For me, this all started with a tweet by that horrid little White Nationalist, Ben Shapiro and I started a memory trip back to the period:
I was there and if I could do it over again, but with the knowledge I have now, I’m in, Ben!
Not to be confused with the terrific gay-themed film Laurel Canyon (2002) written and directed by Lisa Cholodenko, starring Frances McDormand, and Christian Bale; I really dug Alison Ellwood‘s Laurel Canyon: A Place In Time, the two-part, four-hour documentary on EPIX that looks back in detail to the time in that rustic, hippie, horny utopian canyon in the heart of Los Angeles that was the center of a musical revolution.
The canyon was the birthplace of The Byrds, The Doors, The Turtles, Buffalo Springfield, Mamas and the Papas, Love, Frank Zappa, Jackson Browne, Bonnie Raitt, Joni Mitchell, Crosby Stills Nash & Young, Linda Ronstadt, The Eagles, Gram Parsons, and the Flying Burrito Brothers. They were all neighbors, sharing drugs and STDs while composing and recording transcendent, profoundly successful popular music. They threw all-night, epic parties, staying constantly baked and getting stupendously laid.
The music they made was genre-switching: Folk going electric, with plenty Country, Blues, Jazz, Classical and Psychedelic Rock in the blend.
Using newly found intimate photos and footage, plus recent, raw interviews with some of the major players, and photography collections and narration from Laurel Canyon photographers Henry Diltz and Nurit Wilde, Ellwood gives us a sun-dappled, quarantine dream community whose significance to the era’s music scene is no small matter.