Friday, April 2, 2010

mamas and the papas

Whilst listening to my 'Mamas and Papas - Hits of Gold' album earlier tonight i got around to reading the blurb on the back, i will now paraphrase this blurb because it is hilarious. I think this was released around 1968.

"In today's world of beaver-fur vests and Abe Lincoln haircuts. The 'big group' with the 'big sound' is 'in'. These groups are slowly but surely revolutionising popular music. No longer is it sufficient to grow your hair long and wail. Now in the age of Ravi Shankar and art pop music. Imitation is out, originality is in. Real in! This 'big group' is extraordinary....There are four of them and they vary in height, weight and just about everything except talent, of which they share and equally large amount. John Phillips is leader of the group and is responsible for their destinictive vocal arrangements. Tall, thin and gaunt with a waxed moustache and occasional beard, John has remained in the folk world of non-conformity for several years. He doesn't write 'folk rock' or 'protest music' but his ethnic sound must be taken seriously. He shares a comfortable home on top of a Hollywood hill with a fellow-papa, Denny Doherty. Denny is British, with a sense of humour that is strictly Celtic...Cass Elliot, the slightly larger of the mamas, is usually described as the sound of the group...Cass is a warm, vibrant person. She spends a large part of her life roaming antique stores, and buzzing around Hollywood in a pint-sized jalopy with a sticker on the back which states: "Paul Butterfield is blue and beautiful". Michelle is the baby mama, and says her past occupation was a part-time witch! She is a wistful, serene little thing who used to be a model and in her own way, still is. She has faraway blue eyes, a quite little smile and doesn't talk much. It's often difficult to perceive just what is brewing inside her. And when our little witch sings, it's a gas! Before the Mamas and the Papas came to the Dunhill offices to sing they lived in the Virgin Islands in a state of semi-existentialism. Which is more or less to say in paradise man! They set up camp in the foliage behind the beach and every day would laze in the sun singing their songs to the curious natives who grew to love them. But the steel-gloved hand of bureaucracy descended, the park rangers accused the Mamas and Papas of trespassing on their beaches, and the governor of the islands said "Go home Yankee!""

These are the things that made me laugh (or strange things that made me think) -

"He (John Phillips) shares a comfortable home on top of a Hollywood hill with a fellow-papa, Denny Doherty". I may be reading into this, but my naturally suspicious mind picked up on this sentence, was this a subtle way to allude to an alternative lifestyle ?

Ethnic music = WASP way of saying "Crazy African American music"

"Cass, the slightly larger of the Mamas" If you are going to bring up her weight as an important fact to her person (which it absolutely is not), at least be honest. Mama Cass was not 'slightly' larger than the rest, that just makes the whole thing awkward.

The whole part about Michelle being a part-time witch, and the comment I'm still trying to work out "...who used to be a model and in her own way, still is..." WHAT DOES THAT EVEN MEAN??!?

But the best part in my opinion is their life before being signed. I have my suspicions that its absolute bullshit, i googled it and couldn't find any information on their previous semi-existentialist lifestyle playing to the natives in the Virgin Islands. Sounds great though.

If anyone can verify this information let me know, maybe it was my crap google skills.


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