In 1965 they had a UK number 2 with “The Price Of Love”, their own song about the perils of addiction. They recorded the ferocious “Man With Money” which was covered by the Who and is a proto-punk classic. By then, they had become famous for their disharmony although their British publicist, Tony Barrow, recalls that “they could set aside their personal differences at the drop of a hat and they always presented a positive image of themselves to the public.”
In 1968 they released Roots, a personal album which looked back on their childhood, but a double-album, The Everly Brothers Show (1970), revealed their tensions as Don, following his parents’ radio show, called him “baby boy Phil” and said he played with his plastic duck in the bath.
In 1973 at the John Wayne Theatre in Buena Park, California, Don showed up drunk and Phil threw his guitar onto the stage and stormed off. Don said, “The Everly Brothers finished ten years ago” and played the week without him.
Both had active solo careers. Phil played on albums by Roy Wood, J D Souther and Warren Zevon, whom he had discovered. He sang in the Clint Eastwood films, Every Which Way But Loose (1978) and Any Which Way You Can (1980). He recorded the original version of “The Air That I Breathe” and the outstanding “Snowflake Bombardier” on Star Spangled Springer (1973). He made Phil Everly (1983) with the British producer Stuart Colman which included the UK Top 10 single with “She Means Nothing To Me” with Cliff Richard.
Don and Phil knew that the big money lay in being the Everly Brothers again. In 1983 they reformed, agreeing on the Royal Albert Hall for their reunion and forming a superb band led by the guitarist Albert Lee. The shows led to several years of touring and three new albums, Paul McCartney wrote “On The Wings Of A Nightingale” and Andrew Lloyd-Webber, “Cold”, which was played in the musical, Whistle Down The Wind. Around 2000, they finished touring, although they never announced a split. Phil commented, “I think we’ve done enough, but you never know.”
In 2003 they toured with Simon and Garfunkel, and Paul Simon called the tour “a collective history of squabbling”. Since then Phil had been working on new songs, often with his son Jason. He and Jason sang “Rave On” for a tribute album with Buddy Holly’s Crickets and Phil sang with Vince Gill on “Sweet Little Corrina”. Alison Krauss and Robert Plant revived their “Gone Gone Gone” and last year Dawn McCarthy and Bonnie “Prince” Billy recorded lesser-known Everly gems for What The Brothers Sang.