P.F. Sloan Dies of Cancer at 70

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PFSloan_DunhillBest known for writing the 1965 #1 protest hit “Eve of Destruction” for Barry McGuire and (with early creative partner Steve Barri) the 1966 #3 song “Secret Agent Man” for Johnny Rivers, P.F. Sloan – born Philip Gary Schlein on September 18, 1945, in New York City – died last night (11/15) from pancreatic cancer.

He enjoyed a long creative career within the Los Angeles music scene from 1959 on when he recorded a single as Flip Sloan at age 14. As a songwriter, singer, guitarist, producer and arranger Sloan worked with such acts as Jan and Dean, the Mamas & the Papas, The Turtles, The Grass Roots, Herman’s Hermits and The Searchers and was part of the L.A. session players known as The Wrecking Crew. He and Barri issued a number of recordings during the 1960s under a variety of names that never connected with the public, and Sloan tried to forge a solo career that never rose much above cult status. He was also the subject of a song titled “P.J. Sloan,” written by his friend Jimmy Webb, writer of such hits as “MacArthur Park.” “Wichita Lineman” and “Rhinestone Cowboy.”

Jon Tiven, who produced Sloan’s 2008 album Sailover – which featured such guests as Lucinda Williams, Felix Cavaliere (Rascals), Frank Black (Pixies), Buddy Miller (Nashville TV series music producer), Gary Tallent (E Street Band) and Tom Petersson Cheap Trick – said, “P.F. Sloan was one of the all-time greats, and got little material reward in this world for writing the soundtrack to many of our lives. His soul is now liberated, I am sure he is finding the spiritual gifts that kept him motivated and centered. He was very dear to me, we shared musical and spiritual blessings, and I will miss him terribly. But I just heard his voice a few minutes ago saying, ‘Jon, it’s OK, I’m OK’ like he was here with me, so it’s my loss, not his, I guess.”

Best Classic Bands Staff
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