Remember The Alamo – and the generosity of Phil Collins. According to Reuters, the pop-rock-prog legend has donated a significant chunk of his famed Alamo artifact collection to a new museum planned for the historic tourist attraction in San Antonio, Texas. The $100 million “Phil Collins Alamo Collection” will house a number of rare items – including a rifle (one of four remaining in existence) owned by soldier-frontiersman Davy Crockett, a fringed leather pouch carried by Crockett and an original Bowie knife which Jim Bowie had in his possession during the 1836 battle between Texas settlers and the Mexican Army.
“When I got older and became successful, I decided to spend my money on original items from the Alamo rather than on Ferraris,” Collins joked during a news conference hosted across the street from the Alamo, in front of a temporary storage building for the items. “This completes the journey for me. . . These artifacts are coming home.” Collins’ collection is believed to be the largest of its kind, with over 200 total items.
Land Commissioner Jerry Patterson accepted the donation, adding that, in January, a measure will be introduced into Texas legislature to declare Collins an “Honorary Texan.”
The singer-drummer first announced plans for the museum during a June press conference, explaining that his obsession with the battle began when he was a child in London, watching the Disney miniseries Davy Crockett. “I’ve had a love affair with this place since I was about five years old,” Collins said. “It was something that I used to go and play in the garden with my soldiers.”
The former Genesis frontman isn’t donating his entire collection – he plans to keep a number of items at his Switzerland home, partly because his nine-year-old son has also become interested in the Alamo. At the earlier press conference, he emphasized his plans to continue collecting, adding, “Once I’ve lived with whatever I buy for a month, I’ll ship it over here.”
Collins’ Alamo fascination runs so deep, he even authored the 2012 book The Alamo and Beyond: A Collector’s Journey. He also discussed his historical passion during an interview with Rolling Stone. “I started drumming around the same time I came across this part of American history,” he said. “But there seemed to be a way forward playing drums. There didn’t seem to be a way forward being fascinated by a piece of history. . . I’ve bought pretty much every book ever written about the Alamo, and I talk to my friends that I’ve made over the past 15, 20 years. It’s just a constant learning and fascinating thing for me.”