The quiet exit of P.F. Sloan

In four decades in the radio business, I can only recall two songs that were flat-out banned by many radio stations.

One was Billy Joel’s “Only the Good Die Young” which referenced and infuriated Catholics.

And this one:

Politicians debated whether the song was a threat to civilization itself.

P.F. Sloan, born Philip Gary Schlein, died of pancreatic cancer on Sunday. He wrote that song when he was 19. Up to then, he’d been writing mostly surfing tunes. He also wrote the hit, “Secret Agent Man” for Johnny Rivers.

After becoming an icon for ’60s protest music and heralded as the next Bob Dylan, Sloan became a recluse, battling drugs and mental illness.

Then, Jimmy Webb wrote a song about him.

When he died on Sunday, P.F. Sloan left behind no immediate survivors and a world that hasn’t changed as much as we sometimes like to think.