When Elton performed with the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra in December 1986, he had trouble singing because of throat nodules.
Phil Collins‘ routine overlapped with Elton’s, so he spent one evening in his colleague’s dressing room. He recalls the piano player ”throwing a moody” before going onstage because he was afraid he’d completely lost his voice. But the Genesis frontman only noticed a slight wobble in one place, during Don’t Let The Sun Go Down On Me.
This is one of several EJ references in Phil’s new memoir. In another instance, the hitmaker jokes about seeing Elton and Fergie ”sharing tiara tips” at a Buckingham Palace party.
Other events cited in Not Dead Yet include the 1999 MusicCares salute to Elton, in which Phil sang Burn Down The Mission, and the Rocket Man’s Oscar gathering, where Collins showed off his Academy Award for Best Original Song. There’s a photo of the pair at the 2000 gala, as well as an older shot of them (along with most of the Who, Patti LaBelle, Steve Winwood, and Billy Idol) during a restaging of Tommy. In 1989, Elton reprised his Pinball Wizard role, while Phil played Uncle Ernie. The latter considered it to be a challenge trying to live up to Keith Moon, who did the original part, but says he did the best he could.