Usually the deaths of famous people and artists don't affect me that much. I'll have a moment of sadness and think about it, but then it'll pass from my brain. But when the death of Phil Everly, half of the pioneering, wildly influential rock duo, The Everly Brothers, passed away it really hit me. When the news of Phil's death came in the evening of January 3rd, delivered to me from a post by a friend on Facebook, I said out loud “Oh, no.” I quickly grabbed a video of “Walk Right Back” off YouTube and posted it to my Facebook page, then I went over to my record player and started playing Everly Brothers records.
I listened to the songs that night, and was reminded—as I am every time I listen to them—of how crazily perfect their harmonies were. It wasn't till the two days later, the morning of the 5th, that it really seemed to hit me. CBS's Sunday Morning program did a lovely tribute to Phil, and when I heard the opening chord to “All I Have to Do Is Dream,” I felt tears slowly begin to form in my eyes. I was caught off guard by this, and I know it's because I heard that opening chord. “All I Have to Do Is Dream” is one of those songs that, to me, is damn near perfect.
“All I Have to Do Is Dream,” has always been one my favorites by them, and it's hard to pick favorites with a group whose catalog is rich with killer songs. I listen to “All I Have to Do is Dream” and it reminds me of everything that love should be, could be. Maybe it isn't that pure, or that simple, or that wonderful. But if I would ever get married, “All I Have to Do Is Dream” is the kind of song I'd want to have played at the wedding.
We often take people for granted, and then their deaths remind us of why we fell in love with them in the first place. I never took The Everly Brothers for granted. They're one of a handful of artists that's always in my main rotation of music. I've heard their music most of my life, and it wasn't til high school, when my music library began to really grow that I finally started to own some of their albums. But Phil's passing served as a reminder to me of just how damned perfect they were. The Everly Brothers were transcendent.
Don't let anyone kid you into thinking they weren’t influential. Without The Everly Brothers, Simon and Garfunkel wouldn't have been Simon and Garfunkel. Without The Everly Brothers, the sound of Lennon and McCartney wouldn't have been what it was. It's popular to dismiss some of the early rockers these days, as many people have crazy ideas on what rock is. Granted, I'm one of the most opinionated people in the world when it comes to music, but I love what I love, and I love it with all my heart and soul.
The Everly's music won't fade anytime soon, or at all, really. Younger kids will grow up with parents whose passion is music, and they'll introduce them to it. Misfit teenagers who realize that music means more to them than anything else, will discover them, and that great wave of joy that once washed over me when I first heard them, will wash over them as well.
So thank you, Phil. Thanks for making some of the most amazing music I could have ever hoped to have heard. Music that fills my heart and soul with joy, happiness, and hope. You and Don made magic, and I will be eternally grateful for it. Rest in peace.