Goodbye Phil Everly

Phil (left) and Don Everly (right) - from the LA Times website
Phil (left) and Don Everly (right) – from the LA Times website

When I think back on the first five days in 2014 music wise, I think immediately of Phil Everly. Since I was a kid, I’ve always been drawn to the big hits of the Everly Brothers: “All I Have To Do Is Dream,” “Let It Be Me,” and especially “Devoted To You.” I was still a good dozen years away from being born when these songs hit it big on the charts, but as you all know, great music is timeless. That amazing era of early rock n’ roll will live on forever. But unfortunately, the pioneers and legends of the era are living, breathing folks just like the rest of us. Last Friday, January 3rd, we lost a giant, as Phil succumbed to COPD after a lifetime of cigarette smoking.

I am not a smoker, but I get the addiction, and know it ain’t easy to just hang it up. It just seems that there’s a GIANT beneficial incentive to quitting (that whole living longer thing). But easier said than done, and God knows the rest of us ain’t perfect, shoveling in food we shouldn’t be eating, drinking alcohol, etc. Anyhow, my mother in law smokes, and my wife, daughters and I will continue the good fight to push her toward quitting.

Did you make any new year’s resolutions? I’m one of those who puts together a short (and often predictable) list every year. This year, they include:

  • No Crap Food Mon-Sat (desserts, ice cream, cookies, other sugar-filled things). One indulgence on Sundays. You see, I have no will power in the kitchen. If there’s a box of Krispy Kreme donuts, I’ll devour two of them in the span of a minute and not think twice. Cookies? Chips? And God forbid – chocolate, in any form? I’m all over that shit.  All this running I do doesn’t do much good in the weight loss department if all I’m doing is replacing every calorie I burn.  So I’m happy to report that it’s so far, so good in 2014. And yes, today was Sunday, and I did indeed do a little bit of damage to a tin of Costco European Belgian Chocolate Cookies (and yum).
  • Lose some belly. I topped out around 270 a few years ago. I made it all the way down to 230 in 2012 with the help of the Lose It app on iPhone (where you have an allotted amount of calories every day and you track everything you eat). I weighed in at 247 last week and decided to kick start the Lose It routine again.  I’m going to shoot for 220 this time around. By the way, the eight cookies I ate today? 340 cals. Little bastards.
  • Be credit card debt free.  In early 2012, after a lifetime of pitiful money management, I listened to Dave Ramsey’s Total Money Makeover audio book and started following his plan. This year should will be the year I’m debt free except for my house. I’ve been in debt my whole adult life, folks, and I can see the finish line. Just right over there.
  • Calm Down. I am not the zen master I appear to be. Ask my wife and kids. Often times I simply just need to calm the hell down.

So those are my big four for the year. I’ll keep you posted.

In tribute to Phil Everly, I’ll leave you with the entire Everly Brothers 1983 reunion concert at the Royal Albert Hall in London. It had been ten years since their last performance at Knotts Berry Farm, where Phil infamously smashed his guitar and walked off. The highlight of this concert for me is “Let It Be Me,” simply for the priceless looks on Phil’s face as he watched his brother Don sing those beautiful solo parts. Knots Berry Farm was a distant memory.

RIP Phil. You’re missed already.