|Harmony begins with dissonance|
They were limousine hippies with wistful tunes about dreaming and having a bad (Mon) day. It was hard to get them in focus.
The tall guy, John, tried damn hard to be cool, more like an aging beatnik fresh from a beer & bongo party than a tie-dyed, Haight-Asbury minstrel. The other Papa, Denny, was always bemused, pleasant-faced, perhaps recruited from a rural, Baptist choir. He sure wasn’t rebelling against anything or missing meals.
|Cool was for the fool|
Then the Mamas. Michelle: everything you ever wanted in a counter-culture chick. Slinky. Drop-dead-straight-part-in the-middle blonde hair. Slim as a stick. Beautiful face with wide-spaced eyes. Lolita pout. Cass, Mama # 2, was the polar opposite – a fact that, strangely, emphasized their unity. Read more.
Obviously, it couldn’t work. It should never, ever have worked. No way… So they became international superstars. It didn’t last long – but it should never have lasted at all. The millisecond that producer Lou Adler heard them, he knew he had struck the Mother Lode.
The group didn’t make sense. There was something Monkee-ish about them. A pre-fab four feel. Yet they were the real thing.
Years later, someone realized it’s in fact square to be hip. Cool was for the fool. It was their very awkward alchemy that blended such glorious harmonies. Who knew? It's chic to be geek.
Anyway, nothing succeeds like surprise.