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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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gratefully accepted as well.
- Thanks!

Thursday, May 17, 2007

from Greg Kihn

Click to enlargeGreg and Gary at Rather Ripped 1975

The news of Gary's passing brought back a ton of memories. Gary was one of the first people I met when came to California from Baltimore in 1971. At the time he was in Copperhead. Gary and I became instant friends and musical partners. I remember playing a handful of acoustic gigs with him before I started the Greg Kihn Band. We did a kind-of Everly Brothers thing. Gary called our impromptu duo "The New Nurk Twins" and I remember playing a place called "Dali Feenjohn's" in San Francisco where the guy paid us in soup! Money would have been nicer since we were both as poor as a church mouse at the time, but hey, we lived on soup for the next few days! We both got jobs at Rather Ripped Records in Berkeley. Neither one of us knew what we were doing but we sold a lot of records based on Gary's knowledge of music. Those were great times, even though we were struggling. Soon after, Gary joined Earthquake. His version of "Little Tin Soldier" was an all-time classic! Around the time Gary was in Earthquake, he moved in downstairs from me in a house we rented on Broadway Terrace in Oakland.
That house burned to the ground during the big firestorm a few years back. Our time there was full of musical inspiration. Gary had been helping out the GKB in the studio and it was only logical that he start playing gigs with us. This led to a phasing out of Earthquake and a full time position in the GKB. We went on to have lots of hit records and toured the world. I like to think Gary was happiest then. He was a genuine rock star, a role he enjoyed playing (for a while). We were as close as brothers during this period. His little M.G. sports car was featured in several of our videos. I will miss Gary every time I hear one of our songs. Gary was a musician's musician. What a tragic loss.
-Greg Kihn