All the Leaves Are Brown: How the Mamas & the Papas Came Together and Broke Apart

All the Leaves Are Brown: How the Mamas & the Papas Came Together and Broke Apart

by Scott G. Shea

Narrated by Michael Butler Murray

Unabridged — 16 hours, 9 minutes

All the Leaves Are Brown: How the Mamas & the Papas Came Together and Broke Apart

All the Leaves Are Brown: How the Mamas & the Papas Came Together and Broke Apart

by Scott G. Shea

Narrated by Michael Butler Murray

Unabridged — 16 hours, 9 minutes

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Overview

Few songs have captured the contradictions and ambiguities of the 1960s as memorably as "California Dreamin'," the iconic folk music single that catapulted the Mamas & the Papas into rock and roll history. In All the Leaves Are Brown, author Scott Shea details how John Phillips, Denny Doherty, Michelle Phillips, and "Mama Cass" Elliot became standard-bearers for California counterculture, following their transformation from folk music wannabes to rock sensations and chronicling the tumultuous events that followed their unexpected success.



Shea gives a definitive account of the group's short time together, from their hitmaking approach with legendary producer Lou Adler to John's unique songwriting to tours and friendships with other musicians riding the folk-rock wave. He explores the emotional vicissitudes that came with being in the Mamas & the Papas, from Cass's unrequited love for Denny, his affair with Michelle, and the ebb and flow of dysfunction in John and Michelle's marriage. And he explains how it all came to a crashing end with John's brainchild, the Monterey Pop Festival, which should have launched the group even further into the musical stratosphere, but only served to be their undoing. All the Leaves Are Brown is a layered, revelatory tale of overnight stardom and its many pitfalls.

Editorial Reviews

Variety

"The trainwreck of the group’s existence is recounted in vivid detail in Shea’s excellent history."

Mike Aquilina

"Given the personal lives of these singers, Scott Shea's book might qualify for the horror genre rather than history or biography. But then there's the music—which was startling, distinctive, and unforgettable. For a generation, these songs have served as monuments to major moments in life. All the Leaves Are Brown is a hard read for its sorrow, but rewarding for its insights into the art of a unique and profoundly influential band."

CT) Republican-American (Waterbury

"Shea's book unfolds dramatically ... The book is a reminder of a time when a changing of the guards took place in American culture."

Houston Press

"An expertly-researched, densely detailed, and likely definitive bio … The book that finally tells the full story of the music and madness that was the relatively brief—but era-defining—lifespan of the Mamas and the Papas."

Bill Flanagan

"The Mamas & The Papas’ story is wilder than any work of fiction and Scott Shea is the first author to tell it objectively and in full. This is a book I could not put down."

Sheila Weller

"Scott Shea takes us on the wild ride that was The Mamas & The Papas with terrific detail, refreshing honesty, and perhaps best of all, a true love of their music. All the Leaves Are Brown had me from page one."

From the Publisher

"Shea's book unfolds dramatically ... The book is a reminder of a time when a changing of the guards took place in American culture."—Republican-American (Waterbury, CT)


“An expertly-researched, densely detailed, and likely definitive bio … The book that finally tells the full story of the music and madness that was the relatively brief—but era-defining—lifespan of the Mamas and the Papas.”—Houston Press


"Scott Shea takes us on the wild ride that was The Mamas & The Papas with terrific detail, refreshing honesty, and perhaps best of all, a true love of their music. All the Leaves Are Brown had me from page one."—Sheila Weller, author of New York Times bestseller Girls Like Us: Carole King, Joni Mitchell, Carly Simon and the Journey of a Generation


"Given the personal lives of these singers, Scott Shea's book might qualify for the horror genre rather than history or biography. But then there's the music—which was startling, distinctive, and unforgettable. For a generation, these songs have served as monuments to major moments in life. All the Leaves Are Brown is a hard read for its sorrow, but rewarding for its insights into the art of a unique and profoundly influential band."— Mike Aquilina, songwriter, TV host, and co-author of Dion: The Wanderer Talks Truth


“The Mamas & The Papas’ story is wilder than any work of fiction and Scott Shea is the first author to tell it objectively and in full. This is a book I could not put down.”—Bill Flanagan, author of Fifty in Reverse: A Novel

Library Journal

06/01/2023

Drawing on previously published memoirs of band members and new interviews with those who knew them, radio producer Shea crafts an impersonal but intriguing compilation of the accounts, song development, and relationship entanglements that led to the fast rise and extraordinary fall of the Mamas & the Papas. The book primarily focuses on John Phillips, from his troubled childhood as the son of an abusive, alcohol-addicted parent, to his complicated first marriage and his attempts to become a serious folk musician. Then Phillips met aspiring model Michelle Gilliam, and their relationship became the catalyst for his best-known songs, "California Dreamin'" and "Monday, Monday." Phillips soon brought Cass Elliot into the group, along with tenor Dennis Doherty. As a band, the Mamas & the Papas recorded five albums, with 10 hits, in the 1960s. Drugs, affairs, jealousies as Mama Cass becomes the breakout star, and an embarrassing set as the closing act for Phillips's Monterey International Pop Festival soon led to the band's demise. VERDICT Shea's matter-of-fact journalistic style prevents sensationalism from overtaking this study of the Mamas & the Papas' powerful influence and importance.—Lisa Henry

Product Details

BN ID: 2940159659378
Publisher: Tantor Audio
Publication date: 07/11/2023
Edition description: Unabridged
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