California Dreamin': Cass Elliot Before The Mamas & the Papas

by Pénélope Bagieu

Hardcover, 2017





First Second (2017), 272 pages


"Before she was the legendary Mama Cass of the folk group The Mamas and the Papas, Ellen Cohen was a teen girl from Baltimore with an incredible voice, incredible confidence, and incredible dreams. She dreamed of being not just a singer but a star. Not just a star--a superstar. So, at the age of nineteen, at the dawn of the sixties, Ellen left her hometown and became Cass Elliot. At her size, Cass was never going to be the kind of girl that record producers wanted on album covers. But she found an unlikely group of co-conspirators, and in their short time together this bizarre and dysfunctional band recorded some of the most memorable songs of their era. Through the whirlwind of drugs, war, love, and music, Cass struggled to keep sight of her dreams, of who she loved, and--most importantly--who she was."--Amazon.… (more)

User reviews

LibraryThing member villemezbrown
I've read dozens* of graphic novel biographies and have come to dread the experience as they are so often dry and dull as dirt. But I keep trying because once in a while you get an amazing little gem like this. I've never been a huge Mamas and Papas fan - I have a greatest hits album - but through Bagieu's pen, Mama Cass comes alive as a riveting if tragic figure. I'd really love to see a second volume.

* Okay, I just checked my personal book database, and the number is actually 90. And only nine of those would rate three-stars or above. (Hey! Sturgeon's Law in action!)
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LibraryThing member Vantine
Perfect for people who love biographies. The early years of Cass Elliot are told from the perspective of the people around her, including her family and band mates.

She was a complex, talented woman with a strong personality and the author brings that out perfectly. You will want Cass to stick around for drinks afterwards.

Although some drug use, perfect for teens and adult collections.
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Original language


Original publication date


Physical description

272 p.; 5.9 inches


1626725462 / 9781626725461


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