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Publisher's Summary

The very strange but nevertheless true story of the dark underbelly of a 1960s hippie utopia. Laurel Canyon in the 1960s and early 1970s was a magical place where a dizzying array of musical artists congregated to create much of the music that provided the soundtrack to those turbulent times.

Members of bands like the Byrds, the Doors, Buffalo Springfield, the Monkees, the Beach Boys, the Turtles, the Eagles, the Flying Burrito Brothers, Frank Zappa and the Mothers of Invention, Steppenwolf, CSN, Three Dog Night, and Love, along with such singer/songwriters as Joni Mitchell, Judy Collins, James Taylor, and Carole King, lived together and jammed together in the bucolic community nestled in the Hollywood Hills.

But there was a dark side to that scene as well. Many didn't make it out alive, and many of those deaths remain shrouded in mystery to this day. Far more integrated into the scene than most would like to admit was a guy by the name of Charles Manson, along with his murderous entourage. Also floating about the periphery were various political operatives, up-and-coming politicians, and intelligence personnel - the same sort of people who gave birth to many of the rock stars populating the canyon. And all the canyon's colorful characters - rock stars, hippies, murderers, and politicos - happily coexisted alongside a covert military installation.

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Average Customer Ratings

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What a blast!!!

Would you listen to Weird Scenes Inside the Canyon again? Why?

This is a spooky and dark (though down right fun) collection of unexplained murders, strange coincidence, and bizarre facts. Though the writer suggests that there might be a more nefarious network of conspiracy theories that exist beneath the surface, he does not waste time proposing theories that can't be proven beyond a shadow of a doubt. That said, he is not subtle when it comes to pointing out their possible existence. The writer has a Jim Marrs ("Alien Agenda," "Crossfire," "Our Occulted History," and "Population Control") appreciation for a good story, even if that story might be slightly more urban myth than actual fact, though, in due respect to the writer, he does point those differences out.

What other book might you compare Weird Scenes Inside the Canyon to and why?

I have not read or listened to the book (which can also be found on Audible) myself yet, but the writer spends a lot of time quoting from "Hotel California" by Barney Hoyskns. This book reportedly covers the same territory, and is on my list to be listened to soon. I suspect that Hoyskns book might be taking a more balanced approach to the subject at hand.

Which scene was your favorite?

There are so many that I can't decide upon a particular favorite. I guess what I kind of like the most about this book is how the music scene in Los Angeles (and specifically Laurel Canyon) sort of suspiciously and mysteriously developed overnight, and how basically untalented a majority of these legends were to begin with. Most also came from military related backgrounds and were given credit for launching a major counterculture movement that many of them had no real sense of or involvement with. For most of them, they were just party hungry and sex fueled young men, who got themselves mixed up with some pretty nasty sociopaths and psychopaths (Charles Manson and company).

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

I absolutely had difficulty stopping this audible presentation, that is because it is too much fun under the darkened California sun. For someone who spent thirty three years in Los Angeles and much of that time in the entertainment business itself, this book is sweet revenge on those who want to believe that social movements in this country come from the people themselves and not the power brokers of the manipulating status quo.

Any additional comments?

This book leaves me wanting more. The "City of Angels" has always had an extremely dark shadow about it, which Mike Davis covered in "City of Quartz," Kenneth Anger in "Hollywood Babylon," and William J. Mann in "Tinseltown." Though rolling around in the dark is fun at times, make sure one takes a break in the sunlight too.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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A lot of information , albeit somewhat scattered

I like the premise of this book overall. However, his overall presentation of these historical and sensational facts are a bit unsatisfying.

He is touching and I mean tiptoeing from one murder to the next , or it was suicide and so on...so quickly, my head is spinning. We are getting the most basic facts including a name, the band they played with, the age of death and whether it was ruled a murder or suicide .

It leaves me wanting more info and having to seek google . There was one in particular murder he mentioned, "Jan Doe 59". He stated she was a "Jane Doe " murdered in 1969 by way of 159 stab wounds. That's it. That's all he said. So , now I'm left having to google this person , something that I feel I should not have to do when reading a book like this.
But the part that bothers me is she is not a "Jane Doe" any more. In fact, her name was Jeet Jurvetson And in 2016, they had a positive ID from her sister in Canada , who confirmed it with a DNA sample. She was 19 and the theory is that she possibly fell victim to one of Manson's crew.

A simple google search would have been useful on his part to make sure his info accurate and updated. It makes me question how many more of these " outdated " facts is being retold .

The other thing I noticed and don't really care for , is his sarcastic tone and Facetious way in which he writes these accounts. It's done purposely, and I'm don't know why because it's not funny, in fact, it's rather annoying.

Other then that it's a decent account of the 60s counterculture and nefarious characters who inhabited it.

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

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really fantastic

loved everything about this book from the author's incredible research and in-depth synopsis of covert military operations involved in the 60s hippie drug scene... The narrator was great... This is a must-read for any intelligent American that really wants to get an idea of what's happening in the real world. And how we've all been duped by the military industrial complex.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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A Fascinating Trip Through the 1960s

I find all of the similarities and coincidences detailed in this book absolutely fascinating, but I just can't buy into any type of conspiracy theory around the fact that almost all of the first superstars of 60s rock and roll had parents who were in the military. Almost everyone born in the 40s and 50s had parents with a military background - because just about every fit male (and a lot of females) were a part of the "war effort" during WW2. A lot of the people who rebelled then were fighting just that sort of upbringing.

Having said that, I truly enjoyed the long, detailed walk through of the wild (for the times) and unbridled lifestyle of the musical heroes of my youth. It was fun to realise how intertwined everyone's life and habits were during those formative years and it was poignant hearing the stories - through the lens of almost 50 years - of those who succumbed to that lifestyle.

I recommend the book to anyone who wants to learn more about the foundation of rock and roll and the "hippie" movement of that era.

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Shocking

Great listen. I have listened to it twice. Will definitely listen to it again. Going to check out Programmed to kill.

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mind blowing!

Most people understand the hippie/rock and roll movement as one thing. revolutionary. this book makes you think twice about that.

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MIND BLOWN!

You will NEVER view the entertainment industry the same again. The truth about the Laurel Canyon music scene is sickening.

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Informative and intriguing

This book did not disappoint. I was surprised at all the connections the author made between so many of these entertainment icons. McGowan changed everything about the soundtrack of my youth. I realize how little attention I have paid to the details of our society.

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WOW!

One of the most mind-blowing books I have ever read! i love the narrators enthusiasm

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I loved this book!

Dave McGowan wrote so well, with his excellent sense of humor this audio book was a pleasure to listen to. Even though I had already read his book, I really enjoyed listening to it too when driving. 1st class!

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  • Mr Martin McMahon
  • 07-31-18

Awful

Couldn't finish. It's complete rubbish. Best to avoid as it's all made up. Almost comical though.