Book details
Page count:
9.06 in x 6.28 in

All the Leaves Are Brown

How the Mamas & the Papas Came Together and Broke Apart

Scott G. Shea

About this book

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. Drawing on new interviews with former bandmates, session musicians, family members, and many others, All the Leaves Are Brown is a layered, revelatory tale of overnight stardom and its many pitfalls.

About this author

Scott G. Shea is a longtime radio producer who currently works on the show Seize the Day with Gus Lloyd on SiriusXM. He has produced five original audio documentaries that have aired nationally.