Philip David Charles "Phil" Collins (born 30 January 1951 in Chiswick, London, England) is a British singer, songwriter, voice actor, vocalist, multi-instrumentalist, drummer, actor, writer and solo artist. Collins' appearance in Grand Theft Auto: Vice City Stories makes him the first real-life celebrity to physically appear in a Grand Theft Auto game, as Lazlow Jones did appear but not physically until Grand Theft Auto V.
Collins can be seen in the third official trailer for GTA Vice City Stories performing "In The Air Tonight", which coincidentally was featured in the pilot of "Miami Vice". Collins himself appeared in one episode of Miami Vice.
Early life and careerCollins was given a toy drum kit for Christmas when he was five. Later, his uncle Mark Wade made him a makeshift one that he used regularly. As Collins grew older these were followed by more complete sets bought by his parents. He practiced by playing alongside the television and radio, and never learned to read and write conventional musical notation; instead, he uses a system he devised himself.
His professional training began at fourteen when he entered Barbara Speake Stage School. He began a career as a child actor and model, and won his first major role as The Artful Dodger in the London production of Oliver!. He was an extra in The Beatles' A Hard Day's Night - one of hundreds of screaming teenagers during the TV concert sequence and seen fleetingly in a close-up. He was also in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. He also auditioned for the role of Romeo in Romeo and Juliet (1968). In 1970, the 19-year old Collins played percussion on the George Harrison song "The Art of Dying". Harrison credited him in the liner notes to the remastered CD version of the album released in 2000. Collins was among the last three finalists for the role of "I.Q." on the children's American television show The Bugaloos (he lost out to English actor/musician John McIndoe.
Despite the beginnings of an acting career, Collins continued to gravitate towards music. While attending Chiswick Community School he formed a band called The Real Thing and later joined The Freehold. With the latter group, he wrote his first song titled "Lying Crying Dying".
Collins' first record deal came as drummer for Flaming Youth who released a single album, Ark 2 (1969). A concept album inspired by the recent media attention surrounding the moon landing, Ark 2 (with Ronnie Caryl, Brian Chatton and Gordon (Flash) Smith), failed to make much commercial success despite positive critical reviews. Melody Maker featured the album as "Pop Album of the Month", describing it as "adult music beautifully played with nice tight harmonies". The album's main single, "From Now On", failed on the radio. After a year of touring, band tensions and the lack of commercial success dissolved the group.
Role in GTA Vice City StoriesIn 1984, Phil is in Vice City for an upcoming concert. Phil's manager, Barry Mickelthwaite owes $3million to Giorgio Forelli, a Forelli Family capo, and he is worried that Forelli is going to try and assassinate Phil if he does not get his money back. Victor Vance, who is working for Barry's friend Reni Wassulmaier, agrees to go with Barry to meet Phil, who is arriving in the city by helicopter. Vic and Barry meet Phil, who is also greeted by some Forelli Family gunmen. The gunmen destroy Phil's helicopter a few moments after he alights. Vic kills the gunmen and drives Phil and Barry to Phil's hotel.
A few days later, Vic meets Barry, Phil and Reni at the film studio. Phil is due to perform a soundcheck for his concert at the Hyman Memorial Stadium later that day, and Barry wants Vic to ensure that the stadium is safe. Vic arrives at the stadium to find it filled with heavily-armed Forelli gang members. He kills many of them, eventually finding a basement keycard. He heads down to the basement to find some hitmen planting a bomb. Vic kills them and defuses the bomb before Phil and Barry arrive.
A few weeks pass and the day of Phil's concert arrives. After dropping Reni (who has just had his/her fourth sex change) off at the airport, Vic heads to the concert. When he arrives, Phil is already on stage and Barry is worried that Giorgio's men are going to try something during the concert. Barry's fears are confirmed when Vic spots a man trying to sabotage the lighting rig, which Phil is directly underneath. Vic successfully fends off Forelli's men, and Phil completes his concert intact. After the concert, Vic congratulates Phil, and Barry decides to pay Giorgio his money back to avoid any more threats to Phil's life. Phil sarcastically suggests Vic becomes his new manager, before announcing to Barry that he plans to spend a few days in Vice City on holiday, and suggests Barry takes Reni's advice and gets "those false tits" to accompany "the real one he uses for a head".
Upon completing "In the Air Tonight", the player can purchase a ticket to see the "Phil Collins: Live in Vice City" concert at the Hyman Memorial Stadium. The ticket costs $6000 and allows the player to see an uninterrupted rendition of Collins sing In the Air Tonight.
- Phillip Bailey & Phil Collins - Easy Lover (Flash FM, Grand Theft Auto: Vice City Stories) Incorrectly credited to Phillip Bailey
- Genesis - Turn It on Again (Flash FM, GTA Vice City Stories)
- Phil Collins - In the Air Tonight (Emotion 98.3 and via concert, GTA Vice City Stories)
- Genesis - Mama (Liberty Rock Radio, Grand Theft Auto IV)
- Phil Collins - I Don't Care Anymore (Los Santos Rock Radio, Grand Theft Auto V)
- Phil Collins Concert in Grand Theft Auto: Vice City Stories.
- Phil Collins' official website
- Phil Collins' IMDB Entry