Lion of the Blogosphere

California Dreamin’

YouTube is smart. After watching the Englebert Humperdinck video, it said I would like to watch The Mamas & the Popas singing California Dreamin’. YouTube was right about that!

I have three major observations about this video:

1. In the 1960s, California was viewed as this amazing place where courageous people from the east coast could move to for a better way of life. Better weather (the main point of the song) and better everything else. There is no longer a magical place like 1960s California.

2. The guys in this video are majorly nerdy, aren’t they?

3. “Mama” Cass Elliot is a horizontally large woman. There’s this meme in the comments about how women in the 1960s were so much thinner, but that’s not apparent from watching this video.

Unfortunately she died at the age of 32, from a heart attack, after 8 months of starvation dieting. Her inability to accept her fat killed her.

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

January 12, 2015 at 7:52 pm

Posted in Music videos

63 Responses

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  1. The bay area’s crumbling infrastructure and homeless under freeways makes it basically a snow-free northeastern city. Complete with a subway. In fact from what I hear most other cities have cleaned up alot. Oakland-San Francisco-Berkeley represent the last of a NYC-in-the-80’s style grit that makes it even more east coast than the east coast.


    January 12, 2015 at 8:47 pm

    • But SF’s building restrictions have driven up the rent to above Manhattan levels.
      A fine example of liberals just being unable to appreciate the effects of their actions. Preserving “historic” neighborhoods and increasing affordable housing just don’t go together.


      January 12, 2015 at 11:02 pm

      • SF’s average rents might be the same as Manhattan now, but SF is still a better value because apartment sizes tend to be larger, often much larger, and a higher percentage of them have the valuable amenities of small yards and off-street parking. Manhattan apartment bedrooms are often microscopic, with no practical room for something larger than a twin bed, or even just room for fold-down beds.

        You’re also going to pay a lot less for both heating and AC in San Francisco. If you don’t mind indoor winter temperatures of 55 overnight and summer daytime of 82 a few weeks a year, you can avoid spending any money on climate control.

        SF also has much more park space per capita than NYC.


        January 13, 2015 at 12:12 pm

    • Oakland, maybe. San Francisco and Berkely, no. Not by a long shot. It is not close.


      January 12, 2015 at 11:48 pm

      • None of those places, as they have a paucity of attractive women. San Diego and parts of Southern California, yes!


        January 13, 2015 at 1:18 pm

  2. Cass Eliot’s real name was Naomi Klein. I knew she died of a heart attack, but didn’t know it was as a result of dieting. One of her best songs was “Straight Shooter.” Check out the version she did with the Mammas and Pappas at Monterey Pop on Youtube. Cass also did some really good comedy at that rock festival.

    Believe it or not, despite her weight, I head that many overseas soldiers found Cass very sexy and asked for photos of her.

    The Beach Boys did a really great version of “California Dreamin” in the 1980’s. I prefer this version to the M’s and P’s version. But I still have no idea what’s meant by “the preacher likes the cold.”


    January 12, 2015 at 8:58 pm

    • The singer talks about how he went into a “church” to pray. Actually, as revealed in the next line, the “church” was probably what used to be called a “rescue mission” – a house of worship near lots of bars with all-day all-night presence of “preachers”, that is, from the point of view of the singer, Christian social workers who gave speeches or one-on-one exhortations every once in a while. (Catholic “preachers” were called priests, or, among the cool, “the Padre.” This is a Protestant song). The singer is implying that he was what was later called a “party animal”, back then they may have been called a “beatnik”, a “barfly” (but the Mamas and Papas were too young for that), or a “souse” or an “alkie” or a “boozehound”, who needed to use the warmth of the rescue mission every once in a while when he had spent all his money on the vain search for women and solace in alcohol. The preacher liked the cold because he had more time to preach at or talk with the sinners, or just watch over them before they ventured back out for more booze; he knew would “stay” because of the cold outside. In winter the relative value of his church and its warmth went up. This sad situation for the singer would not occur in California, of which he says he dreams on certain wintry days.


      January 13, 2015 at 9:40 am

    • “Cass Eliot’s real name was Naomi Klein”

      The NY Times obituary and Wikipedia says her real name was Ellen Naomi Cohen, from Baltimore, Md.

      Mark Caplan

      January 13, 2015 at 1:18 pm

    • Her name was Naomi Cohen. Naomi Klein is a Canadian woman, well known for being a professional do-gooder and all around windbag.


      January 13, 2015 at 1:30 pm

  3. Nah, Mama Cass could sing her ass off but she had one foot in the grave already. No way she would have lasted much longer anyway considering her terrible health.


    January 12, 2015 at 8:58 pm

  4. Back on topic – here’s some HBD for you:

    I submit that the American gene pool, among other things, suffers from adverse selection for obesity. Immigrants to America largely came from the lower classes, who in turn were far more subject to famine in previous generations; therefore, selection among the lower classes favored slower metabolic rate. Now there is no famine whatsoever – and they blimp out. One sees this in more extreme form in, for example, native American communities.

    Flame away.

    Viscount Douchenozzlé

    January 12, 2015 at 8:59 pm

    • Fair enough. I’d also say the Immigrants to America largely came from a group of risk takers willing to leave the homeland and risk everything which might explain why we think Europeans are such pussies.


      January 13, 2015 at 11:40 am

      • Nope – that’s two world wars filtering all the testosterone out of the gene pool (and very sad, actually).

        Viscount Douchenozzlé

        January 13, 2015 at 9:16 pm

      • there couldn’t possibly be a simpler explanation? or a consistent explanation?

        1. have Americans always been fatter? (in the 19th c Americans were the tallest people in the world.)
        2. do Americans eat the same thing Europeans eat? no.
        3. how do obesity rates vary within Europe?

        answer to 3:
        1. where wine is the drink the people are thin.
        2. where it’s beer the people are fat, but not as fat as Americans.
        3. where it’s neither, Eastern Europe, Finland, and Greece the men are thin and the women are fat.

        one who takes “the arts” seriously should stay in the shallow end of the pool, like hereditists.

        World Moustache Champion

        January 14, 2015 at 12:45 am

      • Re: wine, you’ve not been to Italy recently, I see.

        Re: arts, and the ‘shallow end’, do you not feel rather presumptuous denigrating something that virtually every western upper class has seen value in for centuries? Presumably these were also people who used proper spelling and punctuation as well – something you also seem to find no value in, but which many educated people nevertheless do.

        Finally, re: #1, there are a myriad of ways one could be rigorous about this. One might, for example, look into 19th century famines & correlation with height of birth cohorts coinciding with famine; one might look at the difference between food prices and production in America vs. Europe during that time; one might also look into immigration patterns (European prisons being emptied onto boats bound for the New World) and look into whether your “alpha”, and by “alpha” I mean criminally, mentally ill, peasants were taller than the general population. That, my boy, is the way to be rigorous about it. But you’re just responding emotionally, aren’t you.

        Viscount Douchenozzlé

        January 15, 2015 at 12:16 am

  5. The ratio of fat women to thin women in that video is 50:50. If we use that as our sample size then women in the 60s definitely were thinner then. The ratio today is more like 80 or 90% fat, and a good portion are far fatter than Cass Elliot.

    Panther of the Blogocube

    January 12, 2015 at 9:28 pm

    • On a daily basis, I never see any white women fatter than Mama Cass.

      Lion of the Blogosphere

      January 13, 2015 at 12:01 am

      • Cuz you live in New York.


        January 13, 2015 at 12:17 am

      • Remember, Cass got “shamed” (in today’s parlance) for her girth in her group’s own hit! “Creeque Alley”

        The lyrics certainly don’t say “No one’s gettin’ accepted/body positive/back ‘cept Mama Cass!”


        January 13, 2015 at 9:46 am

      • Lion needs to take a Middle-America field trip.


        January 13, 2015 at 12:13 pm

      • Been there. Lived there.

        Lion of the Blogosphere

        January 13, 2015 at 1:02 pm

      • Speaking of this, kinda, are you going to pick up reviewing Girls again? Season 4 just started. Loved the “jazz brunch” scene. Lulz ™


        January 13, 2015 at 3:40 pm

  6. “Unfortunately she died at the age of 32, from a heart attack, after 8 months of starvation dieting. Her inability to accept her fat killed her.”

    Unfortunately, a lot of people diet for vanity reasons as opposed to health reasons. So they engage in bizarre fad diet activities without regard to their health.

    If you cut down on soda and junk food, more likely than not you will lose weight. But even if you don’t, it’s good for your health.


    January 12, 2015 at 10:39 pm

  7. Cali is still an amazing place. If you have the $$$.
    For the middle class, Texas, Arizona, Oregon, and Nevada is the new California.


    January 12, 2015 at 11:00 pm

    • Give me a good reason as to why East Coast Whites would want to move to California, a state that has now become a New China, where Asian immigrants become a topic of unpleasant discussion among folks like Steve Sailor?


      January 13, 2015 at 11:57 am

      • Wealthy whites still do buy homes in California. Sailer is middle class and a white nationalist type, hence the greater opposition to Asian immigration and immigration more generally.


        January 13, 2015 at 2:45 pm

      • New China? Try Mexico lite. Asian immigrants are the least of decent peoples worries in SoCal.

        I take Kim Kardashian seriously

        January 13, 2015 at 7:48 pm

      • Whites don’t like to be around a large contingent of Asians.

        New China, because all of the desirable White areas in California is where Asians follow people’s coattails. Asians don’t displace blacks or Hispanics, instead they cause White flight.


        January 14, 2015 at 12:51 pm

      • Given my anti-Asian dislike on this blog, I would rescind it, if Asians could actually move into NAM ghettos, have their own policing and turn them into Chinatowns. This would never happen because Asians are too afraid of them, and are apt to follow the direction of Whites.


        January 14, 2015 at 4:35 pm

  8. That is a great song. Anyone who has moved away from California (for me in the 70’s and again in the late 80’s) has fond memories of what California once was when hearing that song on the radio.

    California, especially Southern California, ain’t like that any more.


    January 12, 2015 at 11:32 pm

    • I agree. First visited in the early 70s as a youngster and later in the early 80s in college. The place was fantastic. Everywhere you looked, pretty girls!

      I like this song because I’m a big fan of escape and travel music as well as music that evokes an ideal world (which typically involves beaches). Some songs that achieve this effect: Woodstock, Warmth of the Sun, Cuando calienta el Sol (Trini Lopez)


      January 13, 2015 at 10:33 am

    • Any books or movies that captures the essence of California at its peak in the 60s? The best one that I can think of is The Graduate, but maybe I’m missing something more poignant.


      January 13, 2015 at 11:14 am

      • I always considered the peak of California to be the late thirties when many a small town girl or guy dreamed of going to Hollywood and all the okies headed that way. The best novels for that period would be “The Big Sleep” by Raymond Chandler, “Day of the Locust” by Nathaniel West, “The Last Tycoon” by F. Scott Fitzgerald, “Ask the Dust” by John Fante, “After Many a Summer” by Aldous Huxley, and multiple novels by Steinbeck. For sixties California, I always thought “The Zebra Striped Hearst” by Ross MacDonald captures early sixties California better than any other novel I’ve read.


        January 13, 2015 at 2:59 pm

      • DdR – Check out the way Moondoggie spent his time in the first “Gidget” movie. A hut on the beach, a small but liveable income, surfing, lots of health and lots of cheerful friends and being loved by Gidget… Also, there are scenes from an early 70s Brian Keith Disney classic about a Mountain which explore a mostly empty and achingly beautiful coast. In another movie, Bronson plays a beatnik who hangs with Burton and Taylor near Big Sur in a color movie from the mid-60s. “Grease” gets it all wrong – pretending that Cali teens of the late 50s had Brooklyn accents is insulting and stupid. American Grafitti, on the other hand, gets it right, at least for sort of rich and healthy kids. Both the Brady Bunch and the Partridge Family (70s shows with lots of 60s nostalgia) have many throwaway comments or scenes which indicate why life on the Pacific Coast back then in the 60s could be so nice. Of course, Australia also existed back then, and the coasts of Australia were huge. No Aussies post here, but I assume they think their country had a great time for a long time, even without pretentious American rock and roll studios. If you want a real movie that shows the overwhelming happiness of being young and not poor and living in a part of the U.S. where the weather was always nice, I would have to recommend, for what it’s worth, Coppola’s “When Peggy Sue Got Married.” I’m missing a lot here, of course. That being said, life everywhere and anywhere can be great – way better than California at its best – if you respect the Lord and appreciate the various peak moments of joy that align with that respect, without expecting those moments to last longer than one deserves on this earth. Not a sermon, just an observation of fact.

        what would ernest borgnine do

        January 13, 2015 at 10:32 pm

      • California was *way* past its peak in the ’60s and just about to go into decline. I think it’s peak was the ’30s. Most of the iconic/good stuff in San Francisco was built by 1941.


        January 14, 2015 at 10:07 am

    • there are parts of LA much prettier than any parts around NYC. but Nassau and Suffolk have nice parts.

      of NE cities, Boston is the prettiest, imho.

      and the pretty parts of LA are contiguous, so one need never see the ugly parts.

      World Moustache Champion

      January 14, 2015 at 8:13 pm

  9. I lived in California as a child in 1963 while my father was working on a college degree in astronomy there. It was a great place to live. Part of the pleasantness was that the population was much lower then, only half what it is now. I remember walking on mostly empty beaches. The surfing craze was in full swing so there were some surfers. The movie “Vertigo” shows some California scenes that remind me of what I remember. What would be considered “majorly nerdy” people now would have been considered just normal people back then. There were beatniks you heard about but you almost never saw one in real life. They were a small group that just hung out with each other. There has been kind of a reversal now where non-nerdy people are now seen as the norm and nerds are seen as a kind of odd minority.


    January 13, 2015 at 8:08 am

  10. I wish they all could be California girls, ese.


    January 13, 2015 at 8:38 am

    • Angelinos aren’t very good looking despite all the folks trying to make it in entertainment. NEers are much more concerned with appearance. Angelinos are just weird compared to other Americans. they speak more slowly than southerners and are very laid back and low key.

      World Moustache Champion

      January 14, 2015 at 8:17 pm

  11. It can’t have been easy for one’s self image to have to sing next to the other mama Michelle Phillips.


    January 13, 2015 at 9:07 am

  12. Michelle Phillips is 21 y/o in that video and looks great.

    I did my own California Dreamin’ in 1987, 1999, & 2000, and sought to relocate from the east coast. I applied for jobs and interviewed in LA with LA County and San Diego with Intel. I ended up turning down a job offer w/ the county and did not receive an offer from Intel.

    E. Rekshun

    January 13, 2015 at 11:52 am

    • Google a current picture of her. At 70 she looks better than many women 20 years younger. Now, I wouldn’t go so far as to say that you’d do her, actually maybe you would.



      January 13, 2015 at 11:30 pm

  13. I added “California Dreamin'” to my play list over ten years ago, and bought the 45 back in the 7th grade in 1975.

    E. Rekshun

    January 13, 2015 at 11:57 am

  14. Unfortunately the Easterners brought there bad interventionist habits, hence the mess in CA today.


    January 13, 2015 at 12:16 pm

  15. The city of Los Angeles isn’t anything like it was in the 1960’s. It is now much more elderly, foreign, rich, and poor.

    But there are plenty of “old fashioned” parts of Southern California with 1960’s demographics (1) Northern San Diego County, centered around Carlsbad (2) the nicer parts of the Inland Empire, like Rancho Cucamonga (3) the nicer exurban areas NW of Los Angeles, like Simi Valley, which is often ranked the lowest crime city in the United States over 100,000 people (4) Palos Verdes, Redondo Beach, Costa Mesa, Newport Beach, Del Mar, Solana Beach, La Jolla, and Manhattan Beach if you can afford them (5) Point Loma in San Diego and El Segundo in LA if you don’t mind airplane noise (6) nearly all of Southern Orange County (7) Irvine (also near the top in the USA for low crime rates) (8) the remaining small farming areas of San Diego County that have minimum lot size rules (9) to a lessor extent, central San Diego and Northern Orange Counties.

    Other than in the cities listed in #4, you can buy a 3-bedroom house with mortgage and tax payments under $3,000 a month, or really $2000 because interest and property taxes are tax deductible and the rest of the money pays down principal.


    January 13, 2015 at 12:30 pm

    • Ventura County is pretty pleasant by any standard. I think Simi Valley has a higher percentage of residents who are police officers than any other city on earth. Criminals generally avoid the area.


      January 14, 2015 at 9:09 am

  16. California Dreamin’ hasn’t changed since the ’60s, except now the dreamers come from Guatemala.

    Mark Caplan

    January 13, 2015 at 1:21 pm

  17. Lion, you enjoy pop music. Have you ever heard “All About That Bass” by Meghan Trainor? If you’ve only heard it and never seen the video, you’d think she’s a young black woman with a thick southern accent. But no, she’s from NANTUCKET:


    January 13, 2015 at 5:29 pm

    • First time I heard Britney Spears on the radio, I thought that is the most talented black singer I have heard since Diana Ross.


      January 13, 2015 at 10:06 pm

      • I thought the same thing about Christina Aguilera.

        E. Rekshun

        January 14, 2015 at 5:35 am

    • There once was a black-sounding girl from Nantucket …



      January 13, 2015 at 11:31 pm

    • and most HBDers think black people talk that way because genes.

      Yaphet Kotto and Neil Nunes yes, but they’re the extreme.

      World Moustache Champion

      January 14, 2015 at 8:20 pm

      • Who says that? This is something that changed in the past 40 years. Listen to the intro on this:

        I rather tend to blame the current malaise of American blacks on the white man and specifically the clueless white liberals who created welfare: take away any incentive to work for low wages, then block social mobility, and see what you get anywhere else.

        Viscount Douchenozzlé

        January 15, 2015 at 7:45 am

    • Wow she plays ukulele too. But not as well as jake shimabukuru.

      slithy toves

      January 15, 2015 at 8:30 am

  18. “I can’t believe this motherfucker had sex with his own daughter. That just blows my mind that she told Larry King that. I can’t listen to this song without that coming into my mind. It literally makes me want to vomit when i think that a father could do that filthy,vile shit to a child and especially his own.”

    truth or lies in the youtube comments?


    January 13, 2015 at 6:13 pm

  19. The funny thing is, the song itself was long forgotten in California by the mid-70s. That song was part of a genre that was already ending by the time it was released in ’67. It fit with upbeat, lush-strings arrangements ike “Downtown” or “Windy” or the “Goldfinger” theme. When I started Berkeley in ’75, males, at least, were embarrassed to listen to songs like that. Hell, they wouldn’t even listen to Stevie Nicks. It was all Stones and Thin Lizzy and Tom Petty.

    explainer 21

    January 13, 2015 at 6:17 pm

    • exactly. I think that the great irony of Reagan’s two terms as governor is that while he was supposed to make the state conservative, the state got more edgy. When Reagan took office it was all lesley gore, beach boys, the vogues type of music while when he left it was Led Zep, Eagles, Floyd etc.

      I think the old California of muscle cars, beach blanket bingo and car hops mostly was killed by the Manson thing.


      January 18, 2015 at 1:40 am

  20. He may look nerdy now, but John Phillips was considered very hip back then.


    January 13, 2015 at 10:21 pm

  21. I don’t know if wwebd is right about the “preacher” in California Dreamin’ being about a rescue mission, but here’s a Broadway classic about a rescue mission from Guys and Dolls with Nathan Lane, circa 1992,
    The Tony Awards.
    “Sit Down You’re Rockin’ the Boat”

    BTW, thanks for the Meghan Trainor song…Good stuff.

    Nedd Ludd

    January 13, 2015 at 10:24 pm

    • Ned – I don’t know if I was right either. Maybe the songwriter was Jewish and the Preacher and the Cold line was just a reference to some line about Ecclesiastes and Vanity that all Jewish kids know from years of Hebrew school and Shabbats, and my speculation about rescue missions was ignorant. Top 40 songs used to have all sorts of sophisticated Biblical and classical references. Who knows who knew what? Thanks for the rescue mission video.

      what would ernest borgnine do

      January 14, 2015 at 9:07 pm

  22. I doubt she died as a result of the starvation diet. It wasn’t technically a starvation diet, but rather intermittent fasting. The body is very efficient at using fat stores for survival in times of food scarcity. My guess is that her death was drug related, or perhaps her still-large girth contributed as she likely had an enlarged heart.

    There was a study done in England where a morbidly obese man went more than a year without any food and he was fine.

    It is mentioned in this docu, Why Are Thin People Not Fat

    slithy toves

    January 14, 2015 at 1:14 pm

  23. California is very Spanish in appearance, and almost another Mediterranean outpost with its climate. But the state is crowded with dumb proles, Latin illegals, and Asian invaders.

    It’s rather sad how multiculturalism ruins cultural legacies!


    January 16, 2015 at 3:46 pm

    • What California needs is more guidos to give the place some class!………….(a little joke!)


      January 17, 2015 at 9:44 am

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