What year would you attach to the street you live on?
We don't mean the year that it was first mapped out or when asphalt was initially poured. We mean what year is it in, still, today. Carroll Avenue in Angelino Heights is forever in 1888, Wilshire Boulevard feels like 1947 around Miracle Mile, and Laurel Canyon Boulevard?
Hardly an argument there; the moment you drive north of Sunset it is 1970 again. You don't even need Joni Mitchell on the stereo to feel that way, but please: Playing "Ladies of the Canyon" while in the canyon is just one of those things everyone should do once, to soak in the city.
"California Dreamin': The Sounds of Laurel Canyon 1965-1977" will explore all of the singer-songwriters and bands and styles that emerged from the winding road, and its little tucked-away studio-filled pockets, in a new Grammy Museum exhibit.
The exhibit strums from May 9 through the end of November.
For sure, Ms. Mitchell, one of the forever representatives of the vibe, look, and lifestyle of Laurel Canyon, is one of the focuses of the show, as are Jim Morrison, Crosby, Stills, & Nash, The Mamas & The Papas, and more musicians of the era.
Costumes, lyrics, photos, instruments, and more will be on display. Oh, and Doors fans, take note: Jim Morrison's writing chair is there too.
“Laurel Canyon was as much a mindset as it was a music scene,” said GRAMMY Museum executive director Bob Santelli.
True words. Laurel Canyon also serves as a compelling counterpoint to San Francisco's Haight-Ashbury scene. For while the Summer of Love got a lot of press, the creative spirit emerging from the bungalows above The Canyon Country Store also tapped into a monumental West Coast moment of change, introspection, and musical mojo.
Did we say "counterpoint"? We meant companion, of course. Both the San Francisco and LA music scenes, which emerged at around the same time, had peace and community at their soft denim'd, flower-in-the-hair heart.
“The remarkably rich sounds of Laurel Canyon and the sheer number of songwriters, bands, producers, artists, engineers and record company people who have lived and worked out of Laurel Canyon prove that Los Angeles is and continues to be a vital rock scene," continued Mr. Santelli. "We felt it was important to tell that story, right here in our hometown.”
Glad Laurel Canyon still hangs onto its introspective, incense-fragrant cred, even to this day.