Phil Collins Never Forgave Paul McCartney After This One Comment

For as many riffs as there are in rock n' roll, there are equally as many rifts. It's hard to expect everyone to get along, and it goes without saying that not everyone marches to the same tune. For instance, take two of the most momentous and beloved musicians of the 20th century. Could you imagine an exchange that would prompt one to hold a grudge for two whole decades based off of a single remark made by the other? If you're holding out for a grand tour with Paul McCartney and Phil Collins on the same ticket, maybe don't hold your breath.

Whether or not such a grudge is justified, you'll have to be the judge of that. It was in a brief conversation between the Beatles frontman and the Genesis drummer at The Buckingham Palace Party back in 2002 that 11 seemingly unforgivable words were uttered. Apparently, Collins didn't appreciate the tone that McCartney took on when he addressed him at one point during the night, and he minced no words when it came time to tell the world about what happened (via NME).

Paul McCartney talked down to Phil Collins

It takes a lot of guts to ask for an autograph from someone you admire, but if it's Phil Collins asking for it, you'd think one would be exceptionally honored to oblige. Genesis alone has sold nearly 80 million records worldwide according to Chart Masters, so there's very little room to view Phil as anything less than a rock legend. Maybe it was out of good fun, or maybe it was just stark condescension, but when Collins asked Paul McCartney to sign his first edition of The Beatles, the latter replied in a way that would have irked most anyone (per Ultimate Classic Rock).

"McCartney came up with Heather Mills and I had a first edition of The Beatles, by Hunter Davies, and I said, 'Hey, Paul, do you mind signing this for me?'" Phil Collins told The Sunday Times in a 2016 interview. "And he said, 'Oh, Heather, our little Phil's a bit of a Beatles fan.' And I thought, 'You f***, you f***.' Never forgot it." Clearly, Collins isn't someone who takes well to being patronized, and he certainly made sure McCartney understood that loud and clear. News of the exchange spread like a hit song, and it didn't take long for Paul to hear Phil's side of the story. 

McCartney reached out to Collins after the fact

By means of establishing some semblance of peace after the fact, Paul McCartney reportedly reached out to Phil Collins via email to address the situation. According to Billboard, it was only after Phil's description of the interaction went public that McCartney decided it was time to clear the air. "I certainly didn't get any flowers from him; I got more of a 'Let's just get on with our lives.' And I'm sorry he's upset that I kinda said something nasty about him," Collins explained. At very least, the two seemed to reach some sort of a silently-established ceasefire agreement, though people don't easily forget being talked to in such a way. 

Beyond his email, McCartney never really elaborated on the exchange he shared with his fellow musician and countryman back in 2002. Per his own request, it would appear that he elected to simply move on, and little more has been said since. As far as we know, the two don't speak and have never readdressed the uncomfortable subject, so it's bound to remain a mystery for the time being. However, one can't help but wonder whether or not Phil Collins ever got that autograph he asked for.

Phil Collins covered a Beatles song

In 1981, Phill Collins released "Face Value," his debut solo album. The record features some of his most iconic bangers including "In the Air Tonight," "Hand in Hand," and "You Know What I Mean." Collins also added a rendition of The Beatles' "Tomorrow Never Knows" to the record as a testimony to his timeless love for the boys from Liverpool, and you can listen to it here (via Discogs). 

Unfortunately, Collins' re-envisioning of "Tomorrow Never Comes" was far from a fan favorite. "Why Collins thought it was necessary to lay such a giant turd on an otherwise awesome album is beyond us," Ultimate Classic Rock shared in 2013. As to whether or not Paul McCartney has ever heard the Phil Collins version of his song, we're not totally sure, but it's probably better that the two stay in their own lane and keep certain remarks to themselves for the time being.