It's been a very long time since Phil Collins played his last concert.
In 2009, Collins suffered a spinal injury. "Somehow during the last Genesis tour, I dislocated some vertebrae in my upper neck and that affected my hands," he explained at the time. "After a successful operation on my neck, my hands still can't function normally. Maybe in a year or so it will change, but for now it is impossible for me to play drums or piano."
Two years later, he officially retired. And even now, after nearly a half decade away from the stage and the spotlight, it seems the Genesis member and solo rocker still isn't entirely fit for, as his reps explain, "a full-on Phill Collins show."
Over the years, Collins has denied that the spinal injury, reported depression, or a creative block are the cause of his absence. Instead, he's simply insisted: "I am stopping so I can be a full-time father to my two young sons on a daily basis."
But last May, the drummer-singer stoked rumors of his return to performing and touring when he played two surprise songs, "In the Air Tonight" and "Land of Confusion," as part of his sons' Miami Country Day School concert.
The hopes of Collins and Genesis fans were further inflated by the recent revelation that he would be headlining the annual benefit gala for the Little Dreams Foundation, a youth scholarship and mentoring program created by he and his ex-wife, Orianne Collins Mejjati -- scheduled for December 6 at the Fillmore Miami Beach.
It seemed that Phil Collins was finally making a comeback. But unfortunately, that's not the case.
"I will be performing three or four songs semi-acoustically, and maybe one more with my 13 year old son Nicolas on drums," Collins writes in Facebook statement meant to dispel any expectations of anything other than a 15-minute guest appearance.
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"I am not," he adds, "ready to return to the full concert stage at this time."
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Little Dreams Foundation Gala. With Phil Collins, Laura Pausini, and Alejandra Guzman. Saturday, December 6. Fillmore Miami Beach, 1700 Washington Ave., Miami Beach. The gala begins at 8 p.m. and tickets cost $103.50 to $353.50 plus fees via livenation.com. All ages. Call 305-673-7300 or visit fillmoremb.com.