30 Vintage Candid Photos of Rockstars Living in Laurel Canyon

By Sarah Norman | December 28, 2023

The First Person Glenn Frey Saw In Laurel Canyon Was David Crosby

In the 1960s and '70s, folk musicians, psychedelic rockers, country rockers, and pop groups tried to get a little edge flocked to Laurel Canyon. Rock stars, it seemed, had found their Shangri-La, an idyllic world where a group of disparate friends all grew together to become some of the best-known artists of the 20th century. Artists like Joni Mitchell, The Eagles, The Monkees, and Crosby, Stills & Nash all lived within walking distance of one another and would routinely hang out and jam together into the wee hours of the morning. The Laurel Canyon rock star scene was, like the California sound many of them made famous, a mellow affair.

The canyon's twisted, humpbacked roads, dense eucalyptus, and neighborhoods of hidden homes feel like a woodland, country town that's a world away from Los Angeles, but it's somehow only five minutes away from the Sunset Strip. That's what made the area so charming to the Bohemian artists of the Woodstock generation.

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David Crosby in 1976. Source: flickr.com/photos/dgans

If you’re moving to Laurel Canyon in the ‘60s then you know that you’re in for a little weirdness, but Glenn Frey from The Eagles got an eyeful when he first stepped onto Love Street. Frey told Vanity Fair

My very first day in California, I drove up La Cienega to Sunset Boulevard, turned right, drove to Laurel Canyon, and the first person I saw standing on the porch at the Canyon Store was David Crosby. He was dressed exactly the way he was on the second Byrds album—that cape, and the flat wide-brimmed hat. He was standing there like a statue. And the second day I was in California I met J.D. Souther.

Frey’s second day in California would be far more advantageous, as Souther would go on to pen the songs “Best of My Love,” “Heartache Tonight,” and “New Kid in Town” for The Eagles. 

Everyone Loved Partying with The Monkees

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The Monkees, 1967. Source: Wikimedia Commons

Even though they’re remembered as a TV band, The Monkees were actually an integral part of the Laurel Canyon scene (and they have no less than five excellent tunes). During the band’s meteoric rise, Peter Tork lived with Stephen Stills of CSN, near the home where Monkees drummer Mickey Dolenz lived. Both pads were full-on party houses throughout the height of their fame. According to Dolenz’s ex-wife, a party with Peter Tork meant that everyone was naked, especially Tork.

Dolenz told ABC that parties at his place would start out on a Friday night “as a little cocktail party with some food and then on Monday morning people would still be walking around naked and falling into the pool.”