Other Players

Phil Emmanuel Has Passed Away


This is a shock, very much so. I only met Phil briefly, but his brother, Tommy, is very near and dear to me. My heart breaks for Tommy, because I know how close he and Phil were. To see the two of them on stage together was to witness something spectacular. Tommy is such a gentle, passionate soul, and I know this will be devastating for him.

As his brother, Darcy, said (talking about Phil), "He didn't chase the limelight. It chased him - but he got away."

Please say a prayer for Tommy and his family.



My condolences to the family. Very sad.


What the...?! I had no idea. So sorry to hear about Phil's passing. A sad loss indeed.


Sad. I lost my brother a year and a half ago, so I can imagine how Tom feels. All you can do is to remember the good things about him, the laughter. Via con Dios, Phil.


I feel awful for Tommy and the rest of the family.....


I never met Phil, or to my knowledge ever heard him play. But it seems like as long as I've known about Tommy, I've known about Phil.

I always thought of them as Phil and Tommy, brilliant young players geysering with sparkling technique, wildly creative musicality, and unbounded vital energy. In short, as immortals.

It's not that I've ever thought of Tommy as half of a duo, but I bet he feels that way now.



Beautifully said, friend. Nothing ever takes the place of a brother. I only have one brother that I hardly ever see, but I don’t know what I would do without him.

There was definitely a brotherly bond when Phil and Tommy played together. I remember them being part of the closing ceremonies at the summer olympics when they were in Melbourne. Phil witnessed Chet awarding Tommy his CGP award.

It’s really sad.


He was far too young to go - this is tragic. I feel for Tommy, and all the members of that gifted family. It is particularly sad given that their sister died not so long ago - the Emmanuels are hurting right now. :(


"Howd'ya like to do it, Phil?" "Loudly," he smiled. Then he made his guitar weep.


Watching Phil & Tommy playing together during a tour several years ago was great fun. Tommy obviously enjoyed playing rhythm while Phil soloed.

I'm glad that I got to see them perform together, even if only once.

RIP, Phil.


This a shock -- and a truly sad day. Condolences to all of the surviving family.


So much love and mutual respect for talent. So sad for you and family, Tommy.


This is heartbreaking. Too sad for words.


No, I do not want to believe this !!!! We lose a real artist !!!!



Someone on the other Gretsch forum said Tommy's sister also recently passed away???


Someone on the other Gretsch forum said Tommy's sister also recently passed away???

– ruger9

Sadly this is true. Their sister, Virginia Grace, died mid-April, aged 69.


Two members of the same family in only a few weeks.....that's too hard....too hard. My condolences to Tommy and family.


I hope this link works. It shows Phil playing along with a butcher bird. This shows his free, fun loving spirit. I found the video on youtube, but couldn't get it to play. Hope this one works.

Scroll down in the article a ways to find the video.

R.I.P. - Phil



I can attest to what a blow losing a brother can be. Condolences to Tommy and the rest of the family.

Richard; I could get your video to play but no audio. Looked like a good one for both man and bird.


JW, the audio is muted for some reason. I should have mentioned that. Click the speaker icon on the lower right of the video, and you can bring up the audio.

Register Sign in to join the conversation