THE WRECKING CREW FILM: ONE OF THE COOLEST MUSIC FILMS TO COME ALONG…EVER
IT’S ALMOST TIME FOR THE GREAT THEATRICAL RELEASE OF THE WRECKING CREW FILM
As we’re patiently waiting for this great film’s theatrical release to the masses, Jackaboutguitars.com has decided to move the article and interview that we did with Filmmaker Denny Tedesco, just prior to The Wrecking Crew Film Kickstarter, to the top, front & center of the site for any of those out there who may have missed this cool story and interview the first time around.
Many thanks to EVERYONE who helped make Denny Tedesco’s Dream a REALITY! And most of all, THANK YOU DENNY!
In the very near future we will be running a brand new interview with Denny Tedesco – just completed by “The Prince of Primitive”, Jackaboutguitars.com’s Ed Huerta, as the countdown to the major theatrical release of the movie is quickly approaching.
The film is opening in my neck of the woods on March 13th at The Hollywood Theater, here in Portland, Oregon, and I couldn’t be more thrilled about that.
SOME MORE DATES AND PLACES FOR THE RELEASE OF THE FILM IN THEATERS
The movie will be opening on these dates in these cities so far…
Halifax, NS: Carbon Arc Cinema Co-op
Toronto, ON: Bloor Hot Docs Cinema
Vancouver, BC: VanCity
Hamilton, ON: Art Gallery Of Hamilton
Saint John, NB: TIFF Film Circuit
Cambridge, MA: Kendall Square Cinema 9
Dallas, TX: Magnolia Theatre
Denver, CO: Mayan Theatre
New York, NY: IFC Center 5
Portland, OR: Hollywood Theatre
Santa Ana, CA: South Coast Village 3
Tucson, AZ: The Loft Cinema
West Los Angeles, CA: Nuart Theatre
Columbus, OH: Gateway Film Center 8
Jefferson City, MO: Capitol City Cinema
San Diego, CA: Ken Cinema
Santa Fe, NM: Jean Cocteau Cinema
Berkeley, CA: Shattuck Cinemas 10
Gainesville, FL: Hippodrome – Gainesville
Phoenix, AZ: FilmBar
San Francisco, CA: Opera Plaza Cinemas 4
San Luis Obispo, CA: Palm Cinema
Seattle, WA: SIFF Cinema at the Uptown
Waterville, ME: Railroad Square Cinema 3
Winston-Salem, NC: Aperture Cinema
Bellingham, WA: PFC’s Limelight Cinema 3
Palm Desert, CA: Cinemas Palme D’Or 7
Spokane, WA: Magic Lantern Theatre
Baton Rouge, LA: Manship Theatre
Wichita, KS: Orpheum Theater
Fort Worth, TX: Modern Art Museum of Forth Worth
Bethlehem, PA: ArtsQuest Center at SteelStacks
Springfield, MO: Moxie Cinema 2
Lafayette, LA: Acadiana Center for the Arts
Memphis, TN: Memphis Brooks Museum of Art
Albuquerque, NM: Guild
…AND I’M SURE there will be more dates and places to follow as this picks up momentum!
OUR PREVIOUS INTERVIEW WITH DENNY TEDESCO
In the meantime, here’s the first interview that Ed Huerta did with Filmmaker Denny Tedesco and the accompanying article.
Enjoy it and keep yourselves tuned in to Jackaboutguitars.com for the new interview with Denny Tedesco which will be here real soon.
MY DINNER WITH DENNY TEDESCO (WELL, NOT REALLY…JUST PICKING THE MIND OF THE MAN BEHIND ONE OF THE COOLEST MUSIC FILMS TO COME ALONG EVER…THE FILM “THE WRECKING CREW”) by ED HUERTA
WELL, THE TIME IS AT HAND, AND THE WAY COOL MUCH ANTICIPATED WRECKING CREW FILM IS ALMOST HERE…
KICKSTARTER IS IN PLACE AND NOW IT’S TIME FOR EVERYONE OUT THERE TO DO WHAT EACH OF US CAN
That’s right. It’s finally almost here. Getting closer to the release of THE WRECKING CREW FILM. Many of you have heard the buzz. Filmmaker Denny Tedesco, son of the late, great guitarist, Tommy Tedesco, is getting very close to releasing his “labor of love“, The Wrecking Crew Film. Talk about excitement building…
This is the story that has needed to be told and it’s time for the final push for funds to get this amazing film up on the BIG SCREEN for all to see and enjoy, to be WOWED and AMAZED. And what a story it is…
Let’s all help Denny Tedesco to get this story out to the masses. Kent Hartman, thank you so much for writing “The Wrecking Crew” Book (“The Inside Story of Rock and Roll’s Best Kept Secret)! I just wish that I would have discovered it before writing this article as I would have certainly asked your permission to draw from it. What a GREAT read!
To date, many dollars have been raised as the film contains over a hundred songs of which the music rights and licensing had to be worked out and paid for. The process is almost complete which will allow the film to be released.
Read on and find out how you can become a part of all this through the Kickstarter Program. You can actually help in a very modest (or generous) way to get this fantastic film launched onto the big screen!!! There are so many ways to help out from attending screenings, giving a small or large donation, and even getting an actual dedication that will appear on the DVD. THE WRECKING CREW FILM: ONE OF THE COOLEST MUSIC FILMS TO COME ALONG…EVER!
You can even contribute to the effort by purchasing way cool Wrecking Crew merchandise like Bowling shirts, Tee-shirts and tank tops, baseball caps, coffee mugs, posters, and even special bottles of red wine, all with The Wrecking Crew Logo on them. Great memorabilia to own, wear, and display in your home or music room.
For those guitarists, musicians, and readers out there who aren’t too familiar with or don’t know much about all of this Wrecking Crew business in the air, relax. It’s okay. Really.
These are just the guys & girl (studio musicians) who played on the soundtrack of just about every baby boomer’s life, not to mention how it affected and what many of the other generations that followed might have taken from them.
Many of you guitarists, bass players, drummers, piano and keyboard players, as well as other musicians out there have been affected by these guys probably way more than you’ll ever know. I know that once I finally came to the knowledge of all of this, I couldn’t even begin to believe it. Songs that I have heard most of my life weren’t even played by the musicians in the bands whose recordings they were supposed to be!
The name, “The Wrecking Crew”, was given to this younger group of studio musicians in L.A. in the early 1960’s by the older established studio musicians in the area (the suits so to speak) as they thought that these younger guys were going to wreck the music business with their rock and roll and blue jeans and tee shirts.
The Wrecking Crew Film is the untold “behind the scenes story” of these musicians who played on all of the biggest hits, hit after hit after hit, that came out of the west coast from Southern California. They were the “unsung heroes” that the public never knew back then and many are just finding out about now. Believe it or not, they were Phil Spector’s famous “Wall of Sound”!
These are the musicians that played on so many of the hits by The Association, The Beach Boys, The Byrds, The Carpenters, The Crystals, Dean Martin, Elvis, The Fifth Dimension, Frank Sinatra, Herb Alpert & The Tijuana Brass, Jan & Dean, Nancy Sinatra, Neil Diamond, The Mamas & Papas, The Monkees, The Righteous Brothers, The Ronettes, Sam Cooke, Simon & Garfunkel, Sonny & Cher, and too many others to even mention right now (sorry others)! The list goes on and on and on….
They even played on T.V. theme songs like Bonanza, Batman, Green Acres, Hawaii Five-O, and Mission Impossible, as well as movie soundtracks.
For those of you who don’t know much about all of this, here’s a video trailer that will bring you up to speed a bit and give you an idea just what it’s all about concerning this cool film.
HERE’S WHAT PEOPLE ARE SAYING ABOUT THE FILM
A wonderful, touching and hilarious film about the unsung stars of so many records that you carry in your heart. – Elvis Costello
It was incredible! I felt just like I was sitting there with them at that table. It had everything I wanted to see and more that I didn’t expect. Tommy’s humor drew you in and the lifelong respect for each other was so evident. Thank you for making this film because it shows that these legendary musicians, who we listen to everyday, are anything but invisible!!!!!! – Peter Frampton
“The Wrecking Crew” documentary is the first time that people will finally understand what it was like to be in the trenches of Rock and Roll… Its the closest thing to being there. It is a great pleasure to be a part of Denny Tedesco’s Wrecking Crew. – Hal Blaine
Like the Funk Brothers being the backbone of the Motown Sound, the Wrecking Crew were the backbone of the L.A. Sound. This group of musicians played on and created hundreds of hits that became the soundtrack to our lives in the 60s and 70s and are still on radio today. I would recommend this DVD to anyone who likes music and who doesn’t? It’s an historical peek and inside look at the backbone of American hit parade music that rocked the world. – Randy Bachman Guess Who, Bachman Turner Overdrive
Denny Tedesco has given us an amazing look at a musical moment in history that everyone who loves rock and roll should see. – Christopher Guest
Much congratulations to you for undertaking the project and for delivering it in such a wonderful way. For me it was educational, entertaining and thoroughly engrossing… – Clive Davis
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 Peppers
It’s about bloody time! – Micky Dolenz
Jackaboutguitars.com recently had the honor of being granted an interview with Filmmaker Denny Tedesco. Drummer and writer Ed Huerta of Jackaboutguitars ‘Art “N” Soul column, aka “The Prince of Primitive“, managed to be able to free up enough time from his overwhelming schedule to take on the special assignment for Jackaboutguitars of interviewing Mr. Denny Tedesco. Jackaboutguitars was also given permission to use The Wrecking Crew logo, photographs, and even some of the video clip outtakes from this fantastic film by Denny Tedesco.
Throughout the interview I have posted photos and some of these video clip outtakes from the making of the film which are at the least, quite interesting, and some of the stories are really very entertaining. They aren’t in any special order and probably don’t appear in spots that coincide with the interview.
Enjoy them for the great musical history that they are. I’m hoping this story and the interview with Denny will be enough to inform those who don’t know much about The Wrecking Crew and temporarily satisfy your curiosity about The Wrecking Crew Film. If this in any way speaks to any of you musicians out there,
It’s also my understanding that dinner and drinks for the interview were almost outstanding! They may seem to have even been non existent (just like the budget set aside for all of this by Jackaboutguitars). We do know that as and when the budgets gets a bit better, all else will follow accordingly. Enough said, here’s the interview. Enjoy! – Jack
MY DINNER WITH DENNY (WELL, NOT REALLY…JUST PICKING THE MIND OF THE MAN BEHIND ONE OF THE COOLEST FILMS TO COME ALONG EVER…THE FILM “THE WRECKING CREW”) by ED HUERTA
EH: I lied. I didn’t have a face to face sit down with the man. I didn’t do this interview mano a mano with him. We never even had dinner together, but in fact, I did do this interview via one of Thomas Edison’s inventions, (look for the movie starring Don Ameche…like my late father used to say about me,“ He spends more time on the phone than Don Ameche!”) (the phone, with the man).
The man, meaning Denny Tedesco, filmmaker and son of the late Tommy Tedesco, jazz guitarist and member of The Wrecking Crew group that was responsible for nearly every hit song and many non-hits through most of the 1960’s and early 1970’s that came out of the west coast.
Tommy’s guitar playing can be heard in numerous television theme songs and many, many motion picture soundtracks. The man was sitting in the guitar chair for a good decade.
I first learned of The Wrecking Crew many years back when I started delving into music producers such as Phil Spector and Brian Wilson. These musicians helped usher in the Golden Age of Music. They were responsible for hundreds of songs that somehow transport us to a different time and exclusive, individual memories.
For example, the magical sounds of the opening drum hits in The Ronettes “Be My Baby” or the wonderful space of music, just before the last vocal segue of Sonny and Cher’s, “I Got You Babe”. The pure pop that drove Gary Lewis’ “This Diamond Ring” to the top of the charts. I still believe that song inspired a teen Bruce Springsteen to later record his Spectoresque production of the classic “Born to Run” album.
The Monkees, Jan and Dean, Ricky Nelson, The freaking Turtles, people, or anything on Pet Sounds. This stuff was thee stuff!!! If you ever picked up an instrument or played in a band, then you have The Wrecking Crew to thank because I know you must have played one of the songs they played on or ripped off a lick or two from one of those said songs.
The Wrecking Crew was music’s version of the New York Yankees, especially the 1927 Yankees featuring The Murderer’s Row. They are the Los Angeles Lakers, the Boston Celtics, the Green Bay Packers: the dynasty of music and musicians. So what I am trying to say in this introduction is, that they meant a lot of things to music lovers and musicians and it was quite an honor to get to meet Mr. Tedesco at the screening of the film in Orange County and to get to meet Mr. Hal Blaine, the “DRUM GOD”. It was one of the most special evenings of my life and it was like being at Disneyland and getting to meet Walt Disney.
Case in point, we were seated in the cinema, my wife and I, perusing the brochure that we were handed upon entrance to the movie, when a nicely dressed gentleman introduced himself as Denny Tedesco, the maker of the film we were about to view. I recognized him immediately, only because I saw his picture in the program just seconds earlier. Denny didn’t have to do this. It was truly a nice gesture that he went out of his way to greet people. I was thinking and mentioned it to my wife, that he probably recognized me from my many appearances on the old Steve Allen Show.
Yeah, she didn’t think that was too funny either…but I do want to thank Paula and Steve Soest for reminding me of the screening and for arranging this wonderful event and the star treatment they gave my wife and I. I just want to add that Denny did not hesitate when Jack from Jackaboutguitars.com approached him about doing an interview for the Jackaboutguitars.com website.
Thanks again Denny Tedesco…and if you haven’t seen this movie, go out and see it and help support the cause with a donation to Kickstarter. I, for one, cannot wait for the soundtrack and DVD of this film. You will see how this film touches the very core of the music lovers’ existence. It is a fine tribute to the memory of Tommy Tedesco and to all of the people that rounded out this group of fine musicians. Denny did an incredible job on this and you can feel the love for his father in this work.
I’m starting to sound quite a bit like a PBS pledge drive here. Let me wrap it up by saying this… I never met Tommy Tedesco – but this film uncovers a persona that is larger than life and you truly get a feeling of who the man was and he seems like a very good man and father as well as a decent guitar player too.
I am sure Tommy is looking down at these screenings and proudly saying to all within earshot, “That’s my son’s work everybody, that’s my son!”. We thank you for your work too, Mr. Tedesco…both of you!
(Setting the scene: I did this interview over the phone on my trusty ZOOM H1 and Samsung III. Denny had just gotten back from an errand and it was late afternoon and his voice sounded scratchy and tired. I felt bad about asking so many questions, but how often do I get to meet Hollywood filmmakers especially the son of Tommy Tedesco…please ignore the sounds of Lakewood Boulevard in the background that didn’t help me decipher some of Denny’s answers…Hope you all enjoy and please do yourselves a great favor and check out his film. It is truly a great piece of historical work.)
EH: Hello, Denny. First thing, let me say I first met you at the screening of The Wrecking Crew Film in Orange, California at Chapman University (a heartfelt thank you to Paula and Steve Soest) and Hal Blaine was there, and it was a totally amazing, magical evening!
I play drums and it was such a thrill to talk and shake the man’s hand that played on all of the hit songs that shaped my life and playing style. (He did want royalties from me but I only had a couple bucks in my pocket, which Hal took with pleasure. I am joking, of course, he took it begrudgingly… (Ed’s note, just kidding), but Mr. Blaine was very funny and he signed a poster for me too!
So, as a kid I used to listen to all of these records and would pretend I was Dennis Wilson playing those drums. I guess I should have pretended to be Hal Blaine(I just didn’t know at the time). Anyway, I just wanted to say for all of the musicians out there “Thank You” for making this long awaited and anticipated film.
It is the most amazing film and I beseech all those people who only have a shred of interest in music or the golden years of the 1960’s to buy a ticket and see this. I am in my early 50’s, so I was a tad too young when these songs originally came out. But I do have childhood memories of hearing and enjoying them. What I want to ask you, in a long-winded way is, do you get the same reactions from people after they view this film?
DT: The reaction is, yeah….That’s why I keep going. The reaction to the film is always extremely positive. The concept of the film is what I’d like to take credit for.
It’s amazing. We are peeling back the curtains and educating the people, like you just said, you thought it was Dennis Wilson playing, and it’s nice to see that reaction all of the time, and it doesn’t matter what demographic. I’ve seen it in Israel, in England, in Germany, Barcelona and New York…Brooklyn, you know, Seattle, and all across this country, the same thing. This is America’s greatest export. It really was. It was an amazing time period.
EH: Oh yeah! It was the total golden age of music, and we’ll get back to this in a bit, but my next question is…hope you don’t mind me reading from my notes here..
DT: Go right ahead…
EH: You have had a little trouble getting the movie funded, I know it’s extremely expensive, but it’s a story and a topic that needed to be addressed or told, and I was wondering as The Wrecking Crew made millions of dollars for record companies and music people, artists, did these people attempt to give back at all to the funding of this project?
DT: Oh yeah, Like Jerry Moss gave fifty thousand and Herb Alpert (the brains behind A & M Records, but you people probably already know this so from here on in I will assume you are more knowledgeable than the average reader) is going to match that. They have come around but you know people, it’s a weird thing.
You can’t just go to people and well, Cher, for example. I’m doing an interview with Cher and I didn’t want to ask her for money. It’s a fine line. I’m not good at it! Some people are good at asking, I’m not good at asking but I’m learning how to ask and that could be a reason that it’s taking so long. You know, we’re getting there.
EH: Right. So you finished the movie, in like, 2008?
DT: I started in 1996, in 2006, we started to cut. I compared it to building a house. We had all the appliances, all the fixtures and the lumber to build the house, our dream