Born March 2, 1950, avant garde instrumental guitarist Glenn Phillips grew up in New England and moved with his family to Marietta, a suburb of Atlanta, GA, when he was 12 in 1962. After only playing guitar a year Glenn hooked up with guitarist Harold Kelling to work out ideas. As they wrote material they got other musicians to play with them and eventually formed the Hampton Grease Band. Glenn was 17 at the time. The Hampton Grease Band's lineup was solidified with the arrival of Mike Holbrook on bass, Jerry Fields on drums, and Bruce Hampton on vocals. The Hampton Grease Band, a staunchly uncommercial lot, played alternately beautiful and cacophonous pieces of music often featuring Glenn Phillips and Harold Kelling's guitar experimentations. Bruce Hampton, later known as Colonel Bruce Hampton of Aquarium Rescue Unit fame, was known to come up with lyrics while reading found items such as boxes and aerosol cans. Sometimes he performed while standing on a pizza or while being smeared with peanut butter. Friends would be invited onstage to eat cereal, read a newspaper, or watch TV. Gradually the Hampton Grease Band built up a following around Atlanta while performing usually for free in Hampton Park. In 1971 the Hampton Grease Band released their only album, Music To Eat, a two record set, on Columbia in 1971. This resulted in a tour opening for the Allman Brothers and Frank Zappa and playing the Atlanta Pop Festival. Unfortunately Music To Eat didn't sell very well. In fact Music To Eat was the second worst selling record on Columbia, second to a yoga record. The Hampton Grease Band broke up in 1973.
Glenn Phillips's guitar during his tenure with the Hampton Grease Band was a heavily modified 1958 korina Gibson Flying V with four pickups that Glenn routed the body out for himself. Eventually Glenn sold this guitar and it has since been restored back to how it was originally.
Not content to just sit around, Glenn started working on his solo career and put together the first edition of the Glenn Phillips Band. At different times bassist Mike Holbrook and drummer Jerry Fields from the Hampton Grease Band joined Glenn in the Glenn Phillips Band. Glenn released the first of a series of instrumental records, Lost At Sea, in 1975, on his own. A copy of Lost At Sea ended up in the hands of BBC disc jockey John Peel who frequently played it on his radio show. Lost At Sea was released on Virgin in England. Virgin also released Glenn's second record, Swim In The Wind. However, because of Virgin's failure to do much with the record in the US, Glenn went back to releasing his records independently on his own Snow Star label. One of Glenn's records, Elevator, was released on Black Flag guitarist Greg Ginn's SST label.
To support himself Glenn gigged as often as possible in and around Atlanta and on the road. He also rented out half of his house, the house he spent most of his youth in, to make ends meet.
Glenn made friends with fellow experimental/avant garde guitarist Henry Kaiser and appeared on a few of Henry's records as well as performing in Henry's band from time to time. Both guitarists admired the psychedelic guitar noodlings of Jerry Garcia and did several versions of classic Grateful Dead tunes, most notably "Dark Star". Different versions of "Dark Star" appeared on vinyl, cassette, and CD versions of Henry Kaiser's record Those Who Know History Are Doomed To Repeat It. Glenn also appeared on Kaiser's Marrying For Money and Re-Marrying For Money. And in 2003 Henry and Glenn released Guitar Party from tapes made during the Those Who Know History sessions.
Around Atlanta Glenn performs with the Glenn Phillips Band and the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court features the vocal stylings of Swimming Pool Qs singer Jeff Calder. From time to time Glenn plays gigs with Swimming Pool Qs.
For at least twenty five years Glenn's guitar of choice has been a heavily modified Gibson L6S solidbody with four pickups- two humbuckers and two single coils- and a Fender Jaguar vibrato bridge, a very strange combination by most standards. Glenn has two of these modified L6S guitars. Until recently Glenn used Music Man combo amplifiers with an assortment of low and medium tech signal processors. But Glenn has since retired the Music Mans and has switched to a Fender Tone Master head. Glenn has a very distinctive style bordering on shred but with a very recognizable fast quivering vibrato. Glenn also resorts to very physical means to wrangle sounds from his guitars, often donning knee pads and athletic gear to protect himself during particularly violent passages.
Glenn Phillips Band
1975 Lost at Sea Snow Star
1977 Swim in the Wind Virgin
1980 Dark Lights Snow Star
1982 Razor Pocket Snow Star
1984 St. Valentines Day Snow Star
1985 Live Shanachie
1987 Elevator SST
1990 Scratched By The Rabbit Fiend/Demon
1992 Echoes 1975-1985 East Side Digital (compilation)
1996 Walking Through Walls Shotput
2003 Angel Sparks Gaff Music
Hampton Grease Band
1971 Music To Eat Columbia
1986 Marrying for Money SST
1988 Re-Marrying for Money SST
1989 Those Who Know History Are Doomed To Repeat It SST
Henry Kaiser & Glenn Phillips
2003 Guitar Party Gaff
Mark & Clay Harper
1998 Not Dogs Too Simple- A Tale Of Two
1994 Goes Electric
Glenn Phillips also appears on the occasional Swimming Pool Qs track.
A couple Glenn Phillips Band tunes are included on SST's instrumental compilation No Wave.
Edited by misterhat, 15 October 2003 - 01:23 PM.