Cass Elliott is inspiring TikTok users to make their own music – Rolling Stone

What does a top-down convertible ride over a cliff in Majorca have to do with folk-rock legend Cass Elliott?

The answer – like most things nowadays – involves a new meme sweeping TikTok. taken from a scene in the movie 2022 Unbearable weight of immense talentThe short clip features a screaming cage, set to the tune of a completely troubled, nothing-behind-the-eyes, Pascal-Elliot’s 1969 song “Make Your Own Kind of Music”. Since February 2023, it has become part of a meme on TikTok, showcasing a variety of awkward disagreements between two people, couples, dogs and their owners, and super fans interacting with fandom veterans. The sound alone has been used in 46 thousand videos and climbs, has been viewed over 32.1 million times, and has gotten its own sped-up version (which is the TikTok way of saying ‘You Made It!’) and here Until it is made in the hands of the people. Elliot’s daughter, Owen Elliot-Kugel.

“It’s the best thing I could possibly imagine,” Elliott-Kugel explains. Rolling stone. “I am completely crazy about TikTok, and I especially love the context in which people are using the song because it is completely accurate in the whole approach. ‘Make Your Own Kind of Music’ is really like ‘Fuck you’. I’m going to do whatever I want, no matter what anybody thinks.'”

Beyond the meme, the existence of “Make Your Own Music” as a for-you-page staple has sparked a wave of interest in the legend behind the song. As TikTok can often make a difference between a trend and the context of the song it uses, some creators have taken it upon themselves to educate newcomers about the history of Elliott — which includes the Mama nickname. including their perceived disdain for, sexism, and fatphobia they experienced. industry, and how she fought back to become a music legend.

Although Elliott died at the age of 32, he made a major impact on the pop and folk rock genres. For the first five years of his musical career, he formed several groups including the Triumvirate (renamed the Big 3), the Mugwumps, and his own solo act. In 1965, Elliott joined the New Journeymen with his old bandmate Denny Doherty and husband-and-wife duo John and Michelle Phillips. he famously told Rolling stone It was only after he was hit on the head with a pipe that he was allowed to join and after his recovery his range was increased by three notes.

“The workers dropped a thin metal pipeline and it hit me on the head and knocked me to the ground,” she said in 1968. “I was hurt and I went to the hospital. I had a headache for about two weeks and all of a sudden I was singing out loud. It’s true. Honest to God.”

The group, now two women and two men, renamed themselves the Mamas and the Papas – and became a major influence on the emerging Southern California rock sound. As a plus-size woman in the 1960s, Elliott experienced major fatphobia from the music industry and was often mocked for her weight. The Mamas and the Papas’ song “Creek Alley” famously includes the line “Nobody’s getting fat except Mama Cass”. But Elliott’s distinctive mezzo-soprano voice shone through in the band, and helped them place 16 songs on the Billboard charts, including the iconic hits “California Dreaming” and “Monday Monday,” and Best Contemporary (R&R) Group in 1967. won a Grammy for Performing, singing or instrumental.

After the group’s controversial split, Elliott continued a successful career as a successful solo artist, actor and fixture on the talk shot circuit, while trying to shed the Big Mama Cass image. The last album released before his death was a live recording titled “Don’t Call Me Mama Anymore”. She was also deeply involved in active politics in her 60s. When Rolling stone When asked what role pop music might play in political revolutions, Elliott said:

“Well, look what it’s done so far. How can you deny the fact that it has mass appeal? It reaches millions of homes and lives. Let’s take those people who have latent ideas that perhaps the United The States aren’t always right. They hear a song like “Give a Damn,” and maybe it wakes them up. If it gets you the bridge between indifference and effective participation, that’s great.


In 1998, Elliott was posthumously inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and just last year he received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. No one is more ecstatic about Cass Elliot’s resurgence than her daughter. Elliott-Kugel explains that an accomplished musician in his own right Rolling stone She thought “make your own music” was coming from her for-you page because she was constantly searching for things online about her mother, but she slowly began to realize that the trend was actually viral. . While Elliott-Kugel was seven when her mother passed away, she has fond memories of their life together, such as spending afternoons at her mother’s bedside watching football – with Elliott as “the football players”. commenting on how nice “Tushies” are seen in their regulation pants. So even now, Elliott-Kugel is determined to make sure the world never forgets how great her mom was. And if TikTok can help with that, he’s more than happy for it.

“One of my main goals in my life is to make sure his legacy remains prominent and alive,” Elliott-Kugel explains. Rolling stone, “What people connect with about my mother is the idea of ​​triumph over adversity. When people are told ‘no, you can’t do anything’ or ‘no, you’re too fat’ many times people just walk away. But my mother did not do this. She was a woman in a man’s world who paved the way for other women of size. And this is important.

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