A Blast to the Past: Some Stephen Stills stills and Laurel Canyon Lore

January 21, 2021
Los Angeles, California
Received an email from a reader today who was complimentary of my past publications and ongoing investigation and regular “updates” and he also provided a Twitter link to some interesting photographs that were a real “blast to the past” for me.
Big Thank You to JONATHAN SHULMAN  for forwarding the links to me.
As referenced in my writings and blogs in the mid-Sixties I married  the then (unbeknownst to me) serial marrying wife, and my father’s former mistress, Amilda Kiyoko Tachibana better known to the Laurel Canyon folk as just plain “KIYO, Astrologer to the stars.”
Shortly after marrying, in 1962, while living above the “Country Store” on Kirkwood Drive we “moved up” and bought the large estate at 8451 Utica Drive, higher up in Laurel Canyon.
The residence was built by former Hollywood film director, Tay Garnett and had a number of separate  rentals on the grounds including “the cabin” which would later be rented by up-and-coming “Buffalo Springfield” musician-singer, Neil Young.
We bought the residence from the old Western actor, Lash LaRue and his wife. See anecdote HERE. 
Below are the connecting links provided that link to (Stephen Stills Official Twitter)  showing “the shack” and the adjoining grounds.

Stephen Stills Bio  HERE. 

Songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist best known for his work with Buffalo Springfield and Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young. As both a solo act and seminal member of a number of successful bands. Stills has combined record sales of over 35 million albums.

My ex-wife, Kiyo and soon to be discovered singer Neil Young 1969



  1. Dennis Effle on January 22, 2021 at 9:11 am

    Steve: Thanks for this post it brought back a few memories of my callow youth in Hollywood. I think John Densmore, from the Doors, rented the converted garage on your property around the same time frame. Boy, Kiyo was a busy girl, wasn’t she?

    • Steve Hodel on January 22, 2021 at 10:12 am

      Dennis E:
      Right you are Dennis. THE DOORS did rent the street level unit. Hard to believe that was over fifty years ago. Wow..

      • Wayne Stone on April 22, 2021 at 4:58 am

        I rented the garage apartment after John Densmore vacated the unit. He moved upstairs to the main house, second bedroom, for a short period.

        • Steve Hodel on April 22, 2021 at 8:53 am

          Wayne s
          Cool. Knowing Kiyo the Leo as I did expect it was the first bedroom. 😊

          • Bill on September 24, 2021 at 11:41 pm

            Sounds like Randall Hall Senter and Lynn Princes house on Utica drive that I did a spa room addition to.

  2. Steve Uanna on January 22, 2021 at 9:39 am

    Kiyo – interesting woman. Who were her parents.? Did she have any geisha talents like playing the 13 string traditional Japanese instrument or flower arranging or garment making.
    The reason I ask is because she reminds me so much of the “beautiful Eurasian woman” Lee Harvey Oswald was seen with when he was stationed in Japan with the Marines in 1958. She was a hostess at the Queen Bee lounge in Japan. She appears to have surfaced again at a party Oswald attended in Dallas in 1961. He spent the whole evening talking to her, much to the amazement of his wife Marina and the other party goers.
    The eurasian woman was considered “way out of his league” by Oswald’s fellow Marines. And those interviewed by the Warren Commission about the Dallas meeting said the same. The Dallas Japanese woman seemed to possess all the qualities of a Geisha, was a master of the 13 string instrument and flower arranging and dealt in cotton fabrics and garment making and was related by marriage to the Mitsubishi industrial family. She was here as a sort of nanny house keeper for a White Russian family in Dallas. Also was involved in garment sales. Apparently Kiyo was able to captivate a man and leave a lasting impression, just like Oswald’s Japanese friend. Other than a little acting, palm reading and hanging out, what else was Kiyo into? Just wondering.

    • Steve Hodel on January 22, 2021 at 10:23 am

      Kiyo was born in Boston, MA. in 1920. Amilda Kiyoko Tachibana. Japanese father/proper Bostonian Scottish (McIntyre) mother. Married six times, bright, beautiful and yes, her talents extended to every aspect of the “Geisha” talents. Had small parts as an actress in a number of films including one as a “high priestess” in the Ten Commandments. Pretty much a West Coast woman throughout her life. Definitely had a starring role as a real life Femme Fatale in Los Angeles.

  3. Jonathan Shulman on January 23, 2021 at 5:02 am

    I’m so glad to have contributed in a small way to this post, Steve. I’m looking forward to your upcoming books and mini-series, and I thank you for sharing the story of your amazing journey with the world.


    • Steve Hodel on January 23, 2021 at 9:43 am

      Jonathan S:
      Thanks again for forwarding the link to the Stills photographs Jonathan. Much appreciated. Stay tuned, lot more to come.

  4. Susan on January 23, 2021 at 10:26 am

    I run the Stephen Stills Official social media sites (Twitter, Instagram, Facebook) and made those posts. I can’t even tell you how honored (and surprised) to find them here. Those photos and that property have intrigued me for years. If you have more stories/photos, please share! Thank you again Jonathan and Steve. This made my day!

    • Steve Hodel on January 23, 2021 at 10:48 am

      Seeing those photos at my old Utica Drive estate as we used to say in the Sixties, “Blew Me Away.”
      Thanks for sharing them. Best, Steve

  5. Bill on September 24, 2021 at 11:43 pm

    Sounds like Randall Hall Senter and Lynn Princes house on Utica drive that I did a spa room addition to.

    • Steve Hodel on September 25, 2021 at 12:26 am

      Yes, those are the names associated with the address: 8451 Utica Drive.
      Don’t know them. Never met them. Steve

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