Home Books Keith Richards on John Phillips: “I’ve Never Seen a Guy Become a...

The sad story of Mamas and Papas songwriter/creator John Phillips never ends.

Phillips died a broken man, completely crippled by drugs. His eldest daugher, MacKenzie, also a drug addict, accused him last year of molesting her.

Both Phillips and his ex wife, Michelle, wrote books about their brief time together in the mid to late 1960s as pop’s golden couple.

Now Keith Richards explains in his memoir how Phillips got hooked on drugs. It was Richards’ fault, and he takes responsibility for it.

The year was 1976. Phillips, his wife Genevieve Waite, and their son Tamerlane were living in London. Rolling Stones Records had already been enlisted for Phillips’ comeback record. (It was released in 2001, after Phillips died, and it was atrocious.)

“Phillips was amazing,” Keith writes. “I’ve never known anybody to be so hooked on dope so quick, and I had something to do with it. The night Ronnie [Wood] was leaving the Wick, John had called me up and said, “I’ve got a bottle of this stuff called Merck. And he said, Does anybody have some use for it? I don’t do that stuff.” I said I would drop by on my way out of Ronnie’s…[at Phillips’] I went into the john and shot up…When I came out, John said, What were you doing? I said, John, it’s called smack….So I shot him up, in the muscle.

“I always felt responsible for John because I turned him on to smack. Within a week, he’s got a pharmacy under control, and he’s become a dealer. I’ve never seen a guy become a junkie that quick.”

2 replies to this post
  1. I suggest you read the book before you criticize Keith. It seems like when Keith started using drugs, much of what was available in the UK was the result of a government program supplying pharmaceutical heroin and cocaine to addicts. It seems that much of the dope supplied to Keith throughout his career was the pharmaceutical variety, which explains why he is still alive. The thing people miss is that the real drug lords operate with the sanction and aid of governments. Look at the current abuse problem with oxycontin, vicodin, etc. All manufactured openly by companies with the permission of the government.

  2. Well, I don’t get this cavalier attitude about drugs….and from a guy like Keith — oh, I just gave him a shot and that was it. These druggies (mainly white people) are the reason there’s a drug war next door in Mexico. I don’t care that he’s been clean for 30 years…he helped aid the drug lords of the world. I guess at 70 y.o. he has no regrets about nothing and it’s all a big joke to him.

    He and other drug addicted rock stars and celebs — yeh I’m talking about you Paris, who are super filthy rich….money is no object, so instead of doing good with the money, they go buy more heroin and drugs. I wonder if he has any inkling how much he aids the drug lords of the world?

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