. . . and the sky is is gray
We know it, right? The Mamas and the Papas' "California Dreamin'."
The Mamas and the Papas? Cass Elliot, Michelle Phillips, Denny Doherty and John Phillips. Michelle and John wrote "Califronia Dreamin'" and the song's best verse line was Michelle "Stopped into a church, I passed along the way, I got down on my knees and I pretend to pray" and that reality is one of the things that Scott G Shea gets right in his new book ALL THE LEAVES ARE BROWN: HOW THE MAMAS AND THE PAPAS CAME TOGETHER AND BROKE APART.
I'm a huge fan of the group. My top ten favorite Mamas and Papas songs would include "California Dreamin'" absolutely.
The other nine?
Today that would be:
"Dedicated To The One I Love"
"Snow Queen of Texas"
"Got A Feelin'"
"Dream A Little Dream Of Me"
"Safe In My Garden"
"Twelve-Thirty (Young Girls Are Coming To The Canyon)"
You learn more about the group in the above ten songs (and eleven videos) than you do from the book.
The book is very dull and takes forever to get started.
Why? John Phillips.
Or rather, the author's obsession with John Phillips. The book is 25 chapters. So tell me why the first seven chapters are about John Phillips and his family?
It's dull. And let's be clear, it was dull in PAPA JOHN as well. That was John Phillips' ghost written autobiography and over 100 pages of that was before he met Michelle as well.
Shea knows how to crib. He knows how to copy. Can he write?
I see little indication that he could.
Having spent seven chapters on John Phillips' dull life -- and John's relatives before John was born, you may think we also get multiple chapters on Michelle, Cass and Denny before they were a part of the band.
You would be wrong.
The only really interesting life before the group was Michelle Phillips' life.
At the age of five, her mother puts her to bed and then . . . her mother dies. They leave California then, her father, her sister and Michelle and move to Mexico. Originally, they live with her father's friend Fabian Andre (who is a co-writer of the classic "Dream A Little Dream Of Me"). Michelle becomes fluent in Spanish. They return to California. Michelle's childhood includes friends like Sue Lyon. Michelle's the one who gets ahold of the controversial book LOLITA (written by Victor Nabakov -- "In that book by Nabakov," as Sting wrote in The Police's "Don't Stand So Close To Me"). A few years later, Sue will play the lead role in the film LOLITA. Another friend during this time is Tamar Hodel. She has passed away but was the mother of Fauna Hodel -- the main character of the I AM THE NIGHT mini-series. Tamar's father molested her and Tamar got pregnant. Fauna was put up for adoption. She later tries to find her birth parents. Tamar had made public charges about the molestation when she turned 14. Her father was put on trial (her father is considered to be the killer in The Black Dahliah Murder case) but character-witnessed his was out. In her mid-teens, Michelle moves to San Francisco for the summer where she lives with her friend Tamar and then returns home only to return to San Francisco again. There she is a model and she is part of the cutting edge of San Francisco culture -- attends Lenny Bruce's trial and other things.
In the sentences above, I've told you more about Michelle's life before she meets and marries John Phillips than Shea does. Michelle doesn't get even a chapter about her life before the group. Nor does Denny. Nor does Cass.
But we have to suffer through seven long chapters about John Phillips' ancestors -- seven yawn inducing chapters that were just as boring in PAPA JOHN as they are here.
I've read Michelle Phillips' CALIFORNIA DREAMIN' two books on Cass Elliot (including DREAM A LITTLE DREAM), GO WHERE YOU WANT TO GO, PAPA JOHN and one other book on THE MAMAS AND THE PAPAS that was a cheapo paperback.
So the good about ALL THE LEAVES ARE BROWN? Another book on one of the great rock groups of the sixties. That's about it.
The best book on the group remains Michelle Phillips' memoir. It was lively and not hateful.
This one is dull and, as bad as the lack of detail about Cass, Denny and Michelle is before the group, so is the detail about them after the group. Michelle participated in THE LAST MOVIE -- Dennis Hopper's controversial follow up to EASY RIDER and the film that made no studio want to hire him as a director again. She also was part of a now lost film that was an early attempt at dystopian worlds and the destruction pollution was having on the world -- Graham Parsons was part of the cast as well. She made the films DILLINGER, LET IT RIDE, VALENTINO, AMERICAN ANTHEM, SCISSORS, BLOODLINE, THE MAN WITH BOGART'S FACE and many more while being a regular cast members on KNOTS LANDING and HOTEL and a guest star on many, many other TV shows (including STAR TREK: THE NEXT GENERATION, MIKE HAMMER, TJ HOOKER, THE FALL GUY, VEGAS, THE LOVE BOAT, FANTASY ISLAND, MUDER SHE WROTE, LOIS & CLARK: THE NEW ADVENTURES OF SUPERMAN, BEVERLY HILLS 90210, THE MAGNIFICENT SEVEN and HERMAN'S HEAD). Before she went into the studio to record solo, she brought Lou Adler a hit that she wanted to record, "Me and Bobby McGee" -- this was before Janis Joplin had recorded it. She sings it with Kris Kristofferson in THE LAST MOVIE. No one at DUNHILL (her label) or Lou could see the song as a hit. In February of 1977, she finally released her solo album -- VICTIM OF ROMANCE. It's a great album that was released on CD right around the time I started reviewing albums for THE COMMON ILLS. See my 2005 post. Rebecca wrote more about it the same year.
It's a strong album. It's probably the best album any member of The Mamas and The Papas did as a solo artist. I love Cass' solo work but she really became a singles artist as a solo act.
On the original release, Michelle wrote three songs ("Trashy Rumors," "There She Goes" and "Lady of Fantasy"). In 2005, when it was issued on CD, it included nine bonus tracks -- "Guerita" should have been on the album -- it's great and Michelle wrote that song. She also wrote "Aces Wit You," "Having His Way" and "You Give Good Phone." The advance single for the album didn't make the original album but it is a bonus on the CD release. "Aloha Louie" is a great song and she wrote it with John Phillips.
While a Mama, Michelle co-wrote a number of songs -- "California Dreamin'," "Free Advice," "Trip, Stumble and Fall," "Hey Girl," "String Man" and, by herself, "I Wanna Be A Star." Denny co-wrote 3 songs with John. Cass wrote zero -- CRAPAPEDIA wrongly credits her as the co-writer of "Twelve-Thirty" in the album entry for THE PAPAS AND THE MAMAS. That is not correct. Cass never wrote a song with John. If she ever did, the credit would not read -- as it does on the CRAPAPEDIA page "Cass Elliot, John Phillips." Whether writing with Michelle, Denny or Lou Adler, John always put his own name first. At any rate, Michelle co-wrote five songs for the group and wrote one song solo for the group.
You wouldn't know that to read the new book. The new book also insists that Denny did not write "I Saw Her Again Last Night." John supposedly just gave him a credit because he felt guilty for yelling at Denny.
I thought about holding this review. It's Elaine's week to do a review and she's writing it right now. But I want to let anyone know, as soon as possible, before they spend $22.99 like I did on a book of so little value.
Closing with C.I.'s "Iraq snapshot:"
The Iraqi prosecutor general’s office has sent an arrest warrant to the International Criminal Police Organisation (Interpol) for Salwan Momika, a 37-year-old Iraqi-born refugee in Sweden, who burned a Quran in Sweden’s capital Stockholm in late June, Sputnik quoted Iraqi broadcaster Al Sumaria’s report Thursday, citing the country’s Supreme Judicial Council.
The council’s statement said that the prosecutor’s office has sent an information sheet and a special arrest warrant for Momika and requested Interpol to notify Baghdad should he be arrested.
The Iraqi Foreign Minister, Fuad Hussein, called on the Swedish government to hand over the person who burned a copy of the Quran in Stockholm to the Iraqi government to appear before an Iraqi court.
The Iraqi Foreign Ministry mentioned in a statement that Hussein received a phone call last Friday from his Swedish counterpart, Tobias Billstrom, where they discussed the repercussions of the incident.
Iraqi Prime Minister Mohammed Shia al-Sudani has announced a major shakeup of the country’s security and intelligence services, appointing an influential spymaster ostracised by his predecessor as the head of national security.
Officials in Baghdad told Middle East Eye that the changes unveiled on Wednesday were intended to consolidate Sudani’s grip on power and to exclude a number of officials and employees suspected of involvement in corruption under the previous government.
One of the main – and most prominent - beneficiaries of the reshuffle is Abdul Karim Abd Fadhil, also known as Abu Ali al-Basri, who was named by Sudani to lead the Iraqi National Security Service (INSS).
Basri replaces Hamid al-Shatri, who was appointed by Sudani’s predecessor as prime minister, Mustafa al-Kadhimi.
Security officials told MEE that most of the appointees were chosen on the basis of "partisan quotas".
"Some of those assigned are qualified and have been promoted. This cannot be denied, but the selection of all was subject to political quotas," a senior INSS official told MEE.
“Most of the appointees are either close to Maliki, Halbousi, or the prime minister. No one in Iraq is named to occupy these positions solely for his competence or for career progression.”
Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) and other conservatives are falsely claiming that a recent mass shooter was transgender. Like Greene, the shooter supported gun rights and former President Donald Trump.
On the evening of Monday, July 3, a shooter in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania killed five people. The gunman also shot two boys and injured two others who survived. Police arrested a 40-year-old male suspect named Kimbrady Carriker and charged him with murder, attempted murder, assault, reckless endangerment, and weapons charges.
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In a statement condemning right-wing claims about the suspect’s gender identity, Asa Khalif of the Philadelphia District Attorney’s LGBTQIA advisory committee said Carricker identified only as male.
“The language that is spewed out by the conservative press is violent and is dangerous and is targeting trans women of color,” Khalif said, according to The Daily Beast. “It’s rallying the community to be violent and we’re better than that.”
Khalif noted that trans women and men “are the most vulnerable to violence,” adding, “They want to live their lives and they have every right to do so, and we will not allow conservative bigots to use that type of language to attack trans people. This is about someone who used violence to hurt and harm our city and our community, and I’m sure they will be punished to the fullest extent of the law but we will not allow trans women, and particularly trans women of color, to be the scapegoats of bigots.”
However, right-wing figures like Greene and other conservative media outlets have repeatedly claimed that trans people are dangerous. Shortly after a late March school shooting by a possibly trans individual, Greene blamed the shooting on hormone medications that the shooter may have been taking. However, there’s no indication that the shooter was actually taking hormones, that such medications contribute to violent behavior, or that the shooter’s gender identity in any way motivated their behavior.
In late March, Greene claimed that a trans-affiliated “antifa” group in Washington, D.C. was organizing a violent protest event called the “Trans Day of Vengeance.” There was no public evidence that anti-fascist activists were in any way involved in the event. The event’s organizer said the event’s name was merely a play on the Trans Day of Visibility, the day upon which the subsequently-cancelled protest was scheduled to occur.
At the time, Greene wrote, “A day after a mass murder of children by a trans shooter? The people need to know about the threat they face from Antifa & trans-terrorism!!!”
In April, Greene’s colleague Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-CO) said that affirming trans people’s identities will lead to school shootings. She said that being transgender and learning about societal oppression “radicalize” students and make them mentally ill, causing them to shoot up schools.
A man threw hot coffee on another man at a Port Washington Starbucks while shouting an anti-gay slur on Saturday, according to the Port Washington Police Department.
Ads from major companies that claim to support LGBTQ rights are appearing on Rumble videos that spread extreme anti-LGBTQ rhetoric, including on videos that spew anti-LGBTQ slurs and on one that alleges that the LGBTQ movement’s “end game is to sterilize humanity.”
Rumble is an extreme right-wing video-sharing platform that is backed by various high-profile right-wing figures and dominated by QAnon content. Marketing itself as a defender of “free speech”, the platform has big ambitions to compete with a range of other tech companies and provide the infrastructure to make figures that have been banned elsewhere “immune” from so-called “cancel culture.” Rumble has also partnered with the Republican National Committee to host the official livestream for the first Republican presidential primary debate on August 23.
The platform technically has a policy against “Content or material that is grossly offensive to the online community, including but not limited to, racism, anti-semitism and hatred” — but it doesn’t mention anything specifically about sexuality- or gender identity-based hate speech, and has previously failed to elaborate on its evidently limited enforcement practices. Rumble also has a documented history of profiting from homophobic, white nationalist, and antisemitic content on its site. In March, Netflix pulled advertisements from the website after Media Matters reported that they were appearing alongside videos espousing Holocaust denial.
This Pride Month, Media Matters identified ads from over 50 major companies that appeared alongside Rumble videos that spread extreme anti-LGBTQ hate. These companies include:
1-800 Flowers, ABC Mouse, Aleve, Alibaba, Allianz, Amazon, Ancestry, Apartments.com, Aussie, Capital One, Chevrolet, Crate&Barrel, CVS, Dave’s Killer Bread, eBay, Fiverr, Fortnite, Genesis, GoDaddy, Grainger, GrubHub, Intel, LG, Maybelline, Mazda, McDonalds, National University, Norton, Office Depot, PBS Kids, PlutoTV, Pods Moving & Storage, Ruggable, Salomon, Shopify, SimpliSafe, Spinbrush, Street Fighter 6, Target, Tempur-pedic, Temu, Toyota, Trint, UNICEF, Uniqlo, UPS, Viator, Welch Allyn, Western Union, and Wyndham.
"Then don't invite metal bands to play," one man is heard saying before the doorman says, "F----t."
A woman immediately responds, "Whoa. You can't use that slur. Hold on, hold on. Using that slur is not OK."
Hernandez, who has owned Oddity Bar for the past year with his brother Manny, was nearby as the doorman said the slur. Members of the bands and patrons have criticized Hernandez for a lack of an immediate response.
"[Hernandez] seemed very indifferent towards everything and was not apologetic at all. He just kind of took the doorman's side the whole time," Candlewax bassist and vocalist Josh Deckman said. "I literally told him, 'Look at me: I have nail polish on and I'm flamboyant. As a member of the [queer] community, what am I supposed to think? That I'm not welcome here.' They were dismissive of that."
In another setback for equal rights, the Supreme Court also ruled Friday in favor of a Christian Colorado web designer who refused to create websites for same-sex couples even though the state bans such discrimination. The justices were again divided 6 to 3 along ideological lines. Liberal Justice Sonia Sotomayor wrote in the dissent that the decision was “heartbreaking” and a “reactionary exclusion.”
Following Friday’s rulings, California Congressmember Ro Khanna and other Democrats reintroduced a bill imposing 18-year term limits on Supreme Court justices and giving presidents two appointments during a White House term. President Biden last week said the current Supreme Court is “not a normal court,” but rejected calls to expand it. We’ll have more on the latest Supreme Court rulings later in the broadcast.
The Supreme Court’s 6-3 decision to allow a homophobic website designer to discriminate against gay couples because it violated her faith was hardly a surprise. The conservative majority on the Court has made it loud and clear that its role is to fulfill the fantasies of the right. It may draw the line at some of the wilder dreams, like the idea that legislatures can overturn popular votes, but on core beliefs it has been extraordinarily consistent. The decision last year to overturn five decades of precedent allowing abortion removed any doubt.
Still, the decision in 303 Creative LLC v. Elenis is shocking for its unalloyed willingness to discount LGBTQ+ protections and even mock the Court’s minority’s vigorous defense of them. In his majority opinion, Justice Neil Gorsuch has picked up some of Justice Samuel Alito’s sneer as he chastises fellow Justice Sonia Sotomayor, the author of the dissent, for engaging in “an unfortunate tendency by some to defend First Amendment values only when they find the speaker’s message sympathetic.”
While the full impact of the decision will take a while to unfold, some things are already clear. Here are five takeaways from the decision.
This was always going to be the outcome. The right wing of the Court has been looking for an excuse to elevate the rights of conservative Christians at the expense of LGBTQ+ people for a while. This case was the perfect vehicle. So what that Lorie Smith, the owner of the firm in question, never made a wedding website in her life. So what if no one actually asked her to make one. So what if the case included a fake request from someone who turned out to be a straight man. None of that mattered.
A normal Court would not be ruling in the case of someone who is asking hypothetical questions. Smith hasn’t suffered any harm, a basic threshold for seeking redress. Instead, this Court plowed ahead because it has been heading in this direction for years. From its ruling in the Hobby Lobby case, granting a corporation the right to withhold contraception access in employee health care plans because the owners are Christian, to its rulings allowing a public school football coach to pray on the field and allowing anti-gay Christian schools to get public funds, the Court has been elevating the rights of conservative Christians. The most recent ruling is just the logical, if reprehensible, next step in that progression.
The Supreme Court’s decision represents a huge setback for equal protections for LGBTQ people and our rights across the nation.
Although the precise question presented before the Supreme Court was whether a website designer would be required to prepare a wedding website for a hypothetical LGBTQ couple despite her religious objections to same-sex marriage, the impacts of this decision will reverberate throughout the American economy as businesses may feel emboldened to more freely discriminate against LGBTQ people on the basis of the private religious beliefs of their owners or employees.
In other words, the impacts will extend to more than just wedding websites.
To LGBTQ Pennsylvanians, the latest ruling may feel like simply an extension of the recent backlash we’ve been experiencing.
In Pennsylvania, we have seen campaigns against transgender kids come to our local school boards, most prominently in Bucks County, where some districts have launched a crusade against all things LGBTQ-related. Whether banning Pride flags in classrooms, removing books containing LGBTQ content from school libraries, or censoring teachers for acknowledging the existence of LGBTQ people, opponents of equality have recently found new life in the commonwealth and will certainly be invigorated with new ideas spurred by this Supreme Court.
As Ron DeSantis fumbles his way toward the Republican nomination for president, he’s made headlines for his inability to resemble a human being while running for office. And after pissing off white women and displaying less charisma than Jeb(!) Bush, DeSantis has alienated yet another potential group of voters: LGBTQ Republicans. Thanks to his bizarre homophobic campaign ad, the Florida governor now finds himself at odds with the Log Cabin Republicans, New York Rep. George Santos, and even Caitlyn Jenner.
Of course, it’s absurd that these Republicans were considering supporting DeSantis in the first place, given his deeply homophobic and transphobic track record. But that rarely stops gay Republicans from voting against their own self-interest. I mean, you have to be aggressively homophobic to turn off these voters. After all, they’re fine with Florida’s “Don’t Say Gay” bill, but they draw the line at supercuts of Patrick Bateman, GigaChad, and drag queens!
LGBTQ Republicans say they feel misled by Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) after the GOP presidential hopeful’s “war room” shared a bizarre video widely seen as inflammatory.
The video bashed former President Donald Trump’s (R) support for the LGBTQ community and leaned into conservative state policies passed under DeSantis this year that were criticized as anti-LGBTQ.
LGBTQ conservatives, reacting to the video, said DeSantis had shown his true colors as an “anti-LGBT champion,” undermining his arguments that his support for the policies were about protecting children and parents’ rights.
“It’s like he’s going mask off,” said Brad Polumbo, a Michigan-based libertarian journalist. “The cat’s out of the bag.”
Polumbo said he’d have considered voting for DeSantis at one time.
“I’m somebody who has my fair share of policy disagreements with DeSantis, but I was considering voting for him in the primary before he entered the race officially,” he said. “Since then, he’s done thing after thing that really makes me increasingly write off that possibility.”
Robert F. Kennedy Jr. and his organization Children's Health Defense are fans and promoters of James Corbett, a Sandy Hook and 9/11 conspiracy theorist who has claimed that “Hitler was a Rothschild” and “Hitler and the Nazis were one hundred percent completely and utterly set up … by the international banking community and the international crony capitalists.”
Kennedy has thanked Corbett for his supposedly “extraordinary work for keeping the public informed,” and Kennedy’s anti-vaccine group has featured Corbett in numerous videos and at a recent symposium.
Trump and several associates have been praising Kennedy’s presidential campaign, with longtime Trump adviser Roger Stone stating that the Democrat’s candidacy will help “soften Joe Biden up for his defeat by Donald Trump.” Right-wing media figures, including former senior Trump adviser Steve Bannon, have also been propping up his candidacy.
Kennedy’s connections to Corbett add to a growing list of the Democratic presidential candidate’s right-wing media associations, including but not limited to:
- Appearances on programs hosted by right-wing personalities, including Steve Bannon, Charlie Kirk, Tucker Carlson, Laura Ingraham, and Stew Peters.
- Promoting and partnering with QAnon and COVID-19 conspiracy theorists.
- Appearing as a “featured” speaker on the right-wing, pro-Trump ReAwaken America tour.
- Promoting right-wing organizations Project Veritas, The Epoch Times, and Judicial Watch.
- Conducting outreach to neo-Nazi, white supremacist, and antisemitic accounts on the far-right platform Gab.
Corbett is a fringe online host whose website describes him as providing “breaking news and important issues from 9/11 Truth and false flag terror to the Big Brother police state, eugenics, geopolitics, the central banking fraud and more.” In a 2009 interview, Corbett said he was inspired to become a media figure in large part by the work of 9/11 conspiracy theorist Alex Jones.
Grammy Winning Singer-Songwriter and Style Icon Jody Watley welcomes the fabulous Vanessa Williams as a guest to “The Jody Watley Show,” on SiriusXM’s The Groove, Channel 50 for Episode 5.
Tune in on July 9th and catch the Vanessa Williams interview on The Jody Watley Show. 3 P.M. PST, 6 P.M. EST.
Vanessa Williams is one of the most respected and multi-faceted performers in the entertainment industry today.
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Jody Watley, an iconic figure in her own right, is excited to welcome VanessaWilliams to “The Jody Watley Show” and engage in an enlightening conversation about Vanessa’s illustrious career and enduring impact on the entertainment industry.
The Jody Watley Show, a 2-hour monthly show airs every second Sunday exclusively on SiriusXM’s The Groove at 6 PM (EST) / 3 PM (PST) and on the SiriusXM app on smartphones and other connected devices, as well as online.
SiriusXM reaches nearly 34 million subscribers monthly.
The Jody Watley Show is packed with the best of classic to contemporary R&B music and engaging conversations with surprise guests.
Watley is a celebrated singer, songwriter, producer, businesswoman, and one of the architects of 21st century pop, affectionately referred to as “The Queen of Cool.’
Renowned as one of the defining artists of the 80s with an influence on style, music and pop culture, Jody Watley forged the template that is now everybody’s playbook.