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The Music Behind A Thousand Steps by T. Jefferson Parker

A Thousand StepsSet in Laguna Beach, 1968, T. Jefferson Parker’s A Thousand Steps takes you right back to the Age of Aquarius. No trip to the 60’s is complete without a killer soundtrack. T. Jefferson Parker has given us the perfect playlist to accompany A Thousand Steps and some memories to go with it!


By T. Jefferson Parker

Here’s my personal playlist from 1968.  I still love these songs and play them often.  Sometimes for real, and other times they just drift through my mind like butterflies from the past…

1. Sunshine of Your Love by Cream

This was my personal favorite song in 1968.  I saved up $2.99 from my allowance to get it on a stereo vinyl album of “Disraeli Gears” at the Sound Spectrum in Laguna Beach.

2. All Along the Watchtower by Bob Dylan

3. I’m Looking Through You by the Beatles

This song still plays in my mind, unexpectedly, beautifully, for no apparent reason. 

4. California Dreaming by the Mamas and the Papas 

5. For What it’s Worth by Buffalo Springfield

This iconic 1966 song reminds me so much of 2020 and 2021, with the protests and the shootings and the strife on the streets of the U.S. To me the song is haunting and prophetic.

6. White Rabbit by Jefferson Airplane

I always liked this song, and the name of the band, too!

7. Tales of Brave Ulysses by Cream

In the novel A Thousand Steps, this dreamy, hard-driving adventure song is protagonist Matt Anthony’s personal favorite.  The song reminds me of Matt, on a journey into manhood that feels like Odysseus battling monsters to return home…

8. Satisfaction by the Rolling Stones

My band lip-synched this song in an assembly in 1966.  I was in the sixth grade, and played drums on a drum set I made out of cardboard!

9. Good Vibrations by the Beach Boys 

10. Little Wing by Jimi Hendrix

This wrenchingly poignant song is featured in A Thousand Steps, in the form of a paper airplane that becomes one of the clues to the mystery at the heart of the novel.

11. Suzanne by Leonard Cohen

How different, how cool!

12. Respect by Aretha Franklin

Matt’s beloved sister, Jasmine, gets an Aretha 45 rpm single for her birthday in A Thousand Steps.

13. Subterranean Homesick Blues by Bob Dylan

14. Yellow Submarine by the Beatles

I loved this goofy song as a kid, especially Ringo’s droll vocals. 

15. Mr. Tambourine Man by Bob Dylan

I love this song so much.  When I first heard it I thought Dylan had written just for me!

16. Foxey Lady by Jimi Hendrix

This song is featured in A Thousand Steps, playing on the ocean breeze as Matt descends the steep concrete stairway to 1,000 Steps Beach in Laguna for the first time, in search of his vanished sister…

 Order your copy of A Thousand Steps here!

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