John Phillips

Musician and Songwriter
Born Aug 30, 1935

John Edmund Andrew Phillips, was an American singer, guitarist, songwriter and promoter, most notably of the 1967 Monterey Pop Festival. Known as Papa John, Phillips was a member and leader of the singing group The Mamas & the Papas. He was the father of Jeffrey, Mackenzie, Chynna, Tamerlane, and Bijou Phillips.… Read More

related links

News + Updates

Browse recent news and stories about John Phillips.

  • S default mini
    California Dreamin'
    Huffington Post - Oct 13, 2015
  • How Some Young Stars Have Fared After Arrests
    Seattle Pi - Jan 24, 2014
  • Crowds Flock To Blackwood Summer Festival
    Campaign - Jul 01, 2013
  • Marty Lipp: Three Irish Stars Form New Neo Trad Constellation
    Huffington Post - Apr 20, 2013


Learn about the memorable moments in the evolution of John Phillips.


1935 Birth Born on August 30, 1935.
1942 6 Years Old Phillips grew up in Alexandria, Virginia, where he was inspired by Marlon Brando to be "street tough." From 1942 to 1946, he attended Linton Hall Military School in Bristow, Virginia; according to his autobiography, he "hated the place," citing "inspections," and "beatings," and recalls that "nuns used to watch us take showers." … Read More


1953 17 Years Old He played basketball at George Washington High School, now George Washington Middle School in Alexandria, Virginia, where he graduated in 1953, and gained an appointment to the Naval Academy. … Read More


1959 23 Years Old 1 More Event
Phillips then attended Hampden–Sydney College, a liberal arts college for men in Hampden Sydney, Virginia, but dropped out in 1959. … Read More
1962 26 Years Old Their affair forced the dissolution of his marriage to Adams, and he married Michelle in 1962. The couple had one child together, Chynna Phillips, vocalist of the 1990s pop trio Wilson Phillips. They divorced in 1970. … Read More


1967 31 Years Old 1 More Event
John Phillips also wrote "San Francisco (Be Sure to Wear Flowers in Your Hair)", in 1967 for former The Journeyman band mate, Scott McKenzie. "San Francisco" is widely regarded as emblematic of 1960s American counterculture music. … Read More
1968 32 Years Old John and Michelle Phillips became Hollywood celebrities, living in the Hollywood Hills and socializing with stars such as Jack Nicholson, Warren Beatty, and Roman Polanski. The Mamas & the Papas broke up in 1968 largely because Cass Elliot wanted to go solo and because of some personal problems among Phillips, his wife Michelle, and Denny Doherty, including his wife's affair with Doherty. As Michelle Phillips later recounted, "Cass confronted me and said 'I don't get it. You could have any man you want. Why would you take mine?'" Michelle had been fired briefly in 1966, for having had affairs with both Gene Clark and Doherty, and was replaced for a period of two months by Jill Gibson, their producer Lou Adler's girlfriend. … Read More
1969 33 Years Old Phillips produced his third wife, Geneviève Waïte's, album, Romance Is on the Rise and wrote music for films. Between 1969 and 1974, Phillips and Waïte worked on a script and composed over 30 songs for a space-themed musical called Man on the Moon, which was eventually produced by Andy Warhol but played for just two days in New York after receiving disastrous opening night reviews.
1973 37 Years Old Phillips moved to London in 1973; Mick Jagger encouraged him to record another solo album. … Read More
1975 39 Years Old In 1975 Phillips, still living in London, was commissioned to create the soundtrack to the Nicolas Roeg film The Man Who Fell to Earth, starring David Bowie.


1976 40 Years Old Phillips asked Mick Taylor to help out; the film was released in 1976.
1981 45 Years Old In 1981, Phillips was convicted of drug trafficking; subsequently, he and his television star daughter Mackenzie Phillips made the rounds in the media in an anti-drug campaign, helping to reduce his prison time to only a month in jail, of which he spent three weeks (one week off for good behavior) at Allenwood Prison Camp, Allenwood, Pennsylvania. … Read More
1985 49 Years Old Phillips and Waïte divorced in 1985. In September 2009, eight years after Phillips's death, his eldest daughter Mackenzie claimed that she and her father had a 10-year incestuous relationship. Mackenzie wrote of the relationship, which she said began when she was 19 years old in 1979, in her memoir High on Arrival. … Read More


1986 50 Years Old In 1986, his best-selling autobiography, Papa John, was published. … Read More
1992 56 Years Old His years of drug addiction resulted in health problems that required a liver transplant in 1992. … Read More


1997 61 Years Old Chynna Phillips, Michelle Phillips' daughter, stated that she believed Mackenzie's claims and that Mackenzie first told her about the relationship during a phone conversation in 1997, approximately 11 years after the supposed relationship had ended. … Read More
Phillips spent his last years in Palm Springs, California with Farnaz, his fourth wife. On March 18, 2001, he died of heart failure in Los Angeles at age 65, days after completing recording sessions for a new album.
Original Authors of this text are noted on
Text is made available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License.