Cass Elliott aka “Mama” Cass
Mysterious deaths in musical history are far more common than you might think. There is even a 27 Club known to all as a list of performers who died, mostly under mysterious circumstances, at the age of 27. But while researching this fascinating topic, I discovered something even more eerie. There are two mysterious deaths with much more than their age in common. The deaths of Mama Cass Elliott of the group known as “The Mamas and the Papas,” and “The Who” drummer Keith Moon, give you a chill up your spine when you read what happened to them.
The Mamas and The Papas
During the 1960s and early 1970s, a group billed as The Mamas and The Papas featuring John Phillips, Denny Doherty, Michelle Phillips and Cass Elliot became the top recording group in United States music. Their recordings were continually in the top 5 in the nation. Cass Elliot, known as “Mama Cass” by everyone, had a strong vibrant voice that beautifully supported the lighter voices of the other members. Cass was overweight, but always had a smile and a bubbly personality.
The Hits Kept Coming
Their biggest hit was “California Dreamin’,” and it was a humdinger. It became somewhat of an anthem for the hippies of the generation, as they spread out across the country on their way to the promised land of California. They followed that up with “Monday, Monday,” and “Words of Love.” They were one of the hottest groups in the world, at the peak of their careers. When they split, Elliott went out on her own with her powerful voice and did very well.
Performing At The London Paladium
While performing in 1974 in the London Paladium, Elliot stayed in a flat at Number 12, 9 Curzon Place, Shepherd Market, Mayfair. Following two weeks of sold out tickets, she was jubilant after her final performance. She made a phone call to friend Michelle Phillips on July 28, sharing her joy over receiving standing ovations for every performance. The next morning she was found dead in the apartment. She was 32 years old.
Rumors Regarding Her Death
Rumors swirled through the public that she had died from choking on a ham sandwich. Adding fuel to this story, a ham sandwich was found, partially eaten, in the flat. However the autopsy did not show anything in her throat, and forensics indicated that Cass Elliott died from a heart attack.
Keith Moon, Drummer for The Who
Keith Moon, drummer for the rock group The Who had a reputation for living on the razor’s edge. Noted for a unique drumming style and for his self-destructive activities, in 2011 a Rolling Stone reader’s poll noted Moon as the second greatest drummer in history. But Moon lived dangerously, an alcoholic in his early years, he carried it through to later ones. He had a penchant for destroying hotel rooms and his drum kit. He died in September of 1978, from an overdose of Heminevrin, a drug meant to curb the use of alcohol. Obviously, the death of Cass Elliott and Keith Moon was not caused by the same thing. So what do they have in common? Read on.
Lightning DOES Strike Twice
There are two occurrences that make these two deaths particularly chilling. Moon died in the flat at Number 12, 9 Curzon Place, Shepherd Market, Mayfair. Yes, the same exact flat where Cass Elliott died four years before. The landlord, Harry Nilson was reluctant to rent the place to Moon, because he thought it haunted. That idea met with a comment from Pete Townshend, lead guitarist of The Who, that “lightning wouldn’t strike the same place twice.” But not only did he die in the exact flat, Moon was the same age, 32, as Elliott when she died there four years earlier. Coincidence? Some people believe in them, but others say there are no such things as coincidences, that everything happens for a reason. What do you think?
There are many more strange, mysterious celebrity deaths that have never been explained. Here’s the book by actor, entertainer, and author, KISS’ Gene Simmons about the 27 club deaths.