‘Echo in the Canyon’ Doc With Tom Petty, Brian Wilson Coming

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The fertile mid-60s music scene of Los Angeles’ Laurel Canyon is the subject of a new documentary, Echo in the Canyon. The film, coming this spring, celebrates the explosion of popular music “as folk went electric and The Byrds, the Beach Boys, Buffalo Springfield and the Mamas and the Papas gave birth to the California Sound.”

The film “uncovers never-before-heard personal details behind the bands and their songs and how that music continues to inspire today.” It includes Tom Petty’s last film interview – “this is where big dreamers went to” – plus conversations and performances with Brian Wilson, Ringo Starr, the Mamas and the Papas’ Michelle Phillips, Eric Clapton, Stephen Stills, David Crosby, Graham Nash, Roger McGuinn and Jackson Browne, plus label executive Lou Adler.

Watch the Echo in the Canyon trailer

More from the announcement: “From 1965 to 1967 bands came to LA to emulate The Beatles, and Laurel Canyon emerged as a hotbed of creativity and collaboration for a new generation of musicians who would soon put an indelible stamp on the history of American popular music.”

“Brian [Wilson] lived down the street from us,” says Michelle Phillips. “The whole living room was filled with sand. I know it’s crazy but he’s writing great songs. He was writing Pet Sounds!”

“The best test of songwriting is that it transcends its moment in time and there is no doubt that the songs we explore in this film are as powerful today as they were in 1965,” says executive producer Jakob Dylan.

Echo in the Canyon was directed by former music journalist, record producer and label executive Andrew Slater. The film has played several film festivals. It opens in Los Angeles on May 24 at Arclight’s Cinerama Dome and The Landmark followed by a New York opening at the Angelika and The Landmark at 57 West on May 31. Both openings will feature performances by musicians from the film all weekend with a national rollout and a soundtrack on BMG coming in June.

Related: A second documentary on Laurel Canyon is coming

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