‘Laurel Canyon’ Director Alison Ellwood Explains How Pot Powered The 60s Music Scene
The director of the new Laurel Canyon docu-series from Epix, Alison Ellwood, sat down with uInterview’s Erik Meers to reflect on the best parts of her deep-dive into the lives of some of the most famous people in 60s rock music.
“It was this place in the mid-60s that became very popular as the movement from folk to rock started happening and these artists staring coming out especially from the East Coast,” said Ellwood. “And it was right near the clubs, just up the hill above the smog line, it was cheap, it was like living in the country, and people could go from one house to another the doors were unlocked. It was a petri dish.”
Ellwood explained that “people were excited to be a part of” the documentary after they heard Henry Diltz, from the Modern Folk Quartet (and other folk documentaries), was involved in the production.
“I asked everyone we interviewed ‘What did it smell like?’ and they all said ‘pot,'” Ellwood said. “You know it was part of the experiment in society at that point. It was about self-discovery, and opening your mind.”
Ellwood also mentioned that she “loved the intricacies of the connections” between the musicians.
“I didn’t want it to feel like an anthology of one artist after another, we had to find the links that brought them together organically,” she said.
One of Ellwood’s favorite clips from the documentary? When Mitchell was asked “Tell me about yourself.” It takes her 30-seconds to respond, saying “I don’t know where to begin,” until the interviewer says, “Just your name.”
The docuseries is available to watch on Epix. Watch the trailer below: