Echo in the Canyon (2018) Movie Script

Too many variations of shit.
- That's a Fender amp.
- Mm hmm.
I wouldn't recognize that one,
Bassbreaker 45.
I have
a good question for you, though.
In the 80s it was...
we said "Rickenbacher".
- You guys all say Rickenbacker.
- "Rickenbacker"
- It's "backer".
- Yeah.
We already had a small debate earlier.
We were from the South.
- It's "backer", yeah.
- I think so.
There's no "bachers." No.
Is that one yours, Jakob?
No, we used this one
on the record, though.
- This is Andy's.
- Yeah, that's Andy's.
- Want to have a look?
- Bring it over here.
This was the folk rock special.
All you had to do
is move your little finger.
You can't afford the rest.
Oh, what will you give me?
Say the sad bells of Rhymney
Is there hope for the future?
Say the brown bells of Merther
Who made the mine open?
Say the black bells of Rhonda
Ah... Ah...
Ah... Ah...
Oh, the summer time is coming
And the leaves are sweetly turning
They gave it the name Laurel Canyon
because it was the locus
for all these musicians.
It's where a lot of musicians lived.
But they came to L.A. from everywhere.
They came from England
and from all overAmerica.
And probably because
of the record companies in L.A.
They had to come to L.A.
and this was the one place
that you could live
and it was the antithesis
of this sort of plastic, straight world
that you saw on television.
To be that close
to the Sunset Strip
and yet you had a feel
that you were in the country
and, you know,
and totally different feel. It's beautiful.
There you stood on
The edge of your feather
Expecting to fly
I think I might
have been the first one to move there.
I was living in one place, some...
some place way up the canyon.
There was
a lot of camaraderie in the bands.
We got to know Brian Wilson
and The Beach Boys
and, of course, The Mamas & Papas
when they came along.
I'd known John and Michelle
from New York
and Mama Cass was great,
a great social hostess.
Laurel Canyon
was always like a hangout for,
ah, bohemians and actors.
It was full of charming little houses
and it was a very joyful time.
I loved it, because
I've always loved eccentricity.
I mean I'm attracted to eccentrics
and they were there.
And they were all there.
Everyone was writing
and writing together.
And you'd go over to someone's house
and you always brought your guitar
and you'd sit around
and you'd start playing,
and pretty soon you were writing a hit.
People would not even call.
They'd just knock on the door and go
"Listen, hey, listen to this!"
That's an incredible environment
for a musician to be in
because it's incredibly healthy
and incredibly forward-looking
and incredibly creative
and that's how I was feeling.
There was so much
great music floating around
that you got little snippets of it and they...
they just filtered through you, you know?
Good evening.
The great Los Angeles songwriter
Warren Zevon
once said that...
I miss him every day.
He said if Roger McGuinn had
just played the opening notes
to The Byrds' debut album
and dropped dead,
he would have still exercised
the most pronounced influence
over the folk rock movement in 25 years.
And he was right.
Because in 1965 when
those songs went on the radio,
it was the first time a song
of poetic depth and grace
had become a hit song
and it inspired a whole generation
of writers to write differently
and to come to California,
which gave birth
to the Laurel Canyon scene.
So, the fiftieth anniversary
of that moment was this summer.
So Jakob and I decided,
'cause nobody else was doing anything,
that we would make a record
of those songwriters.
So now we're doing a show
and you're all a part of it.
And thanks for coming
and enjoy the show!
You guys ready to go to the 60s?
This is so great
because the music that
came out of the Laurel Canyon scene
in the 60s
was not only inspiring
to other bands at that time,
but it also became inspiring
to my generation
of musicians and songwriters.
And tonight is an opportunity,
like folk music,
to pass it on to a new generation
and keep the echoes
of that music growing.
Oh, the summer time is coming
And the leaves are sweetly turning
And the wild mountain thyme
Blooms across the purple heather
Will you go...
- Can we start over?
- I think I know it. We ready?
I was gonna for a harmony but then I...
What is the refrain, though?
Is it... just "will you go"?
I like the way you're doing it.
I just go "Will you go, will you go?"
Well, we can do it again.
I think the refrain just comes around again.
We just... these just kind of repeat.
Oh, we never... what is all this?
I never saw any of this!
Oh, the summer time is coming...
Why did we start all this?
Well, we'd seen this movie "Model Shop".
It reminded us
of a lot of music from the 60s
so we decided to go back
and record some of the songs
from the mid-60s
and we got more and more curious
on what brought everybody here.
Who came out here first?
Was it people from
the east coast coming out here?
Or was it people here
that started it just independently?
Beach Boys were already here.
I think The Byrds came out first
and everybody else followed.
And how did The Byrds come to be?
It started so innocently.
Oh yeah I'll tell you somethin'
I think you'll understand
The Beatles came out.
And I heard this on the radio...
And I said wow, you know,
they're using folk music chord changes,
all these passing chords.
So, it gave me an idea
of taking an old folk song
and suping it up with a Beatle beat.
And I took it down to the village
and played it at the Caf Playhouse.
And they didn't like it.
They didn't like the rock 'n' roll
and folk music combined.
They thought it was kind of a bad idea.
You know, the coolest thing
about Roger, and I...
it was like the first day I met him,
he came into the Playhouse Caf
with a Gibson 12-string,
and he plays
"I Wanna Hold Your Hand".
And I went "I Wanna Hold Your Hand"
as a one guitar folk thing?
And it was really a remarkable, ballsy thing.
- And he did take abuse for it.
- Yeah.
I know a lot of people
were going what's he doing?
So I went out to L.A.
and I got gig at the Troubadour
opening up for Hoyt Axton
doing the same thing.
And they didn't like it there, either.
And that's when
I got together with Gene Clark
and David Crosby
and we got The Byrds together.
There was a lot of funny shit
that happened.
we were rehearsing
in an old recording studio
down on Third Avenue,
ah, World Pacific I think it was called.
Used to be a jazz studio.
After they were through
using the studio at night,
we would go in there and rehearse.
And it did The Byrds
a great deal of good because
we would have to listen to it back.
If you hear how awful you are
then you work harder!
Mm hmm.
And so, that's exactly what we did.
And then, after we started
getting good with it, ah,
Dylan showed up.
You have to be more specific.
No, I'm kidding!
You mean there's more than one?
- Bob showed up.
- Okay.
And he, 'cause he had heard
we were doing "Tambourine Man".
He listened to us play it electric
and he you can hear
the gears turning, you know.
He knew he wanted to do that immediately.
With The Byrds the real
accomplishment is the melding
of, you know, folk music and rock 'n' roll
and I mean all the bands you think of that
as that California sound.
Really none of them
sound exactly like The Byrds.
The reasons why
That 12-string riff
is pretty spectacular.
That's a pretty big moment in rock music.
That's really, you know,
two things clashing together
in a huge wave.
And it would create
a whole genre of music quickly.
I loved the sound that McGuinn got out
of the 12-string and I thought
that the way he placed that,
and Crosby's rhythm,
you know, underpinning it,
they were the powerful band
that we all wanted to be!
I liked The Byrds a lot
and I liked their kind of philosophy,
the musical philosophy,
really, of, you know, folk rock.
Folk rock to me was...
it was the songwriting, too.
- Yeah, it was good.
- It was beautiful.
Oh, what will you give me?
Sang the sad bells of Rhymney
Folk music is just
an older form of songwriting.
You learn a song from somebody,
maybe it was your uncle
or somebody who learned it from
a knife sharpener
who traveled through the South
sharpening knives and scissors
who also played banjo and fiddle.
When The Byrds came out,
there were people who disapproved
of doing those folk songs with a band.
But it was very infectious.
That's a big step forward
from "Love Me Do"
to any of those things.
And we started to take
rock 'n' roll seriously,
'cause, yeah, no one
took it seriously before that.
We were putting good poetry on the radio,
AM radio, pop radio.
It was the first time.
There wasn't any of that before.
It was June, Moon, Spoon.
Baby I love you Ooh, ooh
Wasn't "Dance beneath the diamond sky
with one hand waving free."
It changed everything for everybody.
Fiona, are you here?
I actually met Fiona
when she was 17.
She'll probably
be embarrassed if I say that.
Too late now!
Let's do a Byrds song.
Oh, every time I see you smile
Now, come to me now, don't be long
Let me tell you
how my heart goes wild
Please let me love you
and it won't be wrong
Every time you're in my arms
Come to me, don't be long
You know that
I will never do you harm
Please let me love you
and it won't be wrong
Let me love you
and then you'll see
Now, come to me, now, come to me
Let me show you once
and we'll be free
Please let me love you
and it won't be wrong
The Beatles came to America
and they asked them
who's your favorite band?
And they said The Byrds!
And we were just blown away.
We kind of dressed like 'em.
In fact, we bought these suits
that had black velvet collars.
And we used to wear them
to Ciro's every night
while we were doing our gig.
That worked for about a week.
We'd hang them up in the dressing room
and put back our
t-shirts and jeans and go home.
Well, one night we got to Ciro's
and the suits were gone.
And I told this to John Lennon.
He said, "I wished they'd stolen our suits."
Every time I see you smile
Come to me, don't be long
Let me tell you
how my heart goes wild
Please let me love you
and it won't be wrong
We were invited to go to England
and we were really jazzed because
this is where
The Beatles and The Stones were.
Then we got there and we
discovered we'd been billed
as America's answer to The Beatles.
And it was a little tough to live up to.
And they came to see us
one night at the Blaises Club
and Chris was so nervous
he broke a bass string.
And nobody ever
breaks a bass string, but he did.
Then we went upstairs after the show
and John and George came up
and John said "Great show!" you know.
They loved us.
They were really nice to us.
When we came over there finally,
they were extremely cool.
Who is the young man
with the lengthy haircut
to your right rear?
Who is it?
That's Dave
from The Byrds, a mate of ours.
And then the next night
we went to the Scotch at St. James
and Paul McCartney,
this is his private club.
And we had a couple of drinks,
and he took me for a ride
in his Aston Martin DB5 around London.
And then we hung out at The Stones' house
and they showed us how they rolled joints.
And they had a butler that rolled joints
and put them on the stairs
for them in the morning
like the morning coffee!
The Byrds were great.
They just became our friends.
I mean when we came to L.A.,
they came and hung out with us, you know.
That 12-string sound was great
and the voices were great.
So we loved The Byrds.
They introduced us
to a hallucinogenic situation.
And, ah, we had a really good time.
The Beatles
actually started the folk rock
in California.
It was... and it probably
was the California guys
trying to grab hold of that sound.
It's all full of strange coincidences.
John Hall of the Rickenbacker company
flying to New York
because he'd heard
The Beatles played Rickenbacker
and going up to the suite
with the second
Rickenbacker 12-string ever made,
giving it to George.
He brought it for John
because he's the one
that played the Rickenbacker.
But George had the flu,
the other three had gone out
for a photo session,
and George nabbed the 12-string.
Mm hmm.
That changed pop music, you know,
rock music I guess you would call it.
We should have the nerve
to call it rock music,
I mean it was rock 'n' roll music.
Everything was influencing everything.
With this huge witches brew of, you know,
and things would pop out.
I mean and transatlantic, too,
'cause we were all listening
to each other's records, you know.
And The Beatles were
doing their cop on The Byrds
with one song and then
they were doing The Beach Boys
with "Girl", you know.
I wish they all could be California girls
I was a sucker for Brian's work right away.
I was very close friends
with Felix Pappalardi
and he was the guy
who pointed out to me
the Bach-like qualities.
And he said listen to this chord sequence.
They're using like Bach
chordal movements in there.
I mean that was really important.
Yeah, but I couldn't wait
to get back in the States
Back to the cutest girls in the world
I wish they all could be California girls
Well, they were the other band
that we admired.
They were it.
Everybody else... and they were
as establishment as they could be,
but they were good.
They had good songs 'cause of Brian
and they had really interesting harmonies,
completely different than anybody else.
So, we liked them a lot.
May I have,
I'm sure most everybody knows
but for anybody who might not,
may be introduce you by name?
- Al Jardine.
- Thank you, Al.
- Dennis Wilson.
- Thank you.
- Brian Wilson.
- Carl Wilson.
Mike Love.
Who determines
what will be done next?
Well, I guess I do. I don't know.
I write the songs and produce them,
so I have a lot to say about it.
I can't see something in Mozart
that's better than Brian Wilson.
I think you could make that case.
Those guys would have loved him.
He's really just too good.
He's not a guy that comes
down the pike in many lifetimes.
That's pretty special stuff.
In this world I lock out
All my worries and my fears
In my room
In my room
I do my dreaming
And my scheming
Lie awake and pray
Do my crying
And my sighing
Laugh at yesterday
Now it's dark and I'm alone
But I won't be afraid
In my room
In my room
In my room
In my room
In my room
"In My Room", oh my God, you know.
Who has not, you know,
sought solace of your... the privacy
and the solace of your own room,
your own space.
It can be said in a million ways,
but I mean just that...
that song was so beautiful.
Beach Boys was a primary thing
when Cream was kind of
philosophically driven by it,
by the idea that we could
somehow do something like that.
Or be inspired by that,
Pet Sounds, you know.
They lived right down
the street from us, Brian and Marilyn.
And one day I went over there
and the whole living room
was full of sand.
And there was nothing in the living room
but a Steinway and a piano bench
and just all sand.
And I looked at her
and I said what is going on?
She said I know it's crazy
but he's writing some great songs.
Mm hmm.
And he was writing Pet Sounds!
I won that record
on the radio, ah, on a call-in!
Like I was standing by the phone
and some trivia question was asked.
I called right away and answered it
and I won a record!
And it was Pet Sounds.
It took me a few spins to understand, like,
what's going on here.
But I just fell in love with that record.
It's different.
You know, it's off in a corner by itself.
Nobody else did that successfully,
not to the level they did
'cause they didn't have a writer like Brian.
I was just kind of maybe too young
to really appreciate
how incredibly sophisticated the music was.
I just saw five guys wearing
the same shirt holding one surfboard
and I thought it was lame.
But all that changed
when I heard Pet Sounds.
That's said to be responsible
for Sgt. Pepper,
you know, totally.
Imagine a band influencing The Beatles.
I keep looking for a place to fit in
Where I can speak my mind
And I've been trying hard
to find the people
That I won't leave behind
They say I got brains
But they ain't doing me no good
I wish they could
And each time things
start to happen again
I think I got something good
goin' for myself
But what goes wrong
Now, sometimes I feel very sad
Sometimes I feel very sad
Do you want to sit at the piano?
Does the song sound familiar to you?
- Do you need me at the piano?
- Yeah, come on.
We're working on a couple of your songs.
We're working on
"Just Wasn't Made For These Times".
What key is your original key?
Do you remember?
My original... B-flat.
We're in E-flat.
E-flat, oh, you got the wrong key!
We'll get capos.
Yeah, play it in E-flat
or E or wherever you do.
Okay, cool.
Well, Bach
influenced "California Girls",
the duh, duh-duh, duh-duh,
that kind of a beat, shuffle rhythm.
Chuck Berry and the Four Freshmen
taught me harmony
and Chuck Berry taught me
rock 'n' roll melodies.
Well, I learned violin arrangement
from George Martin.
I learned how to make...
write out, you know,
violin for violin players.
I wrote manuscript for them,
and they played it...
if they played it wrong
I can walk out and go
"You got it wrong, buddy.
You gotta do this right",
you know, and they'd
fix their instruments and they'd do it.
Well, The Beatles were probably
my favorite group, you know.
I really liked them a lot.
With Rubber Soul,
one of my buddies brought it over
and played it for me.
I said I can't believe this album! You know?
He kept playing it and playing it
and I said wow!
I couldn't believe it.
That made me write
the Pet Sounds album.
Now, sometimes I feel very sad
Now, sometimes I feel very sad
And I guess I just
wasn't made for these times
While I'm far away from you my baby
I know it's hard for you my baby
Because it's hard for me my baby
And the darkest hour
is just before dawn
Each night
before you go to bed my baby
Whisper a little
prayer for me my baby
Because it's hard for me my baby
And the darkest hour
is just before dawn
We had the radio on
and The Byrds came on.
I mean it was The Byrds.
We were sure of it
because we knew them.
We knew them personally
and we were friends with them.
So we said God,
if The Byrds can have a hit,
anybody can have a hit!
So, we've got to get back to L.A.
But we were staying at the Albert Hotel.
That's where all the musicians
kind of stayed
when they went into town.
And since John and I had gotten married,
I wanted to go back home.
And he said we can't go back home.
We can't.
The music business is here in New York.
That's when he woke me up
in the middle of the night
and he said I'm writing a song.
Listen to this.
And he played:
All the leaves are brown
And the sky is gray
I've been for a walk...
On a winter's day
I'd be safe and warm
If I was in L.A.
California dreamin'
On such a winter's day...
Has it been a while
since you've been in this room?
I was just saying that
this is where we first sang
for Lou Adler, in this studio.
In this room, too?
We recorded in 3, but this is where we,
just where we're standing right now,
we sang practically
the first album for Lou.
And what were some of the songs you sang
in the audition that you had?
"California Dreamin'",
"Monday Monday",
"Go Where You Wanna Go."
- You had some good ones, then.
- You know.
- Wow.
- We had some material.
And he said, with his hat
pulled down over his nose like this,
you know, "Why don't you
guys come back tomorrow.
We'll talk about this tomorrow."
And when we came back,
the contracts were
all over the floor at Studio 3
and they were handing out pens like here!
Sign this! Sign this! Sign this!
Well, then the audition went well, obviously.
It did!
I think the first studio I recorded in,
that's all the equipment they had,
just this little slab here.
The piano was in the middle.
Hal Blaine and his drums were there.
John Phillips and his 12-string, P. F. Sloan,
maybe Glen Campbell,
Billy Strange, one of those guitar players...
- All in here.
- would be in a line.
We were at the end of a take
and Denny Doherty...
it was pretty wild through the night.
It got wilder and wilder.
A lot of Crown Royal bags
laying everything.
And Denny had fallen asleep on the piano.
And John said
"Denny, get up. I need a note."
And we couldn't raise Denny.
So, we put... got a microphone
and pulled it over here.
And put it over Denny like that.
And John leaned down
and sang the note to him.
Denny sang the note,
he got the note he wanted,
he went right back to sleep.
But it's a fantastic room. I mean it's...
This room looks
exactly the same I would think, no?
The room looks exactly the same.
The speakers are a little different.
But the room looks
and feels exactly the same.
Bah-da bah-da-da-da
Bah-da bah-da-da-da
Monday, Monday
It was all I hoped it would be
Oh Monday mornin', Monday mornin'
Couldn't guarantee
That Monday evenin'
you would still be here with me
Monday, Monday
Can't trust that day
Monday, Monday
Sometimes it just turns out that way
Oh Monday mornin'
you gave me no warnin'
Of what was to be
Oh Monday, Monday
how could you leave
and not take me
Every other day
Of the week is fine, yeah
But whenever Monday comes
But whenever Monday comes
You can find me cryin' all of the time
It was all very, very romantic.
We were living in the Virgin Islands
on the beach in tents.
And it's just inevitable, it's gonna happen,
the dynamics in a group
when there are men and women.
You see something in a band member,
their talent and their sexiness,
and there's a spark.
I know that it happened
in the The Mamas & the Papas.
I've seen it happen in almost
any group that I can think of
that have men and women in them.
Jefferson Airplane,
Fleetwood Mac.
We were so confined
to the four of us living together all the time.
We were always together.
And when we were rehearsing,
Denny and I under the table
were playing footsie.
And Denny was also a big flirt.
He just wanted to take it
to the maximum, you know.
He had a great sense of humor,
that little look in his eye, you know.
He was just so hot.
Boys and girls
You know they're birds of a feather
Like two sides of a coin
They are foreverjoined
On the cover of our first album
I'm lying back in Denny's arms.
This is before we got caught.
Really, the first night that we were together
we had all been sitting
at the table and John and Cass,
we looked over and they were asleep.
And that's when Denny just got up
and he walked over to the sliding glass door
and off we went.
I was raised in a very free atmosphere.
To me, having an affair was not as serious
as it was to the rest of them.
I had had an affair before Denny
when John and I had first gotten married.
So, it was something that John
had already experienced with me,
and that's when he wrote
"Go Where You Wanna Go".
John was really crushed and upset about it
and so the lyric of
"go where you want to go,
do what you want to do,
with whoever you want to do it with" bitch!
So, I mean, I was busy.
I was a very busy girl.
And I was having a lot of fun!
I'm glad you said that and not me!
And you gotta go where you want to go
Do what you want to do
With whoever you want to do it with
Go where you want to go
Do what you want to do
You don't understand
That a girl like me
Can love just one man
Three thousand miles
That's how far you'll go
And you said to me
Don't follow
You gotta go where you want to go
Do what you want to do
With whoever you want to do it with
Go where you want to go
Do what you want to do
With whoever you want to do it
You don't understand
That a girl like me can love
Just one man
You've been gone a week
And I tried so hard
Not to be the cryin' kind
Not to be the girl
You left behind
Go where you want to go
Do what you want to do
With whoever you want to do it
Go where you want to go
Do what you want to do
Oh, that is so touching!
- Oh good, you like it.
- I love it!
- Oh, cool.
- I love it.
I forgot what a great song that was!
Yeah, right?
One, two, three
You're going to lose that girl
The 60s, right, it was really blessed.
I mean all that stuff showed up at once.
Must have been meant that way.
But it was a nice circle of really good artists,
well meaning artists, thinking about
how can I make a record
as good as that one?
Music happens
at a particular moment in time
and it changes everything going forward.
You're going to lose that girl
I had ended up
with an acetate of Pet Sounds
and I was going to England
to visit my friend Andrew Oldham,
who is a producer of The Rolling Stones.
And Paul McCartney came by
and I played them Pet Sounds
and they were listening
to everything that Brian was doing
and thinking about how
they could use certain things
that he was doing on Pet Sounds.
Out of that comes Sgt. Pepper.
There was a lot
of stuff going on.
All those records you bought,
those vinyl... we bought,
you weren't even born...
were just the best.
'Cause everyone was at it.
I have two favorite records,
as a lot of people do,
and one of them is Pet Sounds
and the other is Sgt. Pepper.
You can listen to the records
and you can see the cross-pollinization.
It was a magical thing.
Any time something good happens,
it's gonna show up other places.
It's gonna be mirrored back.
Well, that was just like cross-pollinization.
I mean The Beatles also
grew up listening to skiffle music.
George admits "The Bells of Rhymney"
and "If I Needed Someone" are very similar.
I think he sent Roger a little card about it
that he still has, you know.
Someone would have
written most of a song, say,
you know, Paul or John, and they play it
and when it felt good okay, that's how we do it.
We would just jam. We were buskers.
The riff was...
Oh, what will you give me?
Say the sad bells of Rhomey
Anyway, so George liked that riff and he wrote:
If I needed someone to love
based on that.
He made a tape of it
and gave it to Derek Taylor in London.
Derek came over to my house,
he said George wants you to know
that he wrote this song based
on your riff in "Bells of Rhymney".
When you hear beautiful music
it gets inside you
and sometimes you want
to do a little something like that
maybe, but your way.
Or wow, he did that
so maybe I could maybe...
and it's an open-ended thing.
But that's fair, right? That's... that's fair.
But, you know, outright theft
isn't that good but you...
But in that sense
I thought it was really nice.
You have the heavy...
you're a little bit on the heavier side.
You got the Pet Sounds
and the Sgt. Pepper's over there...
I have some very good shit over here, yeah!
I'll stick with this.
Yeah. And these records come
all of a sudden like an avalanche.
Mm hmm.
And there's nothing like them before.
It used to be that
every time any of these came out
it was like this giant event
and people would talk about it
and gather together
and put on a record in their room
and listen to the record.
- It's so cool.
- For days.
For days!
And they'd be deciphering,
you know, why is he wearing this cape,
poncho, from the Renaissance Fair.
Yeah, one of my favorite things
about all these bands
is that they're, in a sense,
they're sort of super groups,
you know.
They have multiple lead singers.
They have multiple songwriters.
But I think the beauty of all this
is how they came together
and brought the best of
that they had for something.
Yeah! I mean just listen
to Buffalo Springfield
- and all those bands.
- Yeah.
You just get something
completely remarkable and unique
- when it's...
- Oh, yeah...
A combination,
a collaborative, that you can't...
you just can't do, with all your own DNA.
You just can't.
Gentlemen! Gentlemen!
Nice to see you all!
Would you be kind enough
to act as spokesman,
introduce yourself, and then
let us know who else is involved.
Ah, my name is Neil Young.
All right, Neil. How do you do?
I'm the lead guitar player.
How do you do?
This is Richie Furay.
Hello, Richie! Nice to see you
- This is Steve Stills.
- Hello, Steve. Nice to see you.
How does three Canadians
and a couple of other fellows
all fall into together?
How did that happen?
Well, we, ah,
Bruce and I came to Los Angeles
in an old hearse to try to,
you know, make stars, you know.
We're gonna be stars.
So, ah, we were just about to leave
and I saw him in a van
going the other way on Sunset
and he stopped and he...
and we stopped and we all stopped
and then we started.
There's something happening here
What it is ain't exactly clear
There's a man with a gun over there
Telling me I got to beware
I think it's time we stop,
children, what's that sound
Everybody look what's going down
Oh, hello Mr. Soul,
I dropped by to pick up a reason
For the thought that I caught
That my head
is the event of the season
I'll cop out to the change
But a stranger is putting the tease on
We were in Fort William, Ontario,
and the owner of the club
said these guys that we,
you know, employ regularly
are gonna come in
and do a set in between
you guys and the main act.
It was Neil with a little trio
called The Squires.
And he was doing exactly
what I wanted to do,
which was to play folk songs
on electric guitar.
And we hung out together for a week.
We talked and dreamt and fantasized
about what we wanted to do.
And we were inseparable.
Buffalo Springfield,
you know, that was a big one.
I saw them back in '67 or '68.
They came to Gainesville
and played with The Beach Boys.
You know, I never got over it!
It was a really
mind-blowing show, you know.
It was like that's as good
as it's supposed to be, you know.
It was maybe better.
Buffalo Springfield had like, you know,
just like legions of the girls that,
you know, I wanted,
you know, were like just looking that way.
And I thought, you know, this is...
this must be a pretty good band.
- We went to L.A. with Cream.
- Yeah.
And I hadn't been there
more than about an hour
and there was a knock at the door
and then Stephen Stills
was there with a guitar, you know.
He just came in.
I took his guitar out of the case and said
"I hear you like this".
- He played you "Bluebird"?
- He played "Bluebird".
They'd end with this really long
"Bluebird", like, you know,
trading guitars for...
'til it just got really intense.
It was great.
The Byrds picked up the Buffalo Springfield
for an opening act
and it lasted until
David Crosby saw us for the first time
and he says "Get them out of there.
They're too good."
I remember thinking
when we did it this is a bad idea.
'Cause they're -
they're really amazingly good.
And we had hits, you know,
so we could follow them,
but they were awfully goddamn good.
What was good about it
is that we had a wealth of material.
What was bad about it, it was
in really divergent directions.
The first song we had, "Clancy",
with the Buffalo Springfield,
we did the first take
and the voice comes back
from the booth and said,
"It's too long. Play it faster."
Mm hmm.
And that's when Neil and I
looked at each other and said
oh my God, we've gotta
learn how to do this ourselves.
There's Neil and I'm listening
to something that he's doing.
And that's the old original console.
This was only 8-track.
That's why it's an old Altec console
with like big knobs.
And right after that,
I think we got an MCI or something
and went to 16, which to me
was all we ever needed.
But this is like after we obviously had learned
to make them ourselves. I see, no...
That's probably the engineer
that was hired for the session.
He's gotta sit down now?
Just go sit down there.
Where are we going love?
What are you feelin'?
Now that I've caught my love
My head is reelin'
With the questions of a thousand dreams
What she's doing
what she's seen
Now, come on lover talk to me
Should we talk about "Questions"?
Well, to start with I had this what...
you know those magical days
where a lot of stuff happens?
I met Judy Collins
and Eric Clapton on the same night.
I went to the Whisky to see Eric.
And so I'm flirting with Judy,
trying to listen to Eric,
who's blowing my mind,
and so I'm overwhelmed.
And then later on, Crosby had
brought Eric to my little house
in Laurel Canyon.
And the changes to "Questions" were derived
from a song of Judy's called
"Since You've Asked".
And I just took
this first three chords
and changed the cadence and everything.
And then it evolved into the song.
And I think I was playing it for him
as I was trying to write it,
and it later ended up
on a Buffalo Springfield album.
I haven't listened to that stuff
for a long time,
you know, the west coast music,
at all and so...
The original version you...
No, I haven't heard
the original version of "Questions"
for a long, long, long time.
And it really took me back.
What was it made you run
Tryin' to get around
The questions...
It took me back to
a song that I had done, too,
around the same time.
Ah, a little later, actually,
called "Let It Rain".
And it was one of the first songs I'd ever written.
And it... and there, you know,
there's that kind of...
I was influenced by it, I think.
Yeah, I thought that we talked
about having, hopefully,
you play on that song with Stephen...
I wondered if that was gonna be...
it's not gonna bother you
that there's the...
there's a similar feel or...
Well I didn't... I must have copped it
and not even known, you know.
We can edit that part right out.
Well, no, no! I think, no,
that's very important for people to know.
Well Stephen owes you one.
Come on lover, talk to me
Sorry I got lost.
Whatever happened
in the solo section was great.
- Cool.
- With you and Eric together.
Yeah. When Eric's playing
in the top of the second solo,
you know, he's playing in the higher register
and I think anything in the lower register
would be cool as a complement.
Where are we going love?
Eric was very meticulous
about reminding me back then,
he said
You know, when you're doing this on stage,
you must take turns.
Much like schoolyard, you know.
I had got an invite
to go and watch
Buffalo Springfield rehearsing
in a house in Laurel Canyon.
I had met this girl called
Mary Hughes who was
the kind of beauty queen
of the Strip at that time.
Jeff Beck was dating her
and Keith Moon was dating her
and I somehow managed
to get into the equation.
And I'm with this beautiful girl
and there's joints being passed around
and they start to play.
And they played at a level where
it wasn't too loud for everybody
and they were rehearsing a set,
I think, to play for a show.
And then there's a knock at the door.
And someone goes to answer
and there's an immediate vibe
in the room of that
something's wrong, you know.
And they open the door
and there's a policeman standing there.
And there's a squad car in the background.
And he says,
"You'll have to keep it down.
We've had some complaints about the noise.
What's that?"
And next thing you know,
they're in the room.
And I had nothing...
I had just put down a joint.
I had nothing in my hands,
but, ah, I was handcuffed to somebody.
So, we were all taken to L.A. County Jail.
Meanwhile, it was like where's...
what happened to Stephen?
Stephen, when he realized
who was at the front door...
Jumped out the bathroom window
and ran off.
There's a party that
we heard about, too, your...
was it your house
that had a party in the Canyon?
Is that the same party you mentioned?
What? Disastrous.
What I heard was
you were there, Eric was there,
Neil was there, and so were the police.
- I'd say yeah!
- That sound right?
Neil and I were sitting
in a bedroom in the back
and we here this.
And I said go check that.
I'm gonna go next door and call lawyers!
And I book it out the back.
So, of course, that blew up
into ruining my reputation.
Oh, he was the guy that booked, you know.
And, ah, and I went next door and...
totally reprehensible.
I should have manned up and... and it wasn't.
I've never lived that down
and felt awful about it ever since.
Neil got really aggressive
and was out the door
and he was gonna go
chase the police away.
'Cause he's Canadian and I guess
in Canada you can do that...
It was really exciting
to get to Los Angeles
coming from Gainesville, Florida.
And in my mind,
it was the weather and the girls
and the surfing and the cars
and it was a young mentality.
This is kind of where people
that really were big dreamers
went to because
that's kind of allowed here.
There are people that believe that
it might be possible to do
something that's not ordinary.
The first thing I remember
going down Sunset Boulevard
looking out the car at the all
the record companies, you know.
In those days it was MGM,
you know, Capitol, you know,
all these labels that aren't there anymore.
It was true. I got out there
and man, these recording studios
are all spotless and engineers
are really remarkably good.
This is where Phil Spector
and Brian Wilson were working.
People started showing up here
trying to work with the engineers
they worked with
and the studios that they worked in
to make things sound... fat.
In America it's very, very different.
Abbey Road was
the only place that, basically,
we ever recorded, right.
There it was almost like,
ah, almost like the BBC.
All the engineers had
these white overalls on.
And, you know, if you wanted
to bring the bass up
you had to go to the producer
who then went to the engineer
who then brought the bass up.
You were secondary somehow
to these people in white coats
that were really making the music.
They had all these
like professors guys.
You know, scientists upstairs.
We were in the studio.
It's like an old 40s movie.
Oh, what's that you want?
You want to play?
Mm, let me see what I can do.
Very different here.
Very much looser, much better.
"Good Vibrations"
was recorded in four studios,
four different studios.
Well, each studio is different, you know?
Like you can't...
not any one studio's the same.
Western was good for the,
ah, instrumentation,
like the bass, the drums, guitars.
Sunset Sound, I liked their tech piano.
I used that on the bridge
to "Good Vibrations."
Gold Star was good for just the echo.
The echo of Gold Star was good.
And RCA Victor,
that's where we did the vocal.
There were so many studios.
They had that great
RCA studio on Sunset and Ivar.
It was a fantastic place.
Columbia Studios.
And Western, you know,
United Western at times it was called.
It's still there.
Have you...
have you recorded here?
No, I've never been here.
Yeah, this is where
Brian Wilson, Mamas & the Papas,
and Buffalo Springfield recorded.
As well as you can see
the evolution of Don Was.
Yeah, there he is!
And let's go back further.
And there's some more of him over there.
Yeah, you can here see this...
There's some more him down there -
...before he really figured it out.
What about these guys?
Mm, not really familiar.
- That's okay.
- It's okay.
- This is all right here, huh?
- Yeah. It's cool.
Yeah, I want to record
a song by The Association.
They're not really marked
who's doing what,
but that doesn't really matter.
You ask me if there'll come a time
When I'll grow tired of you
Never my love
Never my love
Let's do it.
Well, you ask me if there'll come a time
When I'll grow tired of you
Never my love
Never my love
You wonder if this heart of mine
Will lose its desire for you
Never my love
Never my love
Now, how can you think love will end
When I've asked you
to spend your whole life
With me
Buh-buh buh, Buh-buh
Never my love
Never my love
What makes you think love will end
When I've asked you
to spend your whole life
With me
With me
Buh-buh, buh-buh, Buh-buh
Buh-buh, buh-buh
Never my love
Never my love
I was driving down Sunset
and I turned on
one of those roads
that leads up into the hills
and I stopped at this place
that overlooks the whole city.
It was fantastic.
I suddenly felt exhilarated there.
I was really moved
by the geometry of the place,
its harmony.
It's a fabulous city.
To think some people
claim it's an ugly city
when it's really pure poetry,
it just kills me.
I wanted to build something right then,
create something.
I used to love L.A.
when I was first there in the early 60s.
You can drive around and smell
the orange blossoms, you know.
It was really cool.
We moved into Laurel Canyon
and we just loved the scene there.
And a lot of people,
a lot of folk singers would come around
and play and we'd,
you know, get high and stuff.
It was fan... a fun time.
Just driving up those canyons
and people pointing out houses
of famous people that lived there,
Houdini and Tom Mix and Zappa
and, you know, it was a fabulous time.
I need somebody groovy
Someone who's able to move me, yeah
Any time you
drove by the Canyon Store
you saw some pop hero.
There's David Crosby, you know!
There were people
from everywhere in Laurel Canyon.
In '66 it was teeming.
And you might see anybody.
Like I one time saw
Crosby blow through there
and scoop up these two girls.
And he was wearing a cape, by the way.
Disappeared, you know, into the night!
Frank Zappa lived across the street.
And he once stood in the middle of the street
reading me the lyrics of
"Who Are The Brain Police",
like Alan Ginsberg. It was...
And I kept going whoa! Whoa! Whoa!
And then I heard Frank Zappa
do an orchestration
on a track without the yelling over it.
And it was... it was otherworldly.
It was really... really incredible.
There's not the kind of scene
there is in New York
and the east coast cities
where there's a club you go to.
We would go over to people's houses
and yak it up for hours and hours!
And play music, you know.
All kinds of music all the time.
I wrote a song
with Brian Wilson one time.
Brian came over to my house.
I said wow.
He had never come over before.
And he came up and he said,
"You got any speed?"
And I said, "I think so."
I went to the medicine cabinet
and I gave him two Biphetamine 20s.
He... he wanted two.
And this is about,
mm, 4:00 in the afternoon.
We started playing a song.
It was like a...
Okay, we're playing that
and we're playing that and playing that.
And it finally gets dark and I go to bed.
And, you know, seven,
eight hours later I got up
and Brian is still at the piano going...
- Still playing the same figure?
- Yeah, same song, yeah!
- Really fast.
- It's only got one verse.
And they finally released it,
called it "Ding Dang".
And whenever I see Brian
these days he points at me
and goes "Ding dang!"
There's a lot of strange stuff happening here.
George and I just drove up
to wherever Micky Dolenz lived
and Stephen Stills was there
and several other people.
And they were all
being hippies in the nude.
And when they saw
it was George and I driving
they all run in and got dressed!
And we were going
well, that's not very hippie.
You just felt like
you could do anything, you know.
You just felt like
there was nothing stopping you,
is the way that...
and Hollywood was right there
and the music industry, or a good part of it.
And Sunset Boulevard, you know.
It just... it reeked of what happened in the 40s
with the movie stars and that lifestyle.
And, in a sense,
we emulated it in a different way.
There's a certain thing
about freedom of spirit,
a certain thing about lack of rules,
lack of previous stuff holding you in place.
Certain people wound up,
you know, in certain places
and chemistries happened
and they inspired other
chemistries around them.
I kind of compare it with
Vienna at the turn of the century
when all those architects
and painters and furniture builders
would drink massive amounts of coffee,
and what are you doing
and what are you working on now?
Paris in the 30s with Gertrude Stein and all,
you know, all those artists coming together.
But I think this era, in time,
is gonna be treated exactly the same way
in a couple of hundred years by the historians.
The power of music is undeniable.
I truly believe it can change the world.
I do.
Small ways, but...
I'm not letting this go!
I think I'm goin' back
To the things I learned so well
In my youth
I think I'm returning to
Those days when I was young enough
To know the truth
Now there are no games
To only pass the time
No more electric trains
No more trees to climb
But thinking young and growing older
Is no sin
And I can play the game of life to win
I can recall the time
When I wasn't afraid
to reach out to a friend
Now I think I've got
A lot more than just my toys to lend
Now there's more to do
Than watch my sailboat glide
And every day can be
A magic carpet ride
A little bit of courage
Is all we lack
So catch me if you can
I'm goin' back
La la la
la-la la la la, la-la la la
La la la, la-la la la la,
la-la la la
La la la, la-la la la la,
la-la la la
You know, the politics in bands
it gets pretty heavy sometimes,
especially when one guy's
getting more songs on the record
than somebody else.
And David had written
this song about a mnage trios.
What can we do
now that we both love you
I love you too
And I don't really see
Why can't we go on as three
I didn't think it was appropriate
for what we were doing,
but he thought it was
cool and hip and everything.
And we decided
to do a Goffin and King song
called "Going Back"
and he was just up in arms about that.
It just wasn't, you know,
something that they thought
was in good taste, you know.
It was risqu,
it was out on the edge, you know.
To me it's not out on the edge at all.
It's just a love song.
It has happened.
I mean otherwise the French
wouldn't have a name for it!
It wasn't so much
David writing the song.
It was the realization that
he actually lived it, many times.
That was what pissed me off.
He knows it was a naughty song to write.
You gotta remember, Crosby was like Brando.
He had no boundaries.
Carole and Gerry
had moved from New York to L.A.
and they had starting writing songs that...
not the kind of girl band stuff
they'd been doing.
But more of like a hipper style.
And David was...
he was, um, insufferable.
He was tough to live with.
He didn't get his cool song on
and we did this kind of
really commercial song instead.
So, he was angry with that.
The breaking point
really was when Chris Hillman
got mad at David
and said we gotta get rid of him.
The fun thing is that
everybody thinks that
that's why they
threw me out of The Byrds.
Ladies and gentlemen,
They threw me out of The Byrds
'cause I was an asshole.
He was saying things like
you guys are not
good enough musicians
to be playing with me.
I went oh, really?
- That's not cool, you know!
- Yeah.
So, we didn't like that attitude very much.
You know, I say
it's because I was an asshole.
It wasn't that simple, of course.
If you give kids millions of dollars, you know,
they'll screw up.
We held it together for a pretty long time.
Bands tend to devolve.
They evolve up the point where they're exciting
and they're new and they're good,
and then after that they
work their way slowly downhill
until it's turn on the smoke machine
and play your hits.
And that's not good enough for me.
It's just not.
I've done it.
You know, 'cause it was
the path of least resistance
and it made me lots of money
and all that good stuff.
It's not good enough.
Now there's more to do
Than watch my sailboat glide
And every day can be
A magic carpet ride
A little bit of courage
Is all we lack
So catch me if you can
I'm goin' back
La la la, la-la la la la,
la-la la la La la la, la-la
La la la, la-la
I feel like
we hear these songs,
we grew up with these songs,
and then we take them for granted
and I feel like there's
this thing happening tonight
and in your hands,
and in this band's hands,
where you're kind of
bringing them back to life
and reminding us of the brilliance.
Can you talk a little about that?
It really started with, ah, seeing this film,
which was "Model Shop".
And it was a movie
in '67 done by Jacques Demy.
That movie looked like
the sound of The Beach Boys
and The Mamas & Papas.
And so, it sent us on
an exploration back to that time
and to look at the records
that, you know, made, ah,
made that age of innocence
of southern California writing
from '65 to '67, you know, come alive.
Most of the groups
that we're talking about,
that we've picked from,
I think they were...
those are the ones that are the premier
southern California rock bands
from that year at that time.
Something happened
there that engendered
a whole lot of music, a whole lot of
new ways of approaching the music possible.
Whatever it was, it was a good thing.
I don't think you have
to put too much effort into it, really.
I think they're classics.
They're timeless.
And a good song will sound
as good then as it'll sound today.
You don't have to do much.
We didn't reinvent them at all.
We actually stayed
pretty true to what they sounded like.
And oddly enough,
that sound is pretty relevant.
It's pretty current right now.
I think, you know,
people have been trying
to put salt on its tail for a long time,
trying to figure out why it happened there
and how it happened there.
And I... you can guess
and you can point out certain factors
that you think would
have been influencing it.
But I don't know if we'll ever get it named.
It did happen.
And it still is a place
where people come to make music.
Maybe it started with
this optimism of The Beatles
to Ed Sullivan was the beginning of '64,
so that is the perfect kickoff
where there's this fad, right?
People want to be their own Beatles.
And then so that lasts for two,
two and a half years.
Well, it probably changed a lot when
everybody started writing
more complex, longer songs,
which is kind of up until
Pet Sounds and Expecting to Fly.
Songs were three and a half minutes
and they could do...
they realized they could do a lot more.
Don't you feel like some of these songs
structurally, like word-wise and sound-wise,
they're almost like more related to dreams?
Because they feel like
music before was more written
for like the conscious mind
and this seems to be like more
coming in touch with the subconscious,
which is on the way to psychedelia probably,
just that in-between?
Well I think we talked about
"Expecting To Fly"
and maybe that's the end of it?
You know?
I'm not sure I would be the one
to say why it's the end of it,
but that's very different than
everything else we listened to
and I wouldn't say more ambitious,
but it seemed like something
cracked open maybe right then.
That era begins with
this collective idea of these
musicians and this
creative force coming together
to make something bigger.
And then the era ends
when it becomes more
about the individual,
yeah, searching their
own life and their own path
and, ah, yeah, you get
all these groups breaking up.
When you have strong minded people
and they're having these
visions of a new type of art
and they start to compromise,
then it just doesn't last maybe.
What do you remember about
"Expecting To Fly"?
'Cause we recorded that for the record.
What do you remember
about recording that song?
Actually, I wasn't allowed on those sessions.
You're not on that at all?
No, that's when Neil
had decided to take flight.
- That song was a warning.
- Was it?
- Yes, I'm leaving.
- Really?
And I'm going to wait until it's absolutely
critically important
to the survival of the band,
like the night before Johnny Carson
booked the first rock band.
Neil quit the day before
we we're getting on the plane.
There you stood on the edge of your feather
Expecting to fly
While I laughed
and I wondered whether
I could wave goodbye
Knowin' that you'd gone
By the summer it was healing
And we had said goodbye
All the years we'd spent with feeling
Ended with a cry
Ended with a cry
Ended with a cry
I tried so hard to stand as I stumbled
And fell to the ground
So hard to laugh
As I fumbled
And reached for the love I found
Knowin' it was gone
If I never lived without you
Now you know I'd die
If I never said I loved you
Well now you know I'd try
Now you know I'd try
Now you know I'd try
Now you know I'd try
I don't know
What's going on here
And I don't know
How it's supposed to be
Oh, I don't have
The vaguest notion
Whose it is
Or what it's all for
I don't know
And I'm not cryin'
Laughin' mostly
As you can see