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Canyon of Dreams: The Magic and the Music of Laurel Canyon

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3.93  ·  Rating details ·  216 ratings  ·  35 reviews
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 th ...more
Hardcover, 368 pages
Published October 1st 2009 by Sterling
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Average rating 3.93  · 
Rating details
 ·  216 ratings  ·  35 reviews


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Tony Funches
Sep 04, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This is a MASTERPIECE for readability, exhaustive detail & research, ACCURACY and Context. I've known Harvey since we attended College together and am AMAZED for his accomplishments! ... No One can top the Information & Historic Tableau that Harvey establishes with THIS Masterpiece! Period! ...more
Sue Em
Nov 20, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Beautiful coffee table style book of the decades-long music history of the Laurel Canyon, especially focusing on the mid-sixties and seventies highlighting groups such as Buffalo Springfield, Crosby Still & Nash, Mamas & Papas and many many more. It's not for sitting reading through but rather diving in and reading short sections at a time. If you are a fan of music of that era, don't miss this book. ...more
Jim Cherry
Oct 16, 2009 rated it it was amazing
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 ...more
Angie and the Daily Book Dose
I really enjoyed this book due to the artwork and illustrations. I thought the actual storytelling was a little disjointed but I thoroughly liked my experience.

One thing I wish there were more pictures of houses and places in the Canyon, and a map would have nice.

Having been to Laurel Canyon recently I was able to see certain streets and understand the flow of Laurel Canyon drive from Sunset to Mulholland. If I'd never had taken that trip I wouldn't have understood the layout or the mystique i
...more
Laura
Nov 09, 2009 rated it it was ok
Honestly, I can't say I read the whole book. The narrative voice was just too trying! Either it was devoted to linking short quotes by musicians (mostly name dropping) or it focused on giving you a sense of the setting using really stilted hip-in-the-sixties speech, man. I liked looking at the pictures and getting a sense of the scene, however. The book itself was beautifully bound and the page layout was very attractive. Nice matte paper. ...more
Tom Schulte
Nov 29, 2019 rated it really liked it
From my 2010 interview with Bill Mumy:

...In the last few months, a friend of mine loaned me the book Canyon of Dreams .

BM: Oh, yes. Harvey Kubernik's book.

Yes.

BM: Yes, with Henry Kubernik's photos and stuff. Yes, that's a great book.

And you're the subject of nearly an entire chapter.

BM: Yes. Well, you know? That happens when you live in the same place for 35 years. I'm just one of the old men in the canyon, I guess. Well Laurel Canyon's a great place to live. It's a wonderful artistic community
...more
Lucy
Dec 27, 2010 rated it it was amazing
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 al
...more
Michael  Malone
Feb 08, 2019 rated it really liked it
Fun book, loaded with photos and entertaining yarns, about the leafy Lauren Canyon nabe in Los Angeles, and its prodigious contributions to popular music. Kubernik chronicles the Canyon's early days, where the players included Buffalo Springfield, CSN&Y and the Mamas and the Papas, on to more current times, such as Red Hot Chili Peppers recording "Blood Sugar Sex Magik", Slash reflecting on his upbringing, and Rick Rubin producing System of a Down.
Kubernik taps a broad collection of music indus
...more
Andrea
Oct 02, 2016 rated it did not like it
This book was a big disappointment. The text is rambling and incoherent, and the text-to-pictures ratio is far too high to make it worthwhile for the pictures alone (many of which I'd seen elsewhere). A lot of the text is direct quotes from musicians and other music industry professionals reminiscing on the topic at hand, but it is presented as huge chunks of undirected rambling, sometimes repeating information already discussed a few paragraphs earlier, jumping randomly between different topics ...more
Michael
Jan 19, 2018 rated it liked it
A mess of a book but lots of gems.
John Lowe
Mar 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Great history of rock and roll.
Randy
Jul 05, 2020 rated it really liked it
The photos alone are priceless.
PennsyLady (Bev)
Jan 13, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: rock-n-roll
soft cover
368 pg

*Another 5 ★ ♥ that I truly enjoyed ....*

Canyon Of Dreams(2009) is 368 pages with greater than 300 photographs and snapshots of memorabilia from the era discussed. There is an extensive index, photo credits, foreward ( the late Ray Manzurek) and afterword (Lou Adler).

Laurel Canyon sits in the Hollywood Hills (above Sunset Boulevard) and since the beginning of Hollywood, it quickly acquired its hideaway reputation.
This volume speaks of "the metamorphosis of the canyon from the ver
...more
Timothy Finnegan
Jun 19, 2011 rated it it was amazing
This is a beautiful, deeply satisfying book. It is a coffee-table book filled with pictures and oral history about the Los Angeles music scene in the 60's and 70's. Laurel Canyon is the mountainous area just above West Hollywood, a 5 minute drive from the Sunset Strip, an easy commute from where proto-hippies lived, created music, made popular history at the various clubs and recording studios. Let’s see: Frank Zappa, Brian Wilson, The Doors, the Monkees, Love, The Byrds, Crosby Stills and Nash, ...more
Mia
Sep 14, 2011 rated it it was amazing
This is not a book to read from front to back ... this is a book to get lost in ... to dream about and pour over. To long for. Just looking at the cover art gentles me ... and I can barely keep myself from bursting into song!

Beautifully presented and spanning some eighty years, there is something for everyone tucked inside it's pages! A coffee table book that will spark conversations and imaginations, memories and dreams! The photos alone are worth the price tag and if I could give more stars,
...more
Lee Anne
Sep 22, 2009 rated it it was ok
Just skimmed this, but it's full of great pictures of the scenesters of Laurel Canyon in the sixties. Frank Zappa, David Crosby, Cass Elliot, Joni Mitchell, Linda Ronstadt, and Charles Manson make appearances. I was mainly looking at it for the Monkees stuff, as Peter Tork and, even more so, Micky Dolenz were important characters in this story. Michael Nesmith is given a few shoutouts, too, and mention is made of his influence (as much as Gram Parsons or the Byrds, but less recognized) as a coun ...more
Krista
Nov 20, 2011 rated it it was ok
Shelves: non-fiction, music
The photos are nice, but the book is basically a to-hell-with-the-facts series of memoirs and old stories that most music fans will already have heard before. Large sections were devoted to Jackson Browne, Linda Ronstadt, and the Eagles...but one of the most important and interesting figures from the 70's L.A. music scene, Warren Zevon, was left out of the book entirely! Additionally, don't look to this book for accurate facts: one chapter mentions that Jim Morrison died the summer before Hendri ...more
Scott
Jan 25, 2015 rated it really liked it
Canyon of Dreams provides a good sense of the community that created so much great music. The book itself is attractive, with thick matte pages and tons of photos. Unfortunately, the cover came unglued the second or third time I opened the book, destroying my first impression that this was a beautiful, well-made book. Still, I enjoyed it, and it enhances the experience of listening to those great musicians.
Julie Brock
Aug 16, 2010 rated it it was ok
Great photos - and this book should have stopped right there. Author is annoying, very impressed with himself. Chapters are arranged by musician or band, and there is so much cross-referencing between musicians (because they were all playing at each others' homes or studios) that the book doesn't flow well. ...more
Julia
Aug 22, 2010 rated it really liked it
terribly chosen large-type blurbs abound - leading me to think (upon first flip-through) that the book would be yet another poorly written tome about something i love - but, in fact, it turned out to be rather well-written & filled with charming bits. good enough for the 1 chapter before bed each night read.
Gato Negro
Jan 14, 2016 rated it really liked it
Beautiful photographs. Interesting stories, grouped mainly by band or person of interest so that the reader can skip a chapter if there is no interest in that subject. I knew most of the stories, so I found them to be redundant at times, but I enjoyed learning the new things that I was able to glean from it.
J.
Sep 27, 2010 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: canadians
This book is about the photos primarily. A nostalgic look at the countercultural camelot that settled in just above L.A. for awhile, in the late sixties and early seventies. Bittersweet look back at the Ladies Of The Canyon and their gentlemen friends.
Ian
Aug 28, 2012 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: music
Interesting, but ultimately a triumph of style over content. Lovely to look at and browse through, but the writing was mainly verbatim anecdotes, and just didn't flow or provide much in the way of a narrative. And quite shallow in the way it treated each of its subjects. Disappointing, really. ...more
Luann Yetter
May 13, 2014 rated it it was ok
Great illustrations and insight from lots of good sources. But Kubernik errs on the side of over-writing. He makes the rookie journalist's mistake of inserting a variety of attributions when "said" would do the job and stay out of the way of the quote. Why didn't an editor catch this?
...more
Kim
May 17, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Enjoyed the trip to Laurel Canyon from beginning to end. Learned a lot about musicians/bands I've been listening to for years and something about a few I've never known much about.

Like rock? Read it.
...more
Cooper Renner
Oct 28, 2009 rated it really liked it
A fun and mostly interesting look at the large number of musicians who have lived and worked in the Laurel Canyon neighborhood of LA. Mostly folks from the '60s. ...more
Chris Miles
Jul 30, 2012 rated it really liked it
More like a work of art... Stories, pictures, clippings. A quick perusal takes you right into those heady days in California
Sharon Zito
This was fun to read, looking back at the story of the music and the artists that was, and still is a big part of my life.
Simon Sonnak
Feb 06, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Fascinating time and place, this is big well illustrated book about a Freaky/Creepy-Crawly place. So much information from it's host of characters. ...more
Stephen
This is not a book you can stamp with "read" on it. It is a book you are always reading, always go back to.
A beautiful layout, big size, totally engrossing edition of a great era in music.
...more
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Harvey Kubernik, a lifelong resident of Los Angeles, is a veteran music journalist whose work has been published nationally in Melody Maker, The Los Angeles Free Press, Crawdaddy, Musician, Goldmine, MIX, The Los Angeles Times, and MOJO, among other publications. As a West Hollywood and Laurel Canyon insider, he has unparalleled access to the sources, personalities, and even those who are still ba ...more

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