Go Where You Wanna Go: The Oral History of the Mamas and the Papas

Go Where You Wanna Go: The Oral History of the Mamas and the Papas

by Matthew Greenwald
     
 

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Go Where You Wanna Go collects the memories of band members John and Michelle Phillips, Cass Elliot, and Denny Doherty, along with recollections from friends, fellow musicians, industry insiders, and other eyewitnesses. In Greenwald's hands, the intertwining interviews tell the story of the band from its early days in downtown New York to its global success

Overview

Go Where You Wanna Go collects the memories of band members John and Michelle Phillips, Cass Elliot, and Denny Doherty, along with recollections from friends, fellow musicians, industry insiders, and other eyewitnesses. In Greenwald's hands, the intertwining interviews tell the story of the band from its early days in downtown New York to its global success following the release of "California Dreamin'." As the testimonials reveal, the band that harmonized together perfectly was loaded with conflicts. Michelle's brief affair with Denny enraged a jealous Cass, and led to John's temporarily kicking Michelle out of the band. Their trip to the top of the pop music ladder further eroded the band's unity, as its members found themselves living in separate mansions in California, finding it increasingly difficult to tour and perform together. In addition to new interviews with Michelle and Denny, Go Where You Wanna Go includes material from an in-depth and never-before-published interview with the late Cass Elliot. Other people speaking out in the book include David Crosby and Graham Nash (introduced to each other by Cass), Ray Manzarek and drummer Hal Blaine, musician and record producer P. F. Sloan, photographer Guy Webster and Kingston Trio songwriter John Stewart, and dozens of others. The tale of The Mamas & The Papas is the quintessential story of pop music in the 60s; holding on to the youthful dreams and love of music while caught in the whirl of sex, drugs, and million-dollar deals. Go Where You Wanna Go revisits-in the words of those who were there-that time when four talented people added an unforgettable new sound to America's music.

Editorial Reviews

Mojo
Greenwald's research is impressive and his editing skills sharp, as the story unfolds with ease and great interest.
High Times
Greenwald interviews members of the group (Michelle Phillips, Doherty) as well as such band contemporaries as producer Lou Adler, Roger McGuinn, David Crosby, and P. F. Sloan. You won't find a more gripping rock history-cum-moral tale: the group's spellbinding story turns Shakespearean as the California dream unravels.
Folkwax
All in all Greenwald's book is a good warts'n'all read....
Denise Sullivan
The Mamas and the Papas' perfect pop harmonies and wistful hippie image captured my imagination as a kid, though little did I understand then that offstage, they were rockin' harder than any other group out there! Today, their dichotomous history remains fascinating—it's no wonder Matthew Greenwald chose to examine it up close.
Michael Fremer
Much more than merely a history of The Mamas and the Papas, Greenwald's book is a snapshot of a magical time in our cultural history. The interconnections it delineates are absolutely fascinating.
(Uk) Record Collector
As an object lesson in how all that glitters isn't gold, Go Where You Wanna Go is a you-shoulda-been-there snapshot of a loss of innocence—and a farewell to the last golden era.
MOJO
Greenwald's research is impressive and his editing skills sharp, as the story unfolds with ease and great interest.
Library Journal
Projecting a sunny, carefree image with folk-pop hits such as "California Dreamin' " and "Monday, Monday," the Mamas & the Papas pioneered the kind of complex internal dysfunction later popularized by Fleetwood Mac. Greenwald, a rock journalist and longtime fan, collects quotes from new and existing interviews with M&P friends and associates to tell the group's soap-opera story. The band itself is represented by new interviews with surviving band members Michelle Phillips and Denny Doherty, a previously unpublished interview with the late Cass Elliot, and previously published quotes from the group's recently deceased leader, John Phillips. The oral biography approach has pitfalls, as many of the quotes seem muddled without an author's narrative to provide background and context. Once the account reaches the group's breakup in 1968, important later events are given short shrift. For instance, it is unclear from the text exactly when Elliot died; only a caption from a funeral photo tells readers it was 1974. Later, an early Eighties reunion fronted by Doherty and John Phillips is ignored completely. Also annoying are a significant number of typographical errors in the proofs. Still, the lurid details of sudden fame, drug consumption, and an affair between Michelle and Doherty (leading to Michelle's firing and rehiring and Mama Cass's jealous wrath) make for fascinating reading. Recommended where there is demand for Sixties rock music titles, especially since the dueling autobiographies of John (Papa John) and Michelle Phillips (California Dreamin') are out of print. Lloyd Jansen, Stockton-San Joaquin Cty. P.L., CA Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780815412045
Publisher:
Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.
Publication date:
04/01/2002
Edition description:
1ST COOPER
Pages:
328
Sales rank:
687,686
Product dimensions:
6.34(w) x 9.24(h) x 0.94(d)

Meet the Author

Matthew Greenwald is a rock journalist whose work has appeared in Rolling Stone, MOJO, Sing Out!, and Crawdaddy! He lives in Los Angeles, California. Andrew Loog Oldham was the manager of the Rolling Stones from 1963-67 and is the author of Stoned.

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