Doctor's will comment was turning point in Phil Collins' alcohol battle
Veteran rocker Phil Collins knew he had to sober up and kick his alcohol addiction after a doctor asked him if his will was in order.
The Genesis legend went public with his secret booze battle in 2014, 18 months after overcoming his drinking problem, and in his new autobiography, Not Dead Yet: The Memoir, Phil blames the boredom and loneliness of retirement as a three-time divorcee drove him to seek solace in the bottle at his Swiss home.
"Night after night I find myself lying on the bed, staring out of a skylight at grey Swiss skies, rueing my life," writes Collins, who announced he had quit music in 2011 due to ill-health. "I'm all alone, save for my good friends Johnnie Walker (whiskey) and Grey Goose (vodka). 'You've got everything,' I think, 'but you've really got f**k all.'"
His turning point came in early 2013, when he contracted a near-fatal bout of pancreatitis and ended up in the intensive care unit at a hospital in Switzerland, where he heard a doctor whisper to his family, "Is Monsieur Collins' will in order?".
Reflecting on his personal struggle, he continues, "It took me until the age of 55 to become an alcoholic. I got through the heady Sixties, the trippy Seventies, the imperial Eighties, the busy Nineties. I was retired, content - then I fell. Because suddenly, I had too much time on my hands.
"The huge hole, the void, I had to fill somehow. I filled it with booze. And it nearly killed me."
However, Collins - who has officially ended his retirement by announcing his first tour in 10 years - will forever be ashamed of his behaviour during one boozy incident with his sons Nicholas, 15, and Matthew, 11, who had to call on their nanny, Lindsey, to help their desperate dad.
"I got up to give them a hug. Bang. My teeth went into the tiles in the living-room floor," he recalls. "The bloody lip's long healed but what hasn't healed is the memory of Matthew shouting, 'Lindsey! LaLa! LaLa! Daddy's fallen over!'"
Nicholas and Matthew are Collins' kids from his marriage to third wife Orianne, who he divorced in a record-breaking settlement in 2008. The couple has since reconciled, and Phil, 65, has finally accepted he may have been the cause of the problem in each of his failed marriages.
In a pre-taped interview for U.S. news show CBS Sunday Morning, which airs this weekend (23Oct16), he confesses, "I mean, when you've been married three times and you've got five kids, you don't live with them, and you've been divorced three times, you start to wonder whether it's you, you know? It can't always be someone else's fault."
- Cover Media