I heard In the Air Tonight by Phil Collins on XM. Must have been on Top Tracks because that definitely isn’t Deep Tracks. Or maybe I was on Tired Tracks. Love the air drumming near the end, though. Anyway, it started me thinking about the urban legend(s) surrounding that song. You know, that Phil saw a murder being committed and later found out who the person was (writing In the Air Tonight in the interim) so he invited the killer to the concert and sang the song directly to him as he was sitting in the front row with a spotlight on him. I’ve always thought that was a particularly ridiculous myth. Here’s an entire page devoted to it.
But getting beyond that aspect of the song, think about the witness part of the legend. Can you imagine…you’ve just killed someone. Perhaps it was self-defense, maybe it was a crime of passion, maybe you’re just a psycho killer. Whatever your reason, the murder probably would get you pretty jacked-up emotionally. You’re flying high on adrenalin. Your hands are bloody. You are mostly horrified by what you’ve done, but part of you is aroused. You think you might stop off for some drive-through fried chicken on the way home if you can get the blood off your hands. Your mind is occupied by these thoughts and a million others as you turn away from the carnage to go back to your car, shut the trunk and get the hell out of there. You aren’t looking up because you’re toweling the red goo off your murdering paws when you realize someone is standing right there. Your heart jumps into your throat as you look up, sure it is the PO-lice.
It’s Phil Collins.
The randomness of Phil Fucking Collins standing there is just too much. I don’t think it would even bother you, the murderer, that much. It would just be too random.
Uh, hey Phil Collins.
Phil is standing there in an overcoat and a snap-brim hat. He’s not saying anything, just looking at you.
Perhaps he is distracted by something he hears in the air tonight.