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June 2, 2023

All the Leaves are Brown: How the Mamas & the Papas Came Together and Broke Apart by Scott Shea ~ a Review

by Susan Roberts

All the leaves are brown (all the leaves are brown)
And the sky is gray (and the sky is gray)
I've been for a walk (I've been for a walk)
On a winter's day (on a winter's day)
I'd be safe and warm (I'd be safe and warm)
If I was in L.A. (if I was in L.A.)
California dreamin' (California dreamin')
On such a winter's day

Amazon affiliate links are used on this site. A free book was provided for an honest review.

book cover of biography All the Leaves are Brown by Scott G. Shae
June 2023; Backbeat; 978-1493072118
ebook, print (422 pages); biography

Most of us who grew up in the 60s heard this song constantly playing on the radio and sang along with it.  It looked like this musical group had it made -- they were extremely popular and had achieved their dreams of success.  They were on numerous TV shows and followed this song up with other #1 hits.  This new book by Scott Shea gives a behind-the-scenes look at the dysfunction of the band and the radically different personalities of the four members.  America may have believed that they were happy with their success but the truth was radically different.  One thing they did embody from this time period was their love of Sex, Drugs, and Rock & Roll.  John was a long-time philander who fell in love with Michelle who had an affair with Denny who was an unrequited love for Cass.  It's amazing with all of the discord that they were able to make such beautiful music.  But they DID make beautiful music that still brings a smile to the faces of the aging baby boomers who were growing up in the 60s.  Even this behind-the-scenes look can't change that.

I enjoyed this behind-the-band look at the members and how the group was formed.  My only complaint was that it frequently strayed from the lives of the 4 members to lots of other singers and groups from that time period.  I enjoyed reading about some of them but it all got a bit confusing to read about so many different people when I was mainly interested in the group themselves.

Susan Roberts grew up in Michigan but loves the laid-back life at her home in the Piedmont area of North Carolina where she is two hours from the beach to the east and the mountains in the west.  She reads almost anything but her favorite genres are Southern Fiction and Historical Fiction.  

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