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“Some touring Tibetan Buddhists find themselves with time to hang out and even go to a rock concert. by Bonnie Langston May 16, 2001 Jampa Palden, right, plays a damnyen while jamming with Christopher Strone, Philip Hemley, standing at center, and Ray Ippolito on the back deck of the Tibetan Studies Society. Because of cancellations in their U.S. tour, nine Tibetan Buddhist monks from southern India have had time to vacation, teach, perform - and even attend their first rock concert - in Woodstock. "We're happy here. What a wonderful, beautiful town," said Lobsang Wangchuk, a native of California and the only American among the nine. "What a nice place to hang out. I've been telling the monks 'This is our vacation. You'd better enjoy it.'" In addition to "hanging out" in general in Woodstock, the men have been staying with organizer Philip A. Hemley, better known as Phil Void, his stage name with the Dharma Bums, Tibetan-influenced rock band. (FOR MORE go to www.dharmabums.org)”
“THE WALL STREET JOUNAL WESTERNERS FLOCK TO HIMALAYAN HILL TOWN SEEKING ANSWERS TO ALL SORTS OF QUESTIONS By PETER WONACOTT June 9, 2008; Page A1 DHARMSALA, India -- Philip Hemley confronted a deep personal conflict. Should he continue his studies in Sanskrit and Tibetan languages or pursue his dreams of rock 'n' roll? So Mr. Hemley headed to this Himalayan hill town in 1989 to seek the one person he believed could resolve his inner dilemma: the Dalai Lama, Tibet's spiritual leader. Mr. Hemley met the Dalai Lama, who he says praised his "talent," and the rest is pop history. He decided to pursue his rock career under the name Phil Void. [Phil Void] Mr. Void, as he prefers to be known, is among a throng of Westerners who have come to this corner of northern India seeking guidance from "His Holiness." Some are Buddhist pilgrims. Many others are drawn by the prospect that the Dalai Lama and his fellow monks are just as inclined ..... (FOR MORE go to www.dharmabums.org)”
“AT THE COURT OF THE DALAI LAMA by Clifford Coonan Phil Void's rock band has never made the cover of 'Rolling Stone' but in Dharamsala, the home of Tibet's government in exile, they are hugely popular - even his Holiness is a big fan. Few rock stars can claim to have been pushed on to the path of musical glory with specific instructions from the Dalai Lama. If it wasn't for the advice of the spiritual leader of the Tibetan people, Phil Void might have found himself a scholar today, rather than the singer-songwriter of the Dharma Bums. The artist once known as Philip Hemley – he was given the name Phil Void by a Tibetan oracle – has been coming to Dharamsala, the seat of Tibet's government in exile, since 1975, the year he formed the Bums. But it was his 1989 visit to the Indian hill station that changed his life. Void found himself there, facing a quandary...... (FOR MORE go to www.dharmabums.org)”
“US singer has key part in Tibet independence movement THE IRISH TIMES November 21, 2008 US SINGER HAS KEY PART IN TIBET INDEPENDENCE MOVEMENT Dharamsala, home to the Dalai Lama, attracts westerners of every colour, Clifford Coonan SINGER-SONGWRITER Phil Void's rock music career began with instructions from the Dalai Lama himself to continue performing his songs about Tibetan Buddhism and Tibetan freedom, and the New Yorker has spent nearly 35 years doing just that. Formerly Philip Hemley from Woodstock, Void has been coming to Dharamsala every year since 1975, when he first formed the Dharma Bums, named after the Jack Kerouac book of the same name. Dharamsala is home to a host of westerners, some of them original hippies chasing the mysticism of the Himalayan town, others shaven-headed Tibetan Buddhist monks from Europe or the US attending the town's temples. Yet others are tech-savvy students working for the Tibetan independence movement. (FOR MORE go to www.dharmabums.org) ”