Forget the Alamo: The Rise and Fall of an American Myth by Bryan Burrough, Chris Tomlinson, and Jason Stanford:
A good place to start this story is with the terribly nice little man who began showing up at the Alamo in the 2000s. He was slight and balding and usually wore a black T-shirt. He chatted with gardeners and maintenance men. Before long the security guards and gift-shop ladies knew him by name. Everyone liked him. Everyone called him Phil.
Yes, this was Phil Collins. The singer, as we’ve mentioned, had been fascinated with the Alamo since boyhood. He had begun collecting Alamo artifacts years before and was on his way to assembling the largest collection of Alamo-sourced items in the world. By 2014 he was musing about finding a museum to hold his 206-piece collection, which included everything from Jim Bowie’s Bowie knife to a shot pouch said to have been Davy Crockett’s. Collins wasn’t getting any younger and wanted to ensure the collection was in safe hands before he passed.