Sunday, October 07, 2007

California Dreamin'

It has been something of a 60's retro weekend, as an infomercial I caught the end of one night got me thinking about all that timeless music I grew up with - Donovan, the Byrds, Bob Dylan, Crosby Stills and Nash, Simon and Garfunkel, Joni Mitchell. No matter what music plays today and what great artists come along, (Norah Jones, John Mayer, etc.) nothing will ever replace the music of the 60's as it really came from, and spoke to, a generation. It is only in recent years that I have gained a true appreciation for the Mamas and the Papas, who, though only together 2 1/2 years, managed to change the landscape of folk rock forever. Despite their interpersonal foibles and Fleetwood Mac-esque intergroup flings (Denny and Michelle being at the forefront), is is widely accepted that John Phillips was one of the greatest songwriters of all time. An interesting bit of trivia about "California Dreaming" -
*was written in 1963 when Michelle and John Phillips were still in the group "The New Journeymen," and was inspired by Michelle's missing California
*was partly written by Michelle, who helped John "finish the song" in the middle of the night in a hotel room in New York
*is on the Rolling Stones 500 Greatest Songs of All Time

For those fans who can't get enough....

Recommended Reading

California Dreamin’: The Mamas and the Papas
Doug Hall. Kingston, Ontario, Canada: Quarry Press, 1990.

Papa John: The Autobiography of John Phillips
John Phillips. New York: Doubleday, 1986.

California Dreamin’: The True Story of the Mamas and the Papas
Michelle Phillips. New York: Warner Books, 1986.

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