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Mr Phil – R.I.P

This week we said goodbye to Phil Cummings – I called him Mr Phil. He passed away doing what he loved, paddling his kayak on a beautiful winters day. It was glassy calm and I know he would have been smiling from ear to ear. He had a heart condition and sometimes these things happen and we will never know all the answers.

Meet Mr Phil.

He met me several years ago, he was very broken and had lost his confidence. He recently lost his wife to cancer, and had moved to Nelson for a fresh start. He took up guitar lessons with me and we got on really well. He was like a grandfather or father figure to me and drove all the way from Wakefield to guitar lessons every Wednesday. I would cook us dinner and there was always lots of laughter.

In 6 months I tricked him in to singing a song at a local open mic night. He did great, then burst into tears once we’d finished. He asked to record a song in my studio.

Here’s the song we made in the studio. It’s all his guitar and vocals. He even played the guitar solo! I played it at the funeral and sang along with him with the coffin within arms reach. It was a truely special moment.

Catch the wind by Donavan. Performed by Mr Phil.

Phil joined me on stage a few times at various events and this gave him a fresh confidence to start writing his own song. Here is the recording. It was a draft, and I’ve done some edits.

Caught in a lie by Mr Phil.

He was loved by many and will be greatly missed. Thanks for reading, and I am thrilled to share his recordings with you all. He would have loved knowing that.

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