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Singer John Phillips was a member of the popular 1960s folk rock band The Mamas and the Papas, along with Cass Elliot, Denny Doherty and Michelle Phillips.
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Michelle and John separated for a time following the infidelity, and both pursued other relationships. Michelle became involved with Gene Clark from the Byrds, which caused even more problems between her and the other group members.
During the summer of 1966, while they began working on their second album,
the other band members fired Michelle Phillips and replaced her with Jill Gibson. But Michelle was soon back with the band and with Phillips. In June of 1967, Phillips helped organize the legendary musical event, the Monterey Pop Festival. Held during the "Summer of Love," the event drew many who were part of the burgeoning hippie scene. John Phillips had actually written a popular hippie anthem of the time, "San Francisco (Be Sure to Wear Flowers in Your Hair)," which was a hit that summer for Scott McKenzie.
The Monterey Pop Festival also served as a turning point for The Mamas and the Papas; it was the last time they all performed together live. In 1968, the band released another self-titled album, which failed to produce any significant hits. The Mamas and the Papas called it quits that July with its members going their separate ways. In 1970, John and Michelle ended their marriage.
After the group—and John's marriage—dissolved, Phillip's life went into a tailspin. He became hooked on heroin, cocaine, amphetamines, and alcohol, according to his autobiography, Papa John, often got high with his teenage daughter, child actress MacKenzie Phillips.
By the end of the 70s, Phillips' lifestyle caught up with him. He was arrested in 1981 on drug charges, and spent time in prison as a result. After he was released, Phillips formed a new group, The Mammas and the Pappas, and begin touring with minor success.
Yet Phillips' relentless drug use continued, and it took a toll on the musician's liver. As a result, he was forced to undergo a liver transplant in 1992, which only delayed his ailing health. In 1998, The original Mamas and the Papas were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Three years later, after a continuing struggle with his health, John Phillips died of heart failure. He was 65.
He was survived by his fourth wife, Farnaz, and his five children, Jeffrey, Mackenzie, Chynna, Tamerlane and Bijou.
Phillips made posthumous headlines when his daugther, Mackenzie, accused her father of having a decade-long incestuous relationship with her during his later touring years. Family members deny the allegation.
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