Most anyone that follows music history knows that Mama Cass Elliot lived in Laurel Canyon. But very few know of her first LA home with a “secret” entrance… which was also in Laurel Canyon.
Cass Elliot was one of the most influential driving forces in the evolution of the rock music industry, particularly among the groups that were born in Laurel Canyon… which seems to include most of the music legends.
Her house in Laurel Canyon was a gathering spot where the likes of Joni Mitchell, Crosby Stills and Nash, the Monkeys, the Byrds and so many others would come for backyard barbecues. And this is the house everyone hears about. She was known for inviting people over simply to put them in touch with who they needed to know to become the music legends we all revere today. She was the music matchmaker I guess you could say.
Anyone that has worked their way to the top in the entertainment industry knows that before fame and success is a period of struggle and austerity. Before she had her “official” home in Laurel Canyon, she had an “unofficial” home in Laurel Canyon. Cass Elliot’s first home when she move to Los Angeles was actually in a storage room in the Canyon Country Store in Laurel Canyon near the Sunset Blvd end. It was complete with a “secret” entrance, a set of stairs leading out to the back parking lot so she would not have to pass through the store to come and go.
While she knew John Phillips of what later became the Mamas and Papas from before she moved to LA, it was here in Laurel Canyon that the successful group was formed with Mama Cass a part of it.
We are going to be telling you a lot more about the musical history of Laurel Canyon and the Canyon Country Store, but until then we can’t recommend enough that you put taking a drive up Laurel Canyon to the store on your list of things you have to see when visiting Los Angeles. It’s one of those non-touristy things you can do that will make your visit to Los Angeles unforgettable.
It’s as if time froze in that small area during the Summer of Love and the hippy, rock music, psychedelic movement of the sixties. You can still feel the creative energy that resonated through the canyon.
Stay tuned. We have a LOT more to tell you about the Canyon Country Store and the people that lived in and shaped Laurel Canyon into a piece of history that changed the world. Be sure to check out our post on Jim Morrison’s house that was also in Laurel Canyon.
See more photos after the break….
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