Dennis Hopper and Brooke Hayward listened to just about every kind of music. In the 1960s, records spun constantly at their house in the Hollywood Hills, 1712 North Crescent Heights Boulevard, care of a Garrard turntable tucked into a living room lined with works by Warhol, Lichtenstein, Stella, and even Duchamp. Dennis had originally been an ardent jazzbo, befriending Miles Davis, who later hung out at 1712 and created music for the Easy Rider soundtrack (never used). Brooke’s tastes might have been classically inclined, but when she drove the kids to school, she played the latest Top 40 hits, usually on KHJ, 930 AM, which christened itself “Boss Radio.”
The couple became rock ’n’ roll fans: they gawked at the Beatles on The Ed Sullivan Show, were present in 1965 when the Byrds started their epoch-defining residency at Ciro’s on the Sunset Strip, entertained various Monkees, hosted Ike and Tina Turner, took in the Velvet Underground at the Trip in 1966 (improbably bringing Jennifer Jones, Joseph Cotten, and Tuesday Weld along to watch this crazy Warholian spectacle), and traveled to Mount Tamalpais in 1967 for the first rock festival. Dennis also kept up a busy sideline job as a photographer of such artists as the Byrds, Buffalo Springfield, Jefferson Airplane, James Brown, and Brian Jones, among others.
So here’s a companion playlist to Everybody Thought We Were Crazy, my book about Dennis and Brooke, those catalyzers of the 60s Los Angeles scene who connected the art world, Hollywood, and a shining, revolutionary moment in music.
Mark Rozzo’s Everybody Thought We Were Crazy: Dennis Hopper, Brooke Hayward, and 1960s Los Angeles will be published on May 3 by Ecco