The English performer has been a longtime Topanga Canyon resident, but he’s moving his family out. For most of a decade, Tim Booth of the English rock band James loved the quiet, peaceful life he and his family had found in a rustic hillside neighborhood of Topanga Canyon.
It was the perfect place to relax and recharge after weeks in hotels and buses on tour with the band he’d been part of for nearly 40 years, and it offered all of that sunny optimism that drew him from his homeland in the first place.
But about two years ago, not long before the Woolsey Fire burned its way from Ventura County into Malibu and the Santa Monica Mountains near Topanga, Booth says he attended a ceremony held by a Peruvian shaman.
“And this very strange thing happened where I saw an earthquake in California,” he says. “I saw fires. I saw myself driving our family out, and we got away. But I saw all hell breaking loose in California, and I was going, ‘OK, is this a warning?’.”
Coming back to himself, Booth says he decided it was his own subconscious fears, nothing more.
“Then I woke up in the morning and California was on fire, the house was full of smoke, and we had to evacuate,” he says. “And I went, ‘I’ve got to take this more seriously.’”
That episode, and the subsequent exit from Topanga Canyon after 11 years, inspired the song “Beautiful Beaches” on James’ new album, “All The Colours Of You.” The band’s 16th studio record, it arrives on June 4.
Los Angeles Daily News | Peter Larsen