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Weird Scenes Inside the Canyon

Laurel Canyon, Covert Ops, and the Dark Heart of the Hippie Dream
Narrated by: Bill Fike
Length: 14 hrs and 2 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (14 ratings)

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Summary

The very strange but nevertheless true story of the dark underbelly of a 1960s hippie utopia. Laurel Canyon in the 1960s and early 1970s was a magical place where a dizzying array of musical artists congregated to create much of the music that provided the soundtrack to those turbulent times.

Members of bands like the Byrds, the Doors, Buffalo Springfield, the Monkees, the Beach Boys, the Turtles, the Eagles, the Flying Burrito Brothers, Frank Zappa and the Mothers of Invention, Steppenwolf, CSN, Three Dog Night, and Love, along with such singer/songwriters as Joni Mitchell, Judy Collins, James Taylor, and Carole King, lived together and jammed together in the bucolic community nestled in the Hollywood Hills.

But there was a dark side to that scene as well. Many didn't make it out alive, and many of those deaths remain shrouded in mystery to this day. Far more integrated into the scene than most would like to admit was a guy by the name of Charles Manson, along with his murderous entourage. Also floating about the periphery were various political operatives, up-and-coming politicians, and intelligence personnel - the same sort of people who gave birth to many of the rock stars populating the canyon. And all the canyon's colorful characters - rock stars, hippies, murderers, and politicos - happily coexisted alongside a covert military installation.

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Smashed the Fourth wall

An absolute mind expansion of a listen thats smashed the fourth wall - superb narration.

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Well researched

The claims of this book are incredible... The fact that it is well researched, with names and dates so accurately. Leads one to be believe it is fact. Wow!

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Amazing and Inciteful

A fascinating read. As soon as I finished the book I went on the hunt for a another by this author.

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Awful

Couldn't finish. It's complete rubbish. Best to avoid as it's all made up. Almost comical though.

0 of 4 people found this review helpful

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Profile Image for John M. ONeal
  • John M. ONeal
  • 26-12-17

What a blast!!!

Would you listen to Weird Scenes Inside the Canyon again? Why?

This is a spooky and dark (though down right fun) collection of unexplained murders, strange coincidence, and bizarre facts. Though the writer suggests that there might be a more nefarious network of conspiracy theories that exist beneath the surface, he does not waste time proposing theories that can't be proven beyond a shadow of a doubt. That said, he is not subtle when it comes to pointing out their possible existence. The writer has a Jim Marrs ("Alien Agenda," "Crossfire," "Our Occulted History," and "Population Control") appreciation for a good story, even if that story might be slightly more urban myth than actual fact, though, in due respect to the writer, he does point those differences out.

What other book might you compare Weird Scenes Inside the Canyon to and why?

I have not read or listened to the book (which can also be found on Audible) myself yet, but the writer spends a lot of time quoting from "Hotel California" by Barney Hoyskns. This book reportedly covers the same territory, and is on my list to be listened to soon. I suspect that Hoyskns book might be taking a more balanced approach to the subject at hand.

Which scene was your favorite?

There are so many that I can't decide upon a particular favorite. I guess what I kind of like the most about this book is how the music scene in Los Angeles (and specifically Laurel Canyon) sort of suspiciously and mysteriously developed overnight, and how basically untalented a majority of these legends were to begin with. Most also came from military related backgrounds and were given credit for launching a major counterculture movement that many of them had no real sense of or involvement with. For most of them, they were just party hungry and sex fueled young men, who got themselves mixed up with some pretty nasty sociopaths and psychopaths (Charles Manson and company).

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

I absolutely had difficulty stopping this audible presentation, that is because it is too much fun under the darkened California sun. For someone who spent thirty three years in Los Angeles and much of that time in the entertainment business itself, this book is sweet revenge on those who want to believe that social movements in this country come from the people themselves and not the power brokers of the manipulating status quo.

Any additional comments?

This book leaves me wanting more. The "City of Angels" has always had an extremely dark shadow about it, which Mike Davis covered in "City of Quartz," Kenneth Anger in "Hollywood Babylon," and William J. Mann in "Tinseltown." Though rolling around in the dark is fun at times, make sure one takes a break in the sunlight too.

7 of 8 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Jessica Smith
  • 11-04-19

A gold mine of U.S.1960's lore!

Indispensable compelling hidden history of U.S. 1960's music and hippy origins. A real page turner. You won't be able to put it down.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Linda P-C
  • 06-08-18

A Fascinating Trip Through the 1960s

I find all of the similarities and coincidences detailed in this book absolutely fascinating, but I just can't buy into any type of conspiracy theory around the fact that almost all of the first superstars of 60s rock and roll had parents who were in the military. Almost everyone born in the 40s and 50s had parents with a military background - because just about every fit male (and a lot of females) were a part of the "war effort" during WW2. A lot of the people who rebelled then were fighting just that sort of upbringing.

Having said that, I truly enjoyed the long, detailed walk through of the wild (for the times) and unbridled lifestyle of the musical heroes of my youth. It was fun to realise how intertwined everyone's life and habits were during those formative years and it was poignant hearing the stories - through the lens of almost 50 years - of those who succumbed to that lifestyle.

I recommend the book to anyone who wants to learn more about the foundation of rock and roll and the "hippie" movement of that era.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Ryan Eagleson
  • 30-12-17

really fantastic

loved everything about this book from the author's incredible research and in-depth synopsis of covert military operations involved in the 60s hippie drug scene... The narrator was great... This is a must-read for any intelligent American that really wants to get an idea of what's happening in the real world. And how we've all been duped by the military industrial complex.

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

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Profile Image for Robert
  • Robert
  • 30-06-19

My first review. This book changed me.

My first review in 15 years of being an Audible member.

McGowan tells the familiar story of 1960s Southern California rock music. But he takes small background details, overlooked and ordinary, and finds a mystery:

(1) Is it a coincidence that all of the Southern California rock bands, major and minor, had family ties to the Pentagon/CIA?

(2) Is it a coincidence that all of these bands simultaneously moved into Laurel Canyon, before Los Angeles had any "music scene" or record labels?

(3) Is it a coincidence that within Laurel Canyon, in their midst, was a covert U.S. military facility?

McGowan unravels, with sharp humor, these mysteries and more: Serial killers of Laurel Canyon, Satanism & the Occult, mystery connections between unrelated individuals, Charles Manson, Old Hollywood, Houdini, 1980s New Wave and more. McGowan reveals hidden surprise origins of Jim Morrison, Frank Zappa, The Byrds, Crosby Stills Nash & Young, The Mamas & The Papas, Gram Parsons, Jackson Browne, and countless other bands and musicians.

You will find the book more than entertaining, however. McGowan's method of finding mystery in ordinary background details may change you. Will you find yourself asking similar questions about contemporary public figures and public dramas? The answers are uncomfortable, but I'm not surprised now to find military intelligence families behind the biggest stars in Hollywood, in music, and even the biggest names in politics. Will you begin to become aware of a hidden, privileged world among us?

Also recommended but not available on Audible: McGowan's "Programmed To Kill" takes the same approach to all of your favorite serial killers and finds ... the same damn coincidences. What is really happening in our society? The story is completely different than what you'd expect.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • jack
  • 06-03-19

Wow couldn't stop listening

We as a society need to come to grips nothing is pure every aspect of life is tainted with lies and deceit

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • patrick mcmahon
  • 19-01-19

conspiracy reality- ban CIA

I wonder for Dave McGowan's early death. It reveals the satanic take over and control of America

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 10-11-18

great

good book .. lots of great information .. do recommend to all ages of readers

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • R.A.Black
  • 25-10-18

wow

really makes you think. enjoyed it immensely. I look forward to listening to more of his books

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • TOM
  • 19-07-18

Shocking

Great listen. I have listened to it twice. Will definitely listen to it again. Going to check out Programmed to kill.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful