Echo in the Canyon written by Eric Barrett and Andrew Slater (who also directed the doc) is a glorious celebration of the California music scene in Laurel Canyon in the late 60’s and 70’s.
You know a documentary is great when you have no relation to the concept and yet you’re still enraptured. My first trip to California wasn’t until I was in my 40’s. And I was probably about the same age when I first awakened to Brian Wilson.
And thank God I did AND was smart enough to get to Van Wezel for his Pet Sounds concert a few years back. As Tom Petty (God rest his soul) said in the doc, Brian Wilson may be our century’s Mozart.
But I digress. The doc had a perfect balance of old footage of the Mamas and the Papas, the Byrds, the Beatles, Stephen Stills and Neil Young (among many others) and the new concert honoring that music, starring Jakob Dylan, Beck, Fiona Apple and many more.
Also woven in were Jakob Dylan conversing and jamming with both icons of yesteryear and his newer musical friends helping him on the tribute concert.
Jakob Dylan was originally inspired by the Jaques Demy movie “Model Shop” from 1969 set in Laurel Canyon. Proof that movies can inspire anyone to create their own masterpieces. And while Jakob Dylan is most probably a giant egomaniac (given his name was the only one front and center: STARRING JAKOB DYLAN), he does have a more melodic singing voice than father Bob and is downright handsome, hence his spokesmanship in the doc was heavenly. And who better to carry on a torch than the son of an icon like Bob? I also appreciated that Bob was not a large part of this narrative, having just had the spotlight in Scorsese’s Rolling Thunder Revue.
I know I’m not the only one who watched this doc and was saddened by the contrast of our current world’s frenetic life style. I hope my son, a beautiful spirit whose passion is music, has time and like minded musical comrades to get together and just hang, play cheer on and compose. But I’m praying that making ends meet and the stupid number of distractions in our world don’t inhibit his dream.
A must see in my book and I’ll definitely take in a second helping when and if Echo in the Canyon goes to Parkway 8.