This weekend in London (UK) has been a celebration of the life of Phil Asher, a year after he passed on. I could preface that by saying DJ Phil Asher but he was much much more. Phil was a light of a human-being to literally thousands of people over the years he played and shared his love of music as a DJ, a producer, remixer, record shop owner and promoter. He wore all those caps happily whilst freely sharing his knowledge with any interested new 'apprentice' asking him for guidance.
Some people have three letters added to their name from Buckingham Palace for the recognition of their work in a chosen path of life, and that is all good, however, like David Bowie, Phil Asher had the people's recognition, their real love and respect, which is from the heart. Given the choice I believe he would have chosen the people option every single time because all the evidence says he was that kind of generously gregarious man.
Of all the glorious people I have met in my life I have never met Phil and I deeply wished I had, I lost that chance by being mostly based full time in Los Angeles these last 17 years. I listened to his last ever show on 1BTN Radio over a year ago and knew immediately that he was musically a kindred spirit with the broadness of artists selected. What was also evident in the 2 hour show was that you could hear a man doing what he loved, at peace with life, with a sense of freedom and serenity in his voice.
Sometime last year I saw this quote below from Tom Brady, the world's most decorated player in American Football, and thought well that would have applied to Phil also, because everything that was being written about his life on social media pointed to this being his kind of philosophy.
“Everyone should deserve the opportunity to reach their fullest potential. Being in the locker room for 20 years and being around guys with every different race, religion, skin color, background and different states. Everyone [brings] something different to the table and you embrace those things. They expand you in ways that you couldn’t have been expanded if you weren’t exposed to all those different things.”
The biggest lesson we all must strive for in life is compassion for the world around us. Strangely, and much too often in life, when that lesson's box is ticked or full-circled a special person leaves us, like the aforementioned Bowie or George Harrison. Another life with a long renowned compassion. For everybody, at some point, sadly "all things must pass" but Phil Asher's stardust remains. His is still a true 'Starman' to all the lives he touched.
I knew early last year that I was wanted to write a Tribute to Phil on Kings this January 2022 and asked his lady, Lisa Horan, if it was acceptable and she kindly forwarded the photos featured, little did I know that the sold-out event this weekend was also going to shine a light for him too. Isn't that amazing? Like Frankie Knuckles, for whom the people's love lives on too.
So the Phil Asher - The Last Show (2 hours) below. The full track-listing has been researched to reveal, ahead of hearing it, just how expansive and diverse Phil's love of music was going into his final ever show. It is a beautiful thing to listen to, I hope you agree. Phil, your light here on earth is as bright as a star. The Phlash Star.
Phil Asher - The Last Show (1BTN Radio - 27.12.2020) Tracklisting
Brian Bennett - Solstice (Voyage - A Journey Into Discoid Funk album DJM Recs 1978)
Joni Mitchell - Black Crow (Hejira album 1976 Asylum Recs
Michael Urbaniak - Bahamian Harvest (Super Constellation album - CBS 1973
McDonald & Giles - Tomorrow's People - The Children Of Today (Island Recs 1970)
Natalie Cole - La Costa (1977 Thankful album)
Walter Murphy - Afternoon Of A Faun (1979 Discosymphony album New York Int Recs
Earth Wind & Fire - Let Your Feelings Show 1979 I Am album CBS
Yasuko Agawa - LA Night (from the Gravy album 1984 Invitation Recs)
Ras Midas ft I-Roy - Good Old Days (Ext version (Jaywax 1978)
Esther Phillips - Home Is Where The Hatred Is* (Gil
Scott-Heron song on From A Whisper To A Scream album KUDU 1972
Gil-Scott Heron - Peace Go With You Brother (Winter In America album 1974)
The Five Stairsteps - O-O-H Child (1970 Buddah Recs)
Lightin’ Rod - Sport (1973) Founding member of Harlem’s Last Poets
Labi Siffre - The Vulture (1975) from the Remember My Song album
Just-Ice - Cold Gettin’ Dumb (1987 Fresh Records produced by Mantronik