Saturday, January 4, 2014

Phil Everly!

10 years ago or so when the feuding Simon & Garfunkel came through town for what was I believe their last "reunion" tour Max's Mom and I secured tickets in the nosebleed section. To see Simon and Garfunkel, perhaps one of my five favorite rock, folk, whatever acts ever, was a dream come true. They did not disappoint, though dammit, I'd prefer to hear THEM sing The Boxer rather than the row of fucking 50 year olds in front of me.

But halfway through the concert, on came the Everly Brothers from Shenandoah, Iowa (that's mandatory to say around here to remind us there IS some talent lurking in the hinterlands). Don and Phil Everly ran onto stage with acoustic guitars and absolutely great poofy wigs you could see from space. This legendary duo, huge just a bit before my time, banged out the required four masterpieces everyone knows (Wake Up Little Susie, Let It Be Me, All I Have To Do Is Dream), including help on Bye Bye Love from Paul Simon, and sprinted back offstage. I didn't realize it at the time, as they were onstage no more than 10 minutes, but I had seen the origin of a lot of music I loved. For without Don & Phil Everly, there is no Dylan, no Simon & Garfunkel, no Hollies, no Mamas and Papas, none of that kind of melodic ear candy that makes you forget the fact there really is very little beauty that you can hear.

The Everly Brothers fought just as much as Simon & Garfunkel. Phil may have been the influence that Rob Reiner used in This is Spinal Tap when Nigel Tufnel threw his guitar down and quit the band mid show, when he did the same back in the 1970's during a show. Like most geniuses, the egos were strong and the fighting was long. The Everly's weren't together for much of my childhood and teenage years when the bands like Simon & Garfunkel, The Byrds and Crosby Stills Nash & Young were making me relax and keep my angst in check but I know their stuff now. I never really appreciated them until that night 10 years ago when four of the smartest, most talented people in the world shared the same stage for about 5 minutes of so. Goddamn, that was something.

Phil Everly is gone now. Shit.

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