Monday, 8 October 2012

Phil Collins & Richard Branson

7 times Grammy Award winner - no joke!
Sir Richard Branson, Britain's wild horse, hippie styled, enormously successful entrepreneur dressed up formally for a function. 

What do 7 times Grammy Award winning singer/songwriter/pianist/drummer Phil Collins and phenomenally successful hippie-styled entrepreneur Sir Richard Branson have in common? To be very blunt and frank, well, they are both charismatic and talented, and well-known for their chosen respective professional careers. Apart from that they are miles apart and lead different lives. On a fateful day when they first met, they had this peculiar adventure to share a common mode of transport whereby Richard Branson was the passenger and Phil Collins was the cabby!

Richard Branson's double thumps up trade mark. This man is dead serious about his business.
Dressing up as a bride in one inaugural flight aboard Virgin Airline plane.

Flamboyant Sir Richard Branson was a product of the 60s and that explained why his acts and behavior was sometimes out of this world and unconventional. He was known as The Hippie Entrepreneur for the simple fact that he looked just like one. Branson began his business empire early when he was in his teens and he eventually became a magnate tycoon, owning more than 400 companies. He controversially chose his brand name “Virgin” for his business entity as he deemed his young age and freshly new venture into the business world was the first of its kind. He called his business empire “Virgin Group”; he was famous for his “Virgin Atlantic Airways” and “Virgin Records” etc. One of his autobiographies was notoriously titled “Losing my virginity” (Flushed).

         The Virgin conglomerate owner has 400 companies under his wing.

Being a enormously rich man, Richard Branson claimed to be a ‘new-capitalist’ to “do good” for the mass, nature, environment and for the cause of human rights etc. He had propounded that industrialists should apply their resources and technological know-how and facility to confront social woes and environmental problems, and to uphold the values of human rights, discarding the decaying, rotten doctrine of social injustice. Branson projected himself as a philanthropic entrepreneur by setting up some charitable organizations like “The Elders”, “Carbon War Room”, and “CDC for Africa” etc. He truly lived up to his words and image as a capitalist-philanthropist.

This guy was flamboyant and very confident to the point of being conceited; he exudes with ease a natural flair to impress anyone he deals with.
Branson's Virgin Atlantic Airways was his first major success
Fooling around with a lady on the tarmac was just him pulling a prank for publicity.

Richard Branson had many times attempted to make record breaking feats. In 1985 he failed in his first attempt to cross the Atlantic by sailing a boat but it capsized and Branson needed to be rescued by RAF helicopter. The next year he got the crossing the Atlantic record broken by two hours, together with sailing expert Daniel McCarthy. In 1987 his hot air balloon “Virgin Atlantic Flyer” successfully crossed the Atlantic. Richard Branson tried a few more daring adventures in hot air balloon and reaped some success but failed in few attempts to fly round the globe in a hot air balloon. Branson outrageously dressed as a bride in one of his Virgin Atlantic Airways inaugural flights, stunning the passengers with his heavy make-up. He repeated that crossed gender dressing act in 2010 when he lost a bet with Tony Fernandez, the owner of Air Asia and Lotus F1 racing; this time he dressed as a stewardess.

Richard Branson has been brewing ideas about outer limit travels into the space for all.

According to Forbes 2011 List of Billionaires, Richard Branson is the 4th richest in the United Kingdom, with an estimated net worth of US$4.2 billion.

Phil Collins is a giant in his own making - a multi-talented musician and singer.

Now let us have a peek over Phil Collins’s achievement; his winning of 7 Grammy Awards is by no means easy feat. All popular song followers who were born in the 70s to 90s could easily hum or sing along his catchy, melodious yet meaningful compositions like: ‘Groovy kind of love’, ‘Against all odds’, and ‘Another day in paradise’. Phil was one of the members of the progressive rock group “Genesis” since 1975.

Phil Collins was the drummer and principal vocalist with
the band Genesis since 1975. He left the group in 1996.

As Phil was becoming a more profound artiste in songwriting and a powerful vocalist, as well as an impressive musician in playing piano and drums, he inevitably contemplated leaving Genesis to become a solo performer.  He left the band in 1996. Phil Collins had a brief reunion with Genesis in 2007 when he joined his band mates for a tour that covered Europe and North America. In 2008 Phil Collins went along with his solo acts and was busy with many more concerts with phenomenal success. Till date he shared the honors role with Michael Jackson and Paul McCartney to have sold more 100 million albums worldwide as a solo performer and a leading member of a band.

Doing what he is best known; here Phil performed on his percussion instruments.

Apart from the many faceted roles he played as a musician, (He also plays the guitar and violin) Phil Collins was also into production, films, theatres, and television. There were words of his impending retirement and yes, he announced his retirement in March 2011; saying he was taking time off from his career. One of the reasons known was his sense of hearing was going bad, and he had a spinal operation a year back. Phil Collins later posted a message in his website that he wanted now to focus on his family life. (It was his third marriage when he retired) Still he produced a masterpiece in 2012, viz. Collins Greatest Hits collection, for which it reached no.6 on the Billboard 200, US Charts.

 A young, handsome Phil Collins in sombre mood adorned an album cover.

On that fateful day Richard Branson hopped into a taxi driven by Phil Collins the cabbie.  They struck up a conversation. Phil told Branson as they rode on, “Hey, I know you; you’re the owner of Virgin Records, you're Dick Branson!” Knowing that he was an easily recognized public figure, Branson acknowledged. Phil said it was his lucky day that he could have the honor to drive the boss of a music recording corporation. He made himself known fast to Branson that he was a drummer in a band. With his insistence, they ended up at Phil Collins’ place where his mother served tea. Branson later recalled that it was his motto at work: Listen to everyone. Respect is how to treat everyone, not just those you want to impress. Even though he was in a great hurry to attend a corporate meeting, he listened to Phil’s demo tape and promptly recognized the taxi driver's potential as a performing artiste. The rest was history that resulted Phil Collins obtained a god sent platform to market his band's worth that led to his eventual stardom. Richard Branson as music recording house owner was certain to have reaped millions in royalties too for his Virgin Records by signing up Phil Collins and his band.

Some infos were obtained from Wikipedia
Alan CY Kok

1 comment:

  1. These two were playing pranks on each even as we rolled into the 1980's. Richard and Joan had invited Phil to lunch at the Roof Gardens as part of a publicity event for BBC Radio. When the staff presented Phil with his Duck L'Orange, the lid was lifted, and out popped one very verbose Fred, the club's mascot and resident mallard. Fred had suffered a flight injury, when he arrived at The Gardens. A staff member had paid Fred's vet costs - the injury resulted in Fred losing a wing. Hence he walked everywhere in the Gardens, and hung out with the flamingos, when he wasn't hanging out at (or under) the bar. Fred was not a happy camper that day, and was swearing his head off, well after they lifted the dish cover. You could hear the laughter from all around the table, and around the club.. it went live over the air that afternoon too. Fred recovered; and the boys have continued to prank each other for many years since.