Wednesday, August 14, 2013

I'm With Phil

Posted By on Wed, Aug 14, 2013 at 2:28 PM

Former Flyer reporter Phil Campbell got his job at the Flyer largely based on his wacky, just-out-of-college stunt of getting all the Phil Campbells he could find to meet up in Phil Campbell, Alabama, for a "reunion." He wrote a clever story about it and we hired him, thinking, "this kid is going places." This was in the late 1990s.

Phil worked for us for a few years and did a lot of great stories. Then he started going places. He moved to Seattle, where he wrote a novel, Grassroots ..., that got turned into a movie. Then he moved to Brooklyn, where he got married, had a kid, and continues to write and put his energy into various projects.

But he never forgot Phil Campbell, Alabama, and a little more than three years ago, he decided to get the Phils back together again for another reunion. Everything was rolling smoothly. Lots of Phils were committing to being there. But as fate would have it, a few weeks before the scheduled reunion, Phil Campbell, Alabama, was wiped out by one of the devastating tornadoes that struck the state in May, 2011.

Undeterred, the Phils turned what was to be a happy reunion into a relief mission. Now they're trying to make a film about it. A few weeks back, Flyer Phil contacted me about getting some assistance on building the film's website and told me about how they were trying to make a trailer but had little money. I told him about the MGMT song, "Pieces of What," which the band played at Memphis in May in 2011, and dedicated to the tornado victims of Alabama.

Shortly thereafter, the band made the song available and the trailer got made. You can watch it here. It made me well up a little at the end. Feel free to contribute. It's for a good cause. Learn more here.

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