Heard a bit of sad news today. Denny Doherty, 1/4 of the Mamas and the Papas, passed away on Friday. His voice was the one most prominently heard on their recordings (not John Phillips, the primary songwriter, as most assumed). And while that bit of news was a downer, what followed in all the postings that I saw about it.. well, that’s what pissed me off the most. And what was that? This line, which I read over and over in various places (from the Associated Press):
The members re-formed in 1971 for the album “People Like Us,” but all hope for a reunion ended in 1974 when the 30-year-old Elliot choked and suffered a fatal heart attack while eating a sandwich in London.
Now, if you go look at the story on their site, which will only be available for a few days before you’ll have to pay to access it, you’ll see this line. Or will you? When I first loaded their site this evening looking for the original source (I’d read it from somewhere else, but saw the dateline was AP), that line read “Elliot suffered a fatal heart attack in London.” Now I go back, and it’s back to the sandwich. Half the news sites say there was a sandwich involved in Mama Cass’s death, the other half just say the heart attack. Now, I’m no expert, but when so many other places say the sandwich was just there and had nothing to do with her death, I have to wonder what moron does their fact checking, since this has been a known fact for quite some time now.
On a related note, since John died in 2001, that leaves Michelle Phillips as the only member of the group still alive.