My new music friend Rich Kretschmer made us discover New York City in 1977, his birth year, in his maiden article for RREVERB, on February 9. Popular music was at a turning point of its history with new currents emerging: punk rock, disco, hip-hop were invading clubs like the CBGB’s, Studio 54 or the streets of the black neighborhoods of the trashy and unsafe New York streets. Check out his article and videos here.

Shortly after I’ve read and listened to this documentary, I stumbled upon another one, about the period just BEFORE the NYC glory years Rich refers to. “From The Byrds to The Eagles” explains the shift of the music industry from the monopoly of NYC to LA, from the late 60s to mid-seventies.

It all started at Woodstock, which occurred in New York State on August 1st, 2nd and 3rd, 1969. Its spirit of peace and love, its folk psychic rock acts like Crosby, Still & Nash, Jefferson Airplane, The Grateful Dead, Janis Joplin, Jimi Hendrix and so many more reflected the West Coast’s rise as the new music center, where the hippest and coolest artists now lived.

David Crosby (formely of The Byrds), Graham Nash (formely of The Hollies), Stephen Stills and Neil Young (both formerly of Buffalo Springfield), Joni Mitchell (a young Canadian songwriter) and their manager David Geffen were key actors that changed the music landscape, by making Los Angeles their musical home.

This very interesting documentary will bring you back to Sunset Boulevard in the early 70s, in the Canyon, in the Echo Park area, where many stars lived, closed from one another. The Troubadour club was the place where all these future stars would play, meet, and become friends, lovers, partners… All this leading to The Eagles, the ultimate 70s supergroup, built by the record business, leading to the corporatization of rock. “Music died in the middle of the 70s”, says Mike Davis, sociolist and author.  This great film explains why.

david-crosby-nude-girls-in-spa

David Crosby in the spa

With success, money came. And with massive number of albums sold, by The Eagles with “Hotel California”, Neil Young’s “Heart of Gold”, Joni Mitchell’s “Blue”, Gram Parsons, Mama Cass, Jackson Browne, and buddy songwriter JD Souther, Carol King, an extravagant lifestyle didn’t match the values sung in their art anymore. Limousines, coke, naked girls in spas… Los Angeles, cocaine, heroin and speed brought the decadence to its biggest rock stars, killing the dream and the spirit.

10 million girls 2 thousands bumps down the line, you don’t know who you are anymore... says Ned Doheny, singer songwriter from Malibu who became friends and musical partner with stars like Don Henley, Glenn Frey, J.D. Souther, Linda Ronstadt, and Jackson Browne.

Here’s the rise and fall of LA as rock music’s center. Check it out, this is a great documentary by the BBC.

 

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About The Author

Nicolas Pelletier
Fondateur et rédacteur en chef
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Mélomane invétéré et rédacteur agréé, Nicolas pratique la critique en mode olympique: il parle de tout, tout le temps, depuis 1991. Il a publié 4 500 critiques de disques et concerts dont 1100 chez emoragei magazine et 600 sur enMusique.ca, dont il a également été le rédacteur en chef de 2009 à 2014. Nicolas a publié "Les perles rares et les grands crus de la musique" en janvier 2013, un ouvrage de 1250 pages en deux tomes.