Heather Kramer declared February 15th as Phil Collins Day 12 years ago as a protest against what she viewed as the saccharin celebration of Valentine's Day.
Why Phil? "If you ever watch an interview with him, you can see he's not trying to put on a show, he's just a really good guy," says Kramer. "He's been through a bunch of divorces and seen a lot of heartbreak in his time, so he's able to explore that in his music. And he's a great drummer, too."
Each year, she comes up with a different theme. The theme for this year's drum circle at the beach in the Rockaways was "neighborly love", inspired by the song "Take Me Home". Kramer moved to Far Rockaway, Queens, last year, and her home was ruined in Hurricane Sandy.
Her hope for this Phil Collins day was to create a fun event for her community, and to remind people that the neighborhood is still in bad shape. An estimated 30 people, a mix of Kramers friends and people from the neighborhood, gathered on the beach to drink hot chocolate, hold a cathartic drum circle, and listen to Phil.
"For next year, we're talking about of Phil Collins karaoke. My friend suggested we do a Phil Collins film festival and have people make their own Phil Collins video," says Kramer. "It definitely just relates to where I am in my life that year. That's why it made sense this year to have a drum circle."