Speed Reads

Band of Confusion

Phil Collins came out of retirement to sing some old hits with a middle school band


Stars of the 1980s are un-retiring in the strangest ways. Earlier this week, Journey frontman Steve Perry gave his first public performance in almost 20 years during the encore of an Eels show. Phil Collins topped that, taking the stage with a group of middle schoolers at Florida's private Miami Country Day School. In the performance last week, Collins and his teenage backup band sang "In the Air Tonight" and "Land of Confusion." It was Collins' first public show since 2010.

As Collins says below, he's been to the school a few times — at least one of his two grade-school sons attends Miami Day. And there's a slightly awkward moment when the master of ceremonies brings onstage a local man who transcribes songs for the school band — probably without paying royalties — and has him and Collins sign transcriptions of Collins' "Land of Confusion." But Collins is a good sport, and in good form. Suffice it to say, nothing like this ever happened at my middle school. --Peter Weber