesty about how his marriages fall apart. How he thought about his ...more
Dec 07, 2017 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed reading this book and getting to know Phil Collins. He writes very straight forward and honest. Most interesting to me was learning about his career. He is always very generous in his praise for his colleagues and credits them with a share in his success. Leading a life of stardom usually means an unhappy home life, not the exception here. He has many regrets and you feel much compassion for him. He loves his children and wants to make up for any failures he feels he's ...more
Jun 01, 2018 rated it liked it
I enjoy reading autobiographies/memoirs, so when I saw this one on overdrive I had to download it. I liked the title, the cover and the fact that Phil Collins narrated his own book. He had a nice voice for this. I knew who he was as I grew up, but I can't say I was a fan. I liked his Disney movie of which is one of my favorite songs. So, I liked getting to know the man through this book.

Overall, this was a fluffy look at some selected events in his life. This rosy outlook wasn't a
Craig Hingston
Jan 08, 2018 rated it liked it
My music hero. Been listening to him since high school. A privilege to learn about the real Phil warts and all. All time legend.
Jan 29, 2018 rated it really liked it
Enjoyable read, albeit a little too long. Not only is Phil Collins extremely talented, he is also incredibly hardworking and dedicated to his craft. It was interesting learning about his life and career.
Mar 16, 2017 rated it it was ok
Ha ha look at that smug cover. Tosser. Picked this up at the library, I mean this man who famously said he was leaving the country if Labour won in 1992, does not need any more money certainly not from me buying this. I will quite happily speed read an autobiography of someone I don't like, it can be fun. Some interesting back stage stories about Live Aid and other such things. Won't claim to have read the long chapters about doing Disney soundtracks.....zzzz....
Sandy Nawrot
Dec 31, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: audio, best-2016
As I said in an earlier post, upon reflection, it seems I have a thing for rock star autobiographies. I don't read a lot of them, but when I do, they are always five stars. Hell, I don't even have to LIKE the person to love the book (ahem, Rod Stewart). But? It was a foregone conclusion that I'd love this one. (Thanks Marybeth for the effusive recommendation!)

Is Phil Collins my all-time favorite singer ever? No, not by a long shot. You can KEEP Sussudio and Easy Lover and Invisible Touch, good
Feb 22, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I thoroughly enjoyed this book, especially since it was an audio book read by Phil himself. I've always been a fan of both Genesis and his solo work and to learn about his life and the paths he took during his long and successful career was very entertaining. Like all famous artists, it seems, there are good times and bad, love and loss, and bouts with substance abuse. Phil addresses all of these memories with candor and a distance that time has lent in order for him to be objective about his ...more
Feb 23, 2017 rated it did not like it
I guess it's candid. And very nostalgic. And even loving. But as a memoir it's nothing special. Like I genuinely found the indexing as amusing as some of the stories.

Lorde gets mentioned as one of his modern day fans though so NZ'S PROUDEST DAY.
Jul 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I love Phil Collins!!! I love his voice, I love his music and I love the way he plays the drums!!! His life is very interesting and he’s conquered a lot!! I loved reading all ant him!! If your a Phil Collins fa you should definitely read this!!!
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Philip David Charles "Phil" Collins is an English singer, songwriter, music producer, actor, author, and Alamo history enthusiast. He gained fame as both the drummer and lead singer for the rock band Genesis, as well as worldwide success as a solo artist. His most successful period as a solo artist was between 1983 and 1990. Collins is among the best-selling music artists of all time with over an ...more
“Out of raw emotion emerges instinctive truth.” 3 likes
“People hate a break-up, but they love a break-up song.” 2 likes
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