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Hotel California: The True-Life Adventures of Crosby, Stills, Nash, Young, Mitchell, Taylor, Browne, Ronstadt, Geffen, the Eagles, and Tby Barney Hoskyns
Synopses & Reviews
This book is a remarkable insider's look at one of the most dramatic, creative, and revolutionary settings in American popular culture: the Los Angeles popular music scene from the late 1960s through the late 1970s.
After the world fell in love with the steady stream of hit records from the Beach Boys, the Byrds, the Mamas and the Papas, and Buffalo Springfield in the mid-1960s, the music industry's center of gravity shifted from New York to L.A.'s Laurel Canyon, a bucolic haven for artists and pop-music prodigies minutes from the buzz of the Sunset Strip. Hotel California takes you on an intimate tour of this scene as you read a treasure trove of original material about the musical and personal doings of sixties and seventies singer-songwriters, superstars, and producers. Through insights provided by extraordinarily candid firsthand interviews, author Barney Hoskyns has conducted over more than three decades, Hotel California reveals key moments in the creative and professional lives of—as well as many of the less professional adventures of—these legends.
Hoskyns delivers fascinating new details about how Joni Mitchell created her otherworldly masterpieces while romancing David Crosby, Stephen Stills, Graham Nash, Jackson Browne, James Taylor, and others. You'll read things you've never read before about Glenn Frey's narcissism, Linda Ronstadt's intellect, Don Henley's troubled conscience, and more. You'll discover how mega-mogul David Geffen lured handsome young musicians to sign with his new record label and how the Eagles became the biggest band in America. You'll learn about Mama Cass Elliot's perpetual open house and her penchant for trading drugs for sex with good-looking young men and about the major substance abuse problems that plagued the Eagles, David Crosby, and others—problems that eventually took the lives of such major talents as Jim Morrison and Gram Parsons.
Hotel California is a narrative of rise and fall—from the hootenanny love-in innocence of talented, fresh-eyed young women and men with acoustic guitars to the coked-out superstardom of mid-70s stadium rock. It tells an epic tale of songs and sunshine; sex, drugs, and denim; genius and greed. Packed with both fascinating anecdotes and sharp insights into the lives and careers of its larger-than-life subjects, this book captures a legendary era of musical discovery, the amazing results of successful creative collaboration, and the much darker side of fame, wealth, and unbridled ambition. You won't be able to put it down.
"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.
Advance praise for Hotel California
A British rock critic obsessed with America, Barney Hoskyns brings a genuine love as well as an outsider's keen eye to the rise and fall of the California scene in the sixties and seventies. This is a riveting story, sensitively told.
--Anthony DeCurtis, Contributing Editor, Rolling Stone
Comprehensive and lively, Hotel California offers a front-row seat on the wild ride--fueled by drugs, sex, and lots of cash--that took Southern California singer-songwriters from hot tubs and local bars to sold-out stadiums, private jets, and the bestselling album of all time.
--Alan Light, author of The Skills to Pay the Bills: The Story of the Beastie Boys
One of our finest pop historians reappraises a neglected and often maligned milieu. Barney Hoskyns deftly evokes not just the decadence but the sense of discovery rooted in 1960s idealism and fostered by a gaggle of record industry mavericks who, for a brief period, managed to make art and business coexist.
--Simon Reynolds, author of Rip It Up and Start Again
About 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.
Table of Contents
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
Suggested Reading 303
Photographs follow page 158
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