PHIL 'THE WIZ' EMMANUEL
ELECTRIC GUITAR PLAYER & BLOODY GOOD BLOKE
Phil Emmanuel | two words needing no introduction to Australian guitar aficionados and those on-pulse with world music
mere mention instantly resonates vision of an electric guitar-playing legend of musical genius | of dynamic stage performance & presence | of tunes leaving you breathless no matter how often you heard them | of a quintessential Aussie borne purely from his country’s earth & salt | everyone’s mate ..." a bloody good bloke "
fondly | personal & professional connections with The Wiz go back to the late seventies, not just with music but with shared passion for wildlife | time musing road trips & adventures, animal encounters, his latest python hatchlings, tall tales & true
proudly | Naturescape’s timeline is dotted with memorable Wiz moments | the exquisite soundtracks he produced for me | priceless time together producing them | his influence on style & texture | shared gigs: him on stage, me on camera
precious moments — unfortunately one forever impregnated with sadness — in celebration of special times with a special bloke, presented with a promise of more from The Wiz to come
it's a personal collection, a tribute to his music, his inspiration, his legacy, and most of all ... his mateship !
" Well bugger me! " I hear him saying.
A DAY WITH 'THE WIZ'
in 1998 two Phils teamed up to capture some of the guitar magic of the more famous one | twenty years later, circumstances aside, some of those recordings were found hibernating in a Brisbane basement, 'Genie' & 'Bootie' amongst them
somehow they were separated from the main shoot of that day, Phil’s previously-released rendition of Michael Schenker’s ‘Into The Arena' | despite being slightly worn from their golden slumber, they survived |
and just as pleasing, so did a few other rare Wiz gems (more later)
' Genie With The Light Brown Lamp ' [ Hank B Marvin ]
' Loose Bootie Boogie ' [ Phil Emmanuel ]
shot in Matt Farthing's Brisbane studio, 'Genie With The Light Brown Lamp' & 'Loose Bootie Boogie' are Phil classics | fan favourites & permanent fixtures on his live playlists in earlier years, they were a spontaneous afterthought after recording of ‘Arena' (below)
of course one had to be Hank B Marvin track (Genie), and of course that could not be performed without a couple of typical Emmanuel-style intros borrowed from an earlier Tamworth shoot
INTO THE ARENA
[ Michael Schenker ]
THREE TAKES | THREE VERSIONS | TAKE YOUR PICK
INTO THE ARENA #1
Phil recorded Michael Schenker's classic anthem prior to the Sydney Olympics in the hope it would be picked up as The Games theme | it would have been perfect, and it's sacrilegious it wasn't
it's playing typifies Phil's cache of style & trickery | soft & sweet turning heavy metal in a note | wavering harmonics & tremolo a la The Shadows, his favourite | tarantula fingers at lightning speed | grimacing face force-feeding intricate progressions | an occasional smile to reflect inner joy, and instant return to the comical street larrikin after the final note
INTO THE ARENA #2 | SPLITSCREEN
it's surely no longer a secret that when shooting a video clip with multiple takes an artist has to mime to a pre-recorded track to maintain seamless visual continuity | no easy task for mere mortals given the lightning speed & digital dexterity 'Arena' demands
the splitscreen demonstrates such masterful skill from one of so few blessed | three-only takes, in complete unedited runs start to finish, offer triple proof of The Wiz's note-perfect duplication
and just to be a smart-arse — or more cause he can — he'll throw in a bucket of feel as well | oh what a feeling, oh what a privilege
INTO THE ARENA #3
[ Warning: a five-finger JD with a waving dash is highly advised before hitting play ]
I still cack myself when I watch this one !
it had been a shit day | technical issues & stroppy hard drives dogged an entire edit session and I'd produced nothing but crap | over it I needed a good dose of 'vitamin creativity' when 'Arena' jumped out of its bin shouting "pick me, pick me" | so I did
after a couple of hours of Arena at at PE Level #11, #3 stumbled out of the Adrenaline looking like a Haight-Ashbury tragic leaving a Grateful Dead concert | let's just say 'stunned'
I'm pretty sure that's how I remember it ... or maybe I was really there !
PHIL EMMANUEL ANTHOLOGY
IN.PRODUCTION | COMING IN 2019
there are friends that will always be good friends for life
then there are friends that become far more, special, so generous in friendship, so influential in mind
Phil Emmanuel was one of those 'special ones'
we did some good things together, much unpublished, most untold, for between us
it wasn't the destination but the journey we shared |
no beginning, no end, story continuum
Anthology will be the holder of our multimedia songlines
pictures, stories & incidental tales from my collection, along with some from other friends
Anthology will shine extra much-deserved light on a music legend, self-made in his own lifetime |
a virtual time capsule to help preserve
the magic & legacy of a remarkably-talented yet ordinary man & mate
PHIL EMMANUEL 'LIVE | RAW | UNCUT'
THE TUDOR HOTEL | TAMWORTH MUSIC FESTIVAL [ 1998 ]
buried along with 'Genie' & 'Bootie' in that Brisbane basement, more tapes held what I see as national treasure
during Tamworth 1998 I worked for CMT covering the festival while Phil played his regular gig at the Tudor Hotel. I'd worked on Tamworth, Gympie & Byron festivals for several years and was always perplexed — more pissed off — that Phil was never offered a shot alongside far lesser musical mortals
lack of recognition bothered The Wiz little, less than it did me:
still, justice for one of the best players in the world, one of ours, should have been served more often
on a night off we shot a good part of his gig, as well as an interview with Phil the next day, in prospective hope it would be picked up and included
of course it wasn't, but now I'm glad, for instead of all probability its inclusion would be snippet-length, the footage was retained and can now be presented in its entirety
IN.PRODUCTION | COMING WITH 'ANTHOLOGY IN 2019
A PERSONAL TRIBUTE TO PHIL EMMANUEL
[ facebook | may 27, 2018 ]
As for the one-and-only solo Phil Emmanuel — the self-named 'Jim Khana' or 'Owen Pilli' as I called him — where does one start?
"So many stories, so little space" I ponder over my usual early morning Lomas Latte. Originally a secret Emmanuel recipe until stolen it’s now my addiction too, kickstarts every day several times over, and on days off gets loaded into the truck before fishing rods or camera.
With Phil's shock passing it suddenly tastes different, takes on extra meaning, and if it wasn’t before, every gulp from now on is certain to be a timeless reminder of cherished times with Phil ...