Originally Posted by rmandelbaum
I have been a huge fan since I was 17. I saw Kansas in Don Kirschner's Rock Concert. Us old farts will remember that Don Kirshner introduced them as "progressive country".
I have seen them live a few times but the first time was the original band with Moorse. I was lucky enough to see them in the round from the front row, that meant as the stage slowest rotated I got to watch him play from behind about 8 feet away. I was a real treat.
Song For America is a masterpiece.
Yes, I fondly remember seeing Kansas on Don Kirshner's show. I wish I could remember what they played- I was too blown away for it to stick with me! I had just heard Rush's 2112 at the time, and I abhorred pop and country. These two bands and especially their drummers, helped me to see that there were artists that could make an entire ALBUM (yes, I remember vinyl!) that held you by the throat and didn't let go, even after it ended. I had the great fortune to meet Kansas in 1982 on their Vinyl Confessions tour. It was at a record-signing at the largest record store(vinyl, again) in Jacksonville, Fl, called Coconut's Records. And yes, I had my album there for them to sign. They were all very humble-seeming and engaging people. Phil had a couple kind words about the need to practice and keep drumming. Very powerful to a 21 year old who was trying to balance fatherhood, work and drumming. That night at the Jacksonville Coliseum, one of the songs on the list was We're All Together from Audio-Visions. The sound was clean, powerful, and very true to the studio version. Phil is definitely one of the most inventive drummers ever. He played in a band that was harmonically and musically very diverse, yet he always seemed to come up with the right part for the song. His playing of odd times was so fluid and un-forced. One of my favorites has Always been Miracles Of Of Nowhere. The 7/4parts sounded so fluid, I didn't realize at first that I was listening to Common Time. The metric modulations the band performs in the last couple minutes of the song are still inspiring and sound great to this day. With his excellent sense of time, he was always able to help me hear things in the musical context of the song in a different light from most other drummers.
A great drummer with a great band.