Hotel California: The True-Life Adventures of Crosby, Stills, Nash, Young, Mitchell, Taylor, Browne, Ronstadt, Geffen, the Eagles, and Their Many Friends

( 12 )

Overview

"Hoskyns brings a genuine love as well as an outsider's keen eye to the rise and fall of the California scene. . . . This is a riveting story, sensitively told."
Anthony DeCurtis, Contributing Editor, Rolling Stone

From enduring musical achievements to drug-fueled chaos and bed-hopping antics, the L.A. pop music scene in the sixties and seventies was like no other, and journalist Barney Hoskyns re-creates all the excitement and mayhem. Hotel California brings to life the ...

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Hotel California: The True-Life Adventures of Crosby, Stills, Nash, Young, Mitchell, Taylor, Browne, Ronstadt, Geffen, the Eagles, and Their Many Friends

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Overview

"Hoskyns brings a genuine love as well as an outsider's keen eye to the rise and fall of the California scene. . . . This is a riveting story, sensitively told."
Anthony DeCurtis, Contributing Editor, Rolling Stone

From enduring musical achievements to drug-fueled chaos and bed-hopping antics, the L.A. pop music scene in the sixties and seventies was like no other, and journalist Barney Hoskyns re-creates all the excitement and mayhem. Hotel California brings to life the genesis of Crosby, Stills, and Nash at Joni Mitchell’s house; the Eagles’ backstage fistfights after the success of "Hotel California"; the drama of David Geffen and the other money men who transformed the L.A. music scene; and more.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
* In "Hotel California," Barney Hoskyns uses variations on a telling phrase - "wise (or weary) be-yond their years" - to explain why the compositions of the Los Angeles-based singer-songwriters of the early to mid-1970s have proved so enduring.
Joni Mitchell; Neil Young; Jackson Browne; James Taylor; "Tapestry"-era Carole King; Crosby, Stills and Nash  their songs really did seem special then and, to a surprising degree, remain so now.
Influenced by the way Bob Dylan's success in the 1960s gave young songwriters permission to say anything they wanted in their lyrics, and created an audience that eagerly awaited such daring writing, they moved toward the intimately confessional. They were uncommonly good at it, often ruefully melancholy, and they scored million-selling hits.
Hoskyns looks at the time and place that spawned the singer-songwriters and their friends and lovers - the counterculture-friendly, surprisingly rustic and (at the time) affordable hillside canyons separating Los Angeles' busy basin and oceanfront communities from its equally busy suburban Valley. Laurel Canyon, especially, but also Topanga Canyon and some others. Some of the book's subjects were born in Southern California and some came from elsewhere; some started writing in California and some brought their established careers with them.
"It was very different from the Tin Pan Alley tradition, where guys would sit down and try to write a hit song and turn out these teen-romance songs about other people," Henry Diltz, a photographer friend of the singer-songwriters, is quoted as saying.
The results - Mitchell's "Ladies of the Canyon" and "Both Sides Now," Young's "Old Man" and "Heart of Gold," Browne's "For a Dancer," Taylor's "Fire and Rain," King's "It's Too Late" and many more - constitute a golden era of American songwriting.
It's one that might not come again in terms of quality and cultural impact. And the possibility that it was a peak seems to be dawning on their core audience of aging boomers, as well as publishers. Hoskyns' book follows by just a few weeks another on the same subject, Michael Walker's "Laurel Canyon."
This takes its title from a song by one of the biggest acts to emerge from the milieu, the Eagles, who covered material from the singer-songwriters in addition to composing their own. They are not the best examples of the scene's artistry but certainly of its commercial success. Hoskyns uses the term "rocklite" to describe their sound.
A British journalist and critic whose previous books about American music include the superb "Strange Days, Weird Scenes, and the Sound of Los Angeles" and "Across the Great Divide: The Band and America," Hoskyns is knowledgeable about his subject. He loves delving behind the hits and the superstars to see who else was making valuable music in L.A. during the period.
In doing so, he points out that the canyon's "organic" singer-songwriters weren't the only thing happening in L.A., nor was their approach unchallenged by others. As a result, "Hotel California" has some lively and intriguing ideas about the shortcomings of confessional songwriting - a preoccupation with self-reflection - that gives the book intellectual weight.
An L.A. singer-songwriter who was a contemporary of the others - Randy Newman - has proven long-lasting precisely because he wasn't confessional, Hoskyns observes. "Using third-person characters - or singing in character - Randy's songs were suffused by irony, often stunningly funny." He also has praise for the satirically political work of Frank Zappa, and for the exploration of "the darker side of the California dream" pursued by Tim Buckley and Tom Waits.
For that matter, Neil Young had as much of a dark side as an idealistic one, Hoskyns points out - he once recommended that his record label sign an aspiring songwriter named Charles Manson (be-fore the Tate-LaBianca murders).
In their personal lives, the canyon singer-songwriters pract
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780470127773
  • Publisher: Turner Publishing Company
  • Publication date: 5/18/2007
  • Edition description: First Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 336
  • Sales rank: 220,508
  • Product dimensions: 6.10 (w) x 9.20 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

British journalist Barney Hoskyns has spent much of his professional life in Los Angeles as a correspondent for England's New Musical Express and Mojo. He has contributed to Rolling Stone, GQ, Harper's Bazaar, Interview, British Vogue, and Spin. His other books include Across the Great Divide: The Band and America and Led Zeppelin IV. He is the cofounder and editorial director of the acclaimed online library Rock's Backpages at www.rocksbackpages.com.
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Table of Contents

Preface ix

1 Expecting to Fly 1

2 Back to the Garden 19

3 New Kids in Town 35

4 Horses, Kids, and Forgotten Women 55

5 Escape from Sin City 77

6 A Case of Me 99

7 With a Little Help from Our Friends 127

8 The Machinery vs. the Popular Song 187

9 After the Thrill Is Gone 217

10 Go Your Own Way 245

Coda: Like a Setting Sun 267

Notes 273

Suggested Reading 303

Credits 307

Index 309

Photographs follow page 158

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 12 )
Rating Distribution

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Sort by: Showing all of 12 Customer Reviews
  • Posted March 27, 2010

    Source for The History of Rock

    My daughter used this book as a source for her History of Rock class and said it was just what she needed. The original first-person insights, stories, and anecdotes about such greats as Steven Stills, Graham Nash, Eric Clapton, Joan Baez, Mama Cass, etc. were wonderful. We also used the pictures as a jumping off point for a whole night's conversation about music of the 60's, and brought out old CD's and albums to enjoy and relive this time in our country's music history.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted September 28, 2012

    Loved it!

    I'm one of those geeks who reads all the liner notes on albums and CDs so I got a lot out of this book. It's very focused, and I feel it gives a good look at the Laurel Canyon (and beyond) music scene. Informative and fascinating look behind the music of that era - including the folks who were on the business side and pulled the strings.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 25, 2011

    Who knows

    Looks like a good book but because Nook for ipad says it cannot open the book to try later, I cannot review. This book. I can say that NOOK for iPad stinks!

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 20, 2014

    Awsome

    Great

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  • Posted January 10, 2014

    I would recommend this book

    If you are or were a fan of these artists you will find out things about them that you already knew or suspected. The life styles of the bands and individual performers were typically the same during the 60's and 70's; drugs, sex, divorce, sharing lovers, etc.
    the interactions within the groups and with other performers is interesting. I think that Hoskyns was a big fan of CSNY and spent a bit too much time on them. It seems like it was a bit repetitive. that being said, I did enjoy the book and would recommend it to anyone (or anyone interested in that era) that was or is still a fan of any of the performers.

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    Posted November 6, 2009

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    Posted August 21, 2013

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    Posted July 23, 2011

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    Posted May 14, 2013

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