30 Vintage Candid Photos of Rockstars Living in Laurel Canyon

By Sarah Norman | January 11, 2024

Glenn Frey Hosted Poker Games During Monday Night Football

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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Glenn Frey and Don Henley of the Eagles. Source: Showtime

Laurel Canyon wasn’t just singer-songwriters wearing flannel and singing about eucalyptus --when The Eagles started to take off, Glenn Frey started up a weekly poker game that coincided with Monday Night Football, and one of the attendees will definitely shock you. Frey explained:

In 1974, I moved to a place at the corner of Ridpath and Kirkwood in Laurel Canyon, and we had poker games every Monday night during football season. Notorious card games. Joni Mitchell got wind of those card games, and she always was a good hang, so she started coming every Monday night and playing cards with us. We’d watch football from six to nine and then play cards until the wee hours. They called our house the Kirkwood casino.

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.”