I suppose I've taken Denny Doherty's recent passing kinda hard, because in the intervening weeks since he left us on 1/19/07, I've been playing an inordinate amount of Mamas and Papas records on my stereo. And it really is remarkable how beautifully those albums hold up, more than 40 years later! But this group has always been just as much fun to watch as to listen to (I just love the sight of Mama Cass boogyin' in those go-go boots!), so last night I popped in the "California Dreamin'" DVD, and am pleased to report that it helped my jonesing considerably. Featuring appearances from numerous TV shows, such as "Shindig," "The Hollywood Palace" and "The Ed Sullivan Show," during which the group lip synchs and prances about, as well as interviews with all the band members, producer Lou Adler, Cass' daughter, John Sebastian, Barry McGuire et al., this brief history of the M & P's makes for a concise primer on why this beloved band was so very noteworthy. The DVD skips over much--such as Mama Michelle's brief eviction from the group--but still provides an abundance of songs, as well as information that I'd never heard before. Michelle & John Phillips and Lou Adler, in particular, divulge a wealth of well-articulated anecdotes that I found particularly priceless. I can think of no higher praise for this DVD than to say that I anxiously look forward to purchasing it for my own small collection. It would be worth owning if only for the segment showing the band actually performing "Straight Shooter" at the Monterey Pop Festival! Oh...and RIP, Papa Denny!
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