Monday, May 27, 2019

MansonBlog Tour 2019: Laurel Canyon

MansonBlog did daylong bus tour (more on that in a later post, and no it wasn't black). We started in Laurel Canyon. First stop was the Canyon Country Store.

At the intersection of Kirkwood Drive and Laurel Canyon Blvd. a small inn called the Bungalow Lodge opened in the early 1900s (there's conflicting information on the exact date), catering primarily to hunters. The Lodge served as the burg's "downtown" and brought Laurel Canyon denizens together through nightly picnics, but the wood building went up in flames in 1929. Reconstruction using brick and stones (from the original river that flowed where Laurel Canyon Blvd. is now) began later that year, and the spot was re-fashioned as a local market. Thus, the Canyon Country Store was born.

The tiny market and deli was a hit, and it also lent itself to the gatherings of artists and musicians. At the height of the counterculture movement of the 1960s, Laurel Canyon became southern California's answer to Haight-Ashbury in San Francisco. But instead of psychedelic-focused performers like Jefferson Airplane and the Grateful Dead, the canyon became a secluded haven for the more bohemian performers. Laurel Canyon musicians of the era included Neil Young, Carole King, J.D. Souther, Leon Russell, Chris Hillman, Alice Cooper, Stephen Stills, John Mayall, Nico, Leonard Cohen, Judy Collins, Peter Tork, Pamela Des Barres and her band Girls Together Outrageously, John and Michelle Phillips, Don Henley, Glenn Frey, Jimmy Webb, and members of The Animals, and The Turtles. The story that Cass Elliot once lived under the store is urban legend. As all Manson scholars know, Catherine Gillies joined the Manson family sometime in 1968 after she had been following Laurel Canyon based Buffalo Springfield around.

Buffalo Springfield during their Laurel Canyon days

Joaquin Phoenix hiding from my menacing camera. He did a sort of casual twisting go go dance to hide his face. Can’t really blame him he looked like he just rolled out of bed. He had socks on but no shoes.

The Jim Morrison house is located behind the store at 8021 Rothdell Trail. When Morrison and his longtime partner Pamela Courson moved into the home catty-corner to the store in the early 1960s, the building's patio became the backdrop to impromptu jam sessions with neighbors Frank Zappa and Joni Mitchell - as well as Morrison and Courson's legendary fights. It became so dear to Morrison that he immortalized it in The Doors’s song, "Love Street" as the "store where the creatures meet."

After the Canyon Country Store we headed further up the canyon:

This house located at 2774 Woodstock Rd. is the one once rented by Voytek Frykowski and Gibbie Folger.

Frank Zappa's house at 7885 Woodrow Wilson Dr. He moved here after the Log Cabin became overrun with fans and freeloaders and died here on December 4 1993. The Log Cabin property is completely obscured by foliage now so we didn't attempt to photograph it.

7708 Woodrow Wilson Dr. This was the last residence owned and lived in by Cass Elliot. She died on July 29, 1974 at the age of 32 while in London to perform a series of concerts as a solo performer at the London Palladium. Beverly D'Angelo is the current resident.

7008 Woodrow Wilson Dr. Bernard Crowe gave this address as his residence in his testimony. If you care to read his testimony you can download it here and here.

The Wonderland Murders house at 8763 Wonderland Ave. Not Manson-related but we couldn't resist this monument to the macabre.

When you reach the top of the canyon, you see this view of the San Fernando Valley.