Last night I found out that my friend, Phil Vane, passed away recently. It wasn't a phone call or even an email, but a single random facebook post from a fan that read "RIP Phil Vane". I couldn't see straight, I thought it was a hoax, a bad rumour, but after much googling, my nightmare was true.
The world knows Phil as the frontman vocalist for a group called Extreme Noise Terror and also as a member of Napalm Death. I knew him better as my husband's former flatmate of 2 years and friend for many years. Phil was my friend and a wonderful guy.
As I'm writing this, I can still hear his laughter and I picture his face in my mind. I still remember how tall he was with his salt & pepper hair and his all black outfit walking into the living room to tell me about his day. His pesto pasta in his hands (his favorite quick meal) and talking to me about relationship issues and dvds. As an american in England for the first time, he thought me what the word "tenner" meant, and he told me briefly about his punk rock days in his former bands. Since I wasn't into punk, it was a glimpse into a completely different lifestyle. I respected what he stood for, and obviously so did my husband since they were friends for quite some time. Phil also was a drum and bass dj and worked at a club in Switzerland, which is how my husband came to know him. He was a lover of music, loved his child, and wanted love in his life. I adored him for being that open to me.
Phil has touched many people worldwide with his music. I respect him for that too. Like my husband, Phil always believed that music was more than music but also a lifestyle and a philosophy of how one should live. He never sold out, he never covered up his tattoos, he was a true to his music and his beliefs.
As I start to look on google to find out more about his death (as my husband is emailing people that they knew mutually to get more information on his funeral and final resting place), I was shocked to learn about Phil and what his other side of him that I never met. This is nothing bad, what I mean is I never met the "Phil Vane" from ENT. I loved the energy, aggressiveness, military stage presence that his group oozed of. It was political and poetic all at the same time. I came to understand why it was so significant that this punk band played for the first time at the Brit awards in 1992 and I can see now why thousands of fans are mourning Phil.
Just like my husband, Phil had a performer side and then the human side. He was gentle, loving, deep, and always had a laugh, no matter how hard his day was. I will always remember him for those wonderful qualities and I will forever miss his laugh that filled up that house.
My husband I will miss Phil so very much. I know my husband is taking is harder than me, because of all the wonderful memories he is probably replaying in his head.
We loved Phil so much and we will make sure we get to his grave to tell him as soon as we land in England.
So this one is for you Phil.
Let the world rejoice in your life, and mourn the loss.
May you live forever in your music and may your fans play them over and over until their old age.
May you find peace wherever you are and can hear me when I say that we miss you so very much.
My heart is in two from this, but soon I will smile when I think of him.
Miss you Phil, see you real soon buddy!!!