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Old 03-18-2001, 02:12 PM
uno1234 uno1234 is offline
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Default Singer/Songwriter John Phillips Dies

Thought everyone should know... the world lost quite a songwriter today.

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Singer/Songwriter John Phillips Dies

By ANDREW BRIDGES
Associated Press Writer

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Songwriter John Phillips, who as a member of the Mamas and the Papas penned ``California Dreamin''' and other hits by the 1960s pop group, died Sunday morning. He was 65.

Phillips died of heart failure at the University of California, Los Angeles Medical Center, a spokesman for the hospital said.

``His personality is going to be sorely missed,'' said Harvey Goldberg, a longtime friend and producer. ``His music is going to be sorely missed.''

Phillips was the principal songwriter for the Mamas and the Papas, writing hits including ``I Saw Her Again Last Night'' and ``Creeque Alley.'' In 1966, the band won a Grammy for best contemporary group performance for the single ``Monday, Monday.''

He also helped organize 1967's seminal Monterey Pop Festival, which introduced Jimi Hendrix and The Who to American audiences.

Phillips also wrote for other groups, including the Grateful Dead, Beach Boys and Scott MacKenzie, who debuted his ``San Francisco (Be Sure to Wear Some Flowers in Your Hair)'' at Monterey.

Goldberg said that just before entering the hospital, Phillips had completed work on a solo album, tentatively titled ``Slow Starter.'' An album he began work on 25 years ago with Mick Jagger and Keith Richards called ``Pay, Pack and Follow'' is set for release in May.

Phillips was born John Edmund Andrew Phillips on Aug. 30, 1935, in Parris Island, S.C. In high school, he played in several bands. He later moved to New York City, where he formed The Journeymen.

When Cass Elliot joined the group now known as the Mamas and the Papas, the band moved to Los Angeles, where they were signed in 1965.

``They were really the American band that ended the British Invasion,'' Goldberg said.

The Mamas and the Papas' debut single, ``California Dreamin','' was released in 1966. ``Monday, Monday'' and a string of other hits soon followed until the band broke up in 1968. Two decades later, the band was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

``There was an intelligence to his lyrics but not to the point of highbrow,'' Goldberg said. ``It was something that everyone could relate to.''

The songwriter received a liver transplant in 1992 after years of abusing alcohol and illegal drugs had taken its toll.

``It's like having a new lease on life,'' Phillips said at the time of the transplant, which came six months after he stopped drinking. He had talked and written about his former drug addictions, saying he had weaned himself from drugs in a rehabilitation clinic after a 1980 arrest.

Phillips is survived by his wife, Farnaz, daughters Mackenzie, Chynna and Bijou, sons Jeffrey and Tamerlane and stepdaughters Atoosa and Sanaz.

Funeral arrangements were pending Sunday.


[This message has been edited by uno1234 (edited March 18, 2001).]
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