Standing at the edge of Laurel Canyon in Los Angeles, you can almost feel the reverberations of a bygone era. The winding roads and lush foliage provide an escape from the hustle and bustle of modern life, while the stories contained within its walls are just as captivating. From the vibrant music scene to its storied history with celebrities, Laurel Canyon has remained steeped in mystery and intrigue. Now, a few documentaries have begun to shed light on this enigmatic place that has inspired generations of creatives and provided countless memorable moments. Today, we’re taking a look at the best documentaries about Laurel Canyon – a must-see list for anybody looking for some insight into one of Los Angeles’ most beloved areas. So, get ready to experience the magic of Laurel Canyon as you delve deep into the past and explore its secrets. From famous musicians to celebrity encounters, these documentaries will take you on a journey like no other.
1. The Legends of Laurel Canyon
Laurel Canyon is the stuff of legends. Nestled in the Los Angeles hills, it’s been described as both a place of peace and beauty – and a wild and mysterious land of rock stars, musicians, free spirits, and more. It has spawned the careers of famous acts like The Byrds, Frank Zappa, and Buffalo Springfield. But it’s also been shrouded in mystery – some say haunted by ghost stories; others speculate that the canyon is a clandestine center of the occult.
2. Tour Laurel Canyon
The beautiful and mysterious Laurel Canyon, located in Los Angeles, has captivated generations with its natural beauty. From celebrity homes to hidden hiking trails, this idyllic canyon has something for everyone. So come explore the enchanted landscape of Laurel Canyon and discover a world unlike any other! Start your tour of Laurel Canyon with a visit to the historic Hollywood sign. This landmark is beloved by locals and tourists alike, offering incomparable views of the canyon below. As you take in the amazing sights, listen for the birds and other wildlife that call this place home.
3. David McGowan: The Laurel Canyon Conspiracy
Laurel Canyon, located in the hills of Los Angeles, has a chill and open-door music scene that helped usher in a new era for rock music. In particular, the hippie movement of the 60s began there with its peculiar ties to military families as well as certain political figures like Jim Morrison and Frank Zappa. Deanna Spingola captured this unique culture in her documentary, “In Conversation With David McGowan of the Laurel Canyon Conspiracy Culture Creation”. It’s a fascinating look at how this movement shaped and influenced the musical landscape. From then to now, Laurel Canyon has become an iconic destination for many artists and music fans alike. You can even feel its energy today as you walk down its winding streets and take in the sights and sounds it has to offer. It’s certainly worth a visit – come explore its history for yourself! In addition to its musical heritage, Laurel Canyon is also home to some of the most beautiful hiking trails in LA County. Enjoy stunning views of the San Gabriel Mountains while taking in some fresh air and getting exercise at the same time. With miles of trails to choose from, there’s something for everyone. Whether you’re looking for a leisurely stroll or an adventurous climb, Laurel Canyon has it all! With its colorful history and breathtaking scenery, Laurel Canyon is definitely a place that should not be missed when visiting Los Angeles. From its musical roots to its outdoor activities, there’s something here for everyone. Come explore the area for yourself and discover all that this unique neighborhood has to offer.
4. California Cults and The Laurel Canyon Conspiracy
California has long been a hotbed of cult activity. From Charles Manson’s infamous Family to Heaven’s Gate and the Church of Euthanasia, the Golden State has had its fair share of controversial religious movements. But one that may have flown under the radar is the mysterious Laurel Canyon conspiracy. In recent years, investigators have uncovered an array of strange connections linking 1960s era rock stars, Hollywood elites, and cults that may have been operating from within the canyon.
5. The Gruesome & Unsolved Wonderland Murders: Mystery in Laurel Canyon
The gruesome and unsolved Wonderland murders are one of the most mysterious cases in the history of American crime. To this day, many questions remain unanswered about the events that transpired on July 1st, 1981, when four people were brutally slain in their home at 8763 Wonderland Avenue in Los Angeles’ Laurel Canyon neighborhood. It began with a robbery gone wrong, and it would soon become apparent that the true story behind the Wonderland murders was much more complex. The list of suspects included a porn star, drug lord, and an eccentric ex-convict with a penchant for violence.
6. California Dreamin’: The Sounds of Laurel Canyon 1965-1977 (Part 1)
The GRAMMY Museum in Los Angeles was the perfect venue for a panel discussing the vibrant music scene of Laurel Canyon. On May 9, 2014, seven influential figures from the industry convened to shed light on why this area has been so important in fostering creativity and new sounds. Bob Santelli, executive director of the GRAMMY Museum, opened the discussion with a thought on the significance of Laurel Canyon: “It’s more than just music coming out of this place. It’s a mindset that has been carried on through generations, inspiring new bands and producers alike.”
7. California Dreamin’: The Sounds of Laurel Canyon 1965-1977 (Part 2)
The GRAMMY Museum in Los Angeles hosted a unique panel of seven music industry professionals on May 9th, 2014. They gathered to discuss the incredibly rich musical history and landscape of Laurel Canyon – an area that has been the birthplace for countless songwriters, bands, producers, engineers, and record companies over the years. Executive director Bob Santelli understood that it was important to recognize this integral part of L.A.’s musical identity – and thus, the panel convened. Laurel Canyon is more than just a music scene; it exists as an idea built around creative ideas and progressiveness. It’s why so many continue to flock to Los Angeles in pursuit of success, although the area is now much different than it used to be. The panel discussed Laurel Canyon’s cultural and musical importance, exploring the various stories of its celebrated members. It was an informative day, with each speaker presenting on a different aspect of the area’s past, present, and future. Their insights were invaluable in understanding the impact that this neighborhood has had – and will continue to have – in shaping modern music and culture.
8. JONI MITCHELL’s LAUREL CANYON House, CHATEAU MARMONT
Welcome to Chateau Marmont, a storied Los Angeles landmark and home to legendary singer-songwriter Joni Mitchell. Located on an enchanting cul-de-sac in the hills of LA’s iconic Laurel Canyon, this palatial retreat is an oasis for stars and would-be celebrities alike. Built in 1929, Chateau Marmont is a timeless treasure trove of Old Hollywood glamour and rustic chic sophistication. Its luxurious villa-style design and richly appointed interiors make it the perfect destination for those seeking an escape from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. As you approach the entrance, you are greeted by a picturesque red-tiled roof that serves as the estate’s welcoming canopy. Inside the sprawling grounds, trees and lush vegetation provide an intimate and tranquil setting for guests to relax and unwind.
9. LAUREL CANYON
As we head to Laurel Canyon, the scorching heat of the sun radiating against my skin doesn’t seem to bother me as much. I’m eager and enthusiastic to explore the place that has been home to all the legendary rock stars from The Mamas and the Papas, The Eagles, The Beach Boys, and Joni Mitchell. Having heard about the recent heavy rainfalls due to an atmospheric river, I was expecting a lot of mudslides. But never had I expected one to come in our way! As we near the turn, towards Laurel Canyon, I spot road closure signs and police officers blocking our path. Even with my well-known skill of getting through bridge closures unscathed, this time I knew they weren’t letting anyone through. The mudslides had already caused a significant amount of erosion and I could see that the mountain was dangerously unstable. Despite having to take a detour, I was still determined to explore Laurel Canyon. So we decided to take a different route where we got to check out some more streets before connecting with Mulholland at the top. After a handful of miles along the ridge, I finally had to face it- Laurel Canyon was closed and we couldn’t descend any further.
10. Laurel Canyon Episode 2: RE-EDITED VERSION – “Love Street”
Exploring the mysterious depths of Laurel Canyon, Wolf River Music Television presents our RE-EDITED VERSION of our Laurel Canyon miniseries. Even from a distance, you can sense something special about this place. For almost ten years between 1965 and 1974, Laurel Canyon was home to some of the greatest musicians in history: The Byrds, The Mamas & The Papas, Buffalo Springfield, Neil Young, Joni Mitchell, CSNY, The Doors and many others. This was a time of immense creativity and success for these artists but no one could predict the darkness that was lurking within this seemingly idyllic place.
11. Laurel Canyon Episode 3: RE-EDITED VERSION – “The Kirkwood Bowl” (First Half)
Be transported through time and music to the legendary and iconic Laurel Canyon. The ’65-’74 era was an exciting one, full of legends including The Byrds, Buffalo Springfield, Joni Mitchell, CSNY, The Eagles – plus industry players like David Geffen and Ron Stone. Explore the famous locations that made this place so special; Love Street, the Tom Mix Cabin and the Houdini Estate. But there was something else in Laurel Canyon that many don’t know about, something dark. We’ll take a closer look at the Manson Family and the influence of drugs on the scene – cocaine and heroin wreaked havoc as they slowly crept in.
12. Laurel Canyon Episode 3 (Part 2): RE-EDITED VERSION – “The Kirkwood Bowl”
The world of Laurel Canyon, North Hollywood in the mid-1960s was an explosion of musical talent. David Geffen, Elliot Mintz, Jim Ladd and Ron Stone all made their mark within music industry but what really stood out were the talented musicians that emerged from the area – The Byrds, The Mamas and The Papas, Buffalo Springfield, Neil Young, Joni Mitchell, CSNY, The Doors, Frank Zappa, Carole King, The Eagles and Gram Parsons. They all had a certain je ne sais quoi that made them stand out from the rest. And then there were the places they frequented – The Canyon Country Store, Love Street, Tom Mix Cabin and Houdini Estate just to name a few. It was here that Jim Morrison, Cass Elliot, John Lennon and many other greats hung out and created some of the most iconic music of their generations.