Laurel Canyon: The Inside Story of Rock and Roll's Legendary Neighborhood Audio CD – Audiobook, CD
|New from||Used from|
Customers who viewed this item also viewed
What other items do customers buy after viewing this item?
Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
"Laurel Canyon is hilarious and true and bittersweet. Michael Walker catches the mood in the air, and gets it right... the interviews are wonderful... it's a beautifully-written document of that time and place when the personalities were as big as those stony dreams that fueled some of the greatest masterpieces in rock." --Cameron Crowe "Laurel Canyon captures all the magic and lyricism of an almost mythological geographical spot in the history of pop music. The book lovingly limns the story of a more melodious time in rock and roll where the great talents of the 60s and 70s cloistered together in a sort of enchanted valley populated by an all-star cast of characters, including Joni Mitchell, Jim Morrison, Mama Cass and Brian Wilson."--Stephen Gaines, author of Philistines at the Hedgerow "In Laurel Canyon, rock and roll history is urban history, California history, American history, global history through the songs and scandals coming from a canyon on the coast of dreams running through the labyrinthine center of our times." --Kevin Starr, Professor of History, University of Southern California and author of Coast of Dreams: California on the Edge --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
About the Author
Michael Walker has written extensively about popular culture for "The New York Times," "Los Angeles Times," "The Washington Post," "Rolling Stone," and other publications. He lives in Laurel Canyon. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Top customer reviews
I was born in '70, and have lived in England for most of my life, so the area covered in this book is technically 'foreign territory' for me, but as an artist and a musician I have always loved the golden glow of pastoral idyllic life that seems to permeate through the albums of Joni Mitchell, Crosby, Stills and Nash, Neil Young, the Eagles and a host of others from those 'hippy' decades.
Discovering, as I did a while ago, that these figures lived and worked in close proximity to one another was a revelation for me, so too when I heard Graham Nash describe the Laurel Canyon scene in its heyday as being like 'Paris in the 20's', a rich fervent ground of bohemian creativity, artists buzzing, changing the face of contemporary culture worldwide.
Against this backdrop, this book appealed.
It describes, in painstakingly factual detail, the Canyon, its history, the rise of the Sixties scene in the wake of the Beatles, the place of drugs in that scene, the rise of the folk/rock/country music L.A. sound, some of the complex relationships between Zappa, The Mamas and Papas, The Byrds, Jefferson Airplane, Joni Mitchell, Neil Young, CSN, The Doors, The Eagles, Elliot Roberts, David Geffen and a host of interconnected others who lived in and frequented the Canyon; the massive wealth and international stardom that came to many of its residents; the money, the cocaine, the parties, the fun, the L.A. venues, and ultimately the demise of the Canyon's artistic brilliance into drug abuse (rather than use), debauchery, sex, sleaze, crime, culminating in the Manson and Wonderland murders which signaled the end of this era.
It was a fascinating read. Slightly overly comprehensive in the thoroughness and meticulousness of its research perhaps, but it filled in many gaps in my knowledge. Now when I listen to Mitchell's 'Ladies of the Canyon' I am better informed of the context, know that the album cover depicts the view from the window of her house there, recognise the references in the songs...when I hear 'Our House' I understand that Graham Nash really did light the fire that day and that Joni really did buy a vase and that they really did live with two cats in the yard whilst fighting over who was going to exert their creativity on the piano. I get a glimpse of how incredibly exciting it must have been to live in those times, to have been there rubbing shoulders with Clapton, Mayall, Lennon, Morrison, Stills, Mitchell, to have seen Led Zeppelin rocking in their all their glory in L.A. in the early Seventies. There are snapshots of how extraordinary it must have been to have been a part of that scene, the clothes, the drugs, the women, the lifestyles, the 'Peace and Love generation' at its height, before things turned dark and sour, peace morphing into punk, money mutating artistic purity/innocence into decadence and an emphasis on commerciality, (as evidenced in the '80's).
All in all, a worthwhile read with a great cover. Many, many people have asked to read it after me. The only criticism I have is that I found myself flagging towards the end, bowled over by the exhaustive research!
there are many other books out there telling the same story and this is only one of them but i really enjoyed it from start to finish.
Michael Walker tells it without any rose tinted glasses for sure...the good....the bad....and the ugly..
Great storys throughout and gives the reader a view of Los Angeles (mostly Laurel Canyon) during the mid 60s/70s (which was the period that was the most creative Musically speaking)
check it out.
for a more indepth look at the history of the Canyon itself buy Harvey Kuberniks book "the magic and the music of Laurel Canyon" which goes back even further to the 1920s.
Both books have a lot to give so why not buy then both?
Michael Walkers book has a few photos.
Harvey Kuberniks has lots of colour and b+w thoughout.
The author does a good job at telling the story of the place and the people, concentrating not only on the music (which has already been covered extensively in Barney Hoskyns' Waiting for the Sun: Strange Days, Weird Scenes and the Sound of Los Angeles, and - more directly - his Hotel California: Singer-songwriters and Cocaine Cowboys in the L.A. Canyons 1967-1976) but also subsidiary topics such as the role of women (as artists or groupies), the changing drug scene (the replacement of marijuana by cocaine as the drug of choice is linked to the appearance of a new degree of selfishness and violence), the important clubs down in the flatlands (including the Troubadour, Whisky A-Go-Go, Roxy and Rainbow), and the events which brought the curtain down on a so-called golden era (including the Manson murders and the Altamont festival - which I already knew about - and the Wonderland Avenue murders - which I didn't).
Besides including a few of the well-known dramatis personae such as Graham Nash and Henry Diltz, his interviewees include more peripheral characters such as Sally Stevens, a record company executive who describes a harrowing but illuminating encounter with Jim Morrison while she was working as a waitress. On the whole, it's a well-written account which steers clear of cliche and solecism (although I think the author might be unfamiliar with the Stations of the Cross, given the rather peculiar way he employs it as a metaphor on pp131 & 182), and provides some interesting insights into the history of a location, some of the figures associated with it, and the important things they did.
Would you like to see more reviews about this item?
Most recent customer reviews
Look for similar items by category