While it might seem like any other year in the city’s history, 1974 was a huge year for Los Angeles, particularly in pop culture.
It was a year in which a handful of pioneering and legendary figures in the fields of film, TV, and music that were all indicators of the changing social, cultural and political demographics of America. Legendary films like “Chinatown” and “The Godfather Part II” were released and the first draft screenplay of a movie called “Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope” was finished. Musical acts like Bob Dylan, Joni Mitchell and The Eagles and others broke touring records worldwide. In his new book “Rock Me on the Water: 1974-The Year Los Angeles Transformed Movies, Music, Television, and Politics” veteran journalist and Pulitzer Prize finalist Ron Brownstein looks back at the significance of 1974 to Los Angeles in its illustrious pop culture history and how the music, TV and movies that came out of it spawned a pop culture revolution across the nation.
Ron Brownstein, author of “Rock Me on the Water: 1974-The Year Los Angeles Transformed Movies, Music, Television, and Politics” (Harper Collins, March 2021); he is senior editor at The Atlantic, a senior political analyst for CNN, and has served as the national political correspondent and national affairs columnist for The Los Angeles Times and covered the White House and national politics for the National Journal; he tweets @RonBrownstein