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R.I.P. Phillip "Phil The Fan" Hamon III

Categories: In Memoriam
Update: A visitation for Phil is scheduled for Wednesday evening from 6 to 8 p.m. at Olinger Hampden (8600 East Hampden), followed by a memorial service on Thursday, June 30, at 10 a.m. at Amazing Grace Chapel in Englewood (3325 South Federal Boulevard). Also, a show flier created by Phil has been added below.
062711_phil-the-fan-hamon.jpg
John Johnston
Some very sad news just came across my desk. I just received word that Phil Hamon (aka "Phil the Fan") passed away over the weekend from a heart attack. No matter how long you've been in the music scene, chances are better than good that you've come across Phil at one point or another. A veritable scene icon for the better part of the past three decades, Phil has been a fixture at various local shows and club nights. You might have spotted him a few weeks ago at the Westword Music Showcase or at Milk Bar, where he'd become a regular.

Phil the Fan is probably best remembered to a great many of us as the affable lighting guy at places like the 15th Street Tavern or any number of other places where he manned his homemade lighting rig. The picture above is taken from a profile penned by my predecessor, Laura Bond, in November 2000. Phil was a colorful character, as Laura's piece so deftly captured. A one-of-a-kind type of guy, he had the sort of outlook on life that we'd all probably do very well to embrace.

"Some people don't like music, and maybe I can understand that," he told Laura in 2000. "But not everybody has got to be a workaholic. My job during the day ain't all I do in life. I don't want to live that place. Some people in this world, they get up, go to work, go home, watch TV, go to bed, wake up, go to work. They don't understand that other people have some other life that's full of art and music and things that make them actually feel good about themselves. It's like, well, maybe you should try it."

No word yet on where and when services for Phil will be held, but we'll keep you posted. In the meantime, please feel free to share your favorite Phil story below. There's gotta be a thousand of them out there. Phil was loved and will definitely be missed!

Click through to check out a flier we stumbled upon that Phil created.

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107 comments
Fritz the Sound Guy
Fritz the Sound Guy

I'm glad I got the opportunity to know Phil.  I spent many years with him as a friend and a cheap lighting assistant, and showed him how to run sound in the mid 80s to mid 90s.  I was fortunate enough to be invited to his home as a friend.  His home was a museum, and not many people got to know that side of him.  His drumstick collection was admirable, and he could tell you everything about each one of them.  I was just talking about him this morning, and was sorry to discover that he was gone.Fritz the Sound Guy.

AdvocacyDenver
AdvocacyDenver

The tribute to Phil is:

Sunday August 7, 4pmRockaway Tavern, multiple bands2036 Broadway, Denver

See you there...

Denver Punk Scene
Denver Punk Scene

We will be digitally archiving his collection and making a website dedicated to Phil. All is in the works.

Joe Morgan
Joe Morgan

There hasn’t been a day that has gone by since his passing that I haven’t thought about him for most of the day. I really do miss the guy a lot and the clubs and shows hasn’t been the same. I can tell there is something missing.  I miss all the long conversations I had with him on a weekly basis. I hope to attend his benefit show as I wouldn’t miss it for the world. The Gothnic that’s happening this Sunday will not be the same with out seeing or talking to him.  Rest in peace my friend hope to see you again someday on the other side.                     JOE MORGAN

Debrahamon
Debrahamon

I LOVE YOU PHILIP MY BIG BROTHER\DEBBIE

Bdehaven
Bdehaven

Phil called himself  'Light Shows of America, I was Phil's house electrician at the start. He had an old suitcase full of odd cords and sockets that he had fashioned his light show out of.  He would ask me for parts and ideas to make it all work. Phil had spec's; things like portability were key.  Phil transported his show on his bicycle a lot of the time. Certain effects were very important and  he was not always happy when I didn't produce it. He would trade me tickets to  ARC dances for my work. The dances were great and Phil would alternate between the dance floor and his light show. Phil is rocking still. I tried to get DU to put Phil's stuff [see the poster in the article, a minor Phil work compared to the rest] into an art show but I couldn't make it happen; this to bad because the guy had made some amazing art.  PS I hope his thirty year collection of autographed T-shirts of all the local bands has a happy home somewhere.  Sparky of Light Shows Of America.

Lovebonosvoice
Lovebonosvoice

Phil was a wonderful guy full of life:)  The last time I saw phil was at a bus stop, we chatted.  And he wanted me to come back to people's first.  Rest in Peace Phil!!!

Smilesclay
Smilesclay

I am sad I missed this news and Phil's service, but the memorial concert is something he would sure love!  Phil did our lights everytime we were at Hermans back in the day!  I think he even mentioned us as his favorite in the Westword article in 2000.  Phil you will be sorely missed in the music scene!  RIP my friend!

Alyssavixen11
Alyssavixen11

Phil was an amazing being...such a sweet man that could brighten anyone's day. I went to the memorial service today, and I couldn't stop crying, but then it brought a smile to my face to see how many types of people and how many lives he touched. He wilk be greatly missed, but I will keep dancing for his honor.

Laura Bond
Laura Bond

Been thinking about Phil's memorial. A truly eclectic mix of real human beings, all touched by a person who was as real as they come. Those who know Phil from the music scene had a chance to see the other realms where he was deeply loved and connected as well, including the disability  rights community and his church. While the service may have been a bit church-y for some, it was clear to me that the pastor genuinely cared for -- and got -- Phil. His point about Phil embodying the ideals of Christian (and all true spiritual) values, by extending love and acceptance to all, was genuinely borne out by the come-as-you-are spirit of today's large crowd.

I don't know who came up with the name Phil the Fan. Was it Phil himself, or someone impressed by the depth of his devotion to local music? Either way, it's really beautiful, especially when you broaden it: Phil the Fan of people, of life, of himself, too. To be a fan is to admire, to appreciate and to adore. And to adore is to love. That is quite a way to go through life.

Justin Loendorf
Justin Loendorf

Phil's presence and lights are inseparable from my memories of playing at the 15th St. Tavern.  The following link is to a video shot by Tom Murphy of our old band Fucking Orange with lights by the one and only...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v...

Its shot in black and white, which doesn't really do justice to his work with colors, but halfway through he really starts working his magic with the timing.  If anybody else knows where his lighting work might be documented, please share!

RIP Phil, thanks for the beautiful memories. 

Cindy & Keith
Cindy & Keith

Phil was one of a kind. And that he was - Very Kind.  Despite all the adversities that were placed in front of him - he continued on with a smile always on his face and a twinkle in his eye.  He will be greatly missed by many.  May he rest in peace along side of his folks.

Beth
Beth

Phil's memorial was really nice - his bike helmet perched atop his casket. I loved everyone's memories of Phil.  A lot of stories of Phil trying lure friends and family for a night out on the town. "Which party are you going to tonight?" "We can dance on the table... or go see wrestling?"

I hear they did it up good at Milk Bar last night in his honor, I am sorry I missed that.

Bagdad Bob
Bagdad Bob

Phil the Fanwas a faithful Lightmanshowing up every Monday in a smokey yellow cabhe made Open Jam Mondays just a little less drabExtension chorded and powered to the hilt Phil had Cellulose tinted shoplights hanging on a stiltalways a smile and a feel good spasticPhil lived to perform and trip the light fantastic

RIP Brother PhilBagdad Bob 

Bagdad Bob
Bagdad Bob

Phil "lit us up" on many Monday nights at the Atrium on Broadway when the Bagdad Cowboys (my band) was hosting the Monday Night Open Jam."Phil the Fan" was a faithful "Lightman" showing up every Monday in a Taxi and unleashing enough shoplights to cause a brownout in the bar and even blew out the fuse box a time or two with his extension lined watt intensive light show...I'll never forget him "getting into the music" and deftly flickering the "light switches" as fast as he could to the beat of the music...once during a slow number he fell asleep and rolled out of the chair and onto the floor...BONK!  "Phil the Fan" our number "One" and forever faithful "Lightman" ..RIP my brother and my friend. Bagdad Bob 

Guest
Guest

Didn't know Phil well, but loved seeing him at the milk & church when I headed out.  I loved watching him dance because of the joy you could see just vibrating off of him, he was always having a great time!  

I think everyone will miss Phil.  RIP.

Allan Bumgartner
Allan Bumgartner

Here's to Phil Hamon!!!  Between the fall of 2001 and the middle of 2002, I hosted the open stage (bad talent) night at the Atrium Bar and Grill.  Every Monday night Phil was my light man and I had the pleasure of taking him home each Monday for over six months.  I used his services at any and all other shows that I could between 2001 and 2003, when I quit playing professionally.  It was a pleasure getting to know Phil and as Mr. EGO points out, we have more than a few hours of MiniDisc live recordings with punctuations from Phil in our archive.   I remember seeing Phil at shows all the way back at to the mid-1980's in Boulder.  The first time I talked to him was at the Government Issue show at the University of Colorado, Gate 10.  (Does anyone remember that show??  It was a great one!!)  We talked about how cool the show was.   I guess all I can say is that I miss him.  I will always remember that big smile and the leopard patterned 10-gallon hat he used to wear.  There is a photo of him in that hat on my MySpace page. I missed seeing him over the recent years because I haven't been going to too many shows. His serivice was wonderful today and I had the opportunity to stop by and share these memories with the mourners, along with their cool memories.  He had a fabulous turn-out.  A testament to the man that Phil was.       Peace to you, Phil.  Bless you!!  And right on to you, Phil.  You were the best.  I think I'm going to go up to the Blue Bar (formerly La Guardia's and El Alazan) and have a drink with Doug the bartender in rememberence to you.  A double shot of shitty bar rum and a large Coke.   And thanks to Will Muhovich and Gregory EGO for mentioning the KOB open stage jam at the Atrium all those years ago.  It was a blast of a time and Phil Hamon was a very large part of the fun.   RIP Phil.....Allan Bumgartner  

Gregory Ego
Gregory Ego

I got lit by Phil. I enjoyed his presence at our Monday night jams at the Atrium Bar and Grill. I'd also run into him all over town: riding his bike, on the bus. I admired his love of music -- and the stamina he had in pursuing that love. "Are you going to see ___________ (fill in the blank) at ________ (fill in the blank)?!" he'd invariably ask. Uh no, Phil. But, hey, I'm sure you'll be there!

I have a live recording of a song that I intend to release; you can hear Phil on it. It's an instrumental jam sans lyrics. "That was a song we've never played before," I say at the end. "What were the words to the song?" he asks aloud. I respond, "That was a song we've never played before."

Phil, I wish I could sing/play it again for you.

carrolmick
carrolmick

Phil was a great and compassionate person I he was always there to give me a hug whenever I saw him.  I think he was one of the greatest people I have ever known.  I will miss him greatly.

Brooke
Brooke

We are all reeling at the loss of our dear friend Phil.....many tears have been shed and stories shared....we had the privilege to have Phil join us many a Thursday afternoon for pizza and pool, expressing his artistic talents at our table, as well as taking part in many other gatherings over the years....not only did he do lights within the music scene, but he shared his talents at many a Halloween and spring dance for his friends and our folks, making it just that much cooler.......he was an advocate for treating everyone the way they truly should be.  We are having a gathering of our own tomorrow and he will be in the forefront of our thoughts and deep within our hearts.  This will be one of the first Thursdays without our Phil in some time, now.  Our hearts go out to those closest to this incredible man....he will be, and already is, missed dearly.

April H
April H

I haven't lived in Denver for five years, but when I saw the news of Phil's demise today, a whole other life of mine came flooding back to me in memories of shows and bars and people. I rode the bus everywhere and had many late night conversations with Phil the Fan on the buses about bands and art and the scene. I remember a few times listening to him vent about people that didn't understand his intentions...all he wanted to was to bring something to the table with his lights or just his enthusiasm for the experience. He was a gem. I am really impressed with all of these comments on how he is remembered by musicians and others from 3 decades back...that's a really cool legacy. RIP Phil

Randall Frazier
Randall Frazier

Phil was light guy for orbit service many, many times. A sad day for Denver music.

Enpender62
Enpender62

The first time I saw Phil was at a metal show at the Broadway in 1984. The last time I saw him we were on the 83L two years ago talking about places he could do his lights.Every local show I went to or played Phil was there. He even let me wear his helmet at one of our shows once! I will miss seeing him out there very much!R.I.P. Fill the Fan.

Michelle Childers
Michelle Childers

I never got the privilege of meeting Phil let alone attending a show with him. I will forever wish I had. I do know that he touched many lives....from all the comments here and from speaking with my friend, Scott Bolt. I know that it would mean a lot to him if so many of U would show up at the visitation on Wed nite and/or the memorial on Thurs. Scott may have "worked" with him but they were so much closer. So, all of U, it's time to stand up!!!! Be there to show those who were closest to Phil how much he meant to U. This and the planned concert for Phil will help ease the pain, I hope. thanks to all.

MusicSceneMovie.com
MusicSceneMovie.com

I was setting up an interview with him for a documentary I'm shooting on the Colorado Music Scene. I wish I could of got that interview. He seemed like such a great part of the scene in the 303.. You will be missed. www.musicscenemovie.com

Aaron Howell
Aaron Howell

Damn...what can I say that hasn't been said? First time I met Phil was on the 15 when, I myself was in fact, 15. We talked about bands and shows at The Packinghouse (which I didn't even know existed at the time, but pretended). I thought he was a total nut! Years later, when my band started playing 15th street, my suspicions were confirmed! He was a totally different breed of human and one of the no-bullshit, neatest guys I ever met. Any of you scenesters out there who spend a little bit too much time worried about your image would do while to look at Phil The Fan as a role model. That guy did not give a fuck. He just wanted to hear some music. What a bummer. I'm glad I got to meet the guy.

Johnshoerock
Johnshoerock

Phil was awesome! He made every local band feel like rock stars! I remember handing him demos at Palisades shows, and he'd actually make us autograph them. A total sweetheart and a class act.

Shelbywkennedy
Shelbywkennedy

While I didn't know Phil well, my grandma (Nancy Kennedy) and my dad (Tom Kennedy) knew him well. When I met Phil while I was having dinner with my dad, Phil kissed my hand and gave me a box of Crayons. I was young, so anyone to give me art supplies was alright in my book. RIP to the first man to kiss my hand.

'Bama Slim
'Bama Slim

Phil was a truly great dude, that always welcomed you into his heart and engaged with you no matter how sober you weren't. What a miraculous human being that shed blood, sweat and tears for Denver Punk rock. Long live "Phil the Fan," you will not be forgotten, but you will be missed.

Scott Robert Bolt
Scott Robert Bolt

I have a question for anyone on this board. Phil and I had talked over the last few months if something did happen to him what would happen to his music collection. Nothing else really mattered materialistically to Phil except maybe his t-shirt collection. Does anyone have a great idea how these things can be played, stored etc. and keep his memory alive? I do not listen to this music and I really want it to go to where it would be the most beneficial. I know for a fact that is what Phil wanted. Any suggestions?

Beth
Beth

Phil made quite a life for himself and enhanced the lives of many as he made his travels on his tricycle from show to show and venue to venue - rain, snow, shine, night or day. He passed out flyers in exchange for tickets to upcoming shows, came to every one without fail and left with new CDs. I will miss his smile, his style and his dance.

It is with heavy heart that I say: Good-Bye Phil, see you on the other side...

Maddie Snyder
Maddie Snyder

Phil Hamon has a visitation tomorrow night. It's 6-8pm at Olinger Hampden at 8600 east hamden ave denver 80231 phone: 303-771-3527

--Maddie Snyder, AdvocacyDenver

RJ
RJ

Last time I saw him was @ the People's Fair sitting in the sun listening and dancing to Zeut & thought to myself "It's really not a local show unless Phil is around".   RIP Phil - your presence will be missed.

NumberThree
NumberThree

Oh Phil, you will be missed. Does anyone know what will happen to his stuff? All of those posters and his helmet need to be memorialized somewhere. Maybe the Rockaway?

Thanks for making smaller (and larger) bands feel better than we really were!

#3 

Bill Thomas
Bill Thomas

We all loved Phil, his joy, his love of music and his talent.  hung out with him many times at hermans. He ALWAYS made us smile. Rest easy now little Brother.

James Hunter
James Hunter

Every time I saw him, he was always smiling, always dancing, always having the most fun. I'm going to miss that very real optimism and I wish I would have gotten to know him better. I'll shed my tears. Rest in peace, buddy.

Draka67us
Draka67us

Death can be looked at as inconvenient, nonetheless, it is only a matter ov how much it means to us that he departed us with?

Draka67

Karen Large
Karen Large

Wow! Great idea Scott!  But, I don't have any suggestions (I'm thinking) because I have seen his collection - thousands of CDs and records!

NumberThree
NumberThree

 Below in the thread, DenverPunkScene mentioned there is a museum space in the Denver Public Library. I think it would be fitting to see if we can set something up with them. Also, see if we can get a good local photographer to (photograph) catalog all of his stuff for maybe a zine or something. Just throwing out ideas.

backbeatmod
backbeatmod

Can't even imagine what sort of stuff Phil left behind. From the sounds of it (and looks -- don't miss the vintage Dick and the Chicks and the Jonez fliers in the picture above on the upper left hand side), Phil could have easily curated his own wing in the Colorado Music Hall of Fame. Actually, if you ask me, Phil deserves to be inducted into the CMHF at some point.

Denver Punk Scene
Denver Punk Scene

I personally feel his archive should be donated to the Denver Public library there is a punk rock archive there that Headbanger started. That way when it will always be properly taken care of. Putting an amazing archive such as Phil's in a bar would not be a wise thing to do when bar closes it will be lost. Put in a safe place 

wm
wm

His collections should be professionally curated.  I like the library suggestion.

NumberThree
NumberThree

Totally agree and I had no idea that there was such a thing in the public library. That would be a perfect place for it. Wonder how to make this happen.

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