RARA-AVIS: Phillips death

From: Moorich2@aol.com
Date: 28 Sep 2000

James Atlee Phillips died in 1991. He and his musician son Shawn (who looks to have been very much into the counterculture of the 60s) apparently had a good relationship. Everyone who followed the "Philip Atlee" novels know he became disallusioned toward the end. But I was unprepared for the bitterness of the 1974 poem by James A. Phillips that his his son Shawn used for inspiration for an album that same year. Called "Freeway Child," the poem talks of "Amerika" and pot-bellied pigs as police.

His brother David A Phillips, who wrote one novel late in life, died in 1988.
 Some still claim Phillips met with Lee Harvey Oswald in Mexico just prior to the Kennedy assasination. He was very involved in the Bay of Pigs along with that other CIA agent/mystery writer E. Howard Hunt. After the Senate committee chaired by Sen. Frank Church, David A.Phillips went public and formed an organization of former CIA agents and was often on television shows debating the need for a strong intelligence agency. He took some lumps during that period. I read his memoir some years ago but skipped the novel he wrote just before his death.

One has to wonder how much James A. Phillips was influenced by the career and later infamy as a CIA operative.

According to chat rooms devoted to James Phillips son Shawn, James claimed the CIA tried to recruit him if for no more than to make certain tha the communists were always the villains and etc. He told Shawn he refused. There are fans of Shawn who make unsupported claims that others took the money including the authors of the Chet Drum and Executioner series. I say again "unsupported" for I cannot believe it and think it is the product of a simplistic view of the era.

But the more I look into James A. Phillips aka Philip Atlee, the more interesting it becomes.

Richard Moore

# To unsubscribe from the regular list, say "unsubscribe rara-avis" to
# majordomo@icomm.ca.  This will not work for the digest version.
# The web pages for the list are at http://www.miskatonic.org/rara-avis/ .

This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : 28 Sep 2000 EDT