Phil Wright 'spread Oppikoppi gospel'

2013-02-28 10:45
Cape Town - Oppikoppi founder Carel Hoffman has expressed his sadness at the passing of ex-5FM rock DJ Phil Wright, saying his active role in spreading the Oppikoppi gospel will be greatly missed.

No official report on his passing has been released yet, but it's believed that Wright was found dead in his home on Tuesday, after he reportedly died from natural causes.

Hoffman told Channel24 that Wright will be remembered for his valuable contribution to OppiKoppi throughout the years.

"With the support that he brought from the 5FM team and his omni-present annual on stage emcee job, he became the face of the OppiKoppi family for almost 10 years to many people."

'He loved the tunes we love'

"What many people do not realise however is that those early founding years of establishing the festival, the support for original South African music was frowned upon. In those years it was Phil who fought in the background to get the support in place, often together with older foxes like Anthony Duke."

Hoffman believes that Wright "played an active part to spread the gospel of OppiKoppi".

"He lived the gospel: He slept late and often. He rock n rolled hard, and late. And most importantly he loved the tunes we loved."

He also joked that Wright was already setting up a suitable location for a rock festival on the other side.

"We heard reliably that he is already looking for snakes on the other side, clearing out a nice patch for a decent rock festival on a nondescript piece of land in the hereafter somewhere (This time with no dust). Apparently there are lots of Jack Daniels off sales corner shops there, and plenty metal music on harps. We heard he was happy.

"Phil will be missed by the extensive OppiKoppi family of rock n rollers," Hoffman said.


Wright was best known for his ground-breaking work on radio, starting out at as a sound engineer for Radio RSA, moving up the ranks to become a presenter and producer for Capitol Radio.

He's most famous gig was as a presenter on Radio 5 and later 5FM where he hosted several shows, working alongside DJs such as Alex Jay, Ian F, Derek Richardson and Barney Simon, who gave him the famed nickname "Metalhead".

Wright was also a familiar voice-over artist for the SABC3 lifestyle show Top Billing.

Messages of remembrance for Wright have been pouring in across the music industry.

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