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If you have any connection to the San Francisco Bay Area music scene, Beserkley Records, Rather Ripped Records, KSAN, etc. during the 60s, 70s and 80s, you've probably heard of or met Gary Phillips, a.k.a. Gary Philippet.

Or you may have known Gary from Spokane or
Penrith Farms in Newport, Washington.

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- Thanks!

Thursday, February 1, 2007

A note from Pete Sears

I was very sad to hear that my old band-mate and compadre, Gary Philippet recently passed away.
I spent many happy and crazy months hanging out, playing music and recording with Gary, John Cipollina, Jim McPherson and David Weber at the old Quicksilver rehearsal house up on the hill in Corte Madera. We would occasionaly venture out and play a show here and there, like a live KSAN broadcast, or Bermuda Palms in San Rafael. Along with John, Gary was always a strong driving force behind the band. Gary and John's style of guitar playing and personalities always complemented each other well, as did Gary and Jim on vocals. We rehearsed for many months before we managed to come up with a name for the band, "Copperhead" (John's idea). I remember Gary as a generous and kind man, who lit up on stage (literally) and put all his energy into giving the audience the best possible performance he could.

Man, we had some good times. I haven't seen or spoken with Gary since I left Copperhead in 1972 just before they recorded their first album. I had to go back to England to record my third Rod Stewart album, and join a band Nicky Hopkins was starting up. As with other old friends who have moved on from this earthly plane (including Nicky), my biggest regret is not having reconnected with them again in later years - it's something that is always in the back of your mind. Then it is too late.

Gary will be remembered and missed by all those who loved him and his music.
My deepest sympathy goes out to his family and close friends.
See you down the line my old friend…and say hi to John, Jim and big Mark for me.
Your old mate,

Click to enlarge

Photo courtesy Pete Sears

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