Creeque Alley (3:48)

Cover of California Dreamin' - The Best of The Mamas & The Papas

From California Dreamin' - The Best of The Mamas & The Papas and 51 other releases

“Creeque Alley” is an autobiographical hit single written by John Phillips and Michelle Phillips of The Mamas & the Papas in 1967, narrating the story about how the group was formed. The title of the song is derived from the place Creeque Alley, home to a club in the Virgin Islands where the Mamas & the Papas spent time. 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. The third song on the album The Mamas and the Papas Deliver, the song charted #5 on Billboard Pop Singles.

The lyrics of the song mention, directly or indirectly, many artists and bands who were part of the music scene at the time including the other 2 members of The Mamas & the Papas Cass Elliot and Denny Doherty, Zal Yanovsky, John Sebastian, Roger McGuinn, Barry McGuire, The Mugwumps, and The Lovin’ Spoonful. Several locations important to The Mamas and The Papas story are also mentioned e.g. The Night Owl Cafe in Greenwich Village. The lyrics, “Greasin’ on American Express cards” harks back to The Mamas and Papas time in the Virgin Islands when they were living off their American Express cards. The song is notable as a hit single where the title is not in the lyrics.


Creeque Alley

John and Mitchie were gettin’ kinda itchy just to leave the folk music behind John Phillips had been playing in a folk band known as The Journeymen.


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