METROFOCUS: JULY 22, 2019

A recent report by Gothamist reveals exceedingly high lead levels in some of our city’s parks. We have the details on which ones you may want to avoid this Summer. We’re heading uptown to Yankee Stadium to take a look at the “Bronx Bombers” in popular culture. Musician Jakob Dylan will take us on a journey through the roots of the music scene in California’s Laurel Canyon with the music of icons of the mid-60s.

Aired on June 14, 2019 and July 22, 2019. 

TRANSCRIPT

> TONIGHT ON 'METROFOCUS,' A CONCERNING REPORT FROM WNYC.

ARE YOU PLANNING A PICNIC IN ONE OF THE BEAUTIFUL PARKS THIS SUMMER?

IF SO, THERE ARE THREE YOU MAY WANT TO AVOID.

LEAD LEVELS THERE ARE SO HIGH THAT THEY EXCEED THE CURRENT EPA AND CURRENT NEW YORK SAFETY STANDARDS.

WE HAVE THE DISTURBING DETAILS ON WHICH PARKS NOT TO PICK.

ECHO IN THE CANYON.

MUSICIAN EXECUTIVE PRODUCER AND MUSIC LEGACY JACOB DILLON TAKES US ON A JOURNEY THROUGH THE STREETS OF THE LAUREL CANYON MUSIC SCENE DURING THE FANTASTIC AND FABULOUS LATE '60s AND EARLY '70s.

THE MUSIC OF ICONS SUCH AS THE BIRDS, THE BEACH BOYS, BUFFALO SPRINGFIELD AND THE MAMAS AND THE PAPAS.

AND HOW THEY ARE INFLUENCING THE MUSIC OF TODAY.

THOSE STORIES AND MORE AS 'METROFOCUS' STARTS RIGHT NOW.

THIS IS 'METROFOCUS' WITH RAFAEL PI ROMAN, JACK FORD, AND JENNA FLANAGAN.

'METROFOCUS' IS MADE POSSIBLE BY JAMES AND MERRYL TISCH, SUE AND EDGAR WACHENHEIM III, THE SYLVIA A. AND SIMON B. POYTA PROGRAMING ENDOWMENT TO FIGHT ANTI-SEMITISM.

BERNARD AND IRENE SCHWARTZ, ROSALIND P. WALTER, BARBARA HOPE ZUCKERBERG, AND BY -- CORPORATE FUNDING FOR 'METROFOCUS' WAS PROVIDED BY MUTUAL OF AMERICA, YOUR RETIREMENT COMPANY.

AND BY PSE&G, SERVING CUSTOMERS, STRENGTHENING THE BUSINESS COMMUNITY AND INVESTING IN THE FUTURE.

A A PARK WITH GRASSY FIELDS HAS BEEN A POPULAR DESTINATION FOR FAMILIES OF YOUNG CHILDREN.

IS THE GROUND UNDER THEIR FEET ACTUALLY SAFE?

PERHAPS NOT, ACCORDING TO A NEW REPORT ACCORDING TO WNYC THIS HAS STARTING FACTS ABOUT TWO OTHER CITY PARKS WHICH MAY POSE A RISK TO YOU AND YOUR FAMILY.

SO AS SUMMER KICKS OFF, THIS IS SOMETHING YOU WANT TO KNOW ABOUT.

JOINING ME WITH DETAILS, IS THE HOST OF THE NEW WNYC PODCAST CALLED THE FAKE AND THE HEALTH REPORTER, CHRISTOPHER.

NICE TO HAVE YOU HERE WITH US.

WE'LL GET TO THE PODCAST IN A MOMENT AND WHAT IT IS DESIGNED TO FOCUS ON.

LET ME COME TO YOU AND YOUR REPORT.

THE HEADLINE IN THE STORY.

WHY DID YOU DECIDE TO TAKE A LOOK AT THIS AND WHAT DID YOU FIND?

THE CITY COUNCIL HAS BEEN LOOKING AT LEAD.

THERE HAVE BEEN A NUMBER OF PROPOSED PIECES OF LEGISLATION GOING THROUGH THE CITY COUNCIL.

ONE OF THOSE WOULD REQUIRE THE PARKS DEPARTMENT TO TEST ALL THE SOIL IN NEW YORK CITY PARKS.

THE HEALTH DEPARTMENT HASN'T SEEMED SO KEEN ON THAT.

THEY BELIEVE LEAD PAINT IS WHERE WE SHOULD BE FOCUSING OUR EFFORTS.

SINCE THERE SEEMED TO BE A STALEMATE WITHIN CITY GOVERNMENT, WE DECIDED TO GO AND HAVE OUR OWN LOOK.

WE CHOSE THREE PARKS.

ASTORIA PARK BECAUSE YOU HAVE TWO MAJOR BRIDGES.

ONE, THE RFK BRIDGE WHICH WOULD HAVE BEEN SPEWING OUT GAS FOR MANY DECADES AND THE HELL GATE BRIDGE.

WE KNOW IT WAS PAINTED WITH A HEARTY COATING OF LEAD PAINT.

IT OPENED IN 1917.

AND WE WANTED TONS WHAT THE SOIL LEAD LEVELS WERE.

I WOULD THINK PEOPLE WOULD BE SURPRISED TO FIND OUT THE CITY DOESN'T TEST.

I UNDERSTAND THE NOTION OF THE HOUSING.

WE'VE DONE A BUNCH OF STUDIES HERE ON IT.

BUT WERE YOU SURPRISED IN PUTTING YOUR PREPARATION TOGETHER, THAT GENERALLY, THERE IS NOT AS MUCH DONE AS YOU MIGHT HAVE ANTICIPATED?

YEAH.

I DON'T KNOW IF I WAS NECESSARILY SURPRISED.

BUT WE DID FIND THAT THERE ISN'T A LOT OF PUBLICLY AVAILABLE DATA ON WHAT THE SOIL LEAD LEVELS ARE.

AND THERE'S DEFINITELY DATE FROM OTHER CITIES THAT SHOWS SOME RESEARCH THAT'S BEING CONDUCTED THAT SHOWS A CORRELATION BETWEEN HIGH LEAD SOIL LEVELS IN, SAY, DETROIT, NEW ORLEANS, AND HIGH LEAD LEVELS IN CHILDREN.

SO WHAT DID YOU FIND?

SO IN ASTORIA PARK, THE AVERAGE WAS AROUND 140.

WE CERTAINLY IN ALL THE PARKS WE TESTED, ASTORIA PARK, GREEN POINT BROOKLYN, AND PROSPECT PARK IN BROOKLYN, ALL THREE OF THOSE PARKS HAD AT LEAST ONE SAMPLE THAT TESTED ABOVE WHAT THE CURRENT EPA NEW YORK STATE STANDARD IS.

WHICH IS 400 PARTS PER MILLION IN SOIL.

THAT 400 PARTS PER MILLION LEVEL SET BY THE E.P.A., THAT NEW YORK FOLLOWS, IS AN OUTDATED STANDARD.

THE CENTERS FOR DISEASE CONTROL SAID THAT NO LEVEL OF LEAD IS SAFE.

THAT 400 NUMBER WAS DERIVE IN THE 1990s.

SO IF WE'RE GOING TO TALK ABOUT THE CENTERS FOR DISEASE CONTROL HAS LOWERED THE THRESHOLD TO FIVE MICRO GRAMS PER DECEMILITE FOR CHILDREN.

WE SHOULD THINK ABOUT LEAD IN SOIL.

I'LL COME BACK TO THIS IN A MOMENT.

LET ME TALK ABOUT WITH YOU, ABOUT THE PODCAST.

BECAUSE IT IS WHAT YOU LED WITH.

THIS STORY HERE.

THE STAKES.

TELL ME HOW IT CAME IN.

WHY DID THIS STORY MAKE SENSE FOR THE PODCAST?

THERE ARE TWO THINGS THAT COME UP IN THE REPORTING.

WHEN YOU TALK ABOUT THE SOIL, LEAD PAINT, ALL OF IT.

WHAT WE WANT TO DO WITH THE SHOW.

ONE IS THAT WE HAVE BECOME COME PLACENT WITH INEQUITIES THAT EXIST.

FOR ME, I WAS SURPRISED TO LEARN HOW MUCH POISON REMAINS IN OUR ENVIRONMENT.

AND HOW MUCH WE'VE JUST ACCEPTED, SURE.

IT'S THERE.

OR WE'VE SAID, THEY BANNED LEAD PAINT 40 YEARS AGO SO WE MUST BE FINE.

LET'S MOVE ON.

IF KIDS GET POISONED, WE'LL RESPOND TO IT AFTER THEY GET POISONED AS OPPOSED TO DOING IT ON THE FRONT END.

SO THAT'S AN EXAMPLE OF THE WAY WE'VE ACCEPTED THINGS THAT ARE ACTUALLY OUTRAGEOUS, AS NORMAL AND OKAY.

BUT THEY'RE ACTUALLY OUTRAGEOUS CHOICES THAT WE HAVE MADE AS A SOCIETY.

THAT IT IS OKAY FOR KIDS TO GET POISONED AND THEN WE'LL FIX THE PROBLEM INSTEAD OF FIXING IT IN THE FIRST PLACE.

THAT'S ONE THING WE WANT TO DO, DRAW ATTENTION TO THOSE CHOICES IN SOCIETY.

ANOTHER THING IS IT IS A STORY ABOUT ACCOUNTABILITY.

BECAUSE PARTICULARLY WHEN WE TALK ABOUT LEAD PAINT, IT DIDN'T JUST PUT ITSELF ON THE WALL.

IT DIDN'T JUST GET THERE.

THE LEAD INDUSTRY WORKED VERY, VERY HARD FOR MANY DECADES TO CONVINCE AMERICANS AND NEW YORKERS THAT THIS SUBSTANCE WAS OKAY.

BECAUSE IT MADE A GREAT PROFIT.

EVEN WHEN THEY STARTED TO LEARN THAT IT WASN'T.

EVEN WHEN THEY LEARNED.

A LOT OF, PARTICULARLY, WHEN YOU LOOK AT THE LEAD PAINT STORY THAT CHRISTOPHER REPORTED IN THE PODCAST.

THE INDUSTRY KNEW A VERY LONG TIME AGO.

WE AS A SOCIETY KNEW, GOING BACK TO THE ROMANS, THAT THIS WAS POISON.

AND THE INDUSTRY WORKED VERY HARD TO CONVINCE US THAT WASN'T.

AS WE STARTED TO REMEMBER THAT IT WAS POISON, THEY WORKED HARD ON IT.

THE FACT THAT IT IS STILL THERE, THEY'VE NEVER BEEN HELD ACCOUNTABLE FOR THAT.

THAT'S PART OF WHY IT IS STILL IN OUR ENVIRONMENT.

THOSE ARE TWO THINGS WE CARE A LOT ABOUT IN THIS SHOW.

COMPLACENCY WITH OUTRAGEOUS THINGS THAT WE'VE DECIDED ARE NORMAL AND THE ABILITY TO, NOT HOLDING PEOPLE ACCOUNTABLE.

NOT HOLDING POWERFUL PEOPLE ACCOUNTABLE.

LET ME COME BACK TO SOMETHING YOU MENTIONED.

THE LEAD PAINT INDUSTRY.

AND HOW THEY SOLD IT TO US.

YOU GO BACK INTO THE 20th CENTURY.

STARTING IN THE EARLIER PART.

HOW DID THEY GO ABOUT SAYING THIS THING.

EVEN THOUGH WE KNEW, BACK THIS ROMAN TIMES, THE LEAD WAS POISON.

EVERYBODY WAS DOING IT.

HOW DID THE INDUSTRY PUSH THAT?

CERTAINLY IF YOU LOOK BACK AT THAT EARLY PERIOD IN THE BEGINNING OF THE 20TH CENTURY, THERE WOULD HAVE BEEN A NUMBER OF STORIES AROUND INDUSTRIAL CASES OF LEAD POISONING.

SO WORKERS GETTING POISONED.

AT THE SAME TIME, IN THE SAME NEWSPAPER.

ONE OF THE THINGS I LIKE TO DO IS READ OLD ISSUES OF BROOKLYN DAILY EAGLE.

IF YOU LOOK AT THE BROOKLYN DAILY EAGLE, YOU WILL FIND PAGE AFTER PAGE OF LEAD PAINT ADVERTISEMENTS.

PARTICULARLY FROM DUTCH BOY WHICH IS A COMPANY, A PRODUCT.

DO YOU REMEMBER THE ICONIC FIGURE?

THE BLOND CURLS AND THE LITTLE HAT.

EXACTLY.

SOED IN A LEAD COMPANY, NL INDUSTRY, WAS RUNNING THESE ADS THAT PROMOTED THE OPPOSITE.

THEY WOULD SAY THAT IT PROMOTED GOOD HEALTH.

THAT LEAD PAINT WAS GOOD FOR YOUR HEALTH, YOUR FAMILY, YOUR HOME.

THAT IT WAS TOP QUALITY PRODUCT IF YOU WERE GOING TO HIGHER A PAINTER, MAKE SURE THAT THEY'RE USING QUALITY DUTCH BOY LEAD PAINT.

THAT WAS HOW IT WAS ADVERTISED.

BUT ALSO THEY WOULD CREATE THESE PRODUCTS, COLORING BOOKS.

SOMETHING WE TALKED ABOUT IN THE PODCAST.

THEY WERE GIVING THESE COLORING BOOKS AND OTHER PRODUCTS TO CHILDREN.

THERE WOULD BE A PAINT SET INSIDE.

SOME KIND OF WATER COLOR TO COLOR IN THE PICTURES AND THEY TOLD THIS STORY OF HOW THE DUTCH BOY LEAD WAS COMING INTO PEOPLE'S HOMES AND MAKING THESE DRAB VICTORIAN HOMES BEAUTIFUL.

AND ACTUALLY MARKETING THESE TO KIDS.

AND THERE WOULD BE A COUPON INSIDE THE BOOK.

GIVE THIS TO YOUR MOM OR DAD.

GO TO THE STORY AND GET LEAD PAINT.

GREAT REPORTING.

AND IMPORTANT REPORTING.

THIS IS WHAT WE NEED.

WE NEED TO BE REMINDED SOMETIMES ABOUT WHAT'S OUT THERE.

WHAT WE NEED TO BE CONCERNED ABOUT AND WHO DO WE NEED TO BE CONCERNED ABOUT ALSO.

SO I LOOK FORWARD TO MORE VERSIONS OF THE STAKES.

AND GREAT REPORTING FROM YOU.

WE'LL LOOK FORWARD TO HEARING IT FROM YOU.

WE'LL TALK MORE DOWN THE ROAD AND SEE WHAT IS INVOLVED WITH REGARD TO THIS.

THANK YOU.

THANK YOU.

♪ START SPREADING THE NEWS

JOE DiMAGGIO ONCE FAMOUSLY THANKED THE GOOD LORD FOR MAKING HIM A NEW YORK YANKEE.

AND WHO CAN BLAME HIM?

THE OUTFIELDER SPENT HIS ENTIRE BASEBALL CAREER WITH THE GREATEST FRANCHISE THIS PROFESSIONAL SPORTS.

AND WHILE IT'S BEEN NEARLY A DECADE SINCE THE LAST FRANCHISE WIN, THE BRONX BOMBERS HAVE HAD THREE TIMES AS MANY AS THEIR RIVAL, THE RED SOX.

THEY'VE ALSO FOUND PLENTY OF SUCCESS OUTSIDE YANKEE STADIUM TRANSCENDING SPORTS AND TURNING RUTH, DiMAGGIO, JETER, AMONG OTHERS, INTO HOUSEHOLD NAMES.

THAT LEGACY OFF THE FIELD IS NOW THE FOCUS OF THE NEW YORK YANKEES IN POPULAR CULTURE.

A NEW COLLECTION OF CRITICAL ESSAYS BY DAVID WHO JOINS US NOW.

DAVID, WELCOME BACK TO THE PROGRAM.

SO WHAT IS IT THAT HAS MADE THE YANKEES THE PREDOMINANT SPORTS TEAM IN AMERICAN POPULAR CULTURE?

AT THE RISK OF BEING NEW YORK CENTRIC, IT IS BECAUSE OF NEW YORK.

AND BECAUSE THEY'VE WON MORE TITLES THAN ANY OTHER NEW YORK TEAM.

NEW YORK HAS BEEN THE CENTER OF COMMERCE, COMMUNICATION.

IT WAS THE CENTER OF TELEVISION UNTIL TELEVISION MOVED TO L.A.

IN THE LATE '50s.

BEFORE THAT, THE CENTER OF RADIO.

AND BABE RUTH AND LOU GEHRIG CAME IN WHEN RADIO WAS THE MASS MEDIUM.

AND THEN IN THE '50s, TELEVISION.

AND THEN TO THE '70s AND THE GREAT TEAMS OF THE LATE '70s.

THERE WAS SOMETHING ABOUT THEM THAT CAPTURED THE RESONANCE OF NEW YORK AND NEW YORK WAS SO VOLATILE IN THE LATE '70s.

SO PEOPLE NEEDED AN ESCAPE.

IN COMES REGGIE JACKSON IN 1977.

BRASH, SWAGGER, COCKY.

WHAT HE DELIVERED, THE THREE HOME RUNS IN THAT WORLD SERIES GAME.

YES.

ASSURED HIM AS AN ICON.

WE'LL TALK ABOUT THAT IF WE HAVE TIME.

VERY INTERESTING.

I THINK IT OPENS THE BOOK ABOUT PRIDE OF THE YANKEES.

A 1942 BOOK ABOUT THE LIFE AND LEGEND LOU GEHRIG WHO OF COURSE CONTRACTED AND DIED OF A.L.S., THE DISEASE THAT WOULD LATER BE REFERRED TO AS THE LOU GEHRIG DISEASE.

HOW IMPORTANT WAS THIS FILM IN BOLSTERING THE YANKEE LEGEND?

EXTRAORDINARILY IMPORTANT.

THE LEADING FILM HISTORIAN IN THE UNITED STATES, IN MY OPINION, DISSECTED THIS MOVIE FROM THE GENESIS TO THE EXECUTION.

YOU NEVER SAW A BALL PLAYER DEPICTED ON THE BIG SCREEN LIKE THAT AND IT IS LIKE THAT.

AN ATHLETE DYING YOUNG, IT WAS SO TRAGIC.

AND IT ONLY WENT ON THE BIG SCREEN A YEAR AFTER GEHRIG DIES.

AND ONLY THREE YEARS AFTER THAT MAGIC SPEECH.

HE TALKS ABOUT BEING THE LUCKIEST MAN ON THE FACE OF THE EARTH.

THAT WAS THE SPEECH.

NO ONE REMEMBERS THE GAME THAT DAY.

NO ONE REMEMBERS THE SCORE BUT THEY ALL REMEMBER THE SPEECH.

WE'VE HEARD IT, SEEN THE MOVIE A THOUSAND TIMES.

IT IS STILL EMOTIONALLY RESONANT WHEN YOU THINK OF A GUY WHO WAS THIS AMAZING HALL OF FAMER.

A COUPLE OF ESSAYS COMPARING AND CONTRASTING THE YANKEE GIANTS.

MICKEY MANTLE AND JOE DiMAGGIO, TWO GUYS VERY DIFFERENT ON THE FIELD AND OFF THE FIELD.

AND HAD DIFFERENT, ENDURING AND DIFFERENT LEGACIES.

LET'S TALK ABOUT THE DIFFERENCES ON THE FIELD.

HOW WOULD YOU COMPARE THEM?

MANTLE COULD GET ANGRY.

HE EMOTIONALLY GOT EXPLOSIVE IF THINGS DIDN'T GO THE WAY HE WANTED ON THE FIELD.

IF HE STRUCK OUT OR SOMETHING LIKE THAT.

DiMAGGIO, YOU ALMOST NEVER SAW HIM GET ANGRY.

THERE'S ONE FAMOUS CLIP IN THE '47 SERIES.

HE HITS A FLY BALL.

HE THINKS IT'S GOING OUT OF THE PARK.

AND THE DODGERS OUTFIELDER CATCHES IT BEFORE IT FALLS INTO FAIR TERRITORY.

IT WOULD HAVE BEEN A DOUBLE OR TRIPLE.

AND DiMAGGIO KICKS THE DIRT.

THAT'S ABOUT THE ONLY THING WE'VE EVER SEEN OF HIM GETTING ANGRY.

OFF THE FIELD THEY'RE VERY DIFFERENT.

TALK ABOUT THAT AND THE DIFFERENT CULTURAL LEGACIES.

WELL, DiMAGGIO WAS VERY COURTLY, GENTLEMANLY.

WHILE PEOPLE LOVED AND ADORED MICKEY MANTLE, THEY REVERED DiMAGGIO.

THINK ABOUT THE TWO ENDORSEMENTS HE DID.

MR. COFFEY.

WHY DID HE DO THEM?

HE WAS VERY MUCH A SOPHISTICATED GUY.

THAT'S THE AURA.

MANTLE WAS ALL OVER THE PLACE WITH HIS ENDORSEMENT.

HE HAD A FAST FOOD FRANCHISE.

HE HAD AN EMPLOYMENT AGENCY WITH JOE NAMATH THAT DIDN'T GO ANYWHERE.

HE WAS VERY NAIVE IN BUSINESS.

IT WAS ONLY LATER YEARS WHERE HE HAD THAT NOSTALGIC BOOM AND MADE MONEY FROM THAT.

BUT DiMAGGIO WAS A MORE UNAPPROACHABLE CHARACTER.

MANTLE WAS FROM OKLAHOMA, ONE OF US.

I GOT TO NEW YORK CITY IN 1979.

WHAT SEEMED TO BE MOUNTAIN MIDDLE OF A NEW YANKEE DYNASTY.

THE ONE THING I AND ALL THE YANKEE FANS AGREED ON, THAT WE HATED STEINBRENNER.

WE THOUGHT HE WAS A JERK.

AND THEN IN THE EARLY '90s, A CHARACTER PLAYING STEINBRENNER APPEARS IN STEINFELD.

AND THERE HE IS GOOFY AND LOVABLE.

CORRECT ME IF I'M WRONG, I THINK STEINBRENNER BECAME LOVABLE AND NICER AFTER THAT.

AM I WRONG?

PROBABLY NOT.

PROBABLY NOT WRONG.

THERE IS SOMETHING THAT SOFTENED HIM A LITTLE BIT.

THE FACT THAT HE COULD TAKE THE JOKE.

HE DIDN'T HAVE TO SIGN OFF ON THAT.

THEY HAD TO GET PERMISSION.

HE DID SIGN OFF ON IT TO THE POINT WHERE HE FILMED A CAMEO.

IT'S ON THE SHOW.

THEY NEVER USED IT BECAUSE IT WAS SO BAD.

IT DIDN'T MAKE AIR.

LARRY DAVID WANTED HIS VOICE AND THE ACTOR WHO PLAYED AND THEN YOU ONLY SAW IT FROM THE BACK.

THE BOOK IS THE NEW YORK YANKEES AND POPULAR CULTURE.

ED IT BY YOURSELF.

THANK YOU FOR JOINING US.

THANK YOU.

IN THE MID '60s, A NEW GENERATION OF MUSICIANS WAS MAKING SERIOUS SOUNDS, HE WHO AND IN GREENWICH VILLAGE BUT ALSO LAUREL CANYON OUTSIDE OF LOS ANGELES.

THE SOUND FROM BOTH COASTS PUT AN INDELIBLE TOUCH ON MUSIC.

THE BEACH BOYS, BUFFALO SPRINGFIELD, THE MAMAS AND THE PAPAS GAVE BIRTH TO A POPULAR SOUND.

A NEW DOCUMENTARY TITLED ECHO IN THE CANYON EXPLORES HOW THEIR MUSIC CONTINUES TO INSPIRE US TO THIS DAY.

TAKE A LOOK.

CALIFORNIA WAS LIKE THIS LEGENDARY PARADISE.

THIS WAS THE 12:00 SPECIAL.

WE HAVE A FEW.

IT'S BEAUTIFUL.

♪ TURN, TURN, TURN ♪ THERE IS A SEASON ♪ TURN, TURN, TURN

LAUREL CANYON, AN OPEN TICKET TO A STUDIO, A RECORD, EVERYTHING.

AN INCREDIBLE ENVIRONMENT FOR A MUSICIAN TO BE IN.

ALL YOU CAN THINK OF IS THAT CALIFORNIA SOUND.

BUFFALO SPRINGFIELD.

I'M BRIAN WILSON.

THE MAMAS AND THE PAPAS.

THE BIRDS.

JOINING ME NOW, TWO MEN WHO KNOW MORE THAN MOST WHEN IT COMES TO THE SOUND EXPLOSION OF YESTERDAY AND THE RESOUNDING RELEVANCE OF TODAY.

JACOB DILLON, AS YOU KNOW, A SINGER-SONGWRITER FEATURE IN THE FILM.

AND YOU MIGHT KNOW THAT HE'S THE SON OF ANOTHER FAMOUS MUSICIAN.

AND I'M DELIGHTED TO HAVE YOU BOTH HERE TO JOIN US.

LAUREL CANYON.

WHY WAS IT SO SIGNIFICANT?

I THINK WHEN YOU MENTION GREENWICH VILLAGE AND FOLK MUSIC, THE FOLKS SCENE IN NEW YORK CITY, PEOPLE WANTED LONG SONGS.

THE ELECTRICITYIFICATION OF IT MAYBE WOULDN'T HAVE HAPPENED.

BUT CALIFORNIA, MAYBE TO AN EXTENT, IT REPRESENTS A SENSE OF FREEDOM.

A SENSE THAT ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE.

AS MICHELLE PHILLIPS TELLS YOU IN THE FILM, IT WAS ALWAYS A PLACE FOR BOHEMIANS AND ACTRESSES.

IT WAS CHEAP TO LIVE AND THE RECORD COMPANIES WERE THERE.

SO YOUR PROXIMITY TO THE SUNSET STRIP WHERE THINGS WERE HAPPENING WAS CLOSE.

AND YET YOU WERE NESTLED IN THIS LITTLE COUNTRY.

THIS LITTLE COMMUNITY.

CAN YOU TALK TO SO MANY OF THESE PEOPLE HERE?

AND PICKING UP WHAT ANDREW JUST SAID.

MORE ABOUT WHAT THEY SAID ABOUT LAUREL CANYON AND HOW IT WAS SITUATED AND WHO WAS THERE AND HOW THAT SORT OF PRESENCE LENT ITSELF TO CREATING MUSIC?

I THINK YOU'RE RIGHT.

I THINK IT WAS A CHARACTER IN THE STORY, CERTAINLY.

IN THE HISTORY.

WHAT THEY TOLD US TIME AND TIME AGAIN WAS THE LOCATION OF THE CANYON.

IT IS REALLY KEY.

THAT THEY ARE IN THE WILDERNESS.

THEY'RE SO CLOSE TO THE SUNSET STRIP.

WHETHER THEY CAN BUY THEIR GROOVY CLOTHES OR GO PLAY A SHOW.

THEY WERE SO CLOSE AND THEY WERE UP IN THAT CANYON.

BEING FROM LOS ANGELES I LIVED THERE FOR A WHILE.

NOBODY WALKS IN L.A.

WHEN YOU GO THERE, YOU CAN, THEY CERTAINLY DID AS THEY TELL YOU IN THE STORY.

SO SADLY, TELL ME ABOUT GETTING HIM INVOLVED.

JACOB WAS IN THE HALL OF FAME.

A LONG HISTORY WITH HIM.

WE WERE MAKING THIS MUSIC.

WE WERE RECORDING THESE SONGS.

IT STARTED AS A RECORD.

IT DIDN'T START AS A FILM.

ONCE WE STARTED RECORDING, JACOB PLAYED THE RECORD FOR TOM AND TOM REALLY LOVED IT.

SO WE THOUGHT IT WOULD BE A GOOD IDEA TO HAVE SOMEONE WHO WAS NOT OF THE NEW GENERATION.

AND NOT OF THE OLD GENERATION.

BUT SOMEBODY INCREDIBLY KNOWLEDGEABLE TO WALK THROUGH THE RECORDS.

AND TOM WAS AN INEXHAUSTIBLE STORE HOUSE ABOUT THAT PARTICULAR PERIOD.

IT IS WHAT DREW HIM TO CALIFORNIA.

STARTING OFF AS A RECORD, YOU SEE SHOTS OF YOU PERFORMING WITH SOME OF THE MOST RECENT FOLKS.

HOW ABOUT GETTING THEM INVOLVED?

DID THEY KNOW ABOUT THE EVOLUTION, THE BEGINNINGS OF THIS MUSIC SOUND?

WAS THIS A JURY OF DISCOVERY FOR THEM?

WELL, SOMEWHAT FOR SURE.

BUT LOOKING FOR YOUNGER ARTISTS, PEOPLE OUT THERE WORKING.

IT WAS ORGANIC.

PEOPLE THAT ONE OF US OR BOTH OF US KNOW.

AND PEOPLE HAVE A HISTORY WITH LOS ANGELES, THEY HAVE A CONNECTION TO IT.

THE CANYON DIRECTLY OR THE MUSIC.

IT WAS IMPORTANT.

WE WANT TO TEACH SOMEBODY ABOUT CALIFORNIA.

WE WANTED THEM TO EXPLORE WHAT THEY KNEW A LITTLE BIT MORE.

I THINK THAT WHAT WE WERE TRYING TO DO WAS WE WERE TRYING TO SHED A LIGHT ON A TIME IN THE AGE OF INNOCENCE WHEN BANDS CAME TO L.A. TO BE LIKE THE BEATLES.

AND THEY HAD MULTIPLE SINGERS AND SONG WRITERS IN EACH OF THEM.

SO THE ECHO OF CREATIVITY WAS GOING BETWEEN AND INSIDE THE BANDS AND THEN TO THE HOUSES, BACK AND FORTH.

AND THEN ACROSS TO ENGLAND WHERE IT INFLUENCES THE BEATLES.

AND THIS IS WHY IT IS SO IMPORTANT, AT LEAST TO US.

IT IS THE FOUNDATION OF EVERYTHING.

HARD DAY'S NIGHT, HE PUTS THE IT IN A NEW FORM.

GEORGE HARRISON HEARS THAT AND HE WRITES, 'IF I NEEDED SOMEONE' AND BRIAN WILSON HEARS RUBBER SOLE AND HE WRITES PAT SOUNDS AND HE WRITES SERGEANT PEPPER.

AND THERE IS THE BED ROCK FOR EVERYTHING.

WAS THERE SOMETHING THAT SURPRISED YOU ABOUT THIS WHOLE JOURNEY OF PUTTING THIS THING TOGETHER?

LOOK.

I STARTED TO TRY TO GET SOMEBODY TO MAKE THIS FILM.

I WENT TO A DIRECTOR.

I MEAN, I HAVE LOTS OF LOFTY IDEAS.

BEING A DIRECTOR WAS NOT WAS NOT OF THEM.

I WROTE A TREATMENT.

I GAVE HIM THE MUSIC.

IF YOU HAVE A COUPLE MILLION DOLLARS, I CAN DO THIS.

AND FINALLY SOMEBODY SAID, LOOK, YOU'RE A WRITER.

YOU'RE A RECORD PRODUCER.

YOU'VE WORKED IN THE CREATIVE FIELD YOUR WHOLE LIFE.

HIRE DIRECTORS AND DO IT.

I LOOKED AT JACOB AND SAID LET'S DO THIS.

WHAT YOU GET IN THE FILM IS A FILMMAKER CAPTURING A VERY INTIMATE MOMENT BETWEEN TWO SONG WRITERS.

AND YOU ALMOST FEEL LIKE YOU'RE EAVESDROPPING.

I DO.

I FEEL LIKE I'M SITTING THERE.

AND AT THE TABLE NEXT TO ME, YOU'RE CHATTING AND I'M SORT OF DOING THIS.

AND LEANING OVER AND LISTENING THINKING, WOW.

THIS IS FASCINATING.

ANYTHING SURPRISE YOU IN TERMS OF THE JOURNEY?

I SPENT TIME WITH THESE PEOPLE.

SOME OF THE STORIES WERE SURPRISING.

I SAID BEFORE, HOPEFULLY THAT'S WHAT WE'RE ACCOMPLISHING.

JUST GIVING THESE PEOPLE A COMFORTABLE SITUATION.

WE'RE NOT INTERROGATING ANYBODY.

THEN THAT WAS SENSATIONALISM FOR ANYBODY.

JUST WHAT THEY WANTED AND REMEMBERED TO SHARE WITH US.

AND THEN THE STORIES DEVELOPED.

THE MORE INFORMATION YOU GET, THE MORE INTERVIEWS YOU DO.

THE STORIES UNRAVEL AND BEFORE YOU KNOW IT, YOU HAVE TO PICK THE NARRATIVE.

MY PARTICULAR FIELD, MY MOVIES ARE THREE AND A HALF MINUTES LONG.

A QUICK ARC.

AND YOU DON'T HAVE TO MAKE ANY SENSE AT ALL.

YOU JUST HAVE TO IMPLY THAT YOU KNOW WHAT YOU'RE TALKING ABOUT.

WITH A FILM FOR AN HOUR AND A HALF, IT IS LIKE A FILM OR AN HOUR AND A HALF SONG.

WE REALLY TRIED TO MAKE SOMETHING A LITTLE DIFFERENT.

AND LUCKILY, THE TECHNOLOGY, YOU CAN GO FROM RECORDING A SONG IN A STUDIO TO A LIVE VERSION OF IT IN THE MIDDLE OF THE SONG, BACK TO THE STUDIO AND THEN HAVE THE AUTHOR OF THE SONG REACTING.

THAT WAS THE GOAL FOR US.

JUST A GREAT JOB.

WONDERFUL.

THANK YOU FOR SPENDING SOME TIME.

WE APPRECIATE IT.

AND FOR YOU FOLKS OUT THERE, FOR PARTICULAR INFORMATION ON WHERE YOU CAN FIND ECHO IN THE CANYON, YOU CAN VISIT OUR WEBSITE AT METROFOCUS.ORG.

'METROFOCUS' IS MADE POSSIBLE BY JAMES AND MERRYL TISCH, SUE AND EDGAR WACHENHEIM III, THE SYLVIA A. AND SIMON B. POYTA PROGRAMING ENDOWMENT TO FIGHT ANTI-SEMITISM.

BERNARD AND IRENE SCHWARTZ, ROSALIND P. WALTER, BARBARA HOPE ZUCKERBERG, AND BY --

Funders

MetroFocus is made possible by James and Merryl Tisch, Sue and Edgar Wachenheim III, the Sylvia A. and Simon B. Poyta Programming Endowment to Fight Anti-Semitism, Bernard and Irene Schwartz, Rosalind P. Walter, Barbara Hope Zuckerberg, Jody and John Arnhold, the Cheryl and Philip Milstein Family, Janet Prindle Seidler, Judy and Josh Weston and the Dr. Robert C. and Tina Sohn Foundation.

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