Mamas And The Papas Founder John Phillips Dies

Writer of 'California Dreamin',' 'Monday, Monday,' 'Creeque Alley' was 65.

John Phillips, founder and chief songwriter of '60s folk-rock group the

Mamas and the Papas, died Sunday morning at the age of 65.

The cause was heart failure, the Associated Press reported.

Phillips wrote or co-wrote the hits "California Dreamin'," "Monday,

Monday," "Creeque Alley" and others for the Mamas and the Papas, which

he formed in 1965 with his wife, Michelle Phillips, and "Mama" Cass

Elliot and Denny Doherty.

John Phillips also organized the Monterey Pop Festival, the landmark

1967 concert that featured breakthrough performances by Jimi Hendrix,

the Who and Janis Joplin, and set the stage for all rock festivals that

followed. And he wrote the song that became the anthem for that year's

summer of love, "San Francisco (Be Sure to Wear Flowers in Your Hair)";

it was recorded by Scott McKenzie, who played with Phillips in two of

his early bands.

Following the 1968 break-up of the Mamas and the Papas, Phillips worked

on solo material and struggled with a drug addiction that ultimately

stifled his creative output. He and Michelle Phillips, whose marital

troubles were chronicled in such Mamas and the Papas songs as "Go Where

You Wanna Go," were divorced in 1970.

The band was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1998.

Phillips was the father of Wilson Phillips singer Chynna Phillips and of

singer/actresses Mackenzie Phillips and Bijou Phillips. Mackenzie

Phillips joined her father and Doherty in a regrouped version of the

Mamas and the Papas in the early 1980s.

"We are all mourning the loss of my dad. He was a genius and a good man

and will be missed," Mackenzie Phillips said Sunday in a prepared

statement, according to Reuters. "I spent the morning with my

sisters Chynna and Bijou. We are all on our way to the beach where we

will walk and swim and celebrate our father's life."