Jump to content

Phil Johnstone Dies.


Recommended Posts

Just seen on Facebook that Phil Johnstone has died.
He was keyboard player and writer with Robert Plant during the Now and Zen, Manic Nirvana and Fate of Nations years.

This was posted by The Levellers on their Beautiful Days Festival page earlier today:

Very sad to hear of the passing of festival friend Phil Johnstone this weekend. Songwriter, pianist, guitarist and producer Phil has been part of the Beautiful Days and Levellers family for many years.
Phil originally recorded and produced the 1995 concept album Freeborn John by Rev Hammer and was a key player when the historical folk opera had its live premiere at Beautiful Days in 2005. Phil returned with Rev Hammer and an all-star cast for another one-off performance at the festival in 2015 to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the original release.
Phil and Rev Hammer also curated and performed in the annual, over-exuberant live adventure that was "The Fabulous Good Time Party Boys’ for 8 years from 2006 to 2013 in The Big Top.
Phil achieved significant success as a recording engineer, music producer, songwriter and musician. He wrote and played in the band The 45’s and then went on to work with Robert Plant for many years. Phil first worked with Plant on the 1988 album Now and Zen which he co-produced and mostly co-wrote. Phil also wrote songs for Plant’s follow-up albums Manic Nirvana and 1993’s Fate of Nations. As well as a number of other writing and producing credits over the years he co-wrote the whole of the Levellers' 2000 album Hello Pig. Devon-based Phil was also the Academy of Music & Sound in Exeter’s first trainer/lecturer in recording techniques and music production.
Phil Johnstone was one of a kind. He was a larger-than-life character who will be greatly missed by all who knew him. Our sincerest condolences and thoughts are with his friends and family - particularly his wife and children whom he adored.
RIP Phil ❤️
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Posted (edited)
4 minutes ago, woz70 said:

Just seen on Facebook that Phil Johnstone has died.
He was keyboard player and writer with Robert Plant during the Now and Zen, Manic Nirvana and Fate of Nations years.

This was posted by The Levellers on their Beautiful Days Festival page earlier today:

Very sad to hear of the passing of festival friend Phil Johnstone this weekend. Songwriter, pianist, guitarist and producer Phil has been part of the Beautiful Days and Levellers family for many years.
Phil originally recorded and produced the 1995 concept album Freeborn John by Rev Hammer and was a key player when the historical folk opera had its live premiere at Beautiful Days in 2005. Phil returned with Rev Hammer and an all-star cast for another one-off performance at the festival in 2015 to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the original release.
Phil and Rev Hammer also curated and performed in the annual, over-exuberant live adventure that was "The Fabulous Good Time Party Boys’ for 8 years from 2006 to 2013 in The Big Top.
Phil achieved significant success as a recording engineer, music producer, songwriter and musician. He wrote and played in the band The 45’s and then went on to work with Robert Plant for many years. Phil first worked with Plant on the 1988 album Now and Zen which he co-produced and mostly co-wrote. Phil also wrote songs for Plant’s follow-up albums Manic Nirvana and 1993’s Fate of Nations. As well as a number of other writing and producing credits over the years he co-wrote the whole of the Levellers' 2000 album Hello Pig. Devon-based Phil was also the Academy of Music & Sound in Exeter’s first trainer/lecturer in recording techniques and music production.
Phil Johnstone was one of a kind. He was a larger-than-life character who will be greatly missed by all who knew him. Our sincerest condolences and thoughts are with his friends and family - particularly his wife and children whom he adored.
RIP Phil ❤️

Wow. So sad to hear this. I still remember the girls yelling that they thought he was Jimmy Page on the Non Stop Go tour back in 1988, when he would play acoustic guitar for Black Country Woman. Condolences to his family and friends. 
 

RIP Phil Johnstone

Edited by Walter
Link to comment
Share on other sites

5 hours ago, bluecongo said:

Very sad to hear this, hope Robert publicly acknowledges this, Phil resurrected Plants career RIP 

True. He brought Plant “Heaven Knows” and then they wrote Now and Zen...plus the two following discs. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Posted (edited)

So weird that I have not seen any official confirmation or any obituary, news report, any notice at all of Phil Johnstone's death except for that one Facebook thing. All a google search of "Phil Johnstone dies" turned up was a link to this page.

Edited by Strider
Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, Strider said:

So weird that I have not seen any official confirmation or any obituary, news report, any notice at all of Phil Johnstone's death except for that one Facebook thing. All a google search of "Phil Johnstone dies" turned up was a link to this page.

It’s weird, indeed. I just heard back from Dave Lewis. He confirmed, sadly. 
 

R😎

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The news was apparently first broken by Phil's son, and seems to have made no impact in the mainstream news at all.
A bit sad that Plant has made no comment, but then he didn't have anything particularly nice about to say about Johnstone for quite a long while after their songwriting partnership dissolved.
(But then he's always been a bit disdainful about past collaborators...).
 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Sad news. Just played Now and Zen in his honor. Aside from his solid musicianship and strong songwriting my favourite PJ moment must that Kylie Minogue insertion he put into 'Tall Cool One' at Knebworth. Still makes me laugh. RIP Phil.

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Plant has always been a bit churlish about some of his former band mates (JPJ, Robbie Blunt, Johnstone).  It would be interesting if he does say anything publicly about someone who helped reboot his career which was stalled a bit at the time.  I doubt if he will.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 6/4/2021 at 8:51 AM, woz70 said:

The news was apparently first broken by Phil's son, and seems to have made no impact in the mainstream news at all.
A bit sad that Plant has made no comment, but then he didn't have anything particularly nice about to say about Johnstone for quite a long while after their songwriting partnership dissolved.
(But then he's always been a bit disdainful about past collaborators...).
 

Sorry  I pretty much repeated what you said.  

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 5 weeks later...
2 hours ago, Lauralee said:

It's quite possible RP isn't aware that Phil has passed.

Possible but highly unlikely.

While a public statement at any time from Plant on Johnstone's passing would be a thoughtful gesture, the absence of one does not mean it wasn't acknowledged privately. Regardless, ultimately it's really none of our business.  

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Not really unlikely. It hasn't hit the big outlets and they weren't in touch in the end.

More like who cares any way  Phil was an amazing man regardless of his involvement with Robert.

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 7/7/2021 at 11:41 AM, Lauralee said:

Not really unlikely. It hasn't hit the big outlets and they weren't in touch in the end.

By this logic we wouldn't know either.

There are plenty of people who would mention something like this to him, just as they did when former bandmate Michael Lee passed away. That is what I meant by highly unlikely.  

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Posted (edited)
23 minutes ago, SteveAJones said:

By this logic we wouldn't know either.

There are plenty of people who would mention something like this to him, just as they did when former bandmate Michael Lee passed away. That is what I meant by highly unlikely.  

Honestly, who knows? Maybe Phil buggered Robert's lady de jour and Bobby is holding a grudge. IMO best not to look to deep into such things we are not privy to as these are intimate relations between two people and its really none of our business. 

You are right though Steve, Robert without a doubt is aware of Phil's passing, whether he chooses to acknowledge that or not is up to him.

Edited by BobDobbs
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...