First broadcast on 27 May 2007
Produced and Directed by Chris Wilson
The music and mythology of a golden era in the culture of California is explored in this feature-length documentary.
At the start of the 1960s Los Angeles was a kooky backwater, barely visible on the musical map. By the end of the 1970s it was the artistic and industrial hub of the American music industry. This film explores how the socially-conscious folk rock of young hippies with acoustic guitars was transformed into the coked-out stadium excesses of the late 70s, and the biggest-selling album of all time.
Alongside never before seen archive footage, the programme features first-hand accounts of the key figures including musicians, David Crosby, Graham Nash, JD Souther, Bernie Leadon, Bonnie Raitt, Andrew Gold, Mark Volman and Van Dyke Parks, and music industry bosses, David Geffen, Jac Holzman, Ron Stone and Peter Asher, and legendary LA scenesters including Henry Diltz, Pamela Des Barres and Ned Doheny.
Set amongst the sun-dappled porches of Laurel Canyon and perched above LA’s iconic Sunset Strip, this is an epic tale of drugs, genius and greed – all set to a terrific soundtrack.
This fascinating documentary from BBC4, Hotel California: LA from The Byrds to The Eagles charts the evolution of the Southern California/Laurel Canyon rock scene of the sixties thru the seventies. … but it is also the sad story of the transformation into a corporate and money-driven scene in a relatively brief period of time.The film is very blunt in presenting criticisms of the Eagles from a number of different musicians for their approach to music.
David Crosby: “They’re boring, they take no chances, ever!”
It is based on Barney Hoskin’s book of the same name.
Hotel California L.A. from the Byrds to the Eagles BBC documentary:
John David Souther (commonly abbreviated as JD Souther) is an American musician, singer-songwriter, and actor. He has written and co-written numerous hits songs recorded by artists such as Linda Ronstadt and Glenn Frey of the Eagles. He is one of the greatest songwriters in the so called west coast rock, country rock wave of the 70s. He is mainly known for other peoples interpretations of his songs.
That is deeply unfair, he has made seven terrific albums under his own name.
J.D. Souther – Doolin’ Dalton, live 1973:
From Rolling Stone magazine interview with Souther, October 2012:
“…pivotal member of the L.A. country-rock posse of the Seventies, Souther recorded a handful of albums on his own, was briefly in the short-lived Souther-Hillman-Furay Band, is still close friends with Jackson Browne and, most recognizably, co-wrote songs with his friends the Eagles (“Best of My Love, ” “New Kid in Town,” “The Sad Cafe”) and Henley (“The Heart of the Matter”). Never one to court fame (despite having dated Linda Ronstadt and Stevie Nicks), Souther, 66, has largely remained under the pop-culture radar, especially once he retreated from the music business in the Eighties. But over the last few years, he’s returned to recording and touring (he just released a live EP, Midnight in Tokyo, featuring new songs and his current, jazz-oriented band), and he’s been nominated for the Songwriters Hall of Fame. And as Nashville shows, he’s also begun acting again (music fans in the Nineties may remember his stint as environmentalist John Dunaway inthirtysomething)…”
J.D. Souther – I’ll be here at closing time, live 2009:
The album of today is the excellent “John David Souther” from 1972:
Other 2 November:
Continue reading Today: J.D. Souther is 67