In Memoriam: John Phillips (3)

From The Los Angeles Times,
Thursday, March 29, 2001

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"He did absolutely everything one person could do, with the possible exception of a sex-change operation," Stewart said with a laugh, adding, "I guess he just ran out of time."

Earlier, Stewart followed the opening film retrospective, which included a recently taped performance by Jose Feliciano of "California Dreamin'," with the only speech during the three-hour event that could be considered a eulogy.

Following his remarks, one performer after another took the stage in various combinations. Some backed themselves on guitar, while others used a house band put together by Mackenzie Phillips' ex-husband, singer-songwriter Shane Fontayne. Their 14-year-old son, named Shayne, sang a song of his own and helped with vocals on some of the Mamas and the Papas songs that came later.

The proceedings were conducted largely by veteran record executive and Roxy owner Lou Adler, who gave the Mamas and the Papas their first contract in 1965 and produced their records, and by original Mamas and Papas singer Denny Doherty.

Doherty's demeanor was upbeat while he was on stage, but he got dewy-eyed while looking on from the back of the room midway through the show.

Although John and Michelle never fully set aside their animosity, she smiled often while watching and snapping pictures of the performances from the side of the stage, then drew appreciative gasps from the crowd when she strode on stage twice to sing alongside Doherty.

The coterie of '60s folk rockers on hand included Barry McGuire, who updated his quintessential '60s protest-rock hit "Eve of Destruction" with an electrifying, all-star sing-along that galvanized the other musicians and the audience.