Dave Philips Useless: Guitarist With Frank Black, Tommy Stinson Was 52


Dave Philips, who performed guitar for The Pixies’ Frank Black, The Replacements’ Tommy Stinson, Guided By Voices’ Robert Pollard and others, died Feb. 22 of most cancers in Los  Angeles. He was 52.

The instrumentalist, songwriter and sideman grew to become a go-to guitarist for a few of post-punk and alt-rock’s most influential figures.

“Not solely was he an exquisite musician, however he was an exquisite individual,” mentioned his good friend and longtime collaborator Black in an announcement, “That’s what folks responded to with Dave: his core kindness. He simply had actually good mojo. I at all times felt like I used to be higher for having identified him, and I used to be at all times a bit of higher every time I used to be round him. There was one thing about him that was elevated, superior. I at all times figured, properly possibly a few of it will rub off on me.”

“He was the gentlest, sweetest man that I’ve most likely ever identified,” famous Stinson. “I by no means heard him increase his voice, I by no means heard him besmirch anybody. He was a very nice man…and he was a very nice participant. To get all of that in a single human being is unimaginable to me. He was uncommon individual. It’s an enormous, massive loss.”

Born in Florence, Alabama, Philips moved to Georgia as a toddler, rising up in Watkinsville. As an adolescent, Philips gravitated to the flourishing music scene within the close by school city of Athens. He labored with a number of native bands together with Little Debbie and Redneck Greece Delux.

He started working with Athens singer-songwriter Jack Logan and was featured on his 1994 “Bulk.” Philips grew to become a key a part of Logan’s band Liquor Cupboard, contributing guitar, pedal metal, vocals and songwriting to albums together with 1996’s “Temper Elevator” and 1999’s “Buzz Me In” The group would additionally make a pair of memorable appearances on NBC’s Right now present and carry out on Late Evening with Conan O’Brien.

After residing in New Orleans for a time, Philips moved to Los Angeles in 1997, the place he joined Stinson’s post-Replacements combo Excellent. On the time, Stinson was fronting the band and enjoying the guitar slightly than bass, as he had in The Replacements. “I really met him on the wedding ceremony of [former Replacements manager] Peter Jesperson,” recalled Stinson. “I noticed him play on the reception. I watched him and mentioned ‘Man, this man smokes me, I ought to keep on with what I do know, which is bass.’ So I moved again over to bass and he got here on board.”

Philips recorded an album with the group and producer Jim Dickinson at Ardent Studios in Memphis. The LP, “Seven Days a Week,” was shelved by the band’s label on the time, however would ultimately be launched in 2004 as “As soon as, Twice, Three Instances a Perhaps.” Philips would additionally go on to work on Stinson’s 2004 solo album “Village Gorilla Head.”

Beginning within the late-‘90s, Philips started an extended and shut collaboration with Pixies frontman Black, serving as a member of his group The Catholics. After initially being employed as a session guitarist – on the advice of the Pixies’ Joey Santiago — Philips would turn into an indispensable member of Black’s musical ensemble.

Philips would seem on half a dozen releases with Black, from 2000’s “Canine Within the Sand” to the 2015 live performance album, “Stay at Melkweg.”

Black and Philips would usually carry out stay as a duo. “I’d be up on the mic with my guitar, he would sit down on the pedal metal,” recalled Black. “We developed this schtick onstage, the place I might speak and say issues to him, however he didn’t have a mic to reply. With out lacking a beat, he would do that Laurel and Hardy or Charlie Chaplin factor, all these facial expressions and shrugs. The viewers used to go loopy for that. Everybody fell in love with him, as a result of he was so extremely charming. It made me extra charming by affiliation. That’s the best way he was. He made everybody he performed with higher someway.”

In 2005, Philips was recruited by Guided by Voices important man Pollard to affix his new group, The Ascended Masters. Philips toured with Pollard – as a part of a guitar tandem that included late energy pop hero Tommy Keene – all through 2006. The group’s ability was captured on the 2006 stay album “Moon,” recorded when the band opened enviornment dates for Pearl Jam.

Philips additionally labored with a variety of artists from nation rock outfit The Lisa Marr Experiment, singer-songwriter Moris Tepper, and The Tommy Keene Group.

Donations for musicians in want could also be made in honor of Dave Philips to MusiCares, a non-profit group established in 1989 and integrated in 1993 by the Nationwide Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences.

He’s survived by his companion Kathleen and a daughter.


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