There’s sad news to report today in the drumming community. We have learned the Simon Phillips’ house in Ventura County, California has burned to the ground in the Thomas Fire. Luckily there was no loss of life or injury at his home. Simon Phillips is a fantastic drummer and performer known most for his performances with The Who, Jeff Beck, Judas Priest, and Joe Satriani. He also was the drummer for Toto from 1992 to 2014.
At the time of the fire, Phillips was in New York City at the Iridium Jazz Club playing a show with his band Protocol 4. It was the first night of the tour and Phillips has cancelled the entire tour as he deals with the fire. A GoFundMe campaign has been setup to help Simon and his family.
The Thomas Fire started on the night of December 4 at around 6:30PM Pacific and quickly gained traction via the Santa Ana winds. The fire was burning an acre per second and is still extremely out of control. It has covered roughly 50,000 acres, destroyed 150 buildings. According to the LA Times, more than 1,000 people are fighting the fire currently.
There is a mandatory evacuation order for Ventura County and 27,000 people have been forced to leave their homes due to the fire. Gov. Jerry Brown has declared an emergency for Ventura County. We send our thoughts and prayers for the safety of everyone in the area.