In 1966 THE MAMAS & THE PAPAS rose from nowhere to become the hip young sound of California and the acceptable face of the emerging hippy culture. MARTIN RUDDOCK tells a tale of skullduggery, betrayal, funny hats and imperfect harmony onday, Monday, October 1965. In his Los Angeles office, producer Nik Venet is patiently waiting for his next big signing to arrive for a meeting with his boss, Randy Wood – head of Mira Records. The meeting’s at 3pm, but Venet’s already twigged that the two guys and two girls (or possibly just the one girl, nobody seems sure) will probably be fashionably late. He’s sure they’ll be there though,
Venet has been sweet-talked by their leader into loaning them $150 to tide them over until the meeting. The men of the impoverished group have been reduced to stealing meat from local supermarkets, so as far as Venet is concerned he’s doing them a favour. As three o’clock becomes a distant memory, eventually Venet turns to A&R man Kim Fowley and shrugs, “Someone must have grabbed them”. Fowley, who has designs on the band’s publishing, agrees. Venet has been rolled by a bunch of beatniks. It’s a shame, they sounded like angels when they sang down the phone at him, but Venet has worked with The Beach Boys and is used to artistic temperament. They’re an unlikely looking bunch anyway, literally all shapes and sizes. It’s only $150. He’ll get it back.