Waiting for the Sun: A Rock and Roll History of Los Angelesby Barney Hoskyns, Hal Leonard Corporation Staff
(Book). A classic, finally back in print! British rock historian Barney Hoskyns (Hotel California, Across the Great Divide: The Band in America) examines the long and twisted rock 'n' roll history of Los Angeles in its glamorous and debauched glory. The Beach Boys, Buffalo Springfield, the Doors, Little Feat, the Eagles, Steely Dan, Linda Ronstadt, Joni
(Book). A classic, finally back in print! British rock historian Barney Hoskyns (Hotel California, Across the Great Divide: The Band in America) examines the long and twisted rock 'n' roll history of Los Angeles in its glamorous and debauched glory. The Beach Boys, Buffalo Springfield, the Doors, Little Feat, the Eagles, Steely Dan, Linda Ronstadt, Joni Mitchell, and others (from Charlie Parker right up to Black Flag, the Minutemen, Jane's Addiction, Ice Cube, and Guns N' Roses) populate the pages of this comprehensive and extensively illustrated book.
Having interviewed many of the major players, British author Hoskyns (Across the Great Divide: The Band and America, 1993) ambitiously aims to make sense of the careers of every notable musician ever to spend time in L.A., in the context of the city's ethnic and geographical cultures, the L.A.-based record companies' differing sensibilities, the cultural currents their records both spawned and reflected, and especially the pattern of monstrous self-indulgence that seemingly few L.A. musicians have evaded. The pre-rock era is covered fairly perfunctorily, but Hoskyns begins to shine with early '60s tales of hack songwriters, calculating record companies, and motley unaffiliated hustlers all angling to produce a Top 40 hit. Hoskyns notes that there's as much image manipulation in pop as in the movies. The Beach Boys created the myth of southern California as endless beach party, but, in Hoskyns's typically pithy characterization, leader Brian Wilson was "an all-American misfit . . . a gawky, introspective geek" who'd never surfed. The all-white Hollywood hit-makers could afford to be oblivious to the Watts riots, even as they came to represent the "counterculture." A countrified pop mafia (David Crosby, Cass Elliott, Neil Young, etc.) based in L.A.'s outer canyons grew up in the late '60s, but the hippie idealism of life away from Hollywood had a dark flip side, exemplified by the Manson Family and a series of self-destructions from drugs. Hoskyns acerbically registers the irony that the staggeringly successful mellow L.A. pop of the '70sby such artists as the Eagles, Linda Ronstadt, and Fleetwood Macwas created in a milieu ruled by two supremely unmellow forces: cocaine and workaholic mogul David Geffen.
Though occasionally marred by mean spirits, this is an unusually lively, provocative study.
- Hal Leonard Corporation
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- 5.00(w) x 7.70(h) x 1.20(d)
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