Monday, October 9, 2006

Laurel Canyon

Michael Walker's book "Lauren Canyon - The Inside Story of Rock & Roll's Legendary's Neighborhood" is a chronicle of the famous stretch, seen through the lens of L.A.'s music scene from 1964 to 1981. A fun read, despite weaknesses outlined in the Publishers' Review:
Beginning in the mid-1960s, a string of successful rock bands emerged out of Laurel Canyon, a neighborhood of Los Angeles tucked away in the hills north of Sunset Boulevard. From the success of bands like the Byrds and the Mamas and the Papas, and singer-songwriters like Joni Mitchell and Jimmy Webb, Walker proposes Laurel Canyon as rock's answer to Jazz Age Paris. It's a plausible concept, but one he stumbles to elaborate past the length of a magazine feature. The journalist, who lives in Laurel Canyon, delivers strong material on some of the musicians he cites, particularly in early chapters about Crosby, Stills & Nash and Frank Zappa, but offers little about equally significant acts.
Still, lovers of the Rock & Folk era will enjoy the book. It's full of interesting factoïds about a culture wonderfully portrayed by Frances McDormand in the movie Laurel Canyon. See also LA CityBeat's Classic Rock issue last week.
illustration from publisher

No comments: