Punk Rock Colleague & Historian and Professional Consultant
Viewing an episode of Carol Bennett at bedtime as part of my humorous dissent into the world of dreamland. I saw one with Mama Cass. I always love seeing her cameos. It dawned on me of how she died. Or so I was told years ago that made me sad.
Was told she died while eating a chicken [ham] sandwich. She choked to death.
That haunted me many a night. Yet I felt a strange awareness to look it up on my hand-held device of vast knowledge, or at least a place to find original sources.
And so, this triangular story emerged to my strange delight. A relationship between three talented artists that ran over a few generations, but which music still fills me with joy.
As those who grew up as a Generation Jones type of character within our moving along culture, these three artists have made an impact on us personally and or collectively.
When all we had were a few radio or TV channels to engage us. Or the local record store head shop, where we could spend our pennies.
I was easier then and we kind of were all on the same wavelength. Hidden and curious of what was going on around us. In tune with the songs often easy to hear everywhere.
I am touched by the intimacy which Harry Nilsson shared with both Keith Moon and Mama Cass. Like many popular and successful artists who get to travel the world but seem to navigate in the same hubs.
The narrative is well-documented and frankly it is something I just found out about a few days ago out of a flash of insight now backed up by the facts.
So, this Thanksgiving I am remembering and saying thank you to Mama Cass, Harry Nilsson, and Keith Moon. Three ghosts that came to visit who inspired generations with their songs. They are continuing on.
(Passed away at aged 32) Mama Cass, July 29, 1974 Mayfair, London, England
“But you gotta make your own kind of music
Sing your own special song
Make your own kind of music
Even if nobody else sings along.”
(Passed away aged 32) Keith Moon, 7 September 1978, Mayfair, London, England
“I know there’s a place you walked
Where love falls from the trees
My heart is like a broken cup
I only feel right on my knees
I spit out like a sewer hole
Yet still receive your kiss
How can I measure up to anyone now
After such a love as this?”
(Passed away aged 52) Harry Nilsson, January 15, 1994 Agoura Hills, California, U.S.
“Me and my Arrow
(Doodle-dee-doo, doo-doo, doo-doo-doo-doo)
Straighter than narrow
Wherever we go
It’s me and my Arrow.”
 “‘There Was No Doubt Gertrude Stein Had Come Back to Life.'”. Amontheradio.com. Retrieved June 11, 2021.
 Baker, Rob (January 4, 2020). “The Death of Cass Elliot and Keith Moon at Harry Nilsson’s Macabre Mayfair Flat”. Flashbak.com. Retrieved June 11, 2021.
 Elliot-Kugell, Owen. “Biography”. The Official Cass Elliot Website. Richard Barton Campbell & Owen Elliot-Kugell. Retrieved August 28, 2016.
“Cass Elliot, Pop Singer, Dies; Star of the Mamas and Papas”. The New York Times. July 30, 1974. Retrieved June 20, 2008.
“Cass Elliot’s Death Linked to Heart Attack”. The New York Times. August 6, 1974. Archived from the original (paid archive) on December 9, 2012. Retrieved June 20, 2008.
 Wilkes, Roger (February 17, 2001). “Inside story: 9 Curzon Place”. The Daily Telegraph. Archived from the original on June 29, 2011. Retrieved June 29, 2011.
“Shepherd Market History”. Shepherdmarket.co.uk. Archived from the original on September 27, 2011. Retrieved September 27, 2011.
West, Rachel (July 29, 2020). “Mama Cass Of The Mamas & The Papas Did Not Die By Choking On A Ham Sandwich, According To Obit Writer”. ET Canada. Archived from the original on August 4, 2020. Retrieved July 20, 2023.
 Townshend 2012, p. 268.