by Robert Wilkinson
Yesterday was the birthday of songwriting legend PF Sloan. Don’t know who he is? He wrote some of the most famous tunes of the 60s.
I won’t do an extensive bio this year on this remarkable September 18th, 1945 legend, since there are other things going on. So I’ll let his songs stand on their own. Every one of these was written by PF Sloan. Enjoy!
First, PF partnered with Steve Barri in the Fantastic Baggys to do surf music, and their vocals, along with PF’s lead guitar, are all over Jan and Dean records thanks to producer Lou Adler. This was their very first big one in 1964, a California Jan and Dean styled tune
Here’s a great live performance by Barry McGuire of PF Sloan’s harrowing smash hit as relevant today as it was 47 years ago!
From 1965 on “Hollywood A Go Go”, here are Howard Kaylan and Mark Volman, later “Flo and Eddie” dual lead singers for the Turtles doing their second hit
Here’s another live version from the Turtles on Shindig doing a shorter version of “Let Me Be”
I found a strange clip of the Turtles lip-synching their third hit on “Where the Action Is.” Written by PF “Flip” Sloan, the great “You Baby”
And here they are in 2010, Flo and Eddie still sounding great in a live performance on Coney Island of “You Baby”
Here’s the original studio version by the Mamas and Papas on their first album of “You Baby”
From 1966, Herman’s Hermits in a live television performance of PF Sloan’s “A Must to Avoid”
Here are Herman’s Hermits doing a clip of their soundtrack title hit from the movie “Hold On,” “Hold On”
I found a clip of PF doing a live acoustic performance of a song that Johnny Rivers took to number 3 on the charts in 1966, the awesome “Secret Agent Man”
Here’s Johnny Rivers in a fantastic smokin' live performance of “Secret Agent Man”
Johnny lip-synching the original studio version of “Secret Agent Man”
Here’s the original studio version by the Searchers of “Take Me For What I’m Worth”
A great clip of PF doing his studio version of “Take Me For What I’m Worth”
PF Sloan and Steve Barri were also the original “Grass Roots.” Since they were a band created in the studio, there’s almost no live footage of that band. But I found some tunes I’m sure you’ll enjoy, written by our birthday boy!
Here’s a great 1 minute solo acoustic performance by PF of his smash hit for the Grass Roots, “Where Were You When I Needed You”
Here’s the original studio version of “Where Were You When I Needed You”
Also from their first album, “Only When You’re Lonely”
From 1967, the Grass Roots doing their studio version of “Things I Should Have Said”
We’ll close this tribute to PF with a live performance by the birthday boy himself of his most famous tune, one that actually changed the Constitution of the United States! The line “old enough to kill but not for votin’” led directly to the 26th Amendment, which lowered the voting age from 21 to 18. Too bad the song is still too relevant to take any comfort in how far we haven't come since 1965. From 2006 in LA, for your reflection
Happy birthday, Flip. I was a huge fan of your music way back when you dominated the airwaves. Glad you’re back after “40 years in the wilderness.” The industry has never been kind to its best, so you’re in good company. May you keep rockin’ for many more years!
Since he’s back, you may want to check out the PF Sloan website to find out more about what this fantastic talent is doing today, where he’s playing, his latest album, and more!
© Copyright 2012 Robert Wilkinson