I grew up in the San Fernando Valley, specifically Woodland Hills and what is now known as West Hills. Topanga Canyon was a few miles from my home as was Mulholland Drive and Laurel Canyon, each of which was home to many Rock and Roll stars such as Neil Young, Stephen Stills, Peter Tork, Randy California, Lowell George, Ozzy Osbourne and Captain Beefheart.
Living there for more than 30 years, I was fortunate enough to catch a glimpse of many of my rock and roll idols. I specifically remember having lunch in Encino when Tom Petty came in and occupied the table next to mine.
I frequently drove by the Topanga Corral on Topanga Canyon on my way to the beach and was too young to know what was going on there to take the time to stop by. It’s believed that Jim Morrison wrote Roadhouse Blues about the Corral. Driving by it recently. I saw that it was just raw land fenced off from the public as it burned down for a second time in 1986. Sad.
Canned Heat co-founder Alan “Blind Owl” Wilson died on the hill behind fellow band member Bob Hite’s home in the canyon on September 3, 1970 at the young age of 27.
Neil Young recorded “After the Gold Rush” in the basement of his Topanga Canyon home that he purchased shortly after the breakup of Buffalo Springfield in 1968. The house was sold in 2020 and the studio was converted in to an apartment.