“Mama” Cass Elliott receives the star of the Hollywood Walk of Fame after her death

There’s a famous photo by Henry Dilts of Joni Mitchell playing guitar in the backyard of Mama Cass Elliott Laurel Canyon, with David Crosby holding a knuckle in the back and Eric Clapton sitting cross-legged as he watches in stupor. There, in the foreground, is Cass’s nine-month-old daughter Owen, teething on a can of film. “I often wonder what I was thinking,” says the 55-year-old mother of two in her 20s, who lives in Encino with her 31-year-old husband. “Obviously I was thinking about that can of film. It was all so surreal and fantastic.”

Owen Elliott-Coogill, the only child of Mama Cass of the Moms and the Papas, the joint group that came to define hippie culture in the 1960s, campaigned for years to make her mom a star on the Internet. Hollywood Walk of Fame. The party will finally take place on Monday, October 3, along Hollywood Boulevard. Between Sycamore and LaBrea alongside stars Sidney Poitier and Tyne Daly, with the likes of bandmate Michelle Phillips and good friend John Sebastian to mark the occasion.

And she certainly didn’t choke on a ham sandwich, says Owen, who was seven when Mama Cass died in a London apartment in 1974 at 32 of a heart attack, as the city legend was.

From left to right, Denny Doherty, Michelle Phillips, Unknown, Mama Cass Elliott and John Phillips

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“My childhood memories aren’t many, but they are vivid,” says Owen, who was raised by Leah and her husband, Cass’ sister, drummer Ross Konkel, both in Los Angeles and western Massachusetts. “I have a treasure trove of written and visual interviews, including one from ‘The Dinah Shore Show’ when you brought me along. Getting to know our interaction has been incredibly helpful to me. I can see her caressing my head, hugging me because she knows I’m shy. When I discover these Things, I can feel on a cellular level are true. I can only instinctively say. I had to learn about them, and I am constantly looking for more information.”

Owen uses the star party as a springboard to finish her autobiography of Mama Cass, expressing her displeasure with British writer Eddie Feigl’s 2005 book, Dream A Little Dream of Me: The Life of Cass Elliott. With the help of rock musician Jeff Gumball, she explores other options for her mother’s story, including an autobiographical film.

And what a life. A larger-than-life figure in many ways, Graham Nash referred to Cass Elliott as “Gertrude Stein” for his nascent Laurel Canyon scene, helping introduce him to David Crosby and Stephen Stills as part of the group parties she had at her home.

“Cass pretty much shaped rock and roll for me at one point,” says John Sebastian, who first met her in Washington, D.C., when she was part of the Big Three folk trio with Tim Rose and Jim Hendrix. Elliott went on to introduce him to his future Lovin’ Spoonful partner Zal Yanovsky at her apartment in Gramercy Park in New York on February 9, 1964, the day the Beatles performed “The Ed Sullivan Show.”

“We both had our own guitars, and we immediately started playing together and didn’t stop,” Sebastian recalls. “It was a very cool era. Not only did she bring people together; she had a flair for who she was bringing together. I remember wondering who could sing with Crosby and Stills, and he decided it was either Phil Everly or Graham Nash. Sure, two weeks later, it was Graham Nash.” In her swimming pool.

When Cass Elliott passed away, she was in the midst of celebrating two weeks of completely sold-out shows at the London Palladium, driven in large part by an attempt to sideline her character “Mama” and accept her on her own.

“She wanted to get rid of that nickname with all she had,” says Owen, who wrestled with whether to include him in her mother’s star, and finally decided to do so with quotes around it. “Because that’s how most people know it. My psyche told me my mom is really excited to have this star. If she had lived longer, I’m sure she would have reinvented herself.”

Owen admits that her mother’s lifelong weight problems — including rapid gains and losses — may have led to her heart condition, “with muscle turning into fat.”

“She died in her sleep, which means a lot to me, especially when I was a little girl,” says Owen, who admitted she was “shocked” by her mother’s death at the time.

With her mother’s streak of failed relationships, Owen says Cass has often been lonely. Her birth was the product of a one-night stand with Cass with a Mamas and Papas touring guitarist named Chuck Day, whom she met years later after Michelle Phillips found him via an ad.

“This is the biggest tragedy of my mother’s life,” Owen says. “You never get to experience what a real relationship is about, the ups and downs, the highs and lows. When she was on stage and the audience was screaming they love you, then go back to your hotel room by yourself. That’s why my mom gave birth to me…she wanted someone who would never leave “.

“The thing is, she has a lot of boys friends, although they weren’t necessarily sleeping with her,” Sebastian says. “We all adored her and would have taken the photo if we had the chance. There were times when I would say, “Cas, what are you going to do tonight?” And she would answer, “John, I was going to take you to the hospital.” This was how she met the people with whom she wanted to maintain a friendship. Her weight was not an issue with me. I am Italian. Everything beautiful that happened to me when I was a kid happened as a result of having big women.”

Owen has been “hovering around music most of my life,” occasionally singing with friends Carney, Wendy Wilson, and Chyna Phillips on sets that preceded Wilson-Phillips, and even recording an album for MCA “It’s Somewhere in Their Closets.”

“I just want people to remember my mom’s legacy,” she says of getting the Walk of Fame star, referring to Lizzo, Megan Thee Stallion, and even losing weight before Adele as her mom paved the way. “This honor is such a great achievement. I’m sure she’ll be over the moon. A hundred years from now, this star will still be here. If my mom knew the impact she had on the lives of so many people in making them feel good, it would have made her happy.”

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