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Exclusive: Peter Asher issues statement paying tribute to Phil Everly

Peter Asher and Phil Everly at the Buddy Holly Walk of Fame ceremony in 2011.
Peter Asher and Phil Everly at the Buddy Holly Walk of Fame ceremony in 2011.
Copyright Keith Putney

The Los Angeles Times reported Jan. 3 that Phil Everly, one-half of the legendary Everly Brothers, had died in Burbank at age 74 from complications from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, according to his wife Patti. Peter Asher, one-half of the British Invasion vocal group Peter and Gordon, issued a statement to Vintage Rock 'n' Roll Examiner in tribute to Everly, who he says was both an influence and a friend.

"Every close harmony duo recognizes the immense debt they owe to the Everly Brothers. The Everlys were the very best and we all know it. When Gordon and I first got to meet Don and Phil it was act of homage. We had been singing their songs and copying their harmonies from the day we got together.

“I got to know Phil quite well and he was a man as charming, kind and smart as he was musically brilliant. A couple of years ago when I got to produce and host a Buddy Holly special for PBS, one of the highlights for Graham Nash and I was when we got to sing two lines of 'That'll Be The Day' with Phil, our idol. He was not very well even then but sounded as thrilling as ever.

“No two voices can ever vie with the Everly Brothers as a duo and no high harmony singer will ever compare to Phil. He was the best and will be sorely missed in every way.”

The taping of the PBS Buddy Holly tribute, which took place in 2011, also featured Chris Isaak, Patrick Stump, Lyle Lovett, Rau Malo, Paul Anka, Boz Scaggs, Graham Nash, Cobra Starship (with Asher's daughter Victoria) and Stevie Nicks.

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