Scott McKenzie, RIP

Scott McKenzie (born Philip Blondheim), who sang San Francisco (Be Sure to Wear Flowers in your Hair) died on Saturday at the age of 73. The cause of death is unknown but there are reports that McKenzie was ill for weeks and was suffering from Guillain-Barré syndrome which causes the immune system to attack the nervous system.

San Francisco, written by John Phillips of the Mamas and the Papas, was a hit that represented a declaration of an entire generation who had strong feelings and resistance to America’s role in the Vietnam War. Many felt compelled to flee to Canada to avoid co-operating with the government. Read more about the draft evaders here.

McKenzie was not fond of how famous the song made him. According to the New York Times, he found it “’sick’ and ‘perverse’ that strange women wanted to sleep with him. However, John Phillips’ biographer, Chris Campion, interviewed McKenzie this year and said, “He was grateful that he had the opportunity to have such an impact on their lives.”