4TT Remembers Ken Phebus: The O.C.’s Bill Graham
This is one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to write. And I do have to write it, because it’s something people should read. Ken Phebus, a dear family friend and concert promoter passed away last Saturday night, and left a hole that is unfillable.
Ken has been part of my life for the last 20 years, give or take, when he started booking the summer concert series at Lake Mission Viejo. His talent buying skills go far beyond my relationship with him, however. Ben Wener, of the OC Register wrote an in-depth article about his influence on the Orange County music scene. It’s an interesting read that explains just how far Ken’s reach went in the business. You can read it here: http://soundcheck.ocregister.com/2012/04/09/veteran-o-c-concert-promoter-ken-phebus-dies/91911/
Aside from his dedication to bring a legitimate music scene to a place sometimes thought of as devoid of culture, Ken was one of the sweetest people I have ever met. His smile was infectious, and his compassion, especially for those with four legs and fur, knew no limit. There was no stray unworthy of his attention. Aside from all of his human friends and loved ones, I know my dog Devo and several kitties that will sorely miss his presence and affection.
There are many kindnesses that Ken extended to me over the years. One was box seats, front and center, for Queen with Paul Rogers at the Hollywood Bowl, which was beyond epic. He has also been a big supporter of my writing career, and that kind of support and encouragement is hard to come by. I never told him how much it meant to me, and now I’ll always wish I had.
His friendship has meant a great deal to my family, and summers will never be the same.