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L.A. from Every Angle
Posted April 01, 2010 to photo album "L.A. from Every Angle"
As Noah Baumbach’s Greenberg shows, there are many different L.A.s inside the city limits. Joel Bleifuss takes us on the tour of how artists imagine Los Angeles.
Slide 21: L.A. of the Singer/Songwriters
Joni Mitchell (Roberta Joan Anderson) (1943- ) Canadian-born singer-songwriter Joni Mitchell made Los Angeles her home in the late 1960s.
In the title song of her 1973 album Court and Spark, Mitchell sang, “I couldn’t let go of L.A., city of the fallen angels.” Here is Mitchell’s 1970 album, Ladies of the Canyon, whose title song refers to her neighbors in L.A.’s Laurel Canyon, which was the center of popular music in the 1960s and 1970s.
She lived north of Sunset Boulevard in Laurel Canyon (developed in 1910 and incorporated into the city in 1923) with neighbors like Frank Zappa, John Mayall, Carole King, Jackson Browne, Don Henley of the Eagles, Buffalo Springfield, the Byrds, and Crosby, Stills and Nash, and the Mamas and the Papas. In his 2006 book Laurel Canyon: The Inside Story of Rock-and-Roll’s Legendary Neighborhood,” Michael Walker writes about Graham Nash and Joni Mitchell setting up house in Laurel Canyon: “Nash moved into Mitchell’s cottage on Lookout, there to write his ode to countercultural domestic bliss, ‘Our House.’ Mitchell, in turn, wrote and recorded ‘Ladies of the Canyon,’ her paean to the strange bohemian netherland where she and Nash nurture their affair and where it would soon become evident that some of the twentieth century’s most talented and enterprising young men and women had gathered at just the right moment.”
The 2002 film Laurel Canyon, directed by Lisa Cholodenko, stars Frances McDormand as a pot-smoking negligent mother/record producer who lives in the canyon and who, according to Cholodenko is loosely based on Joni Mitchell.