I should have been in Los Angeles in October last year. My tickets for Roger Waters at the Staples Center were booked and we were planning a California road trip from San Francisco down the PCH through LA and South to San Diego. Covid changed all that.
The concert was postponed, our travel plans on hold. But that doesn’t me dreaming of new adventures and planning new things to see. It will be 5 years this autumn since we stayed at Chateau Marmont before Desert Trip and there are so many more places I want to see.
Last time we stropped briefly at the Laurel Canyon Country Store but didn’t look for Jim Morrison’s place round the back (his house on Love Street!) or drive up into the Canyon to see Joni Mitchell’s place on Lookout Mountain, or Blue Jay Way made famous by George Harrison. We missed the massive Kermit statue at the Jim Henson studio just south of Sunset and I’d love to see the Randy’s Donuts out near LAX. We dined at the Beverly Wiltshire (the Pretty Woman hotel) but didn’t check out the Beverly Hills hotel (the iconic cover shot of Hotel California.) Truly so much to see!
I’ve been compiling a list of LA Rock n’ Roll Landmarks for equal parts planning and escapism. If I can’t get to LA, then LA will have to come to me!
The Rock Atlas USA has been a useful addition to my online research, highlighted a few other landmarks we might want to check on our next trip to the City of Angels. The documentaries ‘Echo in the Canyon’ and ‘Laurel Canyon’ have also added more ideas to my growing list.
Last week I came across this video from Jordan the Lion. He takes from friends up to the Country Store, shows Joni’s place and then a walk along Sunset. I really liked his style, the first person view of the video and his back story on so may locations. I hadn’t realised, for example, there was an air base up on Wonderland (Lookout Mountain Air Force Station) which specialised in photography, set up for the nuclear tests conducted by the US in the 1940’s. The Wonderland area is also associated with the unsolved ‘Wonderland Murders‘ in 1981.
So, until Roger reschedules his tour dates I’ll keep dreaming reading, watching and planning!
California Road Trip Inspiration