The Allan Goodman Memorial Fund

Wednesday, June 11th, 2014

On May 21st I wrote about my friend Allan Goodman.

Of course I wish with all of my heart that I hadn’t written about Allan, because it would mean that he’d still be out there smiling and laughing and hugging people and making music.

The point of what I was trying to say in my remembrance of Allan is pretty simple: Allan went against what society in general tells all of us to do– the whole ‘get a safe job with a nice salary and some benefits and put a little money away’ thing– and instead chased his dreams and followed his passion. And, because of that, Allan’s soul, spirit, ideas, thoughts, words, and melodies get to live forever– much, much longer than his salary or benefits or nest egg would have. I’m biased, but I think Allan made the right decision every step of the way.

And you can give someone else the chance to discover their own path as well.

Allan’s family, friends, and old classmates in California have established the Allan Goodman Memorial Fund. Contributions to this fund will be used to enhance, develop, and continue the music program by way of the Instrument Acquisition Initiative at Allan’s alma mater, Katella High School.

I can’t think of a more fitting way for my friend to be remembered. He cared so much about the people around him– he cared so much about his friends and his family.

He cared so much about music.

Thanks to this fund others will be able to discover what a truly life-affirming gift musical ability can be.

You can follow the link to read the entire article above, and should you feel moved to do so, you can send your donation to:

Katella High School Marching Band

Allan Goodman Memorial Fund

2200 E. Wagner Ave.

Anaheim, Ca. 92806

2 Comments

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  1. Jami Villegas says:

    I was Allan’s friend in high school. Lost touch over the years, but had seen him a few times at my work. I brought him up in many conversations over the years when speaking of talented musicians! He was a big, loveable teddy bear, with an awesome, quick witted sense of humor, and he had an indescribable talent when it came music, playing and writing. His mom came into my work today… And gave me the heartbreaking news of his passing. This physical earth lost an exceptional living being, but the beyond gained an awesome, loving and special spiritual being! Love you Allen, and my prayers, love and good vibes go out to your family and loved ones!!!

  2. Bill Phillips says:

    I had the honor and privilege of giving one of the eulogies at Allan’s funeral. It came purely from the heart and I’d like to share it with you now.

    ————————————

    This is going to be a little different than what you might expect…let me tell you about the Allan Goodman I knew.

    At first glance we seem an improbable combination to become good friends. I’m 28 years older than Allan. I was married and had two kids before he was born! I’m older than his parents! But maybe it was our mutual love of music or maybe a part of us simply refused to grow up.

    Let’s start at the beginning, 2002. The first time I met Allan, well let’s just say, it wasn’t an auspicious beginning.

    My wife and I were at the Coach House in San Juan Capistrano to see a Nils Lofgren show. For those of you not familiar with Nils, when he isn’t performing with his own band, he has another job. He’s been Bruce Springsteen’s guitar player for thirty years. Clubs always have two or three local bands as opening acts before the headliner takes the stage. That night the Allan Goodman Band was one of those bands. It was a set I’ll never forget, and a set that started our relationship…although on somewhat rocky ground.

    After the set I saw Allan walking around the club, talking with people, laughing and having a great time. I approached him and told him how much I liked the band and his songs. Well, Allan gave me a real “rock star” attitude, like maybe he thought he was Bruce Springsteen. Time has faded the details from there but we became fast friends after that. I’m telling this story because he hates for me to tell it, it embarrasses him. Sorry Allan, now the whole world knows.

    You know how when you go to the movies you hear background music playing outside the theater and in the lobby? Well about ten years ago here in Southern California they started playing “Someday Maria” in rotation. At the time neither Allan or I knew that. Then one afternoon we decided to catch a movie together and as we’re walking up to the ticket booth, like some kind of magic, “Someday Maria” came blasting out of the speakers. Allan broke into a giant smile. A woman and her daughter were just leaving the ticket booth when we walked up. The two women were complete strangers to us. Well, I jumped in and ask them “hey do you like that song (pointing to the outdoor speakers)”. Do you think it’s good? I’m sure they were both stunned by such an intrusion but they stood there listening for a few seconds and said “yes, I really like it”. I then proceed to point at Allan and tell them that this guy right here wrote the song and it was his band playing it. After a little more conversation I think they believed it. During this exchange Allan seemed to be proud, stunned and embarrassed by it all. Then after thinking about it for a few seconds he said “wow, I like that”. To make an unbelievable story even more unbelievable the same thing happened a couple of hours later when we were leaving the theater. This time I grabbed a guy as he was coming out of the rest room and gave him the same pitch…..and he liked it too. We were making Allan Goodman fans one at a time. It was a fun afternoon.

    A few years later I ask Allan to write and record a song I could give my wife as an anniversary gift. I gave him about six months advance notice to write and record it and really didn’t think much more about it after that. Then, as they seem to do, the months flew by and we were getting close to the date. After a few days of fumbling around and dodging my phone calls he admitted he had writers block and just couldn’t come up with a song. All he had was the chorus. Well I’ve never written a song in my life but I felt I really had to help push him along as it was less than a week from our anniversary. I told him the story of how Gloria and I have known each other since we were 13 and how through twists and turns in our lives we reunited 36 years later…like switching on a light…it all came together and he was able to finish and record the song in less than a week. Listening to the song today the sound of his voice makes my heart sink.

    Here’s another. In 2005 “The Allan Goodman Band” was playing at a club in Hollywood called the Knitting Factory. There must have been some kind of miscommunication somewhere along the line because the only people present for the show were myself, my wife and our two daughters. So with an audience of “four” Allan and the band played the entire set with energy and excitement like they were playing for a sold out crowd at Madison Square Garden. That was Allan’s dedication to his music.

    One Friday night several years ago Allan was playing acoustic sets at a coffee house in Brea to about a half dozen people shuffling in and out. He was playing Weird Al’s song “Biggest Ball Of Twine In Minnesota” and about halfway through a police officer walked through the door to get a cup of coffee. Without missing a beat Allan switched into “I Fought The Law, And The Law Won”. It took a few seconds for the officer to realize what happened but then he broke into a big smile.

    One of the common bonds of our friendship was the music of Bruce Springsteen and we always lived for the next tour. Between tours we listen to, discussed and dissected his songs. In January of this year it was announced Springsteen would be playing Nashville in April. We bought tickets and planned to go to the show together. Well, as you know, a lot changed since January. As the April 17th concert date approached it looked more and more like he wouldn’t be able to attend as his health was declining. When we got to Nashville my wife commented that she didn’t think he’d be able to go. Without thinking I told her not to worry he’ll be there if he has to crawl on his belly over a field of broken glass. Yep, he made it, although it had to require a tremendous effort. At his house a couple of days later I told him about Gloria’s comments…he smiled and said “damn right”.

    That night was more special than I realized. Later when it was just Allan and myself he said he hadn’t had much fun in a long time and that the concert meant the world to him. For those precious three hours he escaped his pain and discomfort and for one final time he revisited the music that meant so much to him. He smiled, and laughed and sang along as best he could. I especially noticed his look of enthusiasm and determination as he forced out the lyrics to one of his favorite songs. “I believe in the love that you gave me, I believe in the faith that can save me, I believe in the hope and I pray that someday it may raise me above these badlands”. On that night, in that arena, Allan successfully stopped the march of time…at least for a little while.

    Nils Lofgren liked Allan so much he requested him as his opening act when he came to town. Although currently on a major world tour that had seen him perform to over four million fans I thought I should send him an email to let him know. I fought for words to use.

    “Unfortunately, this email doesn’t bring good news. You might remember Allan Goodman, he was your opening act at least three times when you played at the Coach House in San Juan Capistrano. He was thrilled to do so since he’s a big Nils fan. Allan is only 39 and has been battling stomach cancer. He had surgery today and the outlook isn’t good. As a fellow musician, and since he is such a fan of yours I thought you’d like to know.”

    In less than a couple of hours I received a response from Nils Lofgren:

    “Hello Bill,

    Of course I remember Allan. I really liked Allan on and off stage. I enjoyed watching him from the green room upstairs at the Coach House before we went on. He had an energy, enthusiasm and stage presence I seldom saw in local bands as I traveled around the country. He reminds me of myself in the early 70’s in and around DC, full of ambition, desire and a love of the craft. I was pleased to have him open for me. Please pass my love and prayers along to him and his family.

    I don’t know if you’re aware of this, but right before we go on stage every night the entire ESB forms a circle holding hands to share a prayer. I will personally tell Bruce about Allan and we will pray for God’s love, mercy and grace to be with him in our prayer before we take the stage Thursday night in Pittsburgh.”

    Springsteen fans refer to each other as “tramps”, it’s an expression of endearment and friendship, our version of a secret handshake. So once again I’ll defer to Springsteen’s words to describe my feelings today…”Someday, I don’t know when, we’re gonna get to that place where we really wanna go, and we’ll walk in the sun, but till then tramps like us, baby we were born to run.”

    So my friend, the time has come to say goodbye. You will be in my heart and memory until the day we meet again on the other side. It’s an honor and privilege to call you my friend. I am a better person because of you. Although dealt such an unfair hand I never heard you complain, you displayed such courage and strength. You were always positive and looking forward to what lies ahead. Rest well my friend, we’ll take care of things down here. “No retreat, no surrender”

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