In 'Creeque Alley,' Mamas & Papas Told Their Story: Lyrics And Meaning

By Emily Morenz
Photo of The Mamas and the Papas circa 1970 by Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

"...And no one's gettin' fat except Mama Cass" -- that's the chorus to "Creeque Alley" by The Mamas And The Papas, and you don't need to be an expert on the band to guess it's an autobiographical song. After all, the most prominent member of the group was "Mama" Cass Elliot, who famously had a weight problem. Listen more closely and you'll hear about Michelle Phillips, Denny Doherty and John Phillips -- the other three members of the group -- as well as "McGuinn and McGuire," Zal and Sebastian. People seem to be getting together, splitting up, criss-crossing the country and experiencing professional frustrations. There's really quite a lot going on in this 3 minute, 45 second tune, and it captures not just the formation of the group but also the moment when the folk scene was evolving into a new genre called folk-rock.