Welcome to the rock tour California

BY DIANA PLATER
Last updated 05:00 06/02/2010

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Movies and film stars may be the first thing that comes to mind when you think about Los Angeles.

But LA is also the home of a whole lot of music history. And not just rap and hip hop.

Musical movements that have come out of LA are as diverse as the surf sounds of California (Jan and Dean, The Beach Boys), heavy metal and punk.

Think The Band, Led Zeppelin, Herb Alpert, Frank Zappa and the Mothers of Invention, Buffalo Springfield, The Doors, Janis Joplin, Arthur Lee and Love, The Mamas and The Papas, The Monkees, Elvis Presley, The Rolling Stones, Sonny and Cher, Phil Spector, Iggy and the Stooges, Jimi Hendrix and The Velvet Underground and Van Halen.

In the 1960s and '70s Laurel Canyon was a commune of musical creativity from where The Mamas and the Papas, Frank Zappa, Crosby Stills Nash and Young, Joni Mitchell, the Grateful Dead and others emerged.

Then there's '80s rock bands Motley Crue, Guns N'Roses, Poison and Metallica and in the '90s Red Hot Chili Peppers and Rage Against the Machine.

And more recently among a host of others there's hip hop band Black Eyed Peas, college rockers Weezer and alternative rock musician Beck (an LA local).

Concert and events promoters Martin Contempree (Contempree) and Ian Hunter Gray, who have combined their twin passions of music and travel, are running their first rock and pop tour to LA this April, known as the Good Vibrations Tour of Los Angeles.

Contempree says - like rock and roll - there will be an element of surprise to the eight-day, nine-night tours, which take in quintessential Californian music experiences in Hollywood, West Hollywood, Santa Monica and surrounds.

"There are so many people out there who are passionate about rock music, and have an amazing knowledge ... people who really know their stuff," he says and that's who they're catering to.

He says the tour will offer these music fans the chance to delve behind the music industry; to hear the music live, and visit locations and venues where rock and pop history was created and still lives on.

"Popular-music lovers will have the chance to meet the real people behind the music: recording artists, engineers, producers, session musos, venue owners and some living legends of the music biz," he says.

Each tour will be a one-off, featuring different live music performances. This time fans get to see the Eagles at the Hollywood Bowl on their Long Road Out of Eden tour (a first, since the Eagles have never played the Hollywood Bowl).

The tours are also aimed at the corporate sector for incentive groups.

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Participants will have a behind-the-scenes tour of the Grammy museum and the Gibson Amphitheatre and Museum, and the new LA Live Entertainment and Dining Complex.

They will visit bars and music haunts such as the Chateau Marmont hotel, The Rainbow Bar and Grill, The Roxy, Viper Room and Whiskey a Go Go (where The Doors, Janis Joplin and Led Zeppelin played) as well as live gigs at infamous music dens such as The Troubadour and the House of Blues.

And they will record an original group track at Capital Records' studio (no musical talent necessary).

"How many people can say, `I recorded a single last week at Capital Records'?"

Guests will be staying at the Riot House, known now as the ANdAZ West Hollywood, a boutique five star hotel, where Jim Morrison, Robert Plant and Little Richard once stayed.

The idea is to give tourists/music fans a total immersion in the experience of LA music, Contempree says.

"So many magical moments have come out of LA," he says.

IF YOU GO

Good Vibrations Tour of Los Angeles runs from April 16 to 24,

2010. The tour has a maximum of 40 people.

Details at Rockandpoptours.com.

- AAP

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