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Canyon of Dreams: The Magic and the Music of Laurel Canyon Hardcover – October 6, 2009

59 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews Review

Product Description
A lavishly illustrated insider's look at 80 years of music and culture in Laurel Canyon.

Laurel Canyon is a zip code with its own play list: to name just a few, Sonny & Cher, The Doors, The Turtles, Canned Heat, Monkees, Byrds, Buffalo Springfield, Joni Mitchell, Jackson Browne; Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young; Eagles, and Carole King all cultivated their immortal sounds in this L.A.-based musical fraternity.A lavishly illustrated insider’s look at 80 years of music and culture in Laurel Canyon.

Written by a long-time L.A. resident who knows them all, Canyon of Dreams traces the history of the community and its enduring legacy. Taking a deeply personal approach, it uses a multiple-voice narration based on exclusive interviews with the area’s musical elite. Because of their close and long-time connection with Kubernik, some of these stars are speaking openly for the first time.

Eye-opening both visually and informationally, this is a book no music lover can be without!

Interview highlights include:
- For the first time in years, the three surviving Doors talk about performances, recordings, band dynamics, and, of course, Jim Morrison
- Randy Meisner reminisces about the Eagles first gig and the recording of "One of These Nights"
- Graham Nash reflects on life with Joni Mitchell and describes writing "Our House"
- Lou Adler discusses his legendary Sunset Strip venues--the Whisky a Go-Go, Roxy Theater, Rainbow Bar & Grill, and Tapestry--and, with Michele Phillips, reflects on the Monterey Pop Festival.
- Slash, a child of the Canyon, details the formation of Guns N' Roses
- And much, much more!

Look Inside Canyon of Dreams: The Magic and the Music of Laurel Canyon
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"He doesn't live amongst the rest of us who have to juggle normal lives and responsibilities with our passion for music and the printed word. Harvey's entire life IS his passion for music and the printed word. He is the consummate historian, the cosmic chronicler, a divine human train wreck of Lester Bangs and Carlos Castaneda. He is the yacking warrior of archetypal anecdotes who has authored many excellent tomes but without a doubt, 'Canyon of Dreams:  The Magic and Music of Laurel Canyon,' is his most formidable, dare I say, breathtaking literary work. You don't just read this book, you smell it, hear it and feel it. As a native of L.A. who grew up in the San Fernando Valley and made the trek to Hollywood through the canyon a thousand times, I now traverse that sacred asphalt with a quiet reverence.  And instead of turning the music up in the car, I throttle it down now with hopes I just might -- if i really try -- touch the  spirits of the artists who made the magic and the music.  Bravo, Harvey. Bravo."  --Lonn Friend, author, Life on Planet Rock

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Sterling; 1 edition (October 6, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1402765894
  • ISBN-13: 978-1402765896
  • Product Dimensions: 12.2 x 9.2 x 1.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (59 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #403,793 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

46 of 47 people found the following review helpful By Stuart Jefferson TOP 100 REVIEWER on September 30, 2009
Format: Hardcover
Hardcover,368 pages,including index. This is a beautifully made,well thought out,well put together book. From the very substantial cover,to the end paper photographs and map,to the well written text,and the wonderfully evocative photographs-this is a book like "they used to make". Even the paper used is very thick,with a beautiful dull,satin finish,which only enhances the overall look and feel of this book. Ray Manzarek wrote the forward,with insight into Laurel Canyon and,of course,THE DOORS.

This book is primarily concerned with Laurel Canyon-it's history and the many people (almost all musicians of some form) who called it home. Starting in the era of Gene Autry and Tex Ritter in the early 1930's,this begins a time line of the Canyon and how it changed,through the sixties,with artists like Sonny and Cher,THE BYRDS,Joni Mitchell,Steve Stills,David Crosby,Neil Young,and many more,into the early 21st century,with GUNS AND ROSES and other groups/people who inhabited the surrounding area,most notably,the close-by Sunset Strip. Along the way jazz artists of the fifties and sixties,who also lived in the area,are given some recognition by Gene Norman,who was famous for promoting the Sunset Strip and the many clubs up and down "the strip". As the decades change,so,too,did the people who came into this area. There is a good overview of musical legends,and how the clubs and radio,which were just beginning to play this "new" music,were so important to Laurel Canyon and the surrounding area. Where this book begins a more in depth look at this area,is the early sixties. People like Andrew Loog Oldham,Mark Volman (THE TURTLES),Henry Diltz,and many others from the music world,tell what is was like during this era.
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31 of 33 people found the following review helpful By Jym Cherry on October 9, 2009
Format: Hardcover
The Canyon of Dreams, the Magic and Music of Laurel Canyon is an amazing history of Laurel Canyon that sits in the Hollywood Hills right above Sunset Boulevard and since the beginning of Hollywood, starting with The Garden of Allah, a hotel opened by one of the wives of Rudolph Valentino, it quickly garnered a reputation as a place for a hideaway for movie stars, musicians, and artists. Errol Flynn had trysts there, jazz musicians came there to score opium, big band leaders Tommy Dorsey and Kay Kyser had an argument there as to which was the more popular, Dorsey won the argument by producing two naked women (who in the Rock `n' Roll era would be groupies), one of whom had a `T' shaved in her pubic hair and the other a `D'. Proving that sex and drugs and wild times existed before Rock `n' Roll and the farther into the future we go, the easier it is to touch the past.

The book is formatted like a scrapbook full of pictures, quotes, and paraphernalia, such as, matchbook covers of famous night clubs, record jackets, restaurant menu's, one from a Chinese restaurant owned by Benson Fong's father, and another that lists a combination pizza at $[...]! The chapters are easy to read and filled with amazing stories of residents and the adventures, misadventures, artistic pursuits, parties, trysts, or some combination of all of the above. The chapters cover different eras usually from the viewpoint of a Laurel Canyon resident who was present, and are divided into relevant tangents that give you a broader feel for everything that was going on at the time. For instance rock photographer Henry Diltz leads off the chapter that recounts the invasion of the Rock `n' Roll industry. Diltz recounts his own days as folk singer and how his career morphed into that of an iconic rock photographer.
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18 of 21 people found the following review helpful By time traveler on September 24, 2009
Format: Hardcover
I just finished reading this book, enjoying the photos taken by the poly-talented Henry Diltz and appreciated the well written and researched text. Congratulations to Harvey Kubernik, et al, for producing such an authentic book that really captures the true vibe of those years in the canyon. The book really tells it just as it was, and includes many of the important personalities and talents who were omitted from previous Laurel Canyon tomes.Yup.This book even smells good. Many Thanks.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By mike hunt on October 6, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
this is a beautiful book for the price, nicely bound, GREAT pictures; (some never before seen!) etc. reviews i have read were crying that the book hops around a bit...there is a bit of truth to that, but i didn't have any problem with it. i truly enjoyed reading about the metamorphosis of the canyon from the very beginning until the 70's, where the magic of the canyon began to crumble, AND; it had gotten 'discovered'. naturally, all the real estate people got a "whiff of money" and prices zoomed to the moon, making living there out of sight for the ordinary struggling hobgoblin! -this is the point where the book gets a bit depressing...

i, however; had heard of this legendary place for years and always longed for more 'dope' on it. the book doesn't disappoint, mr kubernik has done his research, quite staggeringly thorough!! i LOVE 'fly on the wall' accounts, and that is very much what one gets here, and the information is fascinating! -for one who has spent his life in the east, this apparently was one of the 'happening' places' in California. California always had hold of me as some kind of wonderland (i know better now!) nevertheless, i've been a 'scholar' of the san francisco 'school' of culture and music for years and always wondered how they operated in L.A., -Now i know!!

-thanks to all the people who gave lengthy interviews, told stories, etc. i read the book inside of 18 hours, i couldn't put it down! it is a big book but goes fast! many pages are only half a page or so, because of pictures! -get this book!! you won't be sorry!! its' a 'coffee table' special!!
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