Philip Bardowell got his start with the American rock duo Jan and Dean, went on tour with the Beach Boys, and now that same Orange County singer and musician is wearing scrubs.
For a kid born in Jamaica, in the West Indies to ending up in an American band, it was a mind blower.
The year was 2001. Bardowell was singing at a birthday party when his childhood friend John Stamos told him, “don’t get off the stage.”
“He goes, Phil. Phil, you got to sing more. I said why? He said, Carl Wilson loves your voice. He wants you to sing another song,” Bardowell said.
Yes, that Carl Wilson. Bardowell began touring with the Beach Boys. At the same time, he was working towards a psychology degree. He'd fly home to take finals.
Then came a marriage and children and the decision to get off the road and settle down.
He calls what happened next divine intervention.
Bardowell took his talents to church and became a worship leader. He went back to school, and this time it took four years to get his nursing degree.
He walked into Mission Hospital in July 2020, in the middle of the pandemic.
“I saw nurses who had been nurses for 30 years running around pulling their hair out saying “I can’t deal with this,” and I thought oh my gosh, if they’re saying this, how am I going to navigate this?”
But there was also his belief that this was where he was supposed to be.
“We’re called caregivers at Mission Hospital, and they actually call what we do our ministry, and it falls in line with what I want to do with my life,” he added.
Looking back, he says it’s a life he never expected. Touring with Jan and Dean, moving on to make his own CD about his faith, and now working through more COVID concerns.
“I think we learned a lot and I think what we learned is going to help us move ahead and be stronger,” he said.
In a sense, Bardowell's life is about to come full circle. He'll be performing at a city sponsored symphony in the park in Mission Viejo to honor health care workers.
The concert is free and will be held August 14 at Oso Viejo Community Park.