Sunday, February 21, 2010

Phil Collins Loves The Alamo

This apparently is true:

Singer Phil Collins said his life now revolves around the Alamo.

Collins is in town, set to appear at local events commemorating the anniversary of the siege and battle of the Alamo. Though he's mulling the idea of recording a tribute cover album of 1960s songs, he said he's making the Alamo “my main thing” as a collector, history buff and possible author.

“Basically, now I've stopped being Phil Collins the singer. This has become what I do,” he said Monday, standing beside a 13-foot-by-15-foot model of the 1836 Alamo compound that will open to the public this week.

Collins, who is British, said he has “hundreds” of cannonballs, documents and other artifacts from the Alamo, possibly the largest private collection anywhere, in the basement of his home in Switzerland. He said he's collaborating with artist Gary Zaboly on a book about his collection.

His most prized item is a receipt signed by Alamo commander William Barret Travis for 32 head of cattle used to feed the Alamo defenders.

His latest involvement in Alamo history is narrating the introduction of a 13-minute “Alamo diorama light and sound show” at the History Shop at 713 E. Houston St., by the Alamo. Invited guests at a preview tonight will also see a battle site excavation covered with a window on the floor of the shop, which is near the Alamo's north wall, where much of the heaviest fighting occurred.

Sadly, this article is from March 2009. Had I known, I totally would have driven to San Antonio to see this grotesque spectacle.

It does fit with my own experiences at the Alamo. Almost every time I've been there, weird things have happened. There's the time I saw the Mexican kids getting their picture taken while flashing gang signs in front of the Alamo while oblivious white people got annoyed that they were hogging the place and were totally unaware of what they were actually doing. Then there's the time that I ran across some bizarro San Antonio civic ceremony where men in red hotel porter jackets inducted these guys into their society; this included a salute to the six flags that have ruled over Texas and where I witnessed people cheering for the Confederate flag.

There's something about the Alamo that brings out the crazy.

I wonder what Phil Collins likes so much about the Alamo? Does he support Treason in Defense of Slavery? Does he hate Mexico? Does he idolize Jim Bowie, the illegal slave trading wife beater?

And seriously, of all American myths that he could get into, the Texas rebellion? Why? Does he have a 2000s version of a 1961 12 year old fascination with coon skin caps and muskets?

Or do things that suck simply gravitate to other things that suck? That's my best guess.