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Creeque Alley

by

The Mamas & the Papas



Songfacts®:  You can leave comments about the song at the bottom of the page.

This is the story of how the band met and formed. Individual members had sung in other bands before and these show up in the lyrics (Mugwumps etc.). The Mamas & The Papas spent time in the Virgin Islands staying in a club on a road called Creeque Alley, providing the name of this song. (thanks, Dan - Derby, England)
While the song is about the formation of the Mamas and the Papas, it mentions other artists who were getting their starts at the same time:
Sebastian is John Sebastian, who, with Zal Yanovsky (also mentioned in the song), formed the Lovin' Spoonful.

"McGuinn and McGuire, couldn't get no higher..." - Jim "Roger" McGuinn was the lead singer for the Byrds who were starting to take flight at the time and who had two #1 songs in 1965 - "Mr. Tambourine Man" and "Turn, Turn, Turn." Barry McGuire had a #1 in 1965 with the anti-war song "Eve Of Destruction." In other words, at #1 they "Couldn't get no higher." (thanks, Kent - Pittsfield, IL)
The line, "Zallie said 'Denny, you know there aren't many who can sing a song the way that you do,'" "Zallie" is The Lovin' Spoonful's Zal Yanovsky, and he's talking about Papa Denny Doherty, who sang the male lead on "California Dreamin'" and many of their other songs. Doherty died of kidney failure on January 19, 2007 at age 66. (thanks, Bertrand - Paris, France)
The lyrics, "Greasin' on American Express cards" refers to a time when the band was in the Virgin Islands and living off their American Express cards, running up balances they couldn't (and didn't intend to) pay. (thanks, Chris - LBI, NJ)
The Mamas & the Papas
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Comments (13):

On June 11th 1967, the Mamas and the Papas performed "Creeque Alley" on the CBS-TV program 'The Ed Sullivan Show'...
At the time it was at #21 and in its eighth week on Billboard's Hot Top 100 chart...
(See next post below).
- Barry, Sauquoit, NY
On April 23rd 1967, "Creeque Alley" by the Mamas and the Papas entered Billboard's Hot Top 100 chart at position #83; and on May 28th it peaked at #5 (for 1 week) and spent 9 weeks on the Top 100...
It reached #9 on the United Kingdom's Singles chart...
Was track 3 of side 1 on the quartet's third studio album, 'Deliver', and the album peaked at #2 on Billboard's Top 200 Albums chart...
Two other tracks from the album also made the Top 100 chart; "Dedicated to the One I Love" (at #2) and "Look Through My Window" (at #24)...
Sadly, three of the group's four members have passed away, Cass Elliot (1941 - 1974), John Phillips (1935 - 2001), Denny Doherty (1940 - 2007), and Michelle Phillips will celebrate her 70th birthday in less than two months on June 4th, 1944.
- Barry, Sauquoit, NY
"Getting fat" is musician's slang for being successful. "Mitchie" was John Phillips' nickname for Michelle.
- Ken, Louisville, KY
The lyrics "Duffy's good vibrations, and our imaginations, can't go on indefinitely" refer, in part, to Hugh Duffy, the owner of the club on Creeque Alley. Duffy now owns Chez Shack in Vieques, Puerto Rico.
- JB, Hanover, NH
Actually the references to Mama Cass "getting fat" was because she was working when everyone else was not working. She was singing at Bar Mitzvas and weddings and was in demand.
- kirk Kirkpatrick, Palm City, FL
In response to DC in Seattle, Washington: I just registered to answer your question. I checked wiki and got this answer - The lyrics "Duffy's good vibrations, and our imaginations, can't go on indefinitely" refer, in part, to Hugh Duffy, the owner of the club on Creeque Alley.
- Joan, Columbia, SC
My favorite out of all great songs by the Mamas. Who is Duffy?
- DC, Seattle, WA
I always wondered how Cass felt about that repeated "gettin' fat" line. I think it referred to her pregnancy, as she was already portly when she joined. She grew to despise the "Mama" in front of her name for that reason, though you can hear her introduced that way before she sings "Dream a Little Dream of Me." Ironically, she was the one who thought up the group's name.
- esskayess, Dallas, TX
I love these sorts of subterranean homesick tunes.
- Ekristheh, Halath, United States
If you have never heard this song, then go buy it, download, whatever. Just listen to it! It is an instant favorite with everyone.[2]
- George, Salvador, Brazil
Great song, I love it. It always make me sad about Mama Cass's death.
- Mary, London, England
great.
- Ashlee, Jacksonville, FL
If you have never heard this song, then go buy it, download, whatever. Just listen to it! It is an instant favorite with everyone.
- Kristi, Lake Ariel, PA
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