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Laurel Canyon : The 1960s Counter Culture: The 1960s Counter Culture

By McGowan, David

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Book Id: WPLBN0100003262
Format Type: PDF (eBook)
File Size: 38.20 MB.
Reproduction Date: 05/15/2016

Title: Laurel Canyon : The 1960s Counter Culture: The 1960s Counter Culture  
Author: McGowan, David
Language: English
Subject: Non Fiction, History of America, Counter Culture
Collections: History, Authors Community, Most Popular Books in China, Favorites in India, Education
Publication Date:
Publisher: Anarchy Books & Renegade Publishing
Member Page: Jeff Prager


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Mcgowan, D., & Prager, Co-Autho, J. J. (2016). Laurel Canyon : The 1960s Counter Culture. Retrieved from

Connecting the 1960s Counter Culture movement to the US Intelligence Community and proving that the US Intelligence Community started the 1960s Counter Culture movement to control and then destroy it.

Laurel Canyon has long had an uncomfortable relationship with flammables. The 1930s saw more middle-class growth, but in 1947, the Army Air Corps brought the movies here again. Having built an air force base-turned-top-secret movie production house atop Wonderland Park Avenue (1352d Motion Picture Squadron), the Corps shot military training films and documentaries here until the makeshift studio was decommissioned in 1969. In the 50s, Beat poet Wulf Zendik moved into the canyon with his lover, Arol, and started the first of many incarnations of his organic, sustainable, cult-like Zendik Farm. Conversely, modern architects came to grade hillsides and erect modern Case Study Houses and tract homes that had little to do with the canyon’s woodsy charm and everything to do with stylized glamour. During this time, Dennis Hopper, James Dean, and Marlon Brando all had homes here. It was the 1960s and 1970s that gave Laurel Canyon its most lasting reputation: First as The Haight-Ashbury of LA and then simply The Rock’n’Roll Canyon. The Mamas and the Papas, Dusty Springfield, Carole King, Linda Ronstadt, and Brian Wilson lived in the canyon. Joni Mitchell wrote “Ladies of the Canyon” while living here with Graham Nash; he wrote one of my favorite songs, “Our House,” for her. Perhaps not so amazingly, the house Graham sang about in “Our House”...burned to the ground. Jim Morrison, who also lived in the area, referred to Laurel Canyon and its famous Laurel Canyon Country Store in his song “Love Street”. The store has actually been around since the 1930s, but its flower-power signage is a holdover from its 60s hey-day, when the famous musicians in the area would come here to jam. The LCCS is still popular today with neighborhood locals, and you can still see (semi-) hippies hanging outside in the sun, poring over the free LA Weekly and the community bulletin board. But this era of the canyon wasn’t all peace and love as we’re about to find out. A few cults have been said to set up shop here, namely one in which children were ritually abused. Drugs sometimes sent residents out of their windows and into a different plane of reality. And, some chilling deaths took place in them thar hills. In 1968, former silent film star Ramon Navarro was murdered by two male prostitutes in his home. In 1969, the body of a woman known only as Jane Doe #59 was found up near Mulholland Drive, having been stabbed an epic 157 times. There’s much, much more. One Laurel Canyon murder scene, though, trumps them all. The drug-fueled party that had begun in the late 1960s was all but over by 1981, with The Wonderland Murders. Three drug dealers and one unfortunate guest were brutally killed at 8763 Wonderland Avenue, while legendary porn star, John Holmes, and legendary club owner/ drug dealer/gangster Eddie Nash, were there; both men were, at different times, the main suspects in the murders. If you ever want to see what life in Laurel Canyon was like during this scary time, be sure to watch the 2003 movie Wonderland. This is the story of Wonderland and the 1960s counter culture movement.

meanwhile ... our story begins ... Elsewhere in the world in those early months of 1965, a new ‘scene’ is just beginning to take shape in the city of Los Angeles. In a geographically and socially isolated community known as Laurel Canyon – a heavily wooded, rustic, serene, yet vaguely ominous slice of LA nestled in the hills that separate the Los Angeles basin from the San Fernando Valley – musicians, singers and songwriters suddenly begin to gather as though summoned there by some unseen Pied Piper. Within months, the ‘hippie/flower child’ movement will be given birth there, along with the new style of music that will provide the soundtrack for the tumultuous second half of the 1960s. An uncanny number of rock music superstars will emerge from Laurel Canyon beginning in the mid-1960s and carrying through the decade of the 1970s. The first to drop an album will be The Byrds, whose biggest star will prove to be David Crosby. The band’s debut effort, “Mr. Tambourine Man,” will be released on the Summer Solstice of 1965. It will quickly be followed by releases from the John Phillips-led Mamas and the Papas (“If You Can Believe Your Eyes and Ears,” January 1966), Love with Arthur Lee (“Love,” May 1966), Frank Zappa and The Mothers of Invention (“Freak Out,” June 1966), Buffalo Springfield, featuring Stephen Stills and Neil Young (“Buffalo Springfield,” October 1966), and The Doors (“The Doors,” January 1967). Military connections everywhere! One of the earliest on the Laurel Canyon/Sunset Strip scene is Jim Morrison, the enigmatic lead singer of The Doors. Jim will quickly become one of the most iconic, controversial, critically acclaimed, and influential figures to take up residence in Laurel Canyon. Curiously enough though, the self-proclaimed “Lizard King” has another claim to fame as well, albeit one that none of his numerous chroniclers will feel is of much relevance to his career and possible untimely death: he is the son, as it turns out, of the aforementioned Admiral George Stephen Morrison. And so it is that, even while the father is actively conspiring to fabricate an incident that will be used to massively accelerate an illegal war, the son is positioning himself to become an icon of the ‘hippie’/ anti-war crowd. Nothing unusual about that, I suppose. It is, you know, a small world and all that. And it is not as if Jim Morrison’s story is in any way unique. During the early years of its heyday, Laurel Canyon’s father figure is the rather eccentric personality known as Frank Zappa. Though he and his various Mothers of Invention line-ups will never attain the commercial success of the band headed by the admiral’s son, Frank will be a hugely influential figure among his contemporaries. Ensconced in an abode dubbed the ‘Log Cabin’ – which sat right in the heart of Laurel Canyon, at the crossroads of Laurel Canyon Boulevard and Lookout Mountain Avenue – Zappa will play host to virtually every musician who passes through the canyon in the mid- to late-1960s. He will also discover and sign numerous acts to his various Laurel Canyon-based record labels. Many of these acts will be rather bizarre and somewhat obscure characters (think Captain Beefheart and Larry “WildMan” Fischer),but some of them, such as psychedelic rocker cum shock-rocker Alice Cooper, will go on to superstardom. Zappa, along with certain members of his sizable entourage (the ‘Log Cabin’ was run as an early commune, with numerous hangers-on occupying various rooms in the main house and the guest house, as well as in the peculiar caves and tunnels lacing the grounds of the home; far from the quaint homestead the name seems to imply, by the way, the ‘Log Cabin’ was a cavernous five-level home that featured a 2,000+ square-foot living room with three massive chandeliers and an enormous floor-to-ceiling stone fireplace), will also be instrumental in introducing the look and attitude that will define the ‘hippie’ counterculture (although the Zappa crew preferred the label ‘Freak’). Nevertheless, Zappa (born, curiously enough, on the Winter Solstice of 1940) never really made a secret of the fact that he had nothing but contempt for the ‘hippie’ culture that he helped create and that he surrounded himself with. Edgewood Arsenal: Given that Zappa was, by numerous accounts, a rigidly authoritarian control-freak and a supporter of U.S. military actions in Southeast Asia, it is perhaps not surprising that he would not feel a kinship with the youth movement that he helped nurture. And it is probably safe to say that Frank’s dad also had little regard for the youth culture of the 1960s, given that Francis Zappa was, in case you were wondering, a chemical warfare specialist assigned to – where else? – the Edgewood Arsenal. Mk-ultra and Chemical Warfare: Edgewood is, of course, the longtime home of America’s chemical warfare program, as well as a facility frequently cited as being deeply enmeshed in MK-ULTRA operations. Curiously enough, Frank Zappa literally grew up at the Edgewood Arsenal, having lived the first seven years of his life in military housing on the grounds of the facility. The family later moved to Lancaster, California, near Edwards Air Force Base, where Francis Zappa continued to busy himself with doing classified work for the military/intelligence complex. His son, meanwhile, prepped himself to become an icon of the peace & love crowd. Again, nothing unusual about that, I suppose. In Come The Marines ... Zappa’s manager, by the way, is a shadowy character by the name of Herb Cohen, who had come out to L.A. from the Bronx with his brother Mutt just before the music and club scene began heating up. Cohen, a former U.S. Marine, had spent a few years traveling the world before his arrival on the Laurel Canyon scene. Those travels, curiously, had taken him to the Congo in 1961, at the very time that leftist Prime Minister Patrice Lumumba was being tortured and killed by our very own CIA. Not to worry though; according to one of Zappa’s biographers, Cohen wasn’t in the Congo on some kind of nefarious intelligence mission. No, he was there, believe it or not, to supply arms to Lumumba “in defiance of the CIA.” Because, you know, that is the kind of thing that globetrotting ex-Marines did in those days (as we’ll see soon enough when we take a look at another Laurel Canyon luminary). ... And the navy: Making up the other half of Laurel Canyon’s First Family is Frank’s wife, Gail Zappa, known formerly as Adelaide Sloatman. Gail hails from a long line of career Naval officers, including her father, who spent his life working on classified nuclear weapons research for the U.S. Navy. Gail herself had once worked as a secretary for the Office of Naval Research and Development (she also once told an interviewer that she had “heard voices all [her] life”). Many years before their nearly simultaneous arrival in Laurel Canyon, Gail had attended a Naval kindergarten with “Mr. Mojo Risin’” himself, Jim Morrison (it’s claimed that, as children, Gail once hit Jim over the head with a hammer). The very same Jim Morrison had later attended the same Alexandria, Virginia high school as two other future Laurel Canyon luminaries – John Phillips and Cass Elliott. Rock stars don’t just pop up, they’re created - the summer of love: “Papa” John Phillips, more so than probably any of the other illustrious residents of Laurel Canyon, will play a major role in spreading the emerging youth ‘counterculture’ across America. His contribution will be two-fold: first, he will co-organize (along with Charlie Manson associate Terry Melcher) the famed Monterrey Pop Festival, which, through unprecedented media exposure, will give mainstream America its first real look at the music and fashions of the nascent ‘hippie’ movement. Second, Phillips will pen an insipid song known as “San Francisco (Be Sure to Wear Flowers in Your Hair),” which will quickly rise to the top of the charts. Along with the Monterrey Pop Festival, the song will be instrumental in luring the disenfranchised (a preponderance of whom are underage runaways) to San Francisco to create the Haight-Asbury phenomenon and the famed 1967 “Summer of Love.” The US Naval Academy at Annapolis: Before arriving in Laurel Canyon and opening the doors of his home to the soon-to-be famous, the already famous, and the infamous (such as the aforementioned Charlie Manson, whose ‘Family’ also spent time at the Log Cabin and at the Laurel Canyon home of “Mama” Cass Elliot, which, in case you didn’t know, sat right across the street from the Laurel Canyon home of Abigail Folger and Voytek Frykowski, but let’s not get ahead of ourselves here), John Edmund Andrew Phillips was, shockingly enough, yet another child of the military/intelligence complex. The son of U.S. Marine Corp Captain Claude Andrew Phillips and a mother who claimed to have psychic and telekinetic powers, John attended a series of elite military prep schools in the Washington, D.C. area, culminating in an appointment to the prestigious U.S. Naval Academy at Annapolis. The Founding Fathers • Racism, Cloak and Dagger Stuff and the Pentagon: After leaving Annapolis, John married Susie Adams, a direct descendant of ‘Founding Father’ John Adams. Susie’s father, James Adams, Jr., had been involved in what Susie described as “cloak-and-dagger stuff with the Air Force in Vienna,” or what we like to call covert intelligence operations. Susie herself would later find employment at the Pentagon, alongside John Phillip’s older sister, Rosie, who dutifully reported to work at the complex for nearly thirty years. John’s mother, ‘Dene’ Phillips, also worked for most of her life for the federal government in some unspecified capacity. And John’s older brother, Tommy, was a battle-scarred former U.S. Marine who found work as a cop on the Alexandria police force, albeit one with a disciplinary record for exhibiting a violent streak when dealing with people of color.


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