Phil Everly 1939 - 2014

4 January 2014 at 14:31

I know where I was when the news came on the radio that Phil Everly had died. It was 3am and I was in bed, going over in my head my guitar version of the Everly's 'So sad to see good love go bad'. Very odd, because at that time of the night I don't usually think about anything more complicated than what I'm going to have for breakfast.

Perhaps even more than Buddy Holly, the Everly Brothers were my earliest and most enduring influence as a musician. Without them there would be no Simon and Garfunkel, and probably no Beatles either. They had clear diction, wonderful songs and arrangements, (thanks partly to Chet Atkins), near perfect pitching and a great Tennessee accent. But what made them special was the depth of sincerity and emotion that they generated in their songs. Their harmonies, their fourths, fifths and thirds can surely be traced back to the Celtic roots of their music - the fiddle players of Scotland and Ireland.

They were unique. If I was religious, I would finish by saying 'God bless you, Phil', but instead I'll just say that the Everly Brothers made the world richer, not just for old codgers from the 'fifties and 'sixties, but for everyone who is sensitive to music.

Oh well, I'll say it anyway - 'God bless you, Phil, and flights of angels sing thee to thy rest'.