There’s a rumor about the Phil Collins song “In the Air Tonight” that I would like to dispel. There are different variations of the story, but the gist of it is that Collins had a childhood friend drown and there was a guy that could have saved his friend but didn’t. Some variations even go so far as to say that Collins located the guy, invited him to the concert where he sang the song for the first time and had him arrested.
The story and all variations thereof are completely and totally false. In addition to the snopes web site, I heard a radio interview with Phil Collins where he was asked about the story and replied that there is no truth in it whatsoever. He said he began working on the drum machine, found a rhythm he liked, then added some chords on the keyboard that sounded good, and the words just came to him. He then expressed his desire to put the story to rest once and for all, prompting me to write this entry. Please spread the word.