JG Thirlwell, the mastermind behind Foetus, once sang:
Complainin bout ma campaign against personal decency
I got no excuses
Just rules wrapped in barbed wire, laced with busted glass
(Yeah, I’m the one who gave the sandwich to Mama Cass)
Pretty ironic for a fat lady to choke on a ham sandwich, its given food to satirists for years.
Unfortunately, its not true. Mama Cass Elliot, of Mamas and the Papas fame, died after two sold-out performances at the London Palladium to standing ovations. When she retired to her flat at No.12 at 9 Curzon Place, she suffered heart failure and passed away in her sleep. There was a partially eaten ham sandwich found in her room, which led to the misconception.
It makes you wonder how such a straight story turned into a joke at the expense of the memory of this performer. Even after the coroner declared her death the result of natural causes, and an official report was issued, the legend continued to propagate. Its almost as if somebody was trying to distract the public from a bigger story.
Lets take a look at some random facts.
This wasn’t the only strange incident to occur at flat No.12 at 9 Curzon Place. A little over four years later Keith Moon died in the same room, on the anniversary of Buddy Holly’s death. On Sept 7, 1978 Keith Moon was invited to be Paul McCartney’s guest for the film premiere of The Buddy Holly Story, and after the movie they went to a dinner party. Afterwards he retired to the flat and overdosed on Clomethiazole, a medication taken as part of a program to wean him off alcohol. Thirty-two undissolved pills were found in his stomach.
This unlucky flat was owned by Henry Nilsson, a personal friend of John Lennon. The flat was in close proximity to Apple headquarters and was decorated by a design company owned by Ringo Starr. Keith Moon gave Ringo’s son, Zak, his first professional drum kit. Zak idolized Moon’s playing, and against his fathers wished became a drummer. Later he went on to work on some albums produced by John Entwistle, and finally replace Moon as The Who’s drummer.
According to Pete Townshend, “Keith used to be a kind of musical godfather to him. He gave him his first drum kit, which I think is rather strange. Ringo may have actually given him his first drum kit, but I think Keith gave him the first drum kit that he really wanted. It had nude women on it.”
Nilsson also starred with Moon in a rock’n'roll horror film called ‘Son of Dracula.’ Its known as one of the worst horror-comedy-rock movies ever made, and was produced by Ringo Starr. Ironically, it also starred another ill-fated powerhouse drummer, John Bonham.
Its an odd collection of facts when placed together, and to be completely out of character we aren’t going to draw any conclusions. The mysterious hand of the FF is everywhere, and nowhere.
To learn more about Foetus:
Link to the official site