30 Vintage Candid Photos of Rockstars Living in Laurel Canyon

By Sarah Norman | August 29, 2023

Captain Beefheart used his nose as a flute

In the 1960s and ‘70s, folk musicians, psychedelic rockers, country rockers, and pop groups trying 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 feels 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.

test article image
source: youtube

According to Moon Unite Zappa (Frank's daughter):

I have a nose ring because I was so inspired by Captain Beefheart. [He] came to the house and he had drilled a hole in his nose with a pencil. But he had made his nose into a flute. I was amazed by that.

Don Henley treated the scene like rock 'n' roll school


test article image
source: reddit

For Henley, the Laurel Canyon scene wasn't just hanging out at the store and the Troubadour in between gigs. He soaked up all the information he could in order to better his songwriting. He explained:

It was great scene because a lot of people trying to write songs and trying to make records were very supportive of one another. Jackson Browne was a mentor to all of us because he had broken through first and we all aspired to what he was, to write like that, and have that kind of insight.