Watch Phil Collins Perform ‘In the Air Tonight’ With the Roots on ‘The Tonight Show’
Phil Collins stopped by The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon Tuesday night to promote his new memoir and singles compilation, and sat in with house band the Roots for a rendition of his signature solo hit "In the Air Tonight."
You can watch footage of the performance above, which finds Collins picking up pretty much exactly where he left off after a lengthy hiatus and a failed attempt at retirement. (Particularly entertaining is the grin on Roots drummer Questlove's face after he pulls off the song's most famous lick.) Afterward, Collins sat with Fallon for a discussion about his current releases — and his highly anticipated return to the stage.
"That's got a life of its own," Collins chuckled when Fallon brought up "In the Air Tonight" during their interview segment. "That'll outlive me, I think, that song."
Collins then good-naturedly allowed Fallon to relate the urban legend about how he was inspired to write "In the Air Tonight" after watching a man drown someone, and then instead of reporting the crime to the police, he supposedly invited the murderer to one of his shows and shone a spotlight on him in the audience — a story Fallon described as the "greatest."
"I know," nodded Collins. "Unfortunately, none of it's true. I was just pissed off, you know? I was angry. You go through a divorce, and sometimes it's like, 'I love you, don't hang up,' and sometimes it's like 'F--- you!' And then of course, that's where a song like 'In the Air Tonight' comes out."
With a handful of live dates on the horizon, his Not Dead Yet memoir on its way to stores and the triple-disc The Singles in stores now, Collins is having something of a moment — but fans hoping for a full-on return to action, or new music, will still have to wait and see what happens next. Pressed for an answer on whether he had any U.S. shows in mind, Collins demurred, saying, "I'm just taking baby steps, you know?"
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