So Mackenzie Phillips in an interview with Oprah Winfrey (who else?) claims that she was raped by her father, John Phillips, while still a teenager. John is of course Papa John Phillips of the Mamas and the Papas.
I can’t say I’m surprised.
From everything I’ve seen and heard and read of him (including his autobiography), John Phillips was always struck me as an utter prick. He exercised svengali like control on the other members of the Mamas and Papas that frequently extended to mental and physical abuse. He was an egomaniac whose stunning lack of self awareness allowed him to consider himself ever bit the equal of the Beatles, the Byrds, Dylan etc. and to casually dismiss anyone he regarded as low end commercial pop (the Stones, Motown, Soul music generally).
His greatest achievement was organizing the Monterey Pop Festival, but even that has to be put in perspective as he was part of a group of people- including Lou Adler, Jerry Wexler and Derek Taylor on the organizing committee, though naturally he claimed the lion’s share of the credit.
He finagled the closing spot for the Mamas and his friend Scott McKenzie- mind-boggling when you consider the presence of the Who, Hendrix, Janis Joplin, the Byrds and Otis Redding on the bill. At the time, Phillips was furious with Hendrix for setting his guitar on fire and the Who’s “smash up everything” finale and dismissive of Redding as a cabaret-type performer, though he had changed his tune considerably by the time he is interviewed for the Monterey Pop documentary. Utterly with out shame, an egomaniac, with the surety of his own god-like qualities, Phillips is the consummate hippie male chauvinist. That he would rape his daughter seems of a piece with his narcissism and his embrace of the ethos that all that mattered was what he wanted at any given moment.
Oh yeah and he also co-wrote Kokomo for the Beach Boys……. a crime in itself.
So I’ll post this Monterey clip from another band with awkward interpersonal relationships and way more talent….tell us who they are Peter Tork……