There have been several prior documentaries that explored Laurel Canyon, some directly and some a bit more oblique. This two parter contains the most footage and crucially the most music, thereby making it the most comprehensive look at this bucolic oasis in the middle of Los Angeles.
The span is about a decade, from 1965 to when money and success eroded the scene. The decade is almost perfectly bifurcated by the darkness of late 1969.
The early days of acoustic harmony (from the likes of The Byrds) bluntly interrupted when Alice Cooper is/are thrust into the scene, which opens the door to Frank Zappa as the maestro of the Laurel Canyon milioeu.
Alice gets a label deal, has some cash and buys a place above Zappa’s. Which is next door to Micky Dolenz. The unlikely interaction of the Monkees and The Mothers of Invention deserves greater exploration. But with so much to cover, the film makers breeze through eye-openers like Harrison Ford built Peter Tork’s music room, and The Beatles and Buffalo Springfield were repeat visitors at the quite Monkee’s house.
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