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The Wrecking Crew: On the road to you!

June 14, 2011

When I found out The Wrecking Crew would be shown here in Ventura on Friday and on the road to raise money this summer and fall, I contacted my friend Ron Wells who is both a music lover and film enthusiast, about the documentary. He graciously wrote the following to encourage me and readers of Art Predator to see it and support the project.

The Wrecking Crew may have been the greatest band there ever was, and yet it was never really a band at all.

For this Wrecking Crew was the name given to the fantastic studio musicians living and working in Los Angeles in the the 1960’s when rock and roll was really beginning to take off. The songs they worked on are an iPod full of hits that is the sound track for everyone who grew up during this period, or even for those who grew up much later and have still heard the music played on radio, television, or even YouTube.

The musicians’ names are little known except to those in the music industry, but they should all be in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, if not have their faces faces sculpted into the hillside by the Hollywood Sign. For Earl Palmer, Hal Blaine, Carol Kaye, Plas Johnson, and Tommy Tedesco, among a whole host of others were instrumental in launching some of the greatest pop and rock songs ever recorded.

The documentary on the Wrecking Crew, directed by Denny Tedesco, Tommy’s son, is a monumental achievement that will forever put on record the importance of, and contributions of, these musicians to the history of popular music. Similar to Standing in the Shadows of Motown, this film shines a long overdue spotlight on those who who gave so much to the music of the 60’s, and yet got little or no credit. 

Certainly, no one will find their names on the back of the album covers of the records on which they played.

Denny Tedesco has set out to right this wrong and this documentary is a living, breathing tribute to these remarkable, unsung heroes. The Monkees, the early Beach Boys, The Association and many other bands did not yet have the musical licks necessary to play in a studio, and so these session players would pick up their instruments and do anything and everything that needed to be done.

Phil Spector used them continuously. The Mama’s and Papa’s, and Sonny and Cher more than relied on them; they might not have existed without them.

Film producers and commercial directors also knew the names of each and every musician.

Riffs were inve
nted by them, and songs that had no real groups attached to them were played by these men and the amazing Carol Kaye. There may have been eight to twelve of them, or as many as thirty or more musicians in all. They were behind the scenes studio players who had come to LA to find work and, as fate would have it, came along just as rock and roll was exploding. Only the coming of bands who actually recorded their own songs would bring an end to this classic period of music making in Los Angeles.

“Monday, Monday,” “Good Vibrations,” “The Beat Goes On,” “Along Comes Mary,” and countless other rock songs, as well as commercial and film themes, are only a few of the hundreds of songs which are mentioned or played in this documentary. It’s like listening to the best jukebox money can buy.

And the songs will never be forgotten because the musicianship on them all is so inventive in its methods, solid in its playing, and sterl
ing in its finished product. To see so many of  these musicians in one place, talking about their lives in and out of the studio, and discussing how this or that record was made, is like listening to stories that need to be documented for all time because they are all so jaw-dropping interesting and fantastic.

Who kne
w music history could be this much fun?

Denny Tedesco has done the world a great favor by getting these musicians and these songs in one amazingly profound documentary. Everyone who sees this film will want to thank him for not only shining his camera on these people, but for bringing back these sounds of youth that will live on forever. This is an absolute must-see movie for any person
who has any interest in popular music, who ever listened to any of these songs, or who just wants to relive a time and place that is long gone, but will never be forgotten.
Thanks to this film, the beat goes on, and the vibrations are more than good, they are eternal.

“A wonderful, touching and hilarious film about the unsung stars of so many records that you carry in your heart” -Elvis Costello

‘The Wrecking Crew’ is the best documentary yet about the recording scene. I loved it.- –Steve Miller, Gangster of Love

I loved the film, thank you for bringing to light the story behind one of the most important musical ensembles of the modern recording era… Chad Smith, Red Hot Chili Pepper

So Who Played Behind Your Favorite Albums of the ’60s and ’70s? The Wrecking Crew

Coming soon to your area may be a rare opportunity to see this award winning music documentary! Help raise money for music rights so it can be release!

The Wrecking Crew, the story of the un-sung heroes of the Los Angeles Rock and Roll recording scene in the 1960s, is on the road for a series of showings to raise enough money to license all the fabulous music being showcased in the documentary which features rare historical footage, interviews and testimonials from stars of the music industry.  See and hear the music and story of Los Angeles studio musicians known as the Wrecking Crew, who played behind some of the best known recordings of the ’60s and ’70s.

The Wrecking Crew makes a stop here in Ventura Friday, June 17 with screenings at 6:00 and 8:00 pm in the Martin V. and Martha K. Smith Event Pavilion at the Ventura County Museum on Main in downtown Ventura with a reception from 5:00 to 8:30 pm.

Your $15 admission includes access to all exhibitions, including Rock ‘N’ Roll, fifty photographs of 1960s rock stars  by renowned celebrity photographer Guy Webster and viewing of Ramon Byrne’s musical instruments carved from stone at Art City. The museum will donate $10 of each $15 admission to the non-profit International Documentary Association, to help finance music rights licensing fees, to enable this film to be shown to the general public in the future.

In addition to Ventura CA, Denny Tedesco writes that they are booking fund raising screenings at:

• Mission Viejo, CA – Civic Center June 25th
• Duquesne University – Pittsburgh, PA July 24th
• Bergen Community College – Paramus, NJ, September 28th

If you’re interested in more information regarding sponsoring screenings at your local music store, school, recording studio or anywhere where he can get an audience together or if you are interested in donating a product to help fill raffle baskets, please let him know. Raffles have been another helpful tool in raising funds.  Ancillary products for various instruments are also very helpful. Contact denny@wreckingcrewfilm.com

The film has won ten film festival awards in the last four years. You can read more reviews here: www.wreckingcrewfilm.com/reviews.html.

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