DVD: James Phillips – Famous For Not Being Famous (Documentary)
James Phillips – Famous For Not Being Famous (Documentary)
“How can I live in this strange land” – This lyric is from a song by James Phillips, who died age 36 on the 31st July 1995. He was a composer, musician, bandleader and the voice and conscience of a generation of white South Africans.
His music was born at the same time as the Soweto Riots and then fused in a strangely comfortable way with the punk musical explosion. His songwriting bloomed through the apartheid regime’s darkest years and into the dawning of The New South Africa.
James was a complex person, selfish whilst showing extraordinary selflessness, giving time and often what little money he had to those in need. He drew people in, everyone was a friend of James. He lived too the rock & roll lifestyle, his capacity for the jol as legendary and abstention foreign to his nature. But despite his often arrogant and undisciplined ways, the legacy he leaves is that of one of the most aware, articulate and passionate artists to have been produced by this strange land.