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P.F. Sloan's Long Road Back from 'Destruction'

P.F. Sloan on the cover of <em>Sailover</em>.
Courtesy of Hightone Records
P.F. Sloan on the cover of Sailover.

In 1965, P.F. Sloan's heartfelt song "Eve of Destruction," performed by Barry McGuire, became a Billboard No. 1 hit.

The anti-war anthem was one of the first protest songs to make the pop charts. It became the rallying cry for supporters of the 26th Amendment to the Constitution, which changed the voting age from 21 to 18.

Sloan wrote a string of hits in the '60s, including "Secret Agent Man" (recorded by Johnny Rivers), "You Baby" (The Turtles) and "Where Were You When I Needed You" (The Grassroots).

But Sloan slipped off the charts and nearly out of the music business more than 30 years ago. He made a few recordings that were released overseas, but rarely performed. Now he's back with a CD called Sailover, filled with songs both old and new.

Sloan speaks with NPR's Liane Hansen about his "unpublishable material" and the trauma of success.

Copyright 2022 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Liane Hansen
Liane Hansen has been the host of NPR's award-winning Weekend Edition Sunday for 20 years. She brings to her position an extensive background in broadcast journalism, including work as a radio producer, reporter, and on-air host at both the local and national level. The program has covered such breaking news stories as the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the capture of Saddam Hussein, the deaths of Princess Diana and John F. Kennedy, Jr., and the Columbia shuttle tragedy. In 2004, Liane was granted an exclusive interview with former weapons inspector David Kay prior to his report on the search for weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. The show also won the James Beard award for best radio program on food for a report on SPAM.