The Mamas & Papas not doing SAN FRANCISCO was a lost opportunity ...they would have had a major worldwide hit...with Denny on lead, and Cass & Michelle singing those intricate, contrapuntal harmonies. Compare their versions of TWELVE THIRTY and ROOMS to Scott McKenzie's versions - his have no backgrounds at all, and are very spare. Think of what the group would have done with SAN FRANCISCO, with all sorts of interjections from Cass & Michelle. But it was not to be. Lou Adler wanted a hit for his new label, and John wanted to be the next Lou by writing & producing other artists. He never became the major artist, record producer or ran a label like he had wished for. Alas, he made a major mistake for The Mamas and The Papas, his own group, by giving the song away. Scott disappeared for 16 years , until he started touring with the New Mamas and Papas in 1986. Lou, John & Scott made a great record, but ultimately sabotaged The Mamas & Papas by secretly recording it so Cass, Denny and Dunhill Records wouldn't know.
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