Laurel Canyon - CIA, Military, Hippies, Drugs, Serial Killers, Celebrities, Rock Stars


#1

Chuck Barris (from Wiki)
In Barris’s biography Confessions of a Dangerous Mind, he claims to have worked for the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) as an assassin in the 1960s and the 1970s. A 2002 feature film version, directed by George Clooney and starring Sam Rockwell, depicts Barris as killing 33 people. Barris wrote a sequel, Bad Grass Never Dies, in 2004.

The CIA denies Barris ever worked for them in any capacity. After the release of the movie, CIA spokesman Paul Nowack said Barris’ assertions that he worked for the spy agency “[are] ridiculous. It’s absolutely not true.”[5]


#2


Trout Mask Replica 1969
Critically acclaimed as Van Vliet’s magnum opus,[54] Trout Mask Replica was released as a 28 track double album in June 1969 on Frank Zappa’s newly formed Straight Records label. First issues, in the USA, were auto-coupled and housed in the black ‘Straight’ liners along with a 6-page lyric sheet illustrated by the Mascara Snake. A school-age portrait of Van Vliet appears on the front of this sheet, while the cover of the gatefold enigmatically shows Beefheart in a ‘Quaker’ hat, obscuring his face with the head of a fish. The fish is a carp – arguably a ‘replica’ for a trout, photographed by Cal Schenkel. The inner spread ‘infra-red’ photography is by Ed Caraeff, whose Beefheart vacuum cleaner images from this session also appear on Zappa’s Hot Rats release (a month earlier) to accompany “Willie The Pimp” lyrics sung by Vliet. Alex St. Clair had now left the band and, after Junior Madeo from The Blackouts was considered,[55] the role was filled by Bill Harkleroad. Bassist Jerry Handley had also departed, with Gary Marker stepping in. Thus the long rehearsals for the album began in the house on Ensenada Drive in Woodland Hills, L.A.,[56][57] that would become the infamous ‘Magic Band House’.

The Magic Band began recordings for Trout Mask Replica with bassist Gary ‘Magic’ Marker at T.T.G. (on “Moonlight on Vermont” and “Veteran’s Day Poppy”),[58] but later enlisted bassist Mark Boston after his departure. The remainder of the album was recorded at Whitney Studios, with some field recordings made at the house.[56] Boston was acquainted with French and Harkleroad via past bands. Van Vliet had also begun assigning nicknames to his band members, so Harkleroad became Zoot Horn Rollo, and Boston became Rockette Morton, while John French assumed the name Drumbo, and Jeff Cotton became Antennae Jimmy Semens. Van Vliet’s cousin Victor Hayden, the Mascara Snake, performed as a bass clarinetist later in the proceedings.[59] Vliet’s girlfriend Laurie Stone, who can be heard laughing at the beginning of Fallin’ Ditch, became an audio typist[60] at the Magic Band house.

Van Vliet wanted the whole band to “live” the Trout Mask Replica album. The group rehearsed Van Vliet’s difficult compositions for eight months, living communally in their small rented house in the Woodland Hills suburb of Los Angeles. With only two bedrooms the band members would find sleep in various corners of one, while Vliet occupied the other and rehearsals were accomplished in the main living area. Van Vliet implemented his vision by completely dominating his musicians, artistically and emotionally. At various times one or another of the group members was “put in the barrel,” with Van Vliet berating him continually, sometimes for days, until the musician collapsed in tears or in total submission.[61] Drummer John French described the situation as “cultlike”[62] and a visiting friend said “the environment in that house was positively Mansonesque.”[4] Their material circumstances were dire. With no income other than welfare and contributions from relatives, the group barely survived and were even arrested for shoplifting food (Zappa bailed them out)[citation needed]. French has recalled living on no more than a small cup of beans a day for a month.[26] A visitor described their appearance as “cadaverous” and said that “they all looked in poor health.” Band members were restricted from leaving the house and practiced for 14 or more hours a day.

Physical assaults were encouraged at times, along with verbal degradation. At one point Cotton ran from the house and escaped for a few weeks, during which time Alex Snouffer filled in for him and helped to work up Ant Man Bee. French, who had thrown a metal cymbal at Cotton, ran after him yelling that he too wanted to come. Cotton later returned to the house with French’s mother, who took him away for a few weeks, but he later felt compelled to return, as did Cotton. Mark Boston at one point hid clothes in a field across the street, planning his own getaway.[citation needed]

John French’s 2010 book Through the Eyes of Magic describes some of the “talks,” which were initiated by his doing such things as playing a Frank Zappa drum part (“The Blimp (mousetrapreplica)”) in his drumming shed, and not having finished drum parts as quickly as Beefheart wanted. French writes of being punched by band members, thrown into walls, kicked, punched in the face by Beefheart hard enough to draw blood, being attacked with a sharp broomstick.[63] Eventually Beefheart, French says, threatened to throw him out an upper floor window. He admits complicity in similarly attacking his bandmates during “talks” aimed at them. In the end, after the album’s recording, Beefheart ejected French from the band by throwing him down a set of stairs, telling him to “Take a walk, man” after not responding in a desired manner to a request to “play a strawberry” on the drums. Beefheart replaced French with drummer Jeff Bruschel, an acquaintance of Hayden. Referred to as ‘Fake Drumbo’ (playing on French’s drumset) this final act resulted in French’s name not appearing on the album credits, either as a player or arranger. Bruschel toured with the band to Europe but was replaced by the next recording.


#3

Alfred Hubbard - Captain Trips - The CIA’s LSD Source

According to some accounts, Hubbard worked at various times for the Canadian Special Services, the United States Justice Department, the United States Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives and the Office of Strategic Services.[1]

The Office of Strategic Services of course went on to become the CIA


#4

He was great in Star Trek.


#5

Inside The LC: The Strange but Mostly True Story of Laurel Canyon and the Birth of the Hippie Generation
Part I
May 8, 2008

“There’s something happening here
What it is ain’t exactly clear”

Join me now, if you have the time, as we take a stroll down memory lane to a time nearly four-and-a-half decades ago – a time when America last had uniformed ground troops fighting a sustained and bloody battle to impose, uhmm, ‘democracy’ on a sovereign nation.

It is the first week of August, 1964, and U.S. warships under the command of U.S. Navy Admiral George Stephen Morrison have allegedly come under attack while patrolling Vietnam’s Tonkin Gulf. This event, subsequently dubbed the ‘Tonkin Gulf Incident,’ will result in the immediate passing by the U.S. Congress of the obviously pre-drafted Tonkin Gulf Resolution, which will, in turn, quickly lead to America’s deep immersion into the bloody Vietnam quagmire. Before it is over, well over fifty thousand American bodies – along with literally millions of Southeast Asian bodies – will litter the battlefields of Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia.

For the record, the Tonkin Gulf Incident appears to differ somewhat from other alleged provocations that have driven this country to war. This was not, as we have seen so many times before, a ‘false flag’ operation (which is to say, an operation that involves Uncle Sam attacking himself and then pointing an accusatory finger at someone else). It was also not, as we have also seen on more than one occasion, an attack that was quite deliberately provoked. No, what the Tonkin Gulf incident actually was, as it turns out, is an ‘attack’ that never took place at all. The entire incident, as has been all but officially acknowledged, was spun from whole cloth. (It is quite possible, however, that the intent was to provoke a defensive response, which could then be cast as an unprovoked attack on U.S ships. The ships in question were on an intelligence mission and were operating in a decidedly provocative manner. It is quite possible that when Vietnamese forces failed to respond as anticipated, Uncle Sam decided to just pretend as though they had.)

Nevertheless, by early February 1965, the U.S. will – without a declaration of war and with no valid reason to wage one – begin indiscriminately bombing North Vietnam. By March of that same year, the infamous “Operation Rolling Thunder” will have commenced. Over the course of the next three-and-a-half years, millions of tons of bombs, missiles, rockets, incendiary devices and chemical warfare agents will be dumped on the people of Vietnam in what can only be described as one of the worst crimes against humanity ever perpetrated on this planet.

Also in March of 1965, the first uniformed U.S. soldier will officially set foot on Vietnamese soil (although Special Forces units masquerading as ‘advisers’ and ‘trainers’ had been there for at least four years, and likely much longer). By April 1965, fully 25,000 uniformed American kids, most still teenagers barely out of high school, will be slogging through the rice paddies of Vietnam. By the end of the year, U.S. troop strength will have surged to 200,000.

Meanwhile, elsewhere in the world in those early months of 1965, a new ‘scene’ is just beginning to take shape in the city of Los Angeles. In a geographically and socially isolated community known as Laurel Canyon – a heavily wooded, rustic, serene, yet vaguely ominous slice of LA nestled in the hills that separate the Los Angeles basin from the San Fernando Valley – musicians, singers and songwriters suddenly begin to gather as though summoned there by some unseen Pied Piper. Within months, the ‘hippie/flower child’ movement will be given birth there, along with the new style of music that will provide the soundtrack for the tumultuous second half of the 1960s.

An uncanny number of rock music superstars will emerge from Laurel Canyon beginning in the mid-1960s and carrying through the decade of the 1970s. The first to drop an album will be The Byrds, whose biggest star will prove to be David Crosby. The band’s debut effort, “Mr. Tambourine Man,” will be released on the Summer Solstice of 1965. It will quickly be followed by releases from the John Phillips-led Mamas and the Papas (“If You Can Believe Your Eyes and Ears,” January 1966), Love with Arthur Lee (“Love,” May 1966), Frank Zappa and The Mothers of Invention (“Freak Out,” June 1966), Buffalo Springfield, featuring Stephen Stills and Neil Young (“Buffalo Springfield,” October 1966), and The Doors (“The Doors,” January 1967).

One of the earliest on the Laurel Canyon/Sunset Strip scene is Jim Morrison, the enigmatic lead singer of The Doors. Jim will quickly become one of the most iconic, controversial, critically acclaimed, and influential figures to take up residence in Laurel Canyon. Curiously enough though, the self-proclaimed “Lizard King” has another claim to fame as well, albeit one that none of his numerous chroniclers will feel is of much relevance to his career and possible untimely death: he is the son, as it turns out, of the aforementioned Admiral George Stephen Morrison.

And so it is that, even while the father is actively conspiring to fabricate an incident that will be used to massively accelerate an illegal war, the son is positioning himself to become an icon of the ‘hippie’/anti-war crowd. Nothing unusual about that, I suppose. It is, you know, a small world and all that. And it is not as if Jim Morrison’s story is in any way unique.

During the early years of its heyday, Laurel Canyon’s father figure is the rather eccentric personality known as Frank Zappa. Though he and his various Mothers of Invention line-ups will never attain the commercial success of the band headed by the admiral’s son, Frank will be a hugely influential figure among his contemporaries. Ensconced in an abode dubbed the ‘Log Cabin’ – which sat right in the heart of Laurel Canyon, at the crossroads of Laurel Canyon Boulevard and Lookout Mountain Avenue – Zappa will play host to virtually every musician who passes through the canyon in the mid- to late-1960s. He will also discover and sign numerous acts to his various Laurel Canyon-based record labels. Many of these acts will be rather bizarre and somewhat obscure characters (think Captain Beefheart and Larry “Wild Man” Fischer), but some of them, such as psychedelic rocker cum shock-rocker Alice Cooper, will go on to superstardom.

Zappa, along with certain members of his sizable entourage (the ‘Log Cabin’ was run as an early commune, with numerous hangers-on occupying various rooms in the main house and the guest house, as well as in the peculiar caves and tunnels lacing the grounds of the home; far from the quaint homestead the name seems to imply, by the way, the ‘Log Cabin’ was a cavernous five-level home that featured a 2,000+ square-foot living room with three massive chandeliers and an enormous floor-to-ceiling stone fireplace), will also be instrumental in introducing the look and attitude that will define the ‘hippie’ counterculture (although the Zappa crew preferred the label ‘Freak’). Nevertheless, Zappa (born, curiously enough, on the Winter Solstice of 1940) never really made a secret of the fact that he had nothing but contempt for the ‘hippie’ culture that he helped create and that he surrounded himself with.

Given that Zappa was, by numerous accounts, a rigidly authoritarian control-freak and a supporter of U.S. military actions in Southeast Asia, it is perhaps not surprising that he would not feel a kinship with the youth movement that he helped nurture. And it is probably safe to say that Frank’s dad also had little regard for the youth culture of the 1960s, given that Francis Zappa was, in case you were wondering, a chemical warfare specialist assigned to – where else? – the Edgewood Arsenal. Edgewood is, of course, the longtime home of America’s chemical warfare program, as well as a facility frequently cited as being deeply enmeshed in MK-ULTRA operations. Curiously enough, Frank Zappa literally grew up at the Edgewood Arsenal, having lived the first seven years of his life in military housing on the grounds of the facility. The family later moved to Lancaster, California, near Edwards Air Force Base, where Francis Zappa continued to busy himself with doing classified work for the military/intelligence complex. His son, meanwhile, prepped himself to become an icon of the peace & love crowd. Again, nothing unusual about that, I suppose.

Zappa’s manager, by the way, is a shadowy character by the name of Herb Cohen, who had come out to L.A. from the Bronx with his brother Mutt just before the music and club scene began heating up. Cohen, a former U.S. Marine, had spent a few years traveling the world before his arrival on the Laurel Canyon scene. Those travels, curiously, had taken him to the Congo in 1961, at the very time that leftist Prime Minister Patrice Lumumba was being tortured and killed by our very own CIA. Not to worry though; according to one of Zappa’s biographers, Cohen wasn’t in the Congo on some kind of nefarious intelligence mission. No, he was there, believe it or not, to supply arms to Lumumba “in defiance of the CIA.” Because, you know, that is the kind of thing that globetrotting ex-Marines did in those days (as we’ll see soon enough when we take a look at another Laurel Canyon luminary).

Making up the other half of Laurel Canyon’s First Family is Frank’s wife, Gail Zappa, known formerly as Adelaide Sloatman. Gail hails from a long line of career Naval officers, including her father, who spent his life working on classified nuclear weapons research for the U.S. Navy. Gail herself had once worked as a secretary for the Office of Naval Research and Development (she also once told an interviewer that she had “heard voices all [her] life”). Many years before their nearly simultaneous arrival in Laurel Canyon, Gail had attended a Naval kindergarten with “Mr. Mojo Risin’” himself, Jim Morrison (it is claimed that, as children, Gail once hit Jim over the head with a hammer). The very same Jim Morrison had later attended the same Alexandria, Virginia high school as two other future Laurel Canyon luminaries – John Phillips and Cass Elliott.

“Papa” John Phillips, more so than probably any of the other illustrious residents of Laurel Canyon, will play a major role in spreading the emerging youth ‘counterculture’ across America. His contribution will be twofold: first, he will co-organize (along with Manson associate Terry Melcher) the famed Monterrey Pop Festival, which, through unprecedented media exposure, will give mainstream America its first real look at the music and fashions of the nascent ‘hippie’ movement. Second, Phillips will pen an insipid song known as “San Francisco (Be Sure to Wear Flowers in Your Hair),” which will quickly rise to the top of the charts. Along with the Monterrey Pop Festival, the song will be instrumental in luring the disenfranchised (a preponderance of whom are underage runaways) to San Francisco to create the Haight-Asbury phenomenon and the famed 1967 “Summer of Love.”

Before arriving in Laurel Canyon and opening the doors of his home to the soon-to-be famous, the already famous, and the infamous (such as the aforementioned Charlie Manson, whose ‘Family’ also spent time at the Log Cabin and at the Laurel Canyon home of “Mama” Cass Elliot, which, in case you didn’t know, sat right across the street from the Laurel Canyon home of Abigail Folger and Voytek Frykowski, but let’s not get ahead of ourselves here), John Edmund Andrew Phillips was, shockingly enough, yet another child of the military/intelligence complex. The son of U.S. Marine Corp Captain Claude Andrew Phillips and a mother who claimed to have psychic and telekinetic powers, John attended a series of elite military prep schools in the Washington, D.C. area, culminating in an appointment to the prestigious U.S. Naval Academy at Annapolis

After leaving Annapolis, John married Susie Adams, a direct descendant of ‘Founding Father’ John Adams. Susie’s father, James Adams, Jr., had been involved in what Susie described as “cloak-and-dagger stuff with the Air Force in Vienna,” or what we like to call covert intelligence operations. Susie herself would later find employment at the Pentagon, alongside John Phillip’s older sister, Rosie, who dutifully reported to work at the complex for nearly thirty years. John’s mother, ‘Dene’ Phillips, also worked for most of her life for the federal government in some unspecified capacity. And John’s older brother, Tommy, was a battle-scarred former U.S. Marine who found work as a cop on the Alexandria police force, albeit one with a disciplinary record for exhibiting a violent streak when dealing with people of color.

John Phillips, of course – though surrounded throughout his life by military/intelligence personnel – did not involve himself in such matters. Or so we are to believe. Before succeeding in his musical career, however, John did seem to find himself, quite innocently of course, in some rather unusual places. One such place was Havana, Cuba, where Phillips arrived at the very height of the Cuban Revolution. For the record, Phillips has claimed that he went to Havana as nothing more than a concerned private citizen, with the intention of – you’re going to love this one – “fighting for Castro.” Because, as I mentioned earlier, a lot of folks in those days traveled abroad to thwart CIA operations before taking up residence in Laurel Canyon and joining the ‘hippie’ generation. During the two weeks or so that the Cuban Missile Crisis played out, a few years after Castro took power, Phillips found himself cooling his heels in Jacksonville, Florida – alongside, coincidentally I’m sure, the Mayport Naval Station.

Anyway, let’s move on to yet another of Laurel Canyon’s earliest and brightest stars, Mr. Stephen Stills. Stills will have the distinction of being a founding member of two of Laurel Canyon’s most acclaimed and beloved bands: Buffalo Springfield, and, needless to say, Crosby, Stills & Nash. In addition, Stills will pen perhaps the first, and certainly one of the most enduring anthems of the 60s generation, “For What It’s Worth,” the opening lines of which appear at the top of this post (Stills’ follow-up single will be entitled “Bluebird,” which, coincidentally or not, happens to be the original codename assigned to the MK-ULTRA program).

Before his arrival in Laurel Canyon, Stephen Stills was (yawn) the product of yet another career military family. Raised partly in Texas, young Stephen spent large swaths of his childhood in El Salvador, Costa Rica, the Panama Canal Zone, and various other parts of Central America – alongside his father, who was, we can be fairly certain, helping to spread ‘democracy’ to the unwashed masses in that endearingly American way. As with the rest of our cast of characters, Stills was educated primarily at schools on military bases and at elite military academies. Among his contemporaries in Laurel Canyon, he was widely viewed as having an abrasive, authoritarian personality. Nothing unusual about any of that, of course, as we have already seen with the rest of our cast of characters.

There is, however, an even more curious aspect to the Stephen Stills story: Stephen will later tell anyone who will sit and listen that he had served time for Uncle Sam in the jungles of Vietnam. These tales will be universally dismissed by chroniclers of the era as nothing more than drug-induced delusions. Such a thing couldn’t possibly be true, it will be claimed, since Stills arrived on the Laurel Canyon scene at the very time that the first uniformed troops began shipping out and he remained in the public eye thereafter. And it will of course be quite true that Stephen Stills could not have served with uniformed ground troops in Vietnam, but what will be ignored is the undeniable fact that the U.S. had thousands of ‘advisers’ – which is to say, CIA/Special Forces operatives – operating in the country for a good many years before the arrival of the first official ground troops. What will also be ignored is that, given his background, his age, and the timeline of events, Stephen Stills not only could indeed have seen action in Vietnam, he would seem to have been a prime candidate for such an assignment. After which, of course, he could rather quickly become – stop me if you’ve heard this one before – an icon of the peace generation.

Another of those icons, and one of Laurel Canyon’s most flamboyant residents, is a young man by the name of David Crosby, founding member of the seminal Laurel Canyon band the Byrds, as well as, of course, Crosby, Stills & Nash. Crosby is, not surprisingly, the son of an Annapolis graduate and WWII military intelligence officer, Major Floyd Delafield Crosby. Like others in this story, Floyd Crosby spent much of his post-service time traveling the world. Those travels landed him in places like Haiti, where he paid a visit in 1927, when the country just happened to be, coincidentally of course, under military occupation by the U.S. Marines. One of the Marines doing that occupying was a guy that we met earlier by the name of Captain Claude Andrew Phillips.

But David Crosby is much more than just the son of Major Floyd Delafield Crosby. David Van Cortlandt Crosby, as it turns out, is a scion of the closely intertwined Van Cortlandt, Van Schuyler and Van Rensselaer families. And while you’re probably thinking, “the Van Who families?,” I can assure you that if you plug those names in over at Wikipedia, you can spend a pretty fair amount of time reading up on the power wielded by this clan for the last, oh, two-and-a-quarter centuries or so. Suffice it to say that the Crosby family tree includes a truly dizzying array of US senators and congressmen, state senators and assemblymen, governors, mayors, judges, Supreme Court justices, Revolutionary and Civil War generals, signers of the Declaration of Independence, and members of the Continental Congress. It also includes, I should hasten to add – for those of you with a taste for such things – more than a few high-ranking Masons. Stephen Van Rensselaer III, for example, reportedly served as Grand Master of Masons for New York. And if all that isn’t impressive enough, according to the New England Genealogical Society, David Van Cortlandt Crosby is also a direct descendant of ‘Founding Fathers’ and Federalist Papers’ authors Alexander Hamilton and John Jay.

If there is, as many believe, a network of elite families that has shaped national and world events for a very long time, then it is probably safe to say that David Crosby is a bloodline member of that clan (which may explain, come to think of it, why his semen seems to be in such demand in certain circles – because, if we’re being honest here, it certainly can’t be due to his looks or talent.) If America had royalty, then David Crosby would probably be a Duke, or a Prince, or something similar (I’m not really sure how that shit works). But other than that, he is just a normal, run-of-the-mill kind of guy who just happened to shine as one of Laurel Canyon’s brightest stars. And who, I guess I should add, has a real fondness for guns, especially handguns, which he has maintained a sizable collection of for his entire life. According to those closest to him, it is a rare occasion when Mr. Crosby is not packing heat (John Phillips also owned and sometimes carried handguns). And according to Crosby himself, he has, on at least one occasion, discharged a firearm in anger at another human being. All of which made him, of course, an obvious choice for the Flower Children to rally around.

Another shining star on the Laurel Canyon scene, just a few years later, will be singer-songwriter Jackson Browne, who is – are you getting as bored with this as I am? – the product of a career military family. Browne’s father was assigned to post-war ‘reconstruction’ work in Germany, which very likely means that he was in the employ of the OSS, precursor to the CIA. As readers of my “Understanding the F-Word” may recall, U.S. involvement in post-war reconstruction in Germany largely consisted of maintaining as much of the Nazi infrastructure as possible while shielding war criminals from capture and prosecution. Against that backdrop, Jackson Browne was born in a military hospital in Heidelberg, Germany. Some two decades later, he emerged as … oh, never mind.

Let’s talk instead about three other Laurel Canyon vocalists who will rise to dizzying heights of fame and fortune: Gerry Beckley, Dan Peek and Dewey Bunnell. Individually, these three names are probably unknown to virtually all readers; but collectively, as the band America, the three will score huge hits in the early ‘70s with such songs as “Ventura Highway,” “A Horse With No Name,” and the Wizard of Oz-themed “The Tin Man.” I guess I probably don’t need to add here that all three of these lads were products of the military/intelligence community. Beckley’s dad was the commander of the now-defunct West Ruislip USAF base near London, England, a facility deeply immersed in intelligence operations. Bunnell’s and Peek’s fathers were both career Air Force officers serving under Beckley’s dad at West Ruislip, which is where the three boys first met.

We could also, I suppose, discuss Mike Nesmith of the Monkees and Cory Wells of Three Dog Night (two more hugely successful Laurel Canyon bands), who both arrived in LA not long after serving time with the U.S. Air Force. Nesmith also inherited a family fortune estimated at $25 million. Gram Parsons, who would briefly replace David Crosby in The Byrds before fronting The Flying Burrito Brothers, was the son of Major Cecil Ingram “Coon Dog” Connor II, a decorated military officer and bomber pilot who reportedly flew over 50 combat missions. Parsons was also an heir, on his mother’s side, to the formidable Snively family fortune. Said to be the wealthiest family in the exclusive enclave of Winter Haven, Florida, the Snively family was the proud owner of Snively Groves, Inc., which reportedly owned as much as 1/3 of all the citrus groves in the state of Florida.

And so it goes as one scrolls through the roster of Laurel Canyon superstars. What one finds, far more often than not, are the sons and daughters of the military/intelligence complex and the sons and daughters of extreme wealth and privilege – and oftentimes, you’ll find both rolled into one convenient package. Every once in a while, you will also stumble across a former child actor, like the aforementioned Brandon DeWilde, or Monkee Mickey Dolenz, or eccentric prodigy Van Dyke Parks. You might also encounter some former mental patients, such as James Taylor, who spent time in two different mental institutions in Massachusetts before hitting the Laurel Canyon scene, or Larry “Wild Man” Fischer, who was institutionalized repeatedly during his teen years, once for attacking his mother with a knife (an act that was gleefully mocked by Zappa on the cover of Fischer’s first album). Finally, you might find the offspring of an organized crime figure, like Warren Zevon, the son of William “Stumpy” Zevon, a lieutenant for infamous LA crimelord Mickey Cohen.

All these folks gathered nearly simultaneously along the narrow, winding roads of Laurel Canyon. They came from across the country – although the Washington, DC area was noticeably over-represented – as well as from Canada and England. They came even though, at the time, there wasn’t much of a pop music industry in Los Angeles. They came even though, at the time, there was no live pop music scene to speak of. They came even though, in retrospect, there was no discernable reason for them to do so.

It would, of course, make sense these days for an aspiring musician to venture out to Los Angeles. But in those days, the centers of the music universe were Nashville, Detroit and New York. It wasn’t the industry that drew the Laurel Canyon crowd, you see, but rather the Laurel Canyon crowd that transformed Los Angeles into the epicenter of the music industry. To what then do we attribute this unprecedented gathering of future musical superstars in the hills above Los Angeles? What was it that inspired them all to head out west? Perhaps Neil Young said it best when he told an interviewer that he couldn’t really say why he headed out to LA circa 1966; he and others “were just going like Lemmings.”

http://www.davesweb.cnchost.com/nwsltr93.html


#6

Inside The LC: The Strange but Mostly True Story of Laurel Canyon and the Birth of the Hippie Generation
Part XIII

January 26, 2009

“No one could recall ever seeing or hearing about Gram being involved in a protest of any sort.”
Author Ben Fong Torres, who interviewed scores of people close to Gram Parsons while researching Hickory Wind

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gram_Parsons

Timing is a curious thing. When I first started this series in May of 2008, the fact that Jim Morrison’s father had served as the commander of the ships involved in the Gulf of Tonkin ‘incident’ had gone virtually unreported for some four-and-a-half decades. Readers were shocked – shocked, I tell you! – when I began this series by trotting out that revelation. Some even accused me of making it up, or of somehow twisting the facts.

But as fate would have it, as December of 2008 rolled around, the mainstream media was suddenly awash with reports of the unusual Morrison family connection. On December 8, for example, the Los Angeles Times carried a report on Admiral George Stephen Morrison, described therein as “a retired Navy rear admiral and the father of the late rock icon Jim Morrison.” According to the Times report, “Morrison had a long career that included serving as operations officer aboard the aircraft carrier Midway and commanding the fleet during the 1964 Gulf of Tonkin incident, which led to an escalation of American involvement in Vietnam.” (emphasis added)

The very next day, on December 9, the New York Times followed suit with a report by William Grimes: “George S. Morrison, who commanded the fleet during the Gulf of Tonkin incident that led to an escalation of the Vietnam War and whose son Jim was the lead singer of the Doors … Aboard the flagship carrier Bon Homme Richard, Mr. Morrison commanded American naval forces in the gulf when the destroyer Maddox engaged three North Vietnamese torpedo boats on Aug. 2, 1964. A skirmish and confused reports of a second engagement two days later led President Lyndon B. Johnson to order airstrikes against North Vietnam and to request from Congress what became known as the Tonkin Gulf Resolution, allowing him to carry out further military operations without declaring war.” (emphasis again added)

Mr. Grimes has penned a rather charitable account of the Tonkin Gulf incident, to be sure, but what is of far more interest here is the fact that the media is talking about the Morrison/Tonkin Gulf/Doors connection at all. What makes it okay to do so now, it would appear, is the fact that Admiral Morrison exited this world on November 17, 2008, at the ripe old age of 89. His death was reportedly due to unspecified injuries sustained in a fall. According to his obituaries, his distinguished career included raining bombs down on Japanese civilians and Pacific Islanders during the final year of World War II, and serving as “an instructor for secret nuclear-weapons projects in Albuquerque.”

On December 7, the day before George Morrison’s name turned up in the LA Times’ obituaries, another key name from the Laurel Canyon saga appeared there as well: Elmer Valentine, co-owner of the hottest clubs on the Strip in the late 1960s and early 1970s – the Whisky-A-Go-Go, the Roxy, and the Rainbow. Valentine died of unspecified causes on December 3, 2008, at the age of 85. On December 9, the New York Times ran his obituary right alongside that of Morrison. Valentine was therein characterized as “a self-described crooked cop who fled Chicago to start a new life on the Sunset Strip.”

Some scribes, I suppose, would find it a bit disconcerting to find that some of the characters in their work-in-progress had suddenly started dropping dead. After all, the cause of death in both cases is a bit fuzzy, and Morrison dropped just four days after Part 11 was posted and Valentine followed suit 6 days after Part 12 went up. But they were both quite elderly, of course, so maybe it was just their time to go.

Anyway, the real focus of this chapter is singer/songwriter/guitarist/keyboardist Gram Parsons, and the Gram Parsons story, as it turns out, is essentially a microcosm of the Laurel Canyon story. Most of the classic elements are present and accounted for: the royal bloodlines, the not-so-well-hidden intelligence connections, the occult overtones, the extravagantly wealthy family background, an incinerated house or two, and, of course, a whole lot of curious deaths. Without further adieu then, let’s get to know a little more about Mr. Parsons.

First of all, let’s begin with the obvious: Gram Parsons was far from being the biggest star to emerge from the Laurel Canyon scene. In his short lifetime, he failed to achieve any significant level of commercial success. None of his albums, whether recorded solo or with the International Submarine Band, the Byrds, or the Flying Burrito Brothers, climbed very high on the sales charts. But to many fans and musicians alike, he is considered a hugely influential and tragically overlooked figure.

It is safe to say that Parsons does not have nearly the number of fans that, say, David Crosby or Frank Zappa have. Compared to contemporaries who died during the same era and at roughly the same age – artists like Jim Morrison, Janis Joplin and Jimi Hendrix – Parsons is all but unknown. But the fans that he does have tend to be particularly rabid ones, and if you happen to be one of them, you might want to skip this chapter. And the next, actually, because this is kind of a long story.

We begin back about, oh, a thousand years ago, with Ferdinand the Great, the first King of Castille on the Iberian Peninsula. It is to him that the wealthy Connor family claims their family lineage can be traced. Also in the family tree was King Edward II of England, son of Edward I and Eleanor of Castille. According to some sources, Eddie II was murdered by having a red-hot iron rod shoved up his ass, though most of his loyal subjects probably didn’t shed many tears. Bringing the royal bloodline to America was one Colonel George Reade, born in the UK in 1608 and married in Yorktown, Pennsylvania sometime thereafter.

Reade’s offspring would ultimately spawn Ingram Cecil Connor, Jr., a well-to-do gent who settled in Columbia, Tennessee. Like his father before him, Cecil attended Columbia Military Academy. In May 1940, at the outset of World War II, he then enlisted in the US Army Air Force as a 2nd Lieutenant. In March of 1941, Cecil, who during the war would become known as “Coon Dog,” though no one seems to remember why, was shipped off to Hawaii. Nine months later, of course, Pearl Harbor came under attack by Japanese bombers.

Not to worry though – Cecil was never in harm’s way, having opted to forgo living in officer’s quarters on the military base in favor of staying at a luxurious, massive estate near Diamond Head owned by uber-wealthy heiress Barbara Hutton. Hutton, for those who don’t know, was the granddaughter of Frank Woolworth, the founder of the Woolworth’s five-and-dime store chain. She was also the daughter of Franklyn Laws Hutton, a co-founder of E.F. Hutton, one of the nation’s most prestigious brokerage firms until it ran afoul of the law for such crimes as check kiting, money laundering and mail fraud. Barbara was also the niece of Marjory Post Hutton, the daughter of C.W. Post, founder of what would become General Foods.

Like so many of the other characters who have populated this story (including Gram Parsons), Barbara was traumatized in childhood by the alleged suicide of a parent. According to news reports, it was 5-year-old Barbara who discovered her mother Edna’s lifeless body in May of 1917. An empty bottle of strychnine was reportedly recovered by police from a nearby bathroom. There was no autopsy performed and no official inquest was ever conducted, as would be expected when an extremely wealthy person dies under questionable circumstances.

In 1930, just after the onset of the last Great Depression, Barbara was thrown a lavish debutante ball attended by those at the very top of the food chain, including members of the Astor and Rockefeller families. The next year, she inherited a fortune estimated to be worth the equivalent of $1 billion today. She was just nineteen at the time. Two years later, she received further inheritance that raised her net worth to an estimated $2-$2.5 billion (in today’s dollars). Much of the rest of the country was busily wallowing in abject poverty.

Ms Hutton lived a very troubled life, with numerous failed marriages and relationships. One of her many paramours was Phillip van Rensselaer, who later penned a book about her life which he entitled Million Dollar Baby. Van Rensselaer, it will be recalled, was from the same family tree as Laurel Canyon’s own David Crosby – the man whom Gram Parsons would briefly replace in the Byrds. And that, boys and girls, brings us back to our man-of-the-hour.

(I almost added “after that brief digression” to the preceding sentence, but then I remembered that, though I rarely read commentary on my work on the web, I did stumble across something the other day. The review was positive overall, though it did note that my website design was, uhmm, I think the word was “atrocious,” and that I had (this may not be an exact quote) “an unnatural fondness for the word ‘digress.’” I could, I suppose, mount a spirited defense against the charges, but the evidence appears to be overwhelming. But here I really have digres … let’s just get back to our story, shall we?)

As World War II drug on, Ingram Cecil Connor, Jr. worked his way up the chain of command to the rank of Major. In the Pacific theater of operations, he was a decorated hero and a squadron commander who flew numerous combat missions. After the war, he continued to serve in the Air Force at a base in Bartow, Florida, very near the Snively family home in Winter Haven. On March 22, 1945, the spring equinox, “Coon Dog” Connor married Avis Snively.

The Snively clan had first come to America circa 1700, about a century after the arrival of the man who spawned the Connor clan. According to historical records and genealogical charts, Johann Jacob Schnebele, a Swiss Mennonite, was born in 1659. When in his late 50s, around 1715 or shortly thereafter, he ventured across the Atlantic and settled near Cornwall, Pennsylvania. Johann died and was buried in 1743 near Lancaster, Pennsylvania.

Brought over with him to America was his son Jacob, born on the winter solstice of 1694, and his daughter Maria, born in 1702. In 1724, in Mannheim, Pennsylvania, Maria Schnebele married the son of immigrants Hans Hersche and Anna Geunder. That son had Americanized his name and become known as Andrew Hershey. The Schnebele name was likewise Americanized to Snavely (or Snively). The Hershey and Snavely clans would continue to happily intermarry, ultimately producing, in 1857, Milton Snavely Hershey, the son of Henry Hershey and Fanny Snavely.

Milton S. Hershey, of course, would go on to found the world’s largest producer of chocolate confections. Less well known is that Hershey failed miserably in his first several attempts to launch a candy company, in Philadelphia, Chicago and New York City. All of those ventures were financed with Snively/Snavely family money. Hershey ultimately succeeded in launching the successful Lancaster Caramel Company in 1883. In 1900, he sold the caramel company to focus exclusively on chocolate confections. With proceeds from that sale, he purchased 40,000 acres of undeveloped land and built not only the world’s largest chocolate facility, but an entire company town.

The moral of this story, in case you missed it, is that without the Schnebele/Snavely/Snively family fortune, there never would have been any such thing as a Hershey bar or a town known as Hershey, Pennsylvania.

As for Maria’s brother, Jacob Schnebele, he died in August of 1766 in Cumberland County, Pennsylvania, but not before fathering an astounding nineteen children. One of those was son Andrew, who himself fathered fourteen kids. From that branch of the family tree would emerge John Andrew “Papa John” Snively, born in 1888, who headed off to Florida in the early 1900s to seek his fortune. By the 1950s, Snively Groves was the largest shipper of fresh fruit in the state of Florida.

Avis Snively, who exchanged vows with Ingram Cecil Connor, Jr., was the daughter of Papa John. On November 5, 1946, Coon Dog and Avis gave birth to their first child and only son, Ingram Cecil Connor III, later known as Gram Parsons. Soon after, the family relocated to Waycross, Georgia, where, as with Winter Haven, the Snively family owned a massive amount of land devoted to citrus fruit production. It was there that young Ingram “Gram” Connor was raised.

The Connor family home in Waycross, as would be expected, was large and luxurious, and there were numerous servants in attendance, all of whom had considerably more skin pigmentation than did the Connors. Coon Dog and Avis entertained frequently, and both were well known to be heavy drinkers; there were hushed rumors that they were ‘swingers’ as well. As Gram’s younger sister, known as Little Avis, would later recall, “Things were mighty strange around the house.”

In September of 1957, when Gram was not yet eleven, he was sent off to attend the Bowles School, a combination prep school and military academy in Jacksonville, Florida. On his entry questionnaire, he was asked for his top three college choices; Gram chose Annapolis, West Point, and Georgia Tech. While attending Bowles, he became a member of the Centurions, the school’s version of an elite fraternity.

The following year, just before Christmas 1958, Ingram Cecil “Coon Dog” Connor, Jr. was found sprawled across his bed in the family home, a bullet hole in his right temple. A .38 handgun was found nearby. There was no note to be found. Cecil’s brother Tom had visited just the month before, around Thanksgiving, and Coon Dog had told him that he’d never been happier and that life with Avis was wonderful. Curiously, his death was initially ruled to be accidental.

Just ten months before Cecil’s death, Papa John Snively, Avis’ dad, had also died, and now she found herself with both of the men in her life gone. And yet, according to a family member, she never appeared to grieve and she displayed a “total lack of remorse” over anything she may have done to drive Coon Dog to allegedly commit suicide (by some reports, she had been having an affair).

Some six months after Cecil’s death, Avis, Gram and Little Avis boarded a train for a cross-country trip. They were gone the entire summer. Not long after returning, the family moved from the house that Cecil had died in and Avis soon met Robert Ellis Parsons, who owned a business that ostensibly specialized in leasing heavy construction equipment. Parson’s clients, curiously enough, happened to be in Cuba, then under the brutal hand of Batista, and in various South American countries that were also under the thumb of US-installed dictators

It is unclear, by the way, where the “Ellis” in Parsons name comes from, so it would probably be irresponsible to mention the Ellis family that is an intermarried branch of the Bush family, but with the Cuba connection and all, it’s hard for the mind not to wander there.

The Snively clan took an immediate dislike to Parsons, who was described by one family member as a “greedy son of a bitch.” Nevertheless, Avis quickly married him and Bob Parsons quickly took control of her life. One of his first moves was to adopt Gram and Avis, even going so far as to have new birth certificates drawn up listing him as their biological father (how exactly does one go about doing that, by the way?) He also promptly impregnated Avis and convinced her to file a $1.5 million lawsuit against her brother, John, Jr., and her sister, Evalyn. The suit was settled out of court, with Avis receiving an unspecified number of citrus groves, but the real repercussions would be felt some fifteen years later with the bankruptcy of much of the family business in 1974.

In 1960, just a year after marrying, Bob and Avis added daughter Diane to the family. Also added was eighteen-year-old babysitter Bonnie, whom Bob immediately began an affair with, which apparently was not a very well-kept secret. What was a somewhat better kept secret is that, in the early 1960s, following the Cuban revolution, Robert Ellis Parsons became involved in the ‘Cuban cause,’ which is to say that he had very close ties to the leaders of an exile group that was being trained in Polk County, Florida to overthrow the Cuban government.

On one occasion (or at least one occasion that is acknowledged), he brought young Gram along to visit the group’s training camp. As luck would have it, a team from Life magazine happened to also be there that day and Gram – wouldn’t you know it? – was photographed at the camp. When Avis was informed of that development, she worked quickly to insure that those photos were never published. To this day, they have never surfaced.

During that same era, Bob Parsons converted a downtown warehouse that he owned into a teen nightclub to showcase the talents of his ‘son,’ Ingram “Gram” Parsons, who sang and played keyboards and the guitar. Circa 1963, Gram got a folk combo together that was known as the Shilos. During the summer of 1964, the summer before Gram’s senior year of high school, the band spent a month in New York. During that brief time, Parsons met and bonded with Brandon DeWilde, Richie Furay, and John Phillips, then of the Journeymen. He would meet up with all three again a couple years later in Laurel Canyon.

Despite his early preference for Annapolis or West Point, Gram applied to Harvard and Johns Hopkins. Despite decidedly unimpressive grades and test scores, he was accepted by Harvard, purportedly due to an essay he submitted that he likely didn’t actually write. During his last year of high school, Gram and the Shilos booked an hour gig at the campus radio station at Bob Jones University … yes, that Bob Jones University.

At his high school graduation in June of 1965, Gram was in his cap and gown and all set to proceed with the ceremonies when he was pulled aside and informed that his mother Avis had suddenly passed away. Seemingly unaffected, he chose to participate in the ceremonies. A classmate and friend has said that there was no sign that anything was troubling Gram that day as he went through the graduation rituals.

Avis had died in the hospital, reportedly of alcohol poisoning, right after Bob Parsons had smuggled her in a bottle of scotch. Gram’s mother was just forty-two at the time of her death. His father, Coon Dog, had only made it to the age of forty-one. Neither of their kids, Gram or Little Avis, would make it even that far.

Soon after his mother’s death, Gram received a draft notice from the Selective Service. Not to worry though – Bob quickly got him a 4-F deferment and Gram happily went off to Harvard, enrolling in September of 1965. By February of 1966, just five months later, Gram had had enough of Harvard and he withdrew. According to some sources, he never really went to Harvard at all, but rather spent all his time taking in the folk music scene in Cambridge and putting his own band together.

Gram arrived at Harvard a few years too late to catch the peak of the folk music scene in Cambridge. In the early 1960s, the college town had been one of the cradles of the resurgent folk movement, hosting such luminaries as Joan Baez, Bob Dylan, Bob Neuwirth, Tom Rush, Pete Seeger, Richard and Mimi Farina, Geoff and Maria Muldaur, Eric Andersen and Joni Mitchell.

The epicenter of the Cambridge folk scene was the legendary Club 47, opened in 1958 as a jazz and blues venue. A very young Joan Baez, whose reputedly CIA-connected father worked at nearby MIT, was the first folkie to take the stage, not long after the club opened. Dylan reportedly first performed there in 1961, taking the stage between the billed acts. The scene hit its peak in the summer of 1962, which was the Cambridge equivalent of the Haight’s Summer of Love.

The Cambridge scene, and others in Greenwich Village and elsewhere, were necessary precursors to the Laurel Canyon scene. The canyon scene was essentially created by taking the music of that earlier scene, particularly the work of Dylan and Seeger, and mixing it with the instrumentation being utilized across the pond by a band known as the Beatles. It is entirely fitting then that, as with Laurel Canyon, the Cambridge scene came complete with its own resident psycho killer.

In addition to the folk scene hitting its peak in the summer of 1962, something else newsworthy happened in Cambridge that summer: a lot of women started turning up dead – six of them in that first summer alone, and seven more over the next couple of years. And as Susan Kelly noted in The Boston Stranglers, one of those victims was killed right across the street from Club 47: “Just across the street from [victim Beverly Samans’] apartment, a very young and not yet famous Joan Baez and an equally youthful and unknown Bob Dylan were playing to reverently hushed audiences at the Club 47.”

As the title of Kelly’s book implies, there actually was no such person as the Boston Strangler, but that didn’t stop authorities and the media from pinning all the murders on one Albert DeSalvo, far better known as the Boston Strangler. And so it was that just as Laurel Canyon would have Charlie Manson as its unofficial mascot, the earlier scene in Cambridge had Albert DeSalvo. And neither of them, curiously enough, appear to have actually committed any murders, though a whole lot of people certainly did get murdered.

Folkie Richard Farina, by the way, was the husband of Mimi Baez, Joan’s younger sister. Farina had attended Cornell University as an engineering major. Cornell also happened to be where Joan and Mimi’s dad, Albert Baez, conducted classified research. Albert Baez tended to move around a lot, popping up for varying periods of time at Stanford, UC Berkeley, Cornell, and MIT, all of which have been repeatedly identified as hotbeds of MK-ULTRA research.

Albert Baez also traveled abroad, to France, Switzerland, and, in 1951, to Baghdad, Iraq, where he spent a year purportedly teaching physics and building a physics laboratory at the University of Baghdad. 1951 also happened to be the year that Mossadegh was duly elected in neighboring Iran and the CIA immediately began planning a coup to oust him, but I’m sure that that is just a coincidence.

Anyway, Farina married Mimi when he was twenty-six and she was just seventeen. The two of them, along with Joan, became stars of the Cambridge folk music scene, which they were introduced to when their dad moved the family to Boston in 1958 when he went to work at MIT. Richard and Mimi’s marriage was a short one, alas, as Richard Farina was killed in a motorcycle accident in Carmel, California, on, of all days, April 30, 1966. On that very same day, in nearby San Francisco, Anton Szandor LaVey declared it to be the dawn of the Age of Satan.

But perhaps I’ve gotten sidetracked here …

During Gram’s brief time at Harvard, he began gathering together what would become the International Submarine Band. When he dropped out in early 1966, he and his new bandmates moved to the Bronx in New York, where Gram rented an 11-room party house where marijuana and LSD flowed freely. One unofficial member of his band was child-actor-turned-aspiring-musician Brandon DeWilde, known in the 1950s as “the king of child actors.” Parsons and DeWilde worked together on demo tapes during their time in New York.

In November/December 1966, nine months after leaving Harvard for New York, Gram ventured out to California. While there, he met a certain Nancy Ross, who at the time was living with David Crosby. In Ben Fong-Torres’ Hickory Wind, Ross provides some interesting biographical details: “I grew up with David Crosby here in town … I was thirteen when we met. David and I were part of the debutante set … My father was a captain in the Royal Air Force of England … I married Eleanor Roosevelt’s grandson, Rex, at sixteen, seventeen. I was still married to Rex when I was with David … The marriage lasted a couple of years. I got an apartment and started designing restaurants for Elmer Valentine of Whisky-a-Go-Go.”

At age nineteen, Ross went with Crosby “up to his little bachelor apartment, where I drew pentagrams on the wall.” Soon after, Crosby bought a house on Beverly Glen and Ross moved in with him. That is where Gram Parsons found Nancy Ross and stole her away from David Crosby: “Brandon DeWilde, who was a good friend of David’s and Peter Fonda’s, brought Gram up to our Beverly Glen house one Christmas time.” According to Nancy, Gram quickly stole her heart.

Shortly after, in early 1967, Parsons permanently relocated to Los Angeles with his band in tow. According to Fong-Torres, Gram – who received up to $100,000 a year from his trust fund, a considerable amount of money in the mid-1960s – “found a house for the rest of the band on Willow Glen Avenue, off Laurel Canyon Boulevard and just north of Sunset.” He and Nancy found an apartment together nearby.

Meanwhile, back home, Bob Parsons had married Bonnie shortly after the death of Avis, and the newlywed couple had then moved with Little Avis and Diane to New Orleans. Back in Waycross, the Connor family home that had been abandoned after Coon Dog’s (alleged) suicide had been occupied since 1960 by the family of Sheriff Robert E. Lee. In late 1968, on the eve of the election that put Richard Nixon in the White House, the stately home exploded from within and caught fire. The cause of the explosion was never determined.

http://www.davesweb.cnchost.com/nwsltr105.html


#7

I would have bashed him in the face with a drum kit and ask him how that strawberry was. :laughing:


#8

Laurel Canyon was stop number one for GF and I on our personal California Murder & Mayhem tour a few years back… which is home to both the BoA shootout and Wonderland murders.


#9

Here’s another one… “The Dating Game Killer” which was hosted by none other than Chuck Barris


#10

I watched this Chuck Barris movie on Netflix… it was pretty good, he claims he killed 33 people…


#11

The Mansion (recording studio)
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Coordinates: 34.116317°N 118.375365°W

The Mansion is a 10-bedroom mansion owned by music producer Rick Rubin in the Laurel Canyon area of Los Angeles, originally built in 1918. The Mansion is famous for many bands who recorded their best titles. Although many say[1] that Harry Houdini lived at the mansion,[2] no one has ever lived in the Mansion under the name “Houdini”, a fact that Corey Taylor, singer of the bands Stone Sour and Slipknot, has said in his book A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to Heaven. The book also describes his paranormal experiences in the Mansion while recording the Slipknot album Vol. 3: (The Subliminal Verses) in 2003. After recording the Red Hot Chili Peppers’s Blood Sugar Sex Magik with considerable ease and comfort, Rubin decided to record many of the albums he has produced here, including the Red Hot Chili Peppers’s Stadium Arcadium, Audioslave’s Out of Exile, The Mars Volta’s De-Loused in the Comatorium, Slipknot’s Vol. 3: (The Subliminal Verses), and Linkin Park’s Minutes to Midnight.

Since 1991, the Red Hot Chili Peppers have returned to the mansion on numerous occasions; the tracks “Fortune Faded” and “Save the Population” on the Red Hot Chili Peppers’s 2003 Greatest Hits compilation, and more recently, the group’s 2006 album, Stadium Arcadium, were recorded in the mansion. The mansion can also be seen on the Red Hot Chili Peppers’s Funky Monks DVD (released 1991), Linkin Park’s The Making of Minutes to Midnight DVD, and in a series of eight clips uploaded to LCD Soundsystem’s official YouTube channel documenting the creation of This Is Happening.

In the 1960s and 70s many famous artists, such as Mick Jagger, David Bowie, Jimi Hendrix, and The Beatles, stayed there.[citation needed] The house was owned by Errol Flynn in the late 1930s.

Haunting rumors[edit]
The mansion is rumored to be haunted. Artists such as the Mars Volta’s Cedric Bixler Zavala have reported doors opening when they are known to have been previously closed.[3] Zavala also cited one room, the bell tower, that the band chose to avoid while living there.

The nine-piece metal band Slipknot reported experiencing a number of unusual events while living there during the recording of their album Vol. 3: (The Subliminal Verses). Drummer Joey Jordison claimed to have had an unsettling experience in the basement when he felt something touch him sexually and subsequently never went down there again. Also, singer Corey Taylor took pictures of two orbs hovering near the thermostat in his room that changed the temperature.[4] System of a Down’s guitarist, Daron Malakian, said that every day around 4 o’clock, his amp tubes would act strange.

Though it is rumored that the house has been haunted since 1918, when the son of a furniture store owner pushed his lover from the balcony,[5] the present mansion is actually built on the grounds of the old mansion, which burned down[6] in the late 1950s and wasn’t rebuilt until years later to be used as a recording arts studio. Nevertheless, during the recording of the Red Hot Chili Pepper’s: Blood Sugar Sex Magik, more unusual things occurred. Consequently, drummer Chad Smith chose to not live in the house during the recording. Guitarist John Frusciante considered the ghosts friendly and masturbated in front of a ghost.[7] The BSSM album art also features a photograph of a strange orb captured during a group photograph, which the band suggests might have been a spirit at the mansion.

The Mansion also appears in the second season of Showtime’s Californication, in which the owner of the house is Lew Ashby, a famous record producer (played by Callum Keith Rennie) living alone in his ivory tower or “Ashby’s Den of Iniquity”. Dave Navarro and Carmen Electra visited the mansion during their MTV reality show Til Death Do Us Part.

Recordings at the Mansion[edit]
Band or artist Album(s) and/or song(s) Year(s) of recording
Red Hot Chili Peppers Blood Sugar Sex Magik 1991
Marilyn Manson Holy Wood (In the Shadow of the Valley of Death) 1999 - 2000
American Head Charge The War of Art 2000 - 2001
The Mars Volta De-Loused in the Comatorium 2002 - 2003
Jay-Z 99 Problems 2003
Red Hot Chili Peppers “Fortune Faded” and “Save the Population” from Greatest Hits 2003
Slipknot Vol. 3: (The Subliminal Verses) 2003
System of a Down Mezmerize & Hypnotize 2004
Ours Dancing for the Death of an Imaginary Enemy 2005
Red Hot Chili Peppers Stadium Arcadium 2005
Linkin Park Minutes to Midnight 2006 - 2007
Maroon 5 It Won’t Be Soon Before Long 2006 - 2007
LCD Soundsystem This Is Happening 2009 - 2010


#12

The Wonderland stuff is pretty weird too, I’d heard of it before but had never looked into it at all, just a little tonight… So just for reference to see if these guys pop up in anything else.

Bautista murders[edit]
On September 6 or 7, 1984, a personal tragedy struck Nash. A former lover of his, Maureen Bautista, and her son Telesforo were stabbed to death, by Hells Angels biker Robert Frederick Garceau.[5


#13

Peace, love and real estate… I guess they forgot to mention the CIA, military industrial complex and serial killers.


#14

Holy crap, I never saw this thread til today. Nice research, mang. :smiley:


#15

The gong show

best show ever on the tele

funniest show ever - fact


#16

Another figure making the rounds in Laurel Canyon during the same period of time was a gent by the name of Mike Curb. At various times, Curb worked as amusician, composer, recording artist, film producer and record company executive. He also had the notable distinction of serving as the musical director on the notorious documentary feature Mondo Hollywood, which ostensibly chronicled the emerging Laurel Canyon/Sunset Strip scene. Filmed from 1965 through 1967 (well before the Manson murders), the film featured representatives from the Manson Family (Bobby Beausoleil), the Manson Family’s victims (Jay Sebring), the Freak troupe (Vito, Carl, Szou and Godo),and Laurel Canyon’s musical fraternity (Frank Zappa and his future wife, Gail Sloatman). It also featured acid guru Richard “Babawhateverthefuckitwasthathecalledhimself” Alpert.

Mondo Hollywood, as I mentioned in a previous installment, was the creation of filmmaker Robert Carl Cohen, who, as it turns out, has an interesting background for a guy whose destiny was to capture on film the emerging 1960s countercultural scene. In 1954, Cohen served in the U.S. Army Signal Corps. The following year, he was on assignment to NATO. Following that, he served in Special Services in Germany. The very next year, he produced, directed, edited and narrated a documentary short entitled Inside Red China.Two years later, he wore all the same hats for a documentary entitled Inside East Germany. A few years later, he put together another documentary entitled Three Cubans.

Cohen has proudly proclaimed that he was the first (or at least among the first) Western journalists/filmmakers allowed to enter and shoot footage in each of these countries. In the case of Cuba (and likely the others as well), he did so under the sponsorship of the U.S. State Department. Mr. Cohen would like us to believe that he undertook these projects as nothing more than what he outwardly appeared to be – an independent filmmaker – but I have a hunchthat few readers of this site are naïve enough to believe that a private citizen not working for the intelligence community could land such assignments.