1995 Interview

Page 12: Other Groups

JOHNSON: Right. Can you speak a little bit more about Roger McGuinn and The Byrds and your relationship to them and other groups in Los Angeles during that period?

PHILLIPS: Actually, we became much closer to the English groups than the American groups. I don’t know how that happened, but we were much closer friends with The Beatles and The Stones, for instance, than we were with The Byrds or gosh -

JOHNSON: The Buffalo Springfield?

PHILLIPS: Buffalo Springfield. And Morrison. I knew Morrison quite well, but I didn’t know the other guys in the group or anything. But John and Paul and Ringo and Mick and Keith and all that. We were all like best buddies. And it was always that way.

JOHNSON: Did you have any relationship with The Beach Boys at all?

PHILLIPS: Well, I did. Brian and I were neighbors in Bel Air and his daughters and my daughter, Chynna, as the story goes, sang together as children and sang for us all the time, for Brian and I, and we’d say, "No, don’t sing it this way, not that way." Eventually went on to become Wilson Phillips and sold about nine million copies [laughs] of their first album and retired. Brian was always sort of a strange duck, off in his own thing. He would come to the house at a party. I would have a party whenever The Beatles were in town. They’d all gather up at my place and we’d sing and do things. And Brian would take water glasses and fill them each according to a scale, and he’d play the water glasses. He tuned them up and played them. He was good at it. [Laughs]

McKENZIE: He could also hit a softball farther than anybody.

PHILLIPS: Yeah. He’d hit a softball further than we’d ever seen in our lives.

McKENZIE: All get together and play softball. I don’t know where it was. Somewhere. I guess it was in one of the canyons or Beverly Hills or something.

PHILLIPS: Yeah.

McKENZIE: And he could hit a softball across a whole field, a street -

PHILLIPS: And over the house

McKENZIE: Across the street. I mean, a softball.

PHILLIPS: It was incredible.

McKENZIE: I never saw anything like it in my life.

JOHNSON: Could have been a baseball player. A lost career there.

PHILLIPS: He probably would have been a great baseball player, as a matter of fact.