Phil Collins Says He Would Have Left Genesis If Pete Townshend Would Have Asked

Phil Collins would’ve abandoned Genesis to replace Keith Moon in The Who if Pete Townshend had asked.

The 65-year-old Collins joined Genesis in 1970 and became their frontman and drummer after the 1975 departure of singer Peter Gabriel, but despite the band’s continued success in the late 1970s and early 1980s, Phil admits he would have dropped everything to join The Who after the 1978 death of their drummer Moon.

“Absolutely would have joined The Who,” he wrote in an online webchat with readers of British newspaper The Guardian. “I would have left Genesis to join The Who.”

The Who’s remaining members Roger Daltrey, Pete Townshend, and John Entwistle soldiered on after Keith’s death alongside former The Small Faces drummer Kenney Jones until initially splitting in 1983. They reunited in 1996, and are still performing two decades later, despite John’s death in 2002. Jones has been replaced by Ringo Starr’s son Zak Starkey.

Phil, who retired from music in 2011, only to announce a 2017 comeback last year, holds no aspirations to play with The Who now as he approves of Starkey. “They’ve got a great drummer now in Zak Starkey, he’s fantastic,” he explained. “Someone with the balls that Keith Moon had.”

Collins recently announced plans for big comeback shows next year, revealing he is coming to terms with the illnesses and ailments that prompted him to quit music in 2011. Although partially recovered from the nerve damage that forced him into retirement five years ago, Phil explains his legendary drumming skills have not fully returned.

“The hand has got better over the years, but there’s still a long way to go,” he revealed. “I’ve got six months to sort something out, so I will be attempting to play something.”

Announcing his comeback at a London press conference, the musician revealed he was planning to let his 15-year-old son Nicholas take over drumming duties when he performs hits like Easy Lover, You Can’t Hurry Love, One More Night and Another Day In Paradise.