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MUS 31 — Hollywood Eden: The Origins of West Coast Pop, 1958-1966

Quarter: Summer
Day(s): Tuesdays
Course Format: Live Online (About Formats)
Duration: 4 weeks
Date(s): Jun 28—Jul 19
Time: 7:00—8:50 pm (PT)
Refund Deadline: Jun 30
Unit: 0
Grade Restriction: NGR only; no credit/letter grade
Tuition: $285
Instructor(s): Joel Selvin
Class Recording Available: No
Status: Open
DOWNLOAD THE SYLLABUS » (subject to change)
Live Online(About Formats)
7:00—8:50 pm (PT)
Jun 28—Jul 19
4 weeks
Refund Date
Jun 30
0 Unit
Grade Restriction
NGR only; no credit/letter grade
Joel Selvin
DOWNLOAD THE SYLLABUS » (subject to change)
From the sun-kissed California teen singing duo Jan and Dean to the epic pop epiphany of "Good Vibrations" by The Beach Boys, this course follows the rise of West Coast pop. In eight short years, a genre that started as primitive rock and roll works by teenage amateurs evolved into unprecedented masterpieces, achieving worldwide dominance and fostering an enduring myth of a California paradise. This course will trace the growth of the Los Angeles music scene from its earliest days of storefront record companies to the advent of surf music through the Sunset Strip go-go era to the fruition of folk rock from The Byrds, Barry McGuire, and the Mamas & the Papas.

These early Los Angeles artists, along with record producer Phil Spector and a versatile group of studio musicians known as the Wrecking Crew, sculpted a fresh sound that drew from the outdoor, athletic, sensual culture of Southern California, imprinting an image of sunny skies, blue ocean waves, and waving palms. The instructor will bring to the discussion rare recordings, private photographs, vintage video, and special guests who lived the events under discussion—the golden life in Southern California and its dark side.

Music Journalist

Joel Selvin served as pop music critic for the San Francisco Chronicle for nearly forty years. He is the author of more than twenty books about pop music, including Altamont, Fare Thee Well, Here Comes the Night, Red: My Uncensored Life in Rock with Sammy Hagar, which was a New York Times bestseller, and his latest book, Hollywood Eden: Electric Guitars, Fast Cars, and the Myth of the California Paradise.

Textbooks for this course:

(Recommended) Joel Selvin, Hollywood Eden: Electric Guitars, Fast Cars, and the Myth of the California Paradise (ISBN 978-1487011376)