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Hotel California

Narrated by: Nick Landrum
Length: 11 hrs and 19 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (2 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

The classic account of the LA Canyons scene between 1967 and 1976, featuring Joni Mitchell; Crosby, Stills, Nash, and Young; The Eagles; James Taylor; and Jackson Browne. Ambition, betrayal, drugs and genius all combine with great music making.

©2005 Barney Hoskyns (P)2012 Talking Music

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Profile Image for John M. ONeal
  • John M. ONeal
  • 13-02-2018

Solid Hollywood Music History.

Would you consider the audio edition of Hotel California to be better than the print version?

I haven't read the print version of this book. I suspect though that I would have been tempted to gloss over certain aspects of the book itself, and thus run the risk of missing out on some interesting observations and insights. There are some really nice nuggets of insight in this book that are more interesting than the, overall, thrust of the story.

What other book might you compare Hotel California to and why?

"Weird Scenes Inside the Canyon" should be the required companion piece for this book, though "Weird Scenes" is more tabloid and conspiracy driven in nature than "Hotel California." "Weird Scenes" also deals more with all of the happenings leading up to the late sixties and, ultimately, culminates with the Manson Family; while "Hotel California" documents the gradual take over of the music business by Corporate entities and Cocaine Cowboys, which goes well into the '70s.

What does Nick Landrum bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

Nick Landrum does an amazing job of reading Hotel California. It seems like he really brings out the nuances of the book and the various characters involved that might otherwise be missed by a casual read of the written text.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

The book does an effective job of documenting how drugs (Cocaine mostly) and the bottom line driven Corporate landscape began to suffocate and thus kill all that was creative about the early music scene in Hollywood. It also illuminates a number of interesting musical casaulties of that time that prompted me to go back and listen to their works.

Any additional comments?

This is a very serious and important look at the not particularly positive growth of the music industry in Hollywood, and how the bottom line first managers, agents, and distributors controlled what American and, to some degree, what the rest of the world would listen to. It also documents how drugs (mostly cocaine) eroded away many of the artists ability to effectively express themselves musically. Be warned that the book really slams the likes of David Geffen, David Crosby, and the "Eagles."

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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  • Everard (Desert Islander)
  • 13-05-2016

A real tour de force

This was my generation and Hotel California has it all covered. Nick Landrum does an outstanding job. Absolutely recommended!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Janice Wallace
  • 20-04-2016

New Meaning...

Behind the scenes of my favorite era of music. This book gives new meaning to the songs, concerts, and artists who served as the backdrop to my life.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Steven
  • 14-04-2016

A really wonderful book.....

For anyone who grew up during this period of time, and was into music, this book a for you. If you're a fan of Linda Ronstadt, Gram Parsons, The Byrds, Buffalo Springfield, Eagles, etc., you'll find it very interesting to see how all these people interacted to become who they are.... and for some still are.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Jack T. Wynn
  • 12-08-2019

Spoil assholes

Thought this was a great story about these spoiled POS. Never a fan of the Eagles, but still enjoy CSNY, Little Feet and FBB. Always heard Stills and Crosby were major asses, but these accounts seem to solidify these rumours. Neil has always been reported to have mental issues.
This was a great listen to find out the behind the scenes tragedy of Grahm Parson and Loyall George.
Enjoyed, too bad they could not continue their wonderful momentum into a new era, like some of the other great bands that started in the same years.

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  • Carolyn O
  • 01-05-2019

Excellent

If you grew up in 60s 70s music then this will be a great nostalgic ride. The reader’s voice is superb, just really enjoyed listening to his voice nearly as much as the music I heard as a kid

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  • Stephen Snead
  • 29-04-2019

Picks up steam as it goes.

I'm 62 so The Eagles and Linda Ronstat are of more interest to me than David Crosby. Poco and even the Burritos are not given enough time. in all honesty it would take several volumes to give credit where credit is due. The only one's who seem to have more humanity than greed are Linda Ronstat and at times Jackson Brown. David Crosby comes across as a self absorbed drug addicted jerk and Stephen Stills as a major asshat. Don Henley as Hypocritical and Glen Frey as a butthole. Jonie Mitchell as a little insecure and full of herself and Neil Young a feeling, serious, yet ruthless butt. Gene Clark as out of place and self destructive but a very real person. Graham Nash somewhere in the middle. David Geffen as ruthless and really smart. One other thing I noticed that reminds me of today's politically correct young people was that even though Jonie Mitchell and Crosby and others sang and talked about changing the world. I never hear of any black friends or any real personal contact with anybody that was different from their little groups.

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  • Cesar!
  • 22-04-2019

Great book about a music era I knew nothing about

Great book about a music era I knew close to nothing about. Pretty good narrative and context, and even better reading performance of it. In the end, it was just another artistic movement ravaged by drugs and the "rewards of success".

Nowadays this music movement is an almost completely forgotten era. You dont even see that much of it in "classic music" stations and cable channels like VH1 or any other. It is as if the US went from Hendrix and Woodstock straight out to Disco,then some Punk and and then another big leap to the pop rock-synth of My Sharona and Whip It.

No 70s american rock band mentioned here, save the Eagles, has that much of a recognition by at least my generation born in the 80s and raised through the 90s and 2000s. We all knew, appreciate, and even learned to play Hotel California in our teenage years; but thats it.

I thank mr. Hoskyns for putting out a book that pegs those holes in my popular music education. Great work!

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  • Rachel Smith
  • 06-08-2018

Born in the wrong decade

This is a great overview of the prevailing artistic genre of the late 60's and early 70's--a wistful listen. However, the downside is that it covers a great deal of information, so there's not the space to really dig deep in the gritty details.

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  • Stephen T. Cooksey
  • 02-12-2017

if you're at least in your 60s and you love rock <br />

very entertaining from the first word to the last. If you love the 60s and 70s rock experience you going to love this book

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Profile Image for Colin
  • Colin
  • 20-04-2016

An excellent record of a Golden Era...

No matter what your personal musical tastes are, it’s hard to discount the massive changes that happened between 1967-1976 as the focus of the popular music world shifted from London to Los Angeles, and in particular, the singer/songwriter boom of Laurel Canyon. Over a period of just a few years a seemingly endless stream of fresh new sounds and new voices continued to pour out of the bohemian LA suburb to dominate the pop charts across the world. Names like Joni Mitchell, James Taylor, Linda Ronstadt, Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young, America, Rickie Lee Jones and, of course, The Eagles, all of whom went on to have long, successful careers in the music industry.

This really is an excellent book and a real joy to listen to, and special mention must go to the narrator Nick Landrum, who does a first class job of keeping the listener engaged and interested. I would definitely listen to another title read by Nick.

From the early days at The Troubadour, where you could see Crosby, Ronstadt and Jackson Browne sharing a beer or three, to the cocaine-fuelled excesses their worldwide fame later provided, this book leaves no stone unturned (no pun intended) and follows the story right up to the beginning of the end, where younger, fresher acts like Springsteen and Steely Dan start to make inroads to the charts, and the old school can feel the end of their road is near.

But this is no ‘fluff’ piece; the book takes a long, hard look at the behind-the-scenes wheeling and dealing, especially involving the record producer David Geffen, and pulls no punches when discussing the inevitable tensions that can arise when large egos are placed in close confinement to each other.

Some time ago I wrote a less-than-positive review of a Neil Young book, astounded how he could write such a large tome and not mention Buffalo Springfield or CSN&Y, the two bands for which he is largely known. On reading ‘Hotel California’ I feel I owe Mr Young an apology, as it seems these years were far from happy ones for him, largely due to the incessant bullying, both mental and physical, by his band-mate Stephen Stills, who I have to say does not come out of this book very well.

It’s been said that every generation believe they had the best pop music, and this book really helps make the case for the acoustic strumming minstrels from the summer of ’69.

A must for any music lover

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  • John o'neill
  • 11-09-2019

great tales

another masterful composition from mr hoskyns.
the only negative would be the narrator constantly mispronouncing gram parsons as graham.