U2 – The Joshua Tree

The cover to the classic U2 album “The Joshua Tree” was taken by photographer turned acclaimed director Anton Corbijn at the famous Zabriskie Point in Death Valley.  In December of 1986, Corbijn and the band set out on a trip lasting several days across the Mojave Desert, where they visited multiple locations for their photo shoots.  Ultimately, a shot of the band standing in front of Zabriske Point was chosen as the cover image.

“The Joshua Tree” of course is not the only project connected to the location.  The 1970 Michelangelo Antonioni film of the same name, “Zabriskie Point,” staged an orgy scene at the site.  Scenes from the TV series “The Mandalorean” also shot there.  Philosopher Michel Foucault notably called his 1975 acid trip at Zabriskie Point the greatest experience of his life.


LOCATION: Zabriskie Point, CA-190, Furnace Creek, CA 92328 (GPS coordinates: 36°25′12″N 116°48′40″W)

The Doors

The Doors are an iconic Los Angeles band and there are quite a few locations in Southern California closely tied to the band.

Lost in the decay of one of the more derelict areas of downtown Los Angeles sits the the former Morrison Hotel.  In it’s heyday, the hotel was a place for transients, with rooms available at discounted rates.  While the band originally asked permission to photograph on the premises, management declined.  In typical Doors fashion, however, the band snuck inside anyways, when the clerk left the front desk.  The famous cover photo was taken, without permission, on December 17, 1969.

Today, the building sits empty.  However, just behind the boarded up doors and windows exists some wonderful architecture and the interior to one of the most famous album photographs of all time.  Once a year, a pop-up event is held, which restores the place to looking like it did in it’s prime.


LOCATION: 1246 South Hope St, Los Angeles, CA 90015

Over in Laurel Canyon, you’ll find the house where Jim Morrison lived with his girlfriend and penned the song “Love Street,” about Rothdell Trail and the surrounding neighborhood. Morrison would sit out on the balcony and watch hippies outside, which is where the song title is derived.

LOCATION: 8021 Rothdell Trail, West Hollywood, CA 90046

Located right beside the Jim Morrison house is the Canyon Country Store. The store is referred to specifically in “Love Street” as “this store where the creatures meet.” At the height of the 1960s counterculture movement, the Canyon Country Store served as a meeting place for musicians, such as Joni Mitchel, David Crosby and Mama Cass Elliot, all of whom penned songs about the neighborhood, with the latter even living in the basement of the store for a period. The store is still open today and remains a popular spot for locals.

LOCATION: 2108 Laurel Canyon Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90046

The Doors famously served as the house band at the Whisky A Go Go in West Hollywood, until they were fired after performing the spoken word section of their song “The End.” The Whisky remains an active music venue.


LOCATION: 8901 Sunset Blvd, West Hollywood, CA 90069