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Dream a Little Dream of Me: The Life of Cass Elliot Hardcover – September 28, 2005


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Chicago Review Press; First Edition edition (September 28, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1556525885
  • ISBN-13: 978-1556525889
  • Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 6.2 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #183,124 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

"Mama" Cass Elliot is often remembered jokingly as the fat female singer from 1960s pop group the Mamas and the Papas who choked to death on a ham sandwich. Through an impressive array of interviews with friends, family and musicians, Fiegel sets out to show Elliot was much more: a role model for obese women, a talented performer and a queen socialite among the elite songwriters of her time who, had it not been for her death at the age of 32 (which was from a heart attack, not the fabled ham sandwich), would have reached further echelons of fame. At times slow and repetitive, this is best suited for die-hard Mamas and the Papas fans. Fiegel has done her homework; she speaks with seemingly everybody who knew Elliot and examines nearly every step of her personal life and career, from her displaced childhood to her years as a star musician with insecurities about her weight and appearance. The bulk of the book concentrates on Elliot's life after gaining success, thankfully, since much of her childhood was uneventful. Written in a straight-forward, journalistic style, the book is both comprehensive and accessible. Photos.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From School Library Journal

Adult/High School–Elliot was in the center of the pandemonium that characterized 1960s music. From an unpromising childhood to a tragic early death, she was an extraordinary personality in an extraordinary time. Despite discrimination because of her weight, she found unimagined fame with the Mamas and the Papas, an innovative rock group. When the group broke up in 1968, she successfully launched a solo career. She was recognized nationally as the quintessential counterculture hippie, but her charm and wit ensured continuing popularity with mainstream audiences. Black-and-white photos are of good quality. Legends of the Mamas and the Papas are demystified in this fascinating look at the personalities and music industry of the period.–Catherine Noonan, Fairfax County Public Library, VA
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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Kudos to the author for an incredible treasure!
Mark Ramsey
I highly suggest that you purchase it if you are a Mamas and Papas/Cass Elliot fan.
TJAMES03
The good, the bad, and the ugly is all here -- so be forewarned.
Matthew

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

22 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Charles - Music Lover on July 7, 2006
Format: Hardcover
I bought this book online and received it in the afternoon mail. I literally read it non-stop until I fell asleep later that night, and then finished it the following day.

Author Eddi Fiegel has done an admirable job in making Cass Elliot come to life in this long overdue biography of the beloved entertainer. But the fact such a biography took so long to materialize has added to the insight and perspective that only time can bring.

I was only nine years old when Cass died, I'm nine years older now than she was when she died. I know now how YOUNG she was. She didn't really have the time to find herself before her death. Fiegel deftly uncovers the issues that Cass struggled with (being overweight, the drugs, wanting to be loved for herself) and creates a portrait of a woman in the process of figuring it all out.

Before she became Cass Elliot, she was Ellen Naomi Cohen. While many people assume stage names, you then have two separate (and sometimes disparate) identities: the public and the private self. Reading this book, I have no doubt that Cass would have integrated these two identities more effectively if she had the time.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Matthew on April 7, 2006
Format: Hardcover
As a lifelong fan of the Mamas and the Papas, as well as Cass Elliot in her own right, I have often wondered if a biography dedicated to Cass's life would ever be produced. Happily, this book gives great insight into the life of this jovial entertainer. The good, the bad, and the ugly is all here -- so be forewarned. For true fans of this talented woman, this is a must-read!
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful By EPshots@yahoo.com on October 30, 2006
Format: Hardcover
David Crosby offered the author $100 if during her research she came across anyone who disliked Cass.Needless to say,she did not collect any reward.

Her reward is knowing she has done a worthy job in presenting the essence of Cass Elliot for readers touched by the singer's amazing talent and personality.

A must-read for anyone remotely interested in Cass,The Mamas and Papas and the West Coast music scene of the mid to late 60's
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Maria Beadnell on May 20, 2007
Format: Paperback
For me, a good celebrity biography has several qualities: it makes me feel I know the person better, it feels credibly researched, and it makes me glad I am NOT that person.

This is a simply wonderful biography of a great, flawed, unfortunate, amazingly talented person.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Paige Turner VINE VOICE on July 26, 2008
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
A thorough, carefully researched biography of the infamous Mama Cass. Through interviews with Cass' family and friends, the author debunks the Ham Sandwich Myth which has been urban legend for years. If you want a detailed biography of this talented woman, this is a great one to start with. Cass never really wanted to be a folk-rock/pop singer; she was a Broadway Baby and her love was Broadway musicals. But without her, The Mamas & The Papas would not have had the success they did have in the 1960's, in my opinion. Her larger-than-life figure and personality, plus her knockout voice really made that group.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Mark Ramsey on September 6, 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Wow...words cannot begin to describe this book! A very detailed, and well researched book about one of the greatest female singers ever to grace us with her beautiful voice and music! After reading this book I found myself lost and up in the clouds because I have never, ever been so into A book in all my life. I just wish I was old enough back then to have fully appreciated Cass, The Mamas and Papas, and the music explosion of incredible people, songs, and albums(I was born in 1968). I guess I will have to settle doing it now. I hope Cass knows somehow that she has so many fans who adore her to this day!! It's very sad to think that she's not here today to feel that warmth. Well, I'd like to think she does know, and is smiling at those fans who continue to be touched by her spirit, music, and humor. Some say Michelle was the "Pretty" one in the Mamas And Papas...I honestly have to say, nahhhh. Cass was as beautiful on the outside, and she was on the inside. The only thing I believe I would maybe tell her, if I had meet her back then...I wish, was to stop the drug use. After reading the book, I learned that she was making big steps to clean up that aspect of her life at the time of her death. The drug use would have turned me off for sure, but this was the mid-late 1960's. If you are A new Cass Elliot fan, purchase this book. You will learn so much about her life, and become even A bigger fan. If you are already A huge Cass fan, and don't own this book...you are doing yourself an in-justice. You will also learn new things like I did! Kudos to the author for an incredible treasure! We still miss you Cass!
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By H. P. Keable on October 11, 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
...and by that I mean finding out what a serious drug user Cass was most of her life. We're talking heroin here, people, HEROIN. No, She wasn't in the same league with John Phillips, to be sure. Very few people reach that rarified atmosphere (read HIS book), and fewer still live to tell the story. But still... heroin usage throughout a large portion of her life, and on top of all the other drugs she dabbled with. Rather disconcerting, to say the least.

This knowledge does not modify in the slightest her achievements as an artist, but it is a good example of why one should always remember to separate that "artist" from the flesh-and-blood person. Which brings me to another point that I gleaned from this book: that she is the iconic figure she is today rather in spite of herself. She never really wanted to be in a rock or even a pop group. She wanted to the kind of singer she eventually became on the RCA albums, and especially the "Don't Call Me Mama Anymore" album. She wanted to be a Barbara Streisand or a Judy Garland. Whether she would ever have achieved that goal had she not crossed paths with John Phillips could be debated ad infinitum, but I'm going to go out on a limb here and say no, she would not have. Why? Because of the way she looked, of course. Her talent and spectacular voice would always have been overshadowed by that factor in the world she sought to be accepted in. It was the quirky, hippie, pop music world that allowed just enough of a foot in the door to force it the rest of the way open with her talent... a world she really didn't seek.
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