A few weeks after the interview, Ron Kneusel started operating the
keaggy-l email discussion group. The group's many
subscribers expressed keen interest in seeing the entire conversation
in print, in Phil's own words, rather than having it condensed into
one or more short articles. Guided by their desires, the text is
a close transcription of our conversation. It is lengthy,
but a detailed Table of Contents provides topical links to dozens
of points in the interview. I hope this makes the interview
accessible and enjoyable for devoted long-time Keaggy fans and for
newer or more casual fans alike. To this end, I've been especially
careful to include links to all substantive mentions of Phil's songs
and albums, so you can quickly jump to any mention of your favorite
Although I've been a devoted fan of Phil's music since a fraternity brother first played Emerging for me in 1980, and although I've seen Phil perform live many times, I had never spoken at length with him before. As you might imagine, I was quite flustered at first! But Phil's soft-spoken good nature and sly wit quickly had me feeling very comfortable. Thus, what began as an interview between Phil and an excited long-time fan soon took on more of the character of a conversation between two new friends. Please enjoy the interview with that in mind---that you are not reading the product of a professional journalist's interview, but are instead "eavesdropping" on an afternoon's conversation. I've edited out some parts of our conversation that would appear awkward in print (mostly the many dozen "cool!", "right!", and "yeah!" exclamations that I constantly interrupted Phil with), but I've left in quite a few colloquialisms to preserve the sense of an informal conversation. I hope you don't find these to be distracting. Also, I hope you will find the various bits of evidence of my over-excitement in finally being able to speak to a man whom I've admired for well over a decade to be humorous rather than exasperating!
I'd like to thank many people who contributed to making this
interview happen. Luthier Jim Olson, who has built guitars for
Phil and for many other well-known acoustic guitarists, is responsible
for getting Phil and me in touch with each other, proving that
the magic he performs in his workshop is not the only magic he's
capable of! Many newsgroup readers contributed excellent questions;
unfortunately, not even two and a half hours was enough time to get
to them all, so many will have to await some other occassion.
Mike Allinger provided crucial graphical assistance on short
notice that transformed the appearance of the interview and other
Curtis Alley, Dave and Robin Eastburn, and James Messick provided
photographs (and Phil himself graciously gave permission to reproduce
many photos from his 1990 Phil Keaggy Songbook).
The subscribers of
keaggy-l were encouraging and
patient through various events that delayed publication. Phil
offers some acknowlegements of his own at the end of the interview.
Finally, we must all thank Phil for so generously giving of himself in this interview. He not only gave up an entire afternoon for the interview itself; he also spent considerable time editing the transcript in an effort to make the text a positive and encouraging testimony to how God has worked in and through his life. Anything that you perceive as negative in the text is entirely the fault of the interviewer, I assure you!
If in reading this interview you find even a fraction of the delight and encouragement I found in talking with Phil, I will consider the work of bringing it to the web to have been more than worthwhile. God's peace to you!
---Tom Loredo, March 1996
Phil's text is in plain type; the interviewer's is in bold (presuming your web browser is capable of it). Please forgive the strong contrast between the fonts; I would have prefered to use italics but browser limitations (especially in regard to citations) precluded this.
If you'd like to print a copy of the interview to read at your leisure, you can of course use your browser's printing capability. But note that if you save and print the file as plain text, most browsers will not render the bold or italic type any differently than the plain type. If you'd like a plain text version of the interview with the text modified to distinguish the interviewer's text from Phil's, download this gzipped plain text file. If your browser is presently unable to decode gzipped files, you'll find information about free gzip software for all major platforms near the end of theMusic page. This file is only 38kB in size, and is the quickest-downloading form of the interview.
This work is Copyrighted. © Copyright 1996 by Phil Keaggy and Tom Loredo.
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