Phil Collins’ obsession with the Alamo, although crazy random, is no big news. We went wild over it in 2012 when he published The Alamo and Beyond, a catalogue of his obscure collection, known as the largest private collection of relics from the Texas Revolution – military hardware like a Davy Crockett rifle and James Bowie’s legendary knife as well as historical documents like letters from William B. Travis .
Bill Powell’s documentary short, Phil Collins and the Wild Frontier, chronicles a five-day tour through Texas that Collins, who lives in Switzerland, endured to promote his book and discuss his collection. His connection to the story and characters of the Alamo is rooted in a childhood fascination with the Walt Disney TV series Davy Crockett: King of the Wild Frontier. In a sense, Davie Crockett is to Phil Collins what Harry Potter is to the grown kid next door.
Throughout the film and one awkward interaction after the next, we see how everyone wants a piece of Collins. While the Briscoe Museum courts him for his collection, fans fawn over the former Genesis rock-n-roller. Everyone wants him to “personalize” something for them; everyone wants to exploit the slight connection between Phil Collins and Texas. Throughout, he's visibly uncomfortable, laughing off requests. Governor Rick Perry proclaims Collins an honorary Texas citizen, and he’s made an honorary admiral in the Texas Navy. When McMurry University awards him with an honorary doctorate of history, he responds “I’ve never become so many things in so little time.”
Thursday morning in front of the Alamo Shrine, Phil Collins will announce the donation of his entire collection to the Texas General Land Office. Perhaps with the publication and promotion of his book, and all the Lone Star hoopla, the hold of that Davy Crockett fantasy crumbled, and Collins is ready to let go of all ties to Texas.
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