A private funeral has been held for Phil on the QLD Sunshine Coast. Thank you to all of the friends and family who were able to attend, and to all of those who were there in spirit.
Phil’s friend, Carole Beck, composed this beautiful poem which as read at the funeral :
How can we possibly be expected to comprehend
something we struggle to believe has really happened; let alone contemplate a
world without a cheeky smile, larrikin ways and a laugh that filled us with
happiness and cheered us to the core, or replace the thrill of hearing a guitar
play a riff it was never designed to play. How are we are meant to fill the gaping void that
the departure of Phil Emmanuel; Guitar Master and Unique Lovable Man has left
in our hearts and souls?
Phil’s guitar had many strings, each one stuck a
different chord in each of us who knew and loved him. Some of us were privileged to hear the
complete complexities of the melody that was Phil’s Life Song and when he
invited you to play along you knew it was going to be a little crazy but so very
special to be part of his chorus.
Phil didn’t play the music game, he just wanted to
play his guitar and weave magic with his lighting fast fingers. He entranced us
and we were happy to dance to his tune.
Phil marched to his own rhythm; he didn’t travel
down the industry highway, instead preferring the byways and music’s side
streets; living in the love of the common people. On his journey He may have stumbled, had
detours and got lost along the way; but he rose up and dusted himself off and continued
on his way in search for that perfect riff. He strode on with his spirit free of externally
imposed shackles surrounded by his treasured environment; its beauty warming
his tired bones; his ever inquiring mind pondering the wonders of our planet
and the mysteries of the universe.
If you were lucky enough to have him stride into
your life you felt blessed for the encounter and you never forgot it, everyone
who met him has a special Phil moment tucked away in their memory, He was truly
Make no mistake there was nothing “Middle of the Road” about Phil.
Phil could play with the best and beat them down, Well you may ask how he did that, yet the
answer is so simple, Phil didn’t play the guitar for a job he played for his
own selfish pleasure, music was a necessity for his existence, it filled his heart
and soul he exuded it from his every pore; and he lived and breathed riffs, but
selflessly he agreed to share the joy with us. Our enjoyment was the fuel that
kept him enthused enough to continue on against the odds, it was a mutual
exchange of magic energy between him and us. Phil was contagious in so many
ways and we were more than happy to catch the virus he was spreading.
Phil came from humble beginnings and he felt no
shame for that, it was that background that forged his generous giving spirit
and opened his eyes and heart to an understanding of others hardship and pain. Phil
continued to walk on this planet with humility and he left it the same way, his
values a little battered and bruised; discouraged at times by life but still very
Phil didn’t count the sum of his wealth in monetary
terms or measure his fame by the number of hits and headlines, his world was
bigger than the stage, He was rich in love family friends music and butcherbird
songs, by his calculation he had a king’s ransom. All that glitters is not
gold, unless you count the shimmering reflection of stage lights on a guitar
being played to its maximum by the legend that was Phil Emmanuel.
Those of us left behind in his wake will try to
understand why it is that he had to leave us to play a gig in a venue so very
far away from those who loved him. Perhaps it will always be beyond our
comprehension, so we just will comfort ourselves by saying he is not gone for
good; He is just away.
Turn it up Phil! Play it down the line mate so that
we mere mortals can feel the vibrations and hear the tunes. You will continue
to be missed and loved dearly and will never be forgotten! You have left a
legacy of music for us to enjoy; it may help take the edge off your absence.
Carole Beck 5/6/2018