30 Vintage Candid Photos of Rockstars Living in Laurel Canyon

By Sarah Norman | November 16, 2023

The Country Store was where Laurel Canyon came together.

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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Everybody's got to eat, including rock stars. For those folks who lived in Laurel Canyon the one place to pick up groceries, share ideas, or just grab a drink (or all three) was the Canyon Country store. The patio to the store was the site of many of a jam session for those living in the neighborhood, and it was also the unfortunate place where Jim Morrison and his girlfriend Pamela Courson's insane knock down drag out fights.

You never knew when Brian Wilson was going to show up.

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Even though they weren’t the coolest band, rock luminaries were still lining up to hang with the guys. While chatting with ABC, Dolenz recalled that one day he received a phone call where someone said, “Brian Wilson’s coming over.” Keep in mind that this was in the period of time when Wilson wasn’t leaving his house. Dolenz continued:

Sure enough a limo pulls up and Brian gets out with his bathrobe still on and his flip flops and comes in and sits in my little recording studio with John (Lennon) and Harry (Nillson) and a bunch of people and he started playing this Beach Boy lick kind of thing.

Dolenz says that Wilson recorded the whole session, although he’s yet to release the tapes.