Los Angeles in the 1960s: riots in Watts and on the Sunset Strip, wild weekends in Malibu, late nights at The Daisy discotheque, openings at the Ferus Gallery, and the convergence of pop art, rock and roll, and the New Hollywood. At the center of it all, one inspired, improbable, and highly combustible couple—Dennis Hopper and Brooke Hayward—lived out the emblematic love story of '60s L.A.
Wonderful ... A rollicking tale ... Which brings us to Rozzo’s greatest authorial gift. By centering his book on the juxtaposition of opposing worlds...Rozzo makes each world, each character and each reality both shocking and believable, both ridiculous and sublime.
Rozzo is a frequent contributor to Vanity Fair, and his articles there have been heavily cribbed for this book. That’s fine; if I had read the original articles there I would certainly have been left with a thirst for more research into the exuberant Sixties, and Everybody Thought We Were Crazy manages to keep up their engaging pace ... ust as engaging and rewarding to a desultory reader as to a more programmatic one. As I read this book cover to cover, I found myself flipping ahead from the early Sixties to land on a surprise appearance by the Jefferson Airplane, and as I neared the end, I treated myself to reliving an early party with Marcel Duchamp and Vincent Price, and some eyebrow-raising sexual experimentation with Hopper’s castmates from Rebel Without A Cause ... I came away from this book in awe of Hopper and Hayward, not so much for their considerable contributions to their arts but simply for their serendipity and seeming ability to have experienced firsthand everything the ‘60s had to offer. At times the book feels unreal because it resembles films like Almost Famous or Forrest Gump, whose hapless protagonists accidentally stumble into every defining event of their generation and fortuitously find themselves at parties with its brightest lights and scions. But so it was—and it is a delight to read about ... one hundred percent true, exhaustively researched, and yet more similar to a delirious romance movie than anything our sad, quotidian lives will ever contain.
... as much a biography of a marriage as it is a microcosm of the chaotic decade of the 1960s. Hayward and Hopper are fascinating individuals on their own, but together, they were intriguing and explosive. Author Mark Rozzo has penned a remarkable dual biography that was hard to put down, as the subject matter never ceased to be illuminating.