Like an old drunk telling war stories at the bar, rock n’ roll has a tendency to regurgitate its own history. Different locales at different moments in time are fetishized as high watermarks of artistic achievement and stylistic cool. San Francisco in the 1960s, New York in the 1970s, Seattle in the 1990s. The problem isn’t the veracity of the tale but rather the mundanity of its repetition and the insinuation that if you were born too late, or lived too far away, or just plain didn’t know enough to witness it firsthand, you’re somehow inferior to those that did.

The new docu-series San Francisco Sounds: A Place in Time finds a new way to tell the same old story, examining the Bay Area rock scene before and after the “Summer of Love.” It was created by the same team that produced 2020’s Laurel Canyon series, including director Alison Ellwood, who also directed 2013’s History of the Eagles and 2020’s The Go-Go’s. Like the Laurel Canyon documentary, which chronicled the singer-songwriters who honed their craft in the hills above Los Angeles, it’s broken into two-hour-plus episodes and is streaming on MGM+, formerly known as Epix.

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