Mission Statement

15. August 2008 Articles 10

Welcome to the site! You’re probably wondering why you’re here. I’ll try to explain:

The big bang of the LA studio scene took place somewhere half-way through the seventies. The singer-songwriter crowd crawled out of their Laurel Canyon enclosure and discovered soul music and jazz, and a handful of young but supremely skilled musicians, songwriters and producers were standing by to further guide them towards the light.

Together they owned the charts and hearts of the world for nearly a decade, culminating in Michael Jackson’s 1983 Grammy landslide. When Lionel Richie ushered the Olympic Games – and with it, the collective focus of the world – out of Los Angeles in 1984, the Brits had already grabbed the baton back and run away with it.

I’ve been researching this golden era of commercially oriented popular music for a while now, and I’m ceaselessly fascinated by all aspects of it. If success in terms of airplay, record sales and awards doesn’t warrant closer inspection in and of itself, the sheer geographical concentration of musical talent should be enough to raise a few eyebrows.

The music from this period is usually disregarded by critics and historians as conveyor belt music, soulless bubble-gum ditties with little to no artistic merit, wrapped in calculated fluff designed to move feet and dollar bills.

In my ears, there’s always been so much more to it than that. Although the DIY ethics of the punk movement remain fashionable to this day, being good at what you do shouldn’t have to equal immediate disqualification from the annals of music history.

So I’ve decided to gather as much information on the subject as I possibly can, and collect the available facts, the memories from the people who were part of the scene, as well as a few thoughts of my own, in a documentary-style book.

I’m hoping to be able to use this blog as a writing tool. I will be publishing article drafts, finished snippets, raw interview transcripts, and random thoughts here – as well as the odd album recommendation. A podcast with samples from the music I’m writing about will also be a semi-regular feature on the site. Feel free to leave a comment if you’ve got something on your mind.

Now let’s go write that book.


10 thoughts on “Mission Statement”

  • 1
    Kenneth Bremer on August 22, 2008

    Hi Lars-Erik

    Congratulation it your Softrockcafe site. Great to see that people back up the west coast music.

    All the best,
    Kenneth
    Blue Desert

  • 2
    Lars-Erik on August 22, 2008

    Thanks, Kenneth! I’m an avid reader of your site as well.

  • 3
    Johan on August 28, 2008

    Can I pre-order the book? 🙂
    I wish you the best of luck with this great project, and I will be back here frequently!

  • 4
    MortenDa on August 31, 2008

    It`s a big job collecting all these information, but I know that you really enjoy this type of work.. I really appreciate a site like this myself and enjoy reading it. And I also enjoy discuss this music with you over a nice steak-dinner some time :)…

    Good luck, this is a most exciting project!

  • 5
    Andy Bolton on September 2, 2008

    Great stuff, can`t wait for the book !
    Cheers,
    Andy B.
    Cambridge
    England.

  • 6
    Philippe Poudensan on September 4, 2008

    Bonjour Lars-Erik, what a great piece of news and a big amount of work too, a book on the westcoast music scene in its golden years. I will come back often to your blog. Thanks a lot , I’ve read books in the past talking about L.A in the 70’s, like “Hotel California”, “Reelin’ in the years”, “Under the sun”, but none of them went really deep in the music we love and the people who created it. Like Andy says, can’t wait for it .
    BTW, I didn’t find your e-mail on your numerous website, how can I contact you directly?
    A bientôt
    Philippe Poudensan
    Pau, France

  • 7
    Massimo on September 8, 2008

    I’ll be the first in line to buy the book ! Awesome site too !

    Best regards from Italy.

    Massimo

  • 8
    Morten Teinum on September 8, 2008

    Count me in for the book! Can I get it signed? 😉

    Great work.

    Best regards
    Morten, Norway

  • 9
    Laurent on November 12, 2008

    Hi Lars,
    Great site! I also have started to write a book about the studio scene. Have been very good friends with a few of the L.A. cats and have started conducting some interviews. Unfortunately, my job and new family life do not leave me enough time to seriously continue what I have started. Hope you’ll be faster than me and finish the book. I sure will buy a copy! And if I can help, please let me know. All the very best, Laurent (www.myspace.com/laurentbiehly)

  • 10
    Massimo on February 9, 2010

    Hi Lars,
    long time no updates. I hope you did not give up with the book.
    Please let us know about.

    All best from Italy,
    Max

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