Please do not disturb current occupants!
On Sept. 3, 1970 at this, the home of fellow Canned Heat band mate Bob “The Bear” Hite, Alan “Blind Owl” Wilson overdosed on a hill behind the home.
Some called it suicide, others an accident, regardless it was a terrible loss. The house has since been destroyed by a flood.
Alan was 27 at the time of his death. His ashes were scattered in Sequoia National Park in Central California.
Canned Heat Discography:
1967 – Canned Heat
1968 – Boogie with Canned Heat
1698 – Living the Blues
1969 – Hallelujah
1970 – Future Blues
1971 – Historical Figures and Ancient HeadsUnited Artists
1973 – The New Age
1973 – One More River to Cross
1978 – Human Condition
1981 – Kings of the Boogie (Dog House Blues)
1988 – Reheated
1994 – Internal Combustion
1996 – Canned Heat Blues Band
1999 – Boogie 2000
2003 – Friends in the Can
701 Topanga Canyon Rd.
Topanga CA 90290
I must have driven by this place a thousand times and had no idea about what happened here. Thanks!
Thanks for remembering Alan
Hi! Thanks for taking the time to include Alan “Blind Owl” Wilson of Canned Heat on your website. You may also be interested to know that Alan had often slept on the hillside behind Hite’s house. He was very fond of nature and enjoyed camping outdoors, in his sleeping bag, whenever he could. That’s one reason it took a while for the house residents to find his body – – it was considered normal for him to be on the hillside, so not much was thought of it at first.
I’ve written a bio of Alan which you might find of interest; you can read an excerpt on my website at BlindOwlBio.com. My research strongly indicates that he did not commit suicide, but was rather the victim of tragic circumstance. Either way, as you mentioned, it was indeed a terrible loss.
I’d also recommend that fans check out the family tribute website at AlanWilsonCannedHeat.com, a wonderful resource including videos, memorabilia and music downloads.
Thanks again for including Alan and don’t forget to boogie, as Canned Heat always said during their live shows!
Love Love Loved the Heat and Blind Owl, and that unique voice..such a tragety a very good lifelong friend aND BANDMATE OF MINE USED TO WORK UP c h TUNES..AND OF COURSE CLOSED OUR NIGHTS WITH THE fRIED hOCKEY bOOGIE jAM..SUCH FUN AND AWESOME MEMORIES..thank you for your commentary..D Hess
Hello from France, is this biography always available?? Thanks
My experiences at Bob Hite’s Topanga house . . .
Back in 1972 ( at age 17 ) I used to jam with Bob Hite’s stepson , a kid named Eddie Morrow who ( tried ) to play drums . Eddie and his sister Paula lived in Sylmar , Ca . On several occasions we got to go to the Bear’s Topanga house , which I recall as being very close to the Topanga Post Office . I have a memory of us jamming in the garage / basement while a rotund fellow stood in the corner smoking a joint – I asked him nicely if he wouldn’t mind passing it around , which he did . my two friends
( Eddie , and possibly Steve Roderick on guitar ) later informed me that was the Bear ! I also have a memory of us sitting in their living room , rolling an entire lid of crappy pot in the giant Cheech & Chong paper from the Big Bambu album , using a pair of pliers as a roach clip . In the middle of the living room were several rows of library shelves , filled with old 78’s . I also remember us going behind the house , which was kind of a steep hill , lots of vegetation – to get high – this was apparently near where Wilson died , but I don’t recall us being aware of that at the time . Sad to hear that place isn’t there any more . . .
im a fan of canned heat and i did some research on bobs old house, there are no photos of it back in the day,
i think that hillside should be found and a memorial erected for Alan, the guy was an amazing musician , but his story is nearly forgotten. i dont know if this is the exact site where the house was, but i hear the original house burned in the 70’s. im sure someone knows.
Thanks for the information. Just to say that Alan’s death was recorded as accidental. The toxicology reports stated that no alcohol and no drugs were found in his body. A small head injury and blood on the surface of his brain was discovered at the autopsy.Alan had laid for about 36 hours before his body was discovered. Enough time for him to slip into a coma, develop pneumonia and die.
It really is upsetting that they did not look for him. Such a loss.
Al Wilson’s final show with the Heat
Al Wilson’s final show with Canned Heat took place on August 22, 1970 at the Inglewood Forum in California. The Heat was supporting Iron Butterfly.
I saw them at a rock fest (Kickapoo creek) may 31, 1970…fantastic show!!
Alan Wilson is not buried in MA. His ashes are in Sequoia National Park in Central California. I was there when we took them up there with Bobs wife.
Thank you for your info. I have altered this page and included his burial here:
I hope to visit Sequoia National Park next year. I know it was 50 years ago…but just a stab in the dark…Do you recall which section of the park you brought him too? I realize the park is huge but there are many landmark trees.
We’re you friends with Alan. I had read that Bob’s wife was the one who scattered the ashes because noone in the band did what the family expected them to do. Bob’s wife Verlie seemed like a nice person.
Steppenwolf did an album cover in a burned out house that was supposedly Canned Heat’s. The album was At Your Birthday Party.
Steppenwolfs album At your birthday party was released in March ’69 so the timeframe wouldn’t be right, sorry!
Being interested in Alan Wison and Canned Heat, I realized that he was born 9 months after I was and we lived about 1/2 mile from each other in Arlington Heights. I did not know him, but generally know where he lived. Do you know which elementary school he attended in Arlington? Would it have been the Peirce School? Just wondering. By the way – Happy Birthday, Alan! You are missed.
I’m really sad to find out about your tragic passing . Today is August 19th 2021 and I think it’s a shame that you are not included with the likes of Hendrix , Joplin and the other great musicians who have passed . R.I.P. brother .
I agree with you. And there should be a memorial for him.
I and my later to be wife lived on Park Ave. in Venice, CA for about 4 years in the late 60’s. I believe Alan Wilson lived next door in a large & very old 2 story beach house. Through a large downstairs window we would periodically see piles of luggage bearing travel stickers on top of travel stickers. It was understood that at least one of the Canned Heat stayed there when in town. Never met him personally but word was that he had moved to Topanga Canyon, not far up the coast. Heard later about his demise there. Wish I had met him way back then.