I’ve been recommending Dave McGowan’s excellent book, Weird Scenes Inside The Canyon: Laurel Canyon, Covert Ops & The Dark Heart Of The Hippie Dream, to those who are interested in the CIA’s connection to the music industry for a while now. I first read the book chapter-by-chapter a few years ago when Dave would release each chapter as he wrote it on his website. I’ve since bought a copy of the book for myself, and picked one up this past Christmas for my son’s dad who is a radio DJ and a record collector who owns over 20,000 albums. His mind was blown and he couldn’t believe how convoluted the music industry was in the 1960s and continues to this day.
I was excited to see this brand new interview pop-up on my Facebook feed this morning and I’m listening the interview now.
The hippie movement of the 1960s, which began in Laurel Canyon, Los Angeles and peculiar military and political ties to prominent figures in the scene like Jim Morrison and Frank Zappa are looked at with Weird Scenes Inside the Canyon author Tammi Stefano. We also discuss movement pioneer Vito Paulekas, Charles Manson and the Manson Family murders, and the theory that the CIA manufactured the hippie counterculture to undermine the anti war movement, in this uncensored Antidote interview, hosted by Michael Parker.
GUEST BIO and BOOK INFO:
David McGowan was born and raised in Torrance, California, just twenty miles south of Laurel Canyon. He graduated from UCLA with a degree in psychology and has, since 1990, run a small business in the greater Los Angeles area. Currently single, he is the proud father of three daughters. He is also a lifelong music fan who still frequently keeps his radio tuned to classic rock stations. McGowan’s previous books include Programmed to Kill: The Politics of Serial Murder, and Understanding the F-Word: American Fascism and the Politics of Illusion.
Weird Scenes Inside the Canyon
How did an uncanny amount of rock superstars emerge from the rustic Laurel Canyon scene of the mid 60s when the primary music centers of the US at that time were NYC, Nashville, and Detroit? Why were many of these future stars sons and daughters of the military/intelligence complex and extreme privilege who just happened to all arrive in LA at the same time? From the Lizard King Jim Morrison to Frank Zappa, the Mamas and Papas, the Byrds, Crosby, Stills, Nash, and Young, even the Monkees, they all had conspicuous family heritages that did not exactly jive with what would become the free love, anti war soundtrack of a generation. Meanwhile, looming behind these musicians was a dark underbelly of Hollywood stars, young turks, the mob, shadowy intelligence assets, and charmers like little Charlie Manson who everyone liked at first.. How and why did this all happen? And what about that covert military installation on Lookout Mountain? Are you ready to have your rock and roll fantasies challenged? You may never listen to this music the same way ever again.
00:01 Welcoming author David McGowan to Antidote.
01:00 What Lookout Mountain Laboratories was designed for, and what it is now.
06:05 Jim Morrison’s father’s involvement in the Vietnam war.
09:25 Morrison as an anti-war idol and his surprisingly scarce background in music.
12:55 Hippie-era bands that all had connections to government intelligence.
15:30 Crosby, Stills and Nash’s connections to important historical figures.
18:45 Frank Zappa’s father as a chemical warfare engineer.
20:20 Jackson Browne born in post-war Germany.
23:30 Early history of The Byrds appears suspicious and possibly casted.
25:15 The rise of hippie culture and music clubs in Los Angeles.
29:10 How The Young Turks of Los Angeles contributed to the popularization of clubs.
32:00 The Hippie/Rockefeller connection.
33:25 Charles Manson as a leader and a member of the Los Angeles music scene.
37:05 The Wonderland Murders.
39:05 The surprising number of stars whose parents committed suicide.
41:10 Were these hippie musical figures groomed to undermine the anti-war movement?
46:20 Thank you and goodbye.