Monday, June 26, 2006

Laurel Canyon

Top: Cover of Laurel Canyon Middle: The silkscreen poster of the Kaleidoscope Club that John co-owned with Skip Taylor and Gary Essert on the Sunset Strip in 1966 Bottom: Cover shoot for Desparado (Please click on images to view them larger)

Today I'm writing about a book that just came out called "Laurel Canyon" by Michael Walker. This book is "The inside story of Rock and Roll's Lengendary Neighborhood". This is from my signed copy and one of the reasons I am into this book is my husband John Hartmann is included on over 21 pages. He has devoted much of his life to managing the careers of many artists and characters that we have all come to know and love in the music business. John is in many books and I will list a few at the bottom. If you enjoy reading about this time period, about some of the best and most interesting and talented songmakers and singers then you will enjoy this read. Here is a picture inside this book of John with JD Souther and Jackson Browne on a shoot for the cover of Eagle's "Desperado" in 1972. This post isn't directly about artwork but in a way it is because that was a very creative time, a lot of great art came out of those experiences and people create art to the music of many of these songs to this day. It takes passion and love of art and music to help direct an artist's career and John has all that and is a true friend and champion who goes to battle for the artist, musician, student and even the wife sometimes...

John lived in Laurel Canyon four different times in the sixties and seventies. His adventures there are well chronicled in this deftly researched and well told tale of rock and roll's most exciting era. John has a prodigious memory and is a great story teller. Reading Laurel Canyon enabled him to relive some of his most exciting adventures, as well as gaining insight into many events that were going on around him, of which he was not aware at the time. He and his clients were engaged in the fight to stop the Viet Nam war and every song and tour had an air of significance in those days. John was the last person to live in "Our House" before Joni Mitchell sold the rustic cottage that inspired the famous Graham Nash song. It was John who came home one night to greet burglars dashing from the house. Michael Walker mentions the incident in his tome but did not know it was John who greeted the unwanted guests that night. The thief John danced with in the doorway left in his favorite leather vest from North Beach Leather a famous clothier of the rock & roll artists and mavens who lived and loved in Laurel Canyon.

Some of the books John is featured in are:

Eagles To the Limit the untold story of the Eagles by Marc Eliot

Living the Blues Canned Heat's Story of Music, Drugs, Death, Sex and Survival by Fito de la Parra

The Operator David Geffen Builds, Buys and Sells the New Hollywood by Tom King

The Mail Room by David Rensin

Elvis Presley A Biography by Jerry Hopkins

An American Band by Dan Peak

The Mansion on the Hill by Fred Goodman

"Duck" The Dick Cheny Survival Bible by Gene Stone


kj said...

what a great post. totally fascinating. your love and respect for john leaps from your writing.

i don't think this is so, but is john also a singer and was he somehow connected with mason williams?


valerie walsh said...

Thank you kj, yer sweet! No that is a different guy. I think the singer goes by Johnny Hartman. I will ask John about him as I only have a vague recollection of this singer. I'll get back to you on that ?

Janet said...

Sooo interesting! I agree with kj about your writing!

Lee said...

very interesting val...that period of music is ultimately my favorite...J.D. Souther looks a tad toasted in that picture ;) great post!

carla said...

Very cool! It sounds like John's like has been so rich with wonderful and historic happenings! I must chime in about your exudes love and admiration.

Anonymous said...

WOW! Another really fascinating post! I love reading your posts. I look forward looking through those books you mentioned. I'm so happy you are writing all of this down and sharing it with us.

valerie walsh said...

There are two singers by the name of John Hartman, One is from the Doobie Brothers and one was a singer in a hotel in New York who went by the name of Johnny Hartman

Anonymous said...

John is a true quality person. He's picked a winner in you, I'd say. best wishes to both of you.

a blast from the past--wma and kaliedoscope!

Anonymous said...

I don't know if you check these posts... this one is over a year old, but I'm doing some research for a project about california poster design and came across your blog. I was wondering if you and John have any of the old round posters from the Kaleidoscope. if you do, and especially if you'd be willing to show them, please get in touch. you can email me at drumsofmyrrh |at| yahoo |dot| com thanks so much! joe