David Kukoff | Los Angeles in the 1970s: Weird Scenes Inside the Goldmine

Los Angeles in the 1970s: Weird Scenes Inside the Goldmine

With the tragic and bloody ending to the optimistic 1960s in Los Angeles’s fabled hills, the 1970s became a defining decade in the city. Marked by the Manson murders, rampant inflation, and recession, the decade seemed to usher in a gritty and unsightly reality. The city of glitz and glamour overnight became the city of smog and traffic, a cultural and environmental wasteland.

Los Angeles in the 1970s was a complex and complicated city with local cultural touchstones that rarely made it near the silver screen. In Los Angeles in the 1970s, LA natives, transplants, and escapees talk about their personal lives intersecting with the city during a decade of struggle. From The Doors’ John Densmore seeing the titular L.A. Woman on a billboard on Sunset, to Deanne Stillman’s twisting path from Ohioan to New Yorker to finally finding her true home as an Angeleno, to Chip Jacobs’ thrilling retelling of the “snake in the mailbox” attempted murder, to Anthony Davis recounting his time as “Notre Dame Killer” and USC football hero, these are stories of the real Los Angeles–families trying to survive the closing of factories, teens cruising Van Nuys Boulevard, the Chicano Moratorium that killed three protesters, the making of an adult film legend.

Los Angeles in the 1970s is a love letter to the sprawling and complicated fabric of a Los Angeles often forgotten and mostly overlooked. Welcome to the Gold Mine.

David Kukoff | Los Angeles in the 1970s: Weird Scenes Inside the Goldmine    David Kukoff | Los Angeles in the 1970s: Weird Scenes Inside the Goldmine    David Kukoff | Los Angeles in the 1970s: Weird Scenes Inside the Goldmine


Children of the Canyon

Children of the Canyon tells the story of David, a boy growing up in LA’s fabled Laurel Canyon neighborhood as the 1960s counterculture is coming to an end.

David’s record producer father works with the reclusive former leader of a surf music band on an album that promises to elevate the legacies of both men to immortal status. His distant, peripatetic mother rides the waves of activism and feminism in and out of David’s life. The elusive Topanga, named for the city’s last remaining Eden, whom David meets on the beach the night of his parents’ separation continues to elude his futile attempts to reconnect with her throughout the decade.

Through David’s eyes, we bear witness to the fallout from the California Dream’s malfunction: the ruined families, failed revolutionaries, curdled musical idealism, and, ultimately, the rise of the conservatism that put the country on its present path.

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