- File Size: 1209 KB
- Print Length: 408 pages
- Publisher: Headpress (April 22, 2014)
- Publication Date: April 22, 2014
- Sold by: Amazon.com Services LLC
- Language: English
- ASIN: B00JVAW58K
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Lending: Not Enabled
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #204,298 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
|Digital List Price:||$19.95|
|Print List Price:||$24.95|
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Weird Scenes Inside The Canyon: Laurel Canyon, Covert Ops & The Dark Heart Of The Hippie Dream Kindle Edition
|Length: 408 pages||Word Wise: Enabled||Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled|
|Page Flip: Enabled||
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Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.
"No one could recall ever seeing or hearing about Gram being involved in a protest of any sort." Author Ben Fong Torres, who interviewed scores of people close to Gram Parsons while researching Hickory Wind
Let's begin with the obvious: Gram Parsons was far from being the biggest star to emerge from the Laurel Canyon scene. In his short lifetime, he failed to achieve any significant level of commercial success. None of his albums, whether recorded solo or with the International Submarine Band, the Byrds, or the Flying Burrito Brothers, climbed very high on the sales charts. But to many fans and musicians alike, he is considered a hugely influential and tragically overlooked figure.
It is safe to say that Parsons does not have nearly the number of fans that David Crosby or Frank Zappa have, and compared to contemporaries who died during the same era and at roughly the same age–legendary artists like Jim Morrison, Janis Joplin and Jimi Hendrix–Parsons is all but unknown. His life story, nevertheless, is a fascinating one, primarily because it contains all the classic Laurel Canyon elements: the royal bloodlines, the not-so-well-hidden intelligence connections, the occult overtones, the extravagantly wealthy family background, an incinerated house or two, and, of course, a whole lot of curious deaths.
We begin back about 1,000 years ago, with Ferdinand the Great, the first King of Castille on the Iberian Peninsula. It is to him that the wealthy Connor family claims their family lineage can be traced. Also in the family tree was King Edward II of England, son of Edward I and Eleanor of Castille. According to some sources, Eddie II was murdered by having a red-hot iron rod shoved up his rectum, though most of his loyal subjects probably didn't shed many tears for the hated ruler. Bringing the royal bloodline to America was one Colonel George Reade, born in the UK in 1608 and married in Yorktown, Pennsylvania, sometime thereafter.
Reade's offspring would ultimately spawn Ingram Cecil Connor, Jr., a well-to-do gent who settled in Columbia, Tennessee. Like his father before him, Cecil attended Columbia Military Academy. In May 1940, at the outset of WWII, he enlisted in the U.S. Army Air Force as a Second Lieutenant. In March of 1941, Cecil, who during the war would become known as "Coon Dog" (though no one seems to remember why), was shipped off to Hawaii. Nine months later, Pearl Harbor came under attack by Japanese bombers.
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I always wondered how and why these "Anti -Establishment" musical acts were signed soley to establishment music labels and appeared on all the Establishment networks?
All your (and mine) favorite musicians are mentioned and are dealt a severe blow by the bizarre, violent and unlikely circumstances from which they arose- I often wondered how and Why such a tiny little hamlet like Laurel Canyon all of a sudden became an epicenter of the entire American Pop music explosion . Now I know why and it's a little more than unnerving. It was not an accident. Every chapter is ripe with excellent journalistic reporting and bizarre 'coincidences' that keep you wanting to read more and faster. Even if you don't believe the premise of the book which is hard to believe but WELL documented you will find this book very entertaining.
My parents did not allow me to listen to Rock'n'Roll music. When I was away and near a radio, the all the songs sounded similar. The reason for that is many of the songs of the 1960s were played by the same musicians, sung by the same background singers, and produced in the same studio, that is, by the Wrecking Crew, Phil Spector's Wall of Sound. I noticed this the first time I was in college and went to a concert. The music was not the same and it was not because the music was played outside on stage - it was because all of the songs were done in the same studio with the same singers and musicians.
Young people well connected wandered West to Laurel Canyon. Remember that Rick Nelson, John Holmes, Gov Brown, Marlon Brando, the Manson Family, and the world's largest film studio are in Laurel Cyn near Wonderland drive and Mulholland. Remember that all of these men were of draft age and many did not serve; the ones who did serve, were in black ops. Remember that there was lots of drugs up there and few were ever prosecuted for it. If the LAPD ever wanted to break up the lawlessness there, it would have been easy to block the north end of Laurel Cyn and the South end of Laurel Cyn and close off Mulholland Drive and drag all of those law breakers in. But that never happened. Why?
Speaking of Charles Manson - he was on parole the entire time he was wandering around LA with underage girls and govt quality LSD.
That and many other inside stories - if you ever wondered about some of these people, this is your book.
Top international reviews
It is certainly thought-provoking but is left somewhat open-ended, with the reader rather abandoned to draw their own conclusions. It is like hearing a good joke but without the punchline and is the only reason I did not give the book five stars. The individual tales of the characters that inhabited (and in some cases still inhabit) Laurel Canyon are compelling but it is hard to grasp the author's underlying theories, if indeed there are any. Sadly many people in the entertainment industry do die relatively young so it is not altogether surprising that there have been several premature deaths in a suburb populated by more than it's fair share of entertainers. And the author does himself no favours by throwing into the mix names like Keith Moon, John Lennon and Rory Storm - celebrities with at best only slim connections to the Canyon scene. Yes, it is surprising how many pop stars living in the Canyon had parents in the US military but you are left to speculate yourself why that might be and what it might mean. It would have been nice to read a little more about the author's own suggestions, but maybe there is another book coming?
All in all, a fascinating read for music-lovers but don't expect too many earth-shattering revelations.
Whether you understand the nature of coincidence or are a massive fan of the music that epitomises the hippy movement, 'Weird Scenes' manages to convey a worrying angle to the amount of people who met up with a sometimes violent end and coincidentally resided at one time in Laurel Canyon.
David McGowan's style of writing I really liked and thought his humorous approach to the subject helped the book to become deeply fascinating. It's an entertaining read, that makes the reader become aware that something strange was definitely going on at this point of music and film in America, but what or who was behind it, is left to the reader's imagination.
No mention of The West Coast Pop Art Experimental Band, featuring well-known LA paedophile Bob Markley
Shoddy, inaccurate section on the 13th Floor Elevators, one of the most important 60s groups
A very entertaining and thought-provoking book but he doesn't know his music well enough.
So Leary might have been a CIA asset, the Hippie movement ( most of its most famous proponents came from high ranking military/ intelligence/ masonic families) designed to soften the Anti (Vietnam) war protest?? and the LSD campaign an extended branch of MK Ultra/search..... quite plausible
Not as deeply argued and as insightful as Mcgowan's PROGRAMMED TO KILL, which is a classic. That's the one to start with if you like to be scared to death ... with the truth.