The so-called Thomas Fire–which is ravaging the State of California–is creating havoc and destroying anything and everything in its path. This wildfire has destroyed or damaged over 1,000 structures and it has also forced the evacuation of 100,000 residents. Nothing, and no one, is immune from the damage and destruction caused by this catastrophic fire. That includes epic fan-favorite drummer, Simon Phillips. Phillips, who “owned” a home (and studio) in the fire’s path, lost both suddenly and without warning. Following the swift and sudden destruction of his home and studio, Phillips released this statement as part of a “GoFundMe” page:
“After playing the first show of Protocol’s US tour at the Iridium, in NYC, I received several frantic messages of the Thomas fire from my fiancee Billie Rainbird as she saw the sky turn orange from behind our house, frantically grabbing things, fleeing from our home within 20 minutes with our beloved dog Bear. Just a few hours later I received another devastating phone call that our house, studio and everything had been burned to the ground. At this juncture, I do not know what insurance will cover and I fear getting our lives back together will take much more than we can imagine. We are in tremendous shock, going from disbelief to devastation to denial. We are very grateful for all the support and love we are receiving from around the world. We are truly touched and moved. Thank you. Any support you can provide to help is deeply and dearly appreciated. With much love – Simon and Billie”
For the most part, the response to Phillips’ plea for help has been positive although some detractors have surfaced, which is to be expected. In responding to the few naysayers, Phillips was a bit more specific about the extent of the damage. He said:
“It has come to my attention that there have been a few derogatory comments on my GoFundMe page. A fabrication that I am worth 10 million dollars! Well if that were true I wouldn’t need a “GoFundMe” page or any house insurance or equipment insurance. If I were worth 10 million I would just move into one of my “other” houses which of course I would have if I were worth 10 million dollars. Anyone that knows me will know that I have always been honorable. I have not only lost my home, all my cherished mementos, photos and my possessions, but also my studio and most of its equipment. That means I have lost my business too. The stunning realization we are having now is that the only things that we have left are my suitcase that I had out on the road with me and the things that Billie was able to grab and throw into the Jeep inside of 20 minutes.”
What is furthermore devastating news for Simon is that he has had to cancel extensive North American tour dates with Protocol as per this Tweet.
Simon regrets to inform everyone that his current U.S. tour dates have been cancelled. Simon’s home was destroyed by fires that have been raging in SoCal. He was NOT home and was not injured. Thanks to everyone for their concerns. New dates will be posted when available.
— Simon Phillips (@kingcannonsimon) December 6, 2017
We here at Beato’s Blog wanted to cover this story to show our support for Simon and Billie. The situation involving this wildfire is truly devastating for anyone and everyone affected and we can vouch that Simon is one of the finest persons you will ever meet in the music business. He has always been giving with his time with us and he always lends a helping hand when asked to do so. However, now it’s his turn to be on the receiving end. Therefore, we have no hesitation in asking our readers to help in this desperate situation. You can visit Simon and Billie’s GoFundMe page here.
Ken “K Bo” Biedzynski, Editor