PF Sloan 6.2.07 Acoustic Music San Diego
Jay Allen Sanford
"I stayed in hiding for twenty-five years because people threatened to kill me," says PF Sloan, songwriter behind sixties hits like "Secret Agent Man," "Where Were You When I Needed You," "California Dreamin'" and the anti-war anthem "Eve Of Destruction." "It eventually wound up with [my record label] putting a gun to my head and saying 'Either you die and your family dies or you get out and you give us everything you've made.'" Sloan signed away his song rights to Dunhill Records in the late sixties and essentially retired from the music business, only recently embarking on his first-ever solo concert tour. "Most of the people that have threatened me for all these years have died," he tells me.
Sloan recalls being in San Diego in the early sixties, recording locals Sandi and The Accents. "They called and asked if I'd write a song and produce a record for them," he says of the band's 1964 single "I've Got Better Things To Do." "I was about nineteen and my bosses in L.A. couldn't understand why I was going down there. San Diego was considered creatively untouchable, mainly due to provincial thinking on their part." Of the group, he remembers "Sandi [Rouse] had a really lovely voice and the band came up with some great guitar parts.Some of the members later went on to become the Wondermints," he says, referring to Brian Wilson's recent backing band."
Before Sloan performs June 2nd at Acoustic Music San Diego in Normal Heights , don't be surprised to find him having dinner at Anthony's downtown. "I love their fried fish."
MINIBIO: PF Sloan had one of the first surf music records, ""Tell 'Em I'm Surfin'" (1964), with his group the Fantastic Baggys. Among the best known songs he wrote: "Eve Of Destruction" (Barry McGuire), "You Baby" and "Let Me Be" (the Turtles), "Take Me for What I'm Worth" (the Searchers), "A Must to Avoid" (Herman's Hermits), and "Secret Agent Man" ( Johnny Rivers). He also played guitar on "California Dreamin'" by the Mamas & Papas and was the lead falsetto singer on "Little Old Lady From Pasadena."