Ignored Obscured Restored
In late ‘60s Ohio, there were two bands on the circuit with gun-slinger guitarists – Joe Walsh’s James Gang, and Phil Keaggy’s Glass Harp. Yes, Phil Keaggy of Glass Harp.
Keaggy deserved the accolades. Listen to the guitar solo the 19-year-old Keaggy rips off on “Children’s Fantasy” from the band’s debut, self-titled album (1970).
Back in the day, there were rumored quotes of more well-known guitar heroes giving props to Keaggy. The most famous was that Johnny Carson had Jimi Hendrix on the Tonight Show in the late ‘60s and asked him how it felt to be the world’s greatest guitar player. Hendrix purportedly responded “I don’t know. You’d have to ask Phil Keaggy.” A review of the tape of Hendrix’s only Tonight Show appearance (with Flip Wilson sitting in for Carson) proves that never happened. But that doesn’t diminish Keaggy’s talent.
Just before the debut album was recorded, Keaggy’s mother died after a serious car accident. This incident led him to follow his sister into Christianity. In fact, a couple of songs on the debut reflected his newfound faith. “Can You See Me” contained the lyric:
The Son died for you and me
That we may live eternally
Through Him there is a peace we can share
Yes, we can share
Later in his career, Keaggy devoted his music primarily to contemporary Christian rock and earned Grammy nominations for his work.
At age 69, Keaggy is still recording and touring.
Enjoy… until next week.