The ‘60s music scene in the Laurel Canyon enclave of Los Angeles birthed The Byrds, The Mamas and the Papas, Buffalo Springfield and a million influential moments in music.
The new music documentary, “Echo in the Canyon,” explores that history with artists from the period (Roger McGuinn, Graham Nash, Brian Wilson) and those who were shaped by the scene (Tom Petty, in his last appearance on film, Beck, Atlanta’s Cat Power and executive producer Jakob Dylan).
“The film I wanted to make was about that idyllic period of innocence in California, before the onset of psychedelia, when the sense of community was there,” said director Andrew Slater in an interview Thursday.
Slater – who, incidentally, worked as the pop music critic for the Atlanta Journal in 1979 and attended Emory University – is proud that “Echo in the Canyon” has already grossed more than $1 million in its limited release that launched last month in L.A.
The documentary opens on Friday at Midtown Art Cinema and this weekend will include an extra dollop of star power.
Slater will be in town for Q&A sessions following the 7 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. screenings on Friday and the 4 p.m. and 7 p.m. showings on Saturday. As well, Jakob Dylan, Jade Castrinos and their band will perform songs from such Canyon-ites as Buffalo Springfield and The Mamas and the Papas.
“My DNA was changed forever when I got to go to the movie theater to see ‘Help,’ ‘A Hard Day’s Night,’ ‘Woodstock,’” Slater said. “I wanted to make something more cinematic and big and not a documentary that was done in an educational structure, but more like an art film on a larger scale.”
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