Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Hotel California: The True-Life Adventures of Crosby, Stills, Nash, Young, Mitchell, Taylor, Browne, Ronstadt, Geffen, the Eagles, and Their Many Friends” as Want to Read:
Hotel California: The True-Life Adventures of Crosby, Stills, Nash, Young, Mitchell, Taylor, Browne, Ronstadt, Geffen, the Eagles, and Their Many Friends
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Hotel California: The True-Life Adventures of Crosby, Stills, Nash, Young, Mitchell, Taylor, Browne, Ronstadt, Geffen, the Eagles, and Their Many Friends

3.72  ·  Rating Details  ·  864 Ratings  ·  90 Reviews
This book is a remarkable look at one of the most dramatic, creative, and revolutionary settings in American popular culture: the Los Angeles popular music scene from the late 1960s to the late 1970s. Drawing on extraordinarily candid firsthand interviews Barney Hoskyns has conducted over more than three decades, Hotel California takes you on an intimate tour—from the Suns ...more
Paperback, 324 pages
Published June 1st 2006 by Wiley (TP) (first published 2006)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Hotel California, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Hotel California

True Hollywood Noir by Dina Di MambroStories I Only Tell My Friends by Rob LoweMe by Katharine HepburnNatasha by Suzanne FinstadNever Have Your Dog Stuffed by Alan Alda
Celebrity Biography
49th out of 617 books — 205 voters
Please Kill Me by Legs McNeilChronicles, Vol. 1 by Bob DylanLove Is a Mix Tape by Rob SheffieldOur Band Could Be Your Life by Michael AzerradPsychotic Reactions and Carburetor Dung by Lester Bangs
Best Non Fiction About Music
102nd out of 875 books — 794 voters


More lists with this book...

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,821)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Melody
Aug 31, 2008 Melody rated it it was ok
Certainly full of interesting facts, but suffers from too many of them. The cast of characters is huge and unwieldy, with many people doing what I felt were unnecessary walk-ons. The writing was magazine-like with extra trivia shoehorned in. I enjoyed parts of it very much, especially how songs came to be written. On the whole, though, I can't recommend it to anyone but the stone Laurel Canyon junkie.
Ed
Aug 25, 2013 Ed rated it really liked it
To quote the author, this book is "an epic tale of songs and sunshine, drugs and denim, genius and greed". Barney Hoskyns takes us on the "rise and fall" trip of the Southern California singer-songwriter movement in pop music in the late 60's to the mid 70's when stadium rock, big money and coke destroyed the music I loved. Very detailed and readable history of this unique musical journey from the pioneering Byrds, Mama's & Pappa's to CSNY, James Taylor, Joni Mitchell, Linda Ronstadt, Jackso ...more
Jason Coleman
May 16, 2015 Jason Coleman rated it liked it
I understand why it frustrates some people, but this is a decent book. The author has done a ton of research: if you were in Laurel Canyon in 1968-71 and Hoskyns didn't interview you, it probably means you are dead. He has digested the music itself and, in addition to all the milestones, champions several obscure works. His quick portraits are instinctive and convincing. And I like the trajectory he depicts: beginning with a truly vital scene that included the Byrds, Burritos, and Buffalo Spring ...more
Rory
Feb 15, 2010 Rory rated it it was ok
Um, this was not good. No real insight OR fun gossip, and no real sense of why these artists mattered. I love me some classic rock, and I'm interested in how folk music fed into pop to truly help define what "rock" became in the 1970s...but this was just an unfocused, boring mess.
Joab Jackson
Sep 06, 2015 Joab Jackson rated it really liked it
One curious thing I've noticed about cultural history is how many celebrities of an era tend to come from very closely interlocked social circles. This book shows this to be the case with an obscene number of famous and semi-famous counter-cultural west coast music makers of the late 1960s and early 1970s, who collectively dominated radio, FM radio in particular, of the day.

This books draws an amazingly coherent continuum straight through The Byrds, Buffalo Springfield, Frank Zappa, Turtles, Jo
...more
Dan Pike
Apr 18, 2015 Dan Pike rated it it was ok
Shelves: music, biography
I was disappointed with Barney Hoskyns' account of the lives of the primary musicians credited with establishing the Country Rock sound that was so popular in the late 1960's and throughout the 1970's...The author relies far too much on old interviews of the central characters, making Neil Young, Don Henley, Glen Frey, Jackson Browne, and many others seem flat and one-dimensional...Too much space is devoted to entertainment mogul David Geffen and his rise to power, which in Hoskyns' hands is abo ...more
Ethan Miller
Dec 22, 2008 Ethan Miller rated it liked it
Not the deeply satisfying and more sensational reads of "Shakey" or "Long time Gone" but still an interesting read and a broader scope. For those of us who did not live through the late 60's and 70's and did not experience the music happening out of the LA area in a linear way this book puts that in perspective nicely. History has kind of judged and divided these troubadours into our sacred cow artists like Neil Young and Joni Mitchell, the soft rock stadium sell outs like The Eagles and Linda R ...more
Suzie
Apr 24, 2010 Suzie rated it it was ok
Shelves: nonfiction
Hoskyn's book, in the edition that I have is subtitled "Singer Songwriters and Cocaine Cowboys in the L.A. Canyons, 1967-1976." This book covers the intersection of both subtitles. It centers on the Laurel Canyon scene in L.A. in the 60s and early 70s. There is a lot on CSNY and the Eagles, and Jackson Browne, and lesser but still fairly decent chunks on Joni Mitchell, David Geffen/Elliot Roberts/Asylum, the Troubador, The Roxy, Buffalo Springfield, and Gene Clark. Honestly, I am still not sure ...more
PennsyLady (Bev)
Jan 16, 2016 PennsyLady (Bev) rated it it was amazing
Shelves: rock-n-roll
The time: mid 60's to late 70's
The place: Los Angeles, California, specifically the Laurel Canyon (and beyond) music scene.

Barney Hoskyns is a writer, editor and British music critic, who ushers us through a rise and fall era in the California musical scene.

Behind the songs we loved, we're given an informative look at a myriad of relationships (both professional and personal).
We're given snapshots of the singer/songwriters with their backgrounds, their personalities, their genius, their quirks.

I
...more
R.S. Gompertz
Nov 23, 2014 R.S. Gompertz rated it really liked it
Shelves: the-sixties

After the gold rush, before the deluge ...

Hotel California documents the cultural shifts in the music business from the time when the New York City folk scene of the early sixties moved west to the dominance of arena rock in the late seventies. The migration from the early singer-songwriters to the mega-groups is a fascinating and wide-ranging story that is well told in this book.

Hotel California the book, like the song by The Eagles, one of the groups in the story, is also a story of loss of in
...more
Marty
Jul 10, 2012 Marty rated it it was ok
Gossipy and fully deserving of a summer "beach read" even though I read it in my office on lunch hours. It kept my interest because this is the soundtrack of my high school and college years, but unfortunately the book needed some serious editing. The handful of typos I saw were distracting. On the other hand, when people talk about all the artists Joni Mitchell slept with, at least now I'll know who they were. I didn't pick it up because I knew it'd be fine literature.
Jeanette
Jul 07, 2014 Jeanette rated it liked it
This has thorough research and does capture the time and place in that part of L.A. to a T.
Jan C
Feb 04, 2015 Jan C rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: show-biz, california, 2015
Interesting story of the beginnings of the music of the singer-songwriters and the downfall when it became a Business. Times changed and they were deemed passe. But it goes into the heyday of The Eagles, Joni Mitchell, Crosby Stills Nash and Young, JD Souther, Jackson Browne, etc. Admittedly, drugs played a big part in the downfall. And people either came out the other side or, like Gram Parsons and Lowell George, they died
JC Moretta
Oct 13, 2015 JC Moretta rated it liked it
Meh... I enjoyed it, but it focused a lot on the business side of things. I could give a rats ass about David Geffen - I would've liked more musicians and less music biz. Still a good read for fans of the era.
Marc
Mar 30, 2016 Marc rated it liked it
Recommended to Marc by: Deric Boileau
For consummate consumers of the tales of those days, this would be a must read. I guess that would include me but I was a bit underwhelmed by Hoskyns work. I have been a consummate consumer of the music, as poetry of that time. My interest waned and moved on when the Eagles and the pop iteration of Fleetwood Mac exploded. By this time the music as industry had lost its way from my perspective. I never knew who David Geffen was until many years later and his narrative adds nothing of interest to ...more
Tanya
Jan 15, 2009 Tanya rated it really liked it
Shelves: food-of-life
I opened this book looking for information about the late singer, Judee Sill, and was drawn into Hoskyns' narrative about how many of these idealistic folkies of the 60's became big, bloated, spoiled, and egotistical cokeheads in the 70's and 80's.
Jim Colbert
May 11, 2013 Jim Colbert rated it liked it
While I enjoyed reading the content, I was annoyed that the iBook version includes neither a functional index nor photographs. Well researched, just a ripoff that a full price book purchased for my iPad didn't have content other versions do.
Nikki
Aug 09, 2009 Nikki rated it liked it
I can't explain why I'm always drawn to this era of music, and am always reading about it. I think it's neat to learn the stories behind the songs. There was lots of boring stuff in there also.
Kahn
Oct 04, 2013 Kahn rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
The late 60s and early 70s were the halcyon days for the singer-songwriter in LA.
David Geffen hadn't revealed himself to be the money grabbing businessman we know and love today, drugs were fresh and exciting and record labels allowed their artists time to develop and grow (for our younger readers, this was known as a 'career' - something that was meant to last longer than one series of X Factor).
It should be a fascinating time in music history, making for a fascinating read.
But it doesn't.
Inste
...more
Tim
May 13, 2009 Tim rated it liked it
It began in the late 1960s in a bohemian, artistic enclave in the canyons near Los Angeles. It spawned the singer-songwriter era of rock music and produced what would be called "the Southern California sound" and "country rock." It essentially ended in the 1970s as commercial success and millionaire lifestyles led to the disintegration of an edifice symbolized by "Hotel California."[return][return]That song title also serves befittingly as the title of Barney Hoskyns' exploration of that era. Wh ...more
Kathleen Hagen
Hotel California: The True Life Adventures of Crosby, Stills, Nash, Young, Mitchell, Taylor, Brown, Ronstad, Dessen, The Eagles, and their Many Friends, by Barney Hoskyns, Borrowed from the Library of Congress National Library for the Blind, Talking Book.

This is a wonderfully gossipy book by a British music journalist who takes us on a tour of some of the music of the ‘60’s and ‘70’s, in particular, from the groups and people named in the title, and spanning the years from about 1965 to 1980. Wi
...more
Daisy
Aug 11, 2012 Daisy rated it liked it
Recommends it for: people who really know the songs of this era
from the preface: As Tom Waits ... puts it: "The trouble with history is that the people who really know what happened aren't talking and the people who don't ... well, you can't shut 'em up."

complementary--going through this and Please Kill Me: The Uncensored Oral History of Punk at the same time

Nostalgic. This was never my favorite kind of music, but it is interesting when a certain place calls kindred souls to gather. I wish there were a Laurel Canyon map-of-the-stars although many of the ori
...more
Frank
Aug 18, 2015 Frank rated it really liked it
Interesting and enlightening. For a musician like myself who grew up listening to the music of the 60s and 70s, putting many of those artists on somewhat of a "songwriter's pedestal," it was very enlightening to look at their lives and lifestyles from the inside rather than their publicity-outside, and see that not only were these young people regular, everyday humans like myself, unlike me, their lifestyles appear to have been very flawed.
A great read for any lover of rock and roll.
Kathleen Kelley
Feb 06, 2016 Kathleen Kelley rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Person w/a deep knowledge of this time in music and ABSOLUTELY nothing else to do.
Really, between a 2 and 3 star. Nothing earth-shattering. Basically, just a re-hash of quotes and information pulled from other articles. It comes off as gossipy to me...who Joni Mitchell slept with, a lot about drugs, not too much about the actual groups or singers themselves and what they were thinking during this important time. A lot of people even I, as a person familiar with this music, had never heard of. And really, I didn't care that David Crosby had "a small mountain of cocaine" that h ...more
Dave
Mar 11, 2016 Dave rated it really liked it
I picked this book up primarily because I was interested in a bit of the life of musician named Gene Clark, of the Byrds. He was born in the same small Missouri town as my mother. And apparently before he moved away my Grandmother a little simple country farm wife knew the family. It was just fun to put some pieces together about the story she told about him. Especially since Grandma and 1960's rock music most definitely did not mix.
Henk
Mar 03, 2016 Henk rated it really liked it
Since the was "my era" I enjoyed the book and the history it represents. I learned some interesting things both good and bad about the bands and music industry. It may not suit the current generation and maybe it won't be as interesting to you but honestly, you may be intrigued of what the music industry used to be about and the sad state it has become.
Bob Chupick
Jan 30, 2016 Bob Chupick rated it it was ok
You need a road map for this book. Numerous names of singers/groups and songwriters from the late 60's and the early 70's plus their managers,producers,etc. Stories about sex and drugs and why groups broke up. I finally got to the point where I started to skim the pages to get it finished.
Jeff Tucker
Aug 08, 2009 Jeff Tucker rated it really liked it
This book started me on a quest to read as many books as I could find on the singer/songwriters of the 60's and 70's. The book cronicles a time when the musical icons of this era were living in Laurel canyon in LA. They were hanging out together, dating each other and writing songs about it all. They spent their nights playing and listening to each other at the Troubadour. I loved the book and I was sorry when it ended. After you read the book, you should go to a web-site called "thebrombies.com ...more
Matthew Purvis
Dec 16, 2014 Matthew Purvis rated it it was amazing
I thoroughly enjoyed this well written, fact-packed account of the singer-song writers of the Laurel Canyon. It's an almanac of references to follow-up, helping me to check out some bands/artists I hadn't worked my way through to before. The paperback is surprisingly short considering how thoroughly researched it is. The narrative from hippy-ish community, to drug fuelled debauched creativity, to AOR success, to bloated self-indulgent commercialism all unfolds rather like a tragic novel. The lin ...more
Mia
Mar 10, 2014 Mia rated it it was ok
I love the gossipy bits about the canyon, the artists, etc. but there is so much to wade through to get there!
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 60 61 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Laurel Canyon: The Inside Story of Rock-and-Roll's Legendary Neighborhood
  • The 27s: The Greatest Myth of Rock & Roll
  • Fleetwood: My Life and Adventures in Fleetwood Mac
  • The Wrecking Crew: The Inside Story of Rock and Roll's Best-Kept Secret
  • Here Comes the Sun: The Spiritual and Musical Journey of George Harrison
  • She Bop: The Definitive History of Women in Rock, Pop & Soul
  • Heaven And Hell: My Life In The Eagles (1974 2001)
  • Rock Bottom: Dark Moments in Music Babylon
  • The Last Sultan: The Life and Times of Ahmet Ertegun
  • Bumping Into Geniuses: My Life Inside the Rock and Roll Business
  • You Can't Always Get What You Want
  • Buried Alive: The Biography of Janis Joplin
  • Canyon of Dreams: The Magic and the Music of Laurel Canyon
  • The True Adventures of the Rolling Stones
  • The Haight-Ashbury: A History
  • Somebody to Love?: A Rock-and-Roll Memoir
  • To the Limit: The Untold Story of the Eagles
  • Fire and Rain: The Beatles, Simon and Garfunkel, James Taylor, CSNY, and the Lost Story of 1970

Share This Book