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Canyon of Dreams: The Magic and the Music of Laurel CanyonCanyon of Dreams: The Magic and the Music of Laurel Canyon by Harvey Kubernik

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This book is aptly named, ever since I can remember I have loved the music that has emanated from California, I was just seven when I first got into the Beach Boys and of course the love of them sent me down a wonderful road that has as I have often said been the wonderful soundtrack to my life. I also believe that the music you love influences you as a person, this book is a testament to that as the people within the pages lives were changed by the music they heard.

The books I have read have also been influenced by the music, this book is a brilliant companion to all that wonderful music, it tells the story of the mystical ‘Laurel Canyon’ a place of such legend that it is no wonder this book is so vast! at almost 400 pages, it tells the tale of Neil Young, Crosby Stills and Nash, The Mamas and Papas, Buffalo Springfield to name but a few, it doesn’t however just dwell on the famous folks, we get to meet alsorts of characters who were in various bands through the years, how Linda Ronstadt inadvertently put the Eagles together, (I also never knew their name was a tip of the hat to the Byrds)

The book is gloriously illustrated with beautiful images from the time, lots of which were taken by the brilliant Henry Diltz, who as well as being a photographer was also a musician, so able to melt into the background and take candid shots, as well as some famous one’s; we hear the story of how Jim Morrison took a quick shower at a Laurel Canyon home, and once he had gone they were looking everywhere for a jumper, only to spot it 6 months later adorned by Jim on the cover of the ‘Waiting for the sun’ album, a great shot taken by the aforementioned Henry! He also took the brilliant Crosby Stills and Nash cover.

As I read the book I just had to listen to all that wonderful music again, and in the years of the ipod shuffle actually re-found the joy of listening to a complete album.

Even if the music isn’t for you the book will bill, it is a moment in time a wonderful one at that, told by those who were there… Oh how I wish I had been!

You can buy it here

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