We got into the car to head off to the library today we turned on the radio and found out that Phil Kennemore, bassist for Y&T had died. They didn’t give the how’s and why’s, just that he had died and then played just about every Y&T song they could play in their library. Apparently Phil was diagnosed with lung cancer in August of last year. I hadn’t kept up with Y&T too much lately so I didn’t know what was going on with them.
I do remember when a friend of mine let me borrow his copy of Earthshaker and after hearing that album I had to get it. Next my friend told me that Y&T were playing at the Old Waldorf and we should go check them out. I think I was about 18 at the time and I had never been to a night club so I didn’t know what to expect. When Y&T came on my jaw dropped. Here they were in a small club and they sounded just like they did on the album minus the pops and vinyl noise. I wanted my band to sound that way. Even though Y&T were formed in Oakland, we all considered them to be a San Francisco band. When they started to hit it big on the radio Y&T was San Francisco Music.
I found the following common by guitarist Dave Meniketti of Y&T today:
It is with profound sadness and disbelief that I tell you that my best buddy for 37 years passed away this morning, January 7, 2011 at 1am at Stanford Hospital. Bravely and steadfastly battling the horrible spectacle of lung cancer, at the end he was surrounded by his family members, and the Y&T family up until his final breath.
All the beautiful things that I could say about my buddy Phil could never be summed up in a short sentence or two, and I promise that I will be back to say so much more about how I feel about him and his talents in due time. But for now, at 3am, after just having returned home from his passing, let me at least put this out there.
Phil Kennemore was not only a sweet and passionate man with his life, friends and family, but as an artist, he also had that rare ability to say what was on his mind with the most eloquent, clever, and to-the-point lyrics, yet could turn it on it’s head in a second with some other viewpoint on reality and nail the point dead center. He was able to do what very few can – say the things that others have been thinking, but could never quite seem to put into words. He has always had a keen knack for doing that.
As a musician, with those huge fingers, his bass playing was always loud, strong, and deep, filling the largest or smallest of stages equally.
He had an amazingly strong life force that has influenced everyone who ever had the opportunity to be called a friend of his. I am forever grateful for our lifelong friendship, that was always in place throughout the worst and best of times. I will miss his sense of humor, his amazing wit, but most of all I will always miss not seeing him to my left on the stages I will play from this moment forward.
Yes, he was one of the class guys on this planet, and in this business, and I will always do what I can to spread the legacy of Phil Kennemore across the globe on every stage that I land on.
You know how much I love you Phil, and you knew how much your fans and fellow musicians loved and respected you. There was nothing left unsaid. You had a rich and wonderful life and I can only tell you that I was happy to have been alongside you every step of the glorious way.
Cheers to you, Phil.
Your friend forever,
I’m really sorry to hear of his passing and I wish all the guys in Y&T and Phil’s family the best. The best I could do for a tribute was a you tube video. Check out Phil’s bass solo right after the bridge.