Phil's new book - THE ALAMO AND BEYOND
Good day Phil fans!
Phil's new book 'THE ALAMO AND BEYOND' is about to be published, so let's turn it over to Phil, to talk about his passion in his own words:
"I'll grant you it's not the most obvious passion or hobby for an English rock musician, but when I was five I saw Walt Disney's TV series “Davy Crockett, King of the Wild Frontier” on our little black and white television and something happened to me.
"I lived in a normal semi-detached house in a normal suburban area just outside London. I should have been playing football or pinching apples from a neighbours back garden like the other kids, but I was infatuated with playing the drums. In fact playing drums and playing at being Davy Crockett was all I wanted to do.....and Davy was my little secret.
"I’ve since found out of course, that I wasn’t alone in this discovery, but back then the Davy Crockett story was mine, all mine. I’ve been told that the Disney series with Fess Parker was responsible for about 75 percent of that years Christmas purchases for kids all over America. However, back then I was blissfully unaware of this.
"I admit it is strange that something so American could affect someone so young thousands of miles away.
My own kids think it’s because I was at the Alamo in a previous life. (Cue ghostly music). It’s possible but unlikely and of course, definitely hard to prove.
"For whatever reason, playing music, the Alamo, and Crockett filled my thoughts constantly. Unlike the fads that came and went for others, my Alamo passion remained undimmed.
"I feel I grew up believing the notion shared in the Alamo movies, to “do the right thing,” to be sure and to “go ahead.”
"Then a few years later in 1960, John Wayne raised the bar. His Alamo film captivated me. Even though I now see how much of it was romanticised and liberal with the truth, I still go back and watch it. The Alamo stuck with me, and there’s no getting away from that.
"Whatever the reasons, I was and still am hooked on the history of what happened there, and as I grow older the fascination only deepens.
"Although my musical career has taken me to so many different places, I only got to San Antonio a couple of times: I’ve still never played a show there. In 2006, I started to visit the Alamo regularly to begin my serious studying and searching, I was slightly conscious that the “regulars” on site looked at me with a little suspicion, though I have to admit that most of the time I passed by un-noticed, which was just fine with me! I guess the Stones and Ozzy got us rockers off to a bad start in the neighbourhood, and therefore anyone connected with rock music was someone to be slightly suspicious of.
"When I was introduced to Alamo curator Dr. Bruce Winders, I sensed he thought I was there on a whim, with no real interest or passion. It was only after conversations with him and a mild display of my knowledge, that Bruce realised I was serious and he embraced my enthusiasm. Likewise former Alamo Chief Ranger Vince Phillips has become a great pal and together we often did the rounds after dark with our cameras to see “who else was there!”
"Now as a regular visitor to the Alamo, I know I can nod to a Ranger and he’ll know I’m serious, I can wave to Dr. Bruce and he knows I’m one of the gang. The ladies in the gift shop smile and say hello and seem genuinely pleased to see me. I’m part of the Alamo family, and for a grown up kid like me, that’s all I ever wanted to be.
"In 2009 something happened to me that I never dreamed I would experience. Former Chief Ranger Vince Phillips told me of a service that was held in the Chapel each year by the Descendants of the Defenders. I mentioned my wish to be a fly on the wall at this ceremony as I would actually see, at a distance, people related to those brave men, both Mexican and Texan. Unbeknownst to me, Vince put my name forward as “key speaker” that year. What could I say to these people that hadn’t heard before?
Vince suggested I just be myself and speak from the heart. I did, and I will never forget that honour.
Earlier in the dawn ceremony I had been asked to read the English part of the prayer read aloud every year. It was yet another honour for a kid who grew up loving the Alamo story.
To order 'THE ALAMO AND BEYOND,' and to discover his passion and share in it, go to this link:
To watch a video about Phil's book, check out this Youtube link: